Episodes
258 - The Winchester Mystery House 258_Monstertalk_Patreon.mp3 Karen and Blake are joined by Matthew Baxter to tell the true story of Sara Winchester and the sprawling mansion in San Jose. Legend says the estate was built to appease the spirits of the victims of the Winchester repeating rifle. But was it? No - but the story behind the story is fascinating.  Location: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128 Want to visit it? Tickets here - but get your facts elsewhere. Karen's book Haunting...
Published 08/08/22
We are joined by the incomparable Dr. Irving Finkel to discuss the oldest recorded stories of ghosts in human history.  Pliny the Younger - Wikipedia  The tale of Athenodorus and the chained ghost How to write cuneiform (video with Dr. Finkel) By Dr. Irving Finkel: The First Ghosts The Ark Before Noah Dr. Finkel teaches how to play The Royal Game of Ur (youtube) PDF of UR rules A replica of the game of Ur  A quite expensive version of the game of Ur from the British Museum Can’t get enough...
Published 07/25/22
Coll "C.C.J." Ellis joins us to talk about the monsters and folklore of Wales. Their book Welsh Monsters & Mythical Beasts will be out soon and is available for pre-order. Wales is on the western side of the island of Great Britain, and part of the United Kingdom. Despite its size, it survives on a diet mostly composed of krill.    Monsters in the book are varied, but include: Dragons, beasts, the fair folk, and spirits. There are many stories, and many gorgeous illustrations.  I didn't...
Published 07/11/22
Brought to you by DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT! A look at the fascinating and adventurous life of millionaire Tom Slick. Inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, science enthusiast, paranormal investigator, and - of course - monster hunter! Southwest Research Institute (1947) - independent and nonprofit applied research and development (R&D) organization. Institute of Inventive Research (defunct) - an applied science and innovation incubator (in a barn at ESSAR) - closed in 57 - Mind...
Published 06/27/22
Mike Brumm (author) and Jeff Mack (illustrator) bring young readers a new series about an intrepid gang of kid investigators dealing with the remarkably bizarre appearance of cryptids in their world.  Book one of the new series is subtitled Bigfoot Takes the Field and I'm joined by author Mike Brumm to discuss the book and its origin.  This is not some dry academic book about debunking bigfoot, nor is it a breathless account of hunting monsters.  Instead it's a delightful and silly fantasy...
Published 06/22/22
A conversation with Laura Krantz about season 3 of her show Wild Thing. It's not monsters, but it's science, history, and the topic has a ton of overlap with Blake's personal life history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 06/15/22
Be sure and check out DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT! We're excited to talk with paleontologist Matthew Kolmann about a fish whose legendary ferocity ranks with the shark and the barracuda - the piranha! Are they capable of turning an animal into a skeleton in minutes? No. But they're still wicked cool. And don't worry - we manage to throw in some cryptid stories too!   Content Warning: We do talk a bit about testicles being bitten off by fish. Teddy Roosevelt's book about his trip to South America,...
Published 06/13/22
You've probably heard lots of yeti stories but often the ones that make it through the filter of newspapers, documentaries, and books shave off the weirdest (and sometimes most important) aspects of these tales. Can you really understand the Yeti if you don't even get the full story? We're joined by Eric Mortensen who relates some stories he's collected first-hand in his research and they will likely surprise you. From invisible cities to magic armpit stones, this isn't the yeti from...
Published 05/30/22
UFOs don't seem to be real - yet they're observed and experienced and have become integrated into cultures around the world. Author David Halperin's book Intimate Alien gives a deep and thoughtful survey of this weird topic and integrates it with biographical elements to tell a story of meaning and mystery. Links for further reading: David's website: http://www.davidhalperin.net/ David's Book (Publisher site) David's Book - Amazon Affiliate Link Additional Links: The Shaver Mysteries (From...
Published 05/16/22
We take a look at the 1989 film Communion based on the 1987 paperback by Whitley Strieber. Part of our "deBased on a True Story" series. (affiliate links) Can’t get enough of monsters? If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to listen to more from MonsterTalk, click here! Want to talk about a monster we haven’t talked about before? Send us an email!   Catch MonsterTalk on All Your Favorite Podcasting Sites Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn   Follow MonsterTalk on Facebook |...
Published 05/02/22
Since ancient times up until today, we humans have used many different animals to represent our beliefs. One such animal is the owl—from the Greek goddess Athena’s favored animal, to harbingers of death in African and Native American narratives, to bringers of luck and prosperity in Asian cultures. In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake and Karen welcome the Owl Research Institute’s Director of Communications Lauren Smith to share interesting facts about owls. Owl Links (Science): The Owl...
Published 04/18/22
This episode is a wide-ranging discussion of comic books and monsters with professor Richard Harrison of Mt. Royal University in Alberta, Canada. Superhero Life Lessons - MRU article about comics curriculum A Contract with God by Will Eisner (Amz Link) Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (Amz Affