Chelsey Weber Smith public
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American Hysteria explores the moral panics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and fantastical thinking that shape our culture and why we end up fearing and believing in the unreal. Using sociology, psychology, biology, and a whole lot of research, poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith charts their own journey from fantastical thinker to flexible skeptic, while detailing the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of American freak-outs from the Puritans to the present, and t ...
 
Is something taking over your brain? Zombified is a new podcast about how we are vulnerable to being hijacked by things that are not us. From microbes hijacking behavior, to humans influencing each other, to our brains being taken over by social media, we talk about why zombification happens, why we are susceptible to it, and what we can do about it. Hosted by Dr. Athena Aktipis, a Psychology Professor at Arizona State University and the founder of the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance, an ...
 
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Ghost hunting TV shows have been popular for decades now...surely some of these shows must have covered the same haunted location as one another, right? If they had...how would their methodologies and evidence compare? Maybe cross-referencing their work could give us insight into the business and entertainment value of ghost hunting? Don't you get …
 
We're back with a final (for now?) installment of controversial opinions about our favorite topic! Trailers vs. movies, gore, whether or not vampires are hot...it's ALLLL on the table. Let's spice it up! Support GTTU and get access to monthly bonus podcasts, a private Discord, monthly livestreams, and more at patreon.com/gttupod. Thank you so much!…
 
Do you feel like your neurons are getting taken over by your smartphone, tablet, computer or TV? Then the infopocalypse has probably already infiltrated your brain. In this episode, journalist and media literacy expert, Kristy Roschke, explains how we get hijacked by the constant stream of information we consume from our devices. She also shares ti…
 
Kristen talks to people she likes about what entertainment they've liked during the quarantine! It's GUIDE TO THE AT-HOME. Em Schulz is one half of And That's Why We Drink, a true crime and paranormal podcast. Really, Em and Kristen should have a spinoff called And Here's What We Eat, because they mainly talked about food. Food counts as entertainm…
 
Carmen Maria Machado is the author of three books, the award-winning Her Body and Other Parties, a collection of vibrantly haunting short stories, In the Dream House, a bestselling memoir and examination of queer relationship abuse, and most recently, a graphic novel horror story called The Low Low Woods. She has also taught several courses at the …
 
Oh, Wyoming.... Did you know that this is the state that has listened to Guide to the Unknown the LEAST?! Don't worry, we're not offended. Instead, we're here to celebrate your spookiness and tell some WILD stories about jackalopes, shoes made of human skin, and NUMEROUS haunted places....and then we'll just see what happens to our listener stats, …
 
Kristen talks to people she likes about what entertainment they've liked during the quarantine! It's GUIDE TO THE AT-HOME. Sapphire Sandalo of the ridiculously good podcast Stories with Sapphire talks about getting into Hannibal, the royal family, her favorite IRL source for ghost stories...and she drops her favorite one on us. Find everything Sapp…
 
Lil Nas X and the sexy-ass Satanic imagery featured in Call Me By Your Name has sparked a mini Satanic panic, especially after his Satan Shoes went viral, the ones that contain a drop of human blood. This two-part re-release of our Satanic Panic episodes dives deep into evil cartoons, toys, and games, heavy metal's backward messages, the suspicion …
 
Horror movies, consistently written-off by critics, exist unbound from mainstream respectability and because of this, they can often tell us the brutal truth. For this two-part series, we will be investigating what horror movies, their plots, their victims, and their villains reflect back to us about the dominant repressed fears of each generation.…
 
From movie questions to which mythical creature we'd want to be roommates with, we're answering more of your listener Qs! Check out the show to find out what cryptid we would be if we were cryptids. Make sure you check out Kristen's work on Hunt a Killer: Deep Dives, available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. Support GTTU and get access to monthly b…
 
Kristen talks to people she likes about what entertainment they've liked during the quarantine! It's GUIDE TO THE AT-HOME. Kathleen and Bethany of the excellent podcast An Acquired Taste come on to talk about Bigfoot, Charles Grodin, Trader Joe's finds, the merits and drawbacks of being "a regular" somewhere, and more. It'll all make sense, don't w…
 
What would your kids do if they were stuck in the zombie apocalypse and you were nowhere to be found? That’s the premise of Shabam!, a podcast where the story of the zombie apocalypse is a vehicle for explaining science and infrastructure to audiences of all ages. We talk to creators, Josh Kurz and Wendy Roderweiss, about the challenges of communic…
 
Leading up to our two-part Horror Movies series, we wanted to return to this little prequel focused on one of my most favorite horror movies ever and the wild story behind one of the most successful horror hoaxes of all time. So listen for the first time or rewind this old Blockbuster VHS and listen again. For more on horror movies and their link t…
 
Well...we challenged each other two watch some movies we each really like. I don't know...are we both out of our wheelhouse? Kristen's got an artsy, abstract zombie movie, Will's got a Lifetime movie...Or maybe...WE LOVED THEM? Let's find out. Make sure you check out Kristen's work on Hunt a Killer: Deep Dives, available on Apple Podcasts and Stitc…
 
Does politics turn us into zombies? We talk with law professor, Mary Ziegler, about the politics around the abortion debate and how a personal, medical issue can get hijacked for political ends. We also chat about the ways that politics can make us see others—specifically those who don’t agree with us—as zombies. If you think you or somebody you do…
 
Mara Wilson is a writer, actor, and the former star of the 1996 classic movie Matilda as well as the author of the memoir 'Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame'. In this episode, Mara shares her relationship to the character that many in the public still see her as 25 years later, and we talk about the dramaturgy of living, …
 
We're back with more controversial opinions about horror! Ready to burn with anger or soar on the wings of angels? Books v movies, the ending of Saw, hollow earth…it’s all on the table. Listen and see where YOU fall on these important issues! Make sure you check out Kristen's work on Hunt a Killer: Deep Dives, available on Apple Podcasts and Stitch…
 
Kristen talks to people she likes about what entertainment they've liked during the quarantine! It's GUIDE TO THE AT-HOME. Chelsey and Jim talk about the television they've consumed along with the stages of quarantine, including Tiger King, Jersey Shore, calming YouTube videos, and the Cecil Hotel thing which okay, okay, I'm finally watching. Stick…
 
What happens to humans when they are not just hungry, but truly famished? In this episode we talk with anthropologist Cathryn Townsend about the ways that starvation can change who we are and how we relate to one another. She completed fieldwork with the Ik people of Uganda who were vilified as selfish and nasty by Colin Turnbull 50 years ago when …
 
The new American archetype known as the “Influencer” has existed in various forms long before the advent of social media, and long before Kendall Jenner and the offensive brand activism of a now infamous Pepsi commercial. For this episode, we will trace the history of how corporate brands have used the idea of personal “authenticity” to sell us shi…
 
Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama....we're trapped in a vortex! The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most famous places in the world for boats and planes to vanish without a trace. Let's go there! ALSO make sure you go visit this week's sponsor, Occultish, at occultishemporium.com. Use code ENTERTHEUNKNOWN for 10% off your order! Support GTTU and…
 
Welcome to the first mini-episode where Kristen talks to people she likes about what entertainment they've liked during the quarantine! It's GUIDE TO THE AT-HOME. Let's kick things off with Liz Sower of the podcast and blog Ghosts in the Burbs. Kristen and Liz talk about their favorite cozy mystery books, Discovery Plus finds, and more! Find out mo…
 
Gael Aitor is a senior in high school and the host of the podcast Teenager Therapy, a show where he and four other teenagers talk about mental health and the experiences they share with a rare and empathetic nuance. Today Gael and I will explore the differences and similarities between Gen Z and Millennials and the importance of moving through our …
 
It's been a LONG time since we last answered questions directly from listeners, so we asked people to send in personal questions, hypothetical scenarios, and anything else you might want us to address! Will our responses surprise you? Ha: now WE’RE the ones asking the questions. Make sure to check out this week's sponsor, Black Triangle Coffee, for…
 
Our Live Variety Hour is not your run-of-the-mill podcast live show, but an actual two-hour theatrical production performed in 2019. For the first time ever, you can get access to the full video on Patreon (pay what you can)! Using my background as a drag and performance art producer, a handful of my brilliant creative partners and I created a vaud…
 
Last week we covered some horror hot takes and went down a real rabbit hole discussing M. Night Shyamalan's oeuvre. So this week we're discussing two of his most talked-about movies and figuring out if they're as good (or bad) as people say! Make sure you go check out Horror Queers, an awesome podcast whose promo you'll hear on today's show! Suppor…
 
Do you ever have the feeling that your friends are talking about you behind your back? In this episode we talk with interdisciplinary social scientist Tamas David-Barrett about why we might actually want our friends to talk about us behind our backs. We also talk about how smaller family size has caused a fundamental shift in the structure of the s…
 
As the nation grapples with a volatile culture war over just what version of American history our children will grow up learning, in this episode we will see that the Public School has always been a complicated, explosive, sometimes bizarre socio-political battleground. We’ll look at the messy transformations of children’s curricula through the con…
 
We’re discussing and dissecting unusual opinions this week -- ours and yours! We’ve got pop culture and esoteric thoughts aplenty, a perfect encapsulation of the show as a whole. Opinions on The Village! Time warps! Jump scares! Come get some. Hang around to the end for a promo from our friends Bigfoot Collectors Club and check out their podcast: h…
 
If all the cool kids jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too? Should you? Many of us grew up with parents, guidance counselors, and school assembly lecturers teaching us to resist peer pressure, go our own way, and ignore the zombie crowd. And people online will quickly call you out for “virtue signaling” and “humble bragging” if you so much as me…
 
Ellen Cushing's recent piece in The Atlantic called “I was a teenage conspiracy theorist” tells her story as a young Illuminati-truther during the post-9/11 years. Her history with conspiracy theories isn't all that different from my own, so I asked Ellen to join me to talk about our experiences to try to explain what these stories were like back i…
 
This week we discuss the freaky formative entertainment that we liked in childhood because it scared us just a little bit (or a lot). Anyone remember the mannequin that just wants to be real on Today's Special? Or did you also have a Bert and Ernie Halloween cassette tape? SHIVER. Get access to monthly bonus podcasts and tons of other content by su…
 
Join me and our Disney darling of the day, podcaster Sarah Marshall of ‘You’re Wrong About’ and ‘Why Are Dads?’ as we discuss our love for Disney parks, the weird history of animatronics, and Disneyland’s hilarious, disastrous opening day. So grab a Dole Whip, sit back and enjoy the tour through this gleefully haunted mansion of America. Listen to …
 
In Will's final episode before parental leave, we talk about some of the horrors happening beneath our feet: in mines, caves, etc. (Will's going underground...get it?) Kristen digs into the story of the secret crystal city under a California mountain and the popular theory that the map of missing people lines up neatly with the map of uncharted cav…
 
Our cup runneth over. We're back to dive into more of YOUR scary stories. Ghosts, UFOs, haunted hair clips…you people have it all! Thank you so much to Ghost Girl Greetings for sponsoring this episode! Make sure to visit them over at www.ghostgirlgreetings.com, and tell them Guide to the Unknown sent you. Make sure you listen to the promo at the en…
 
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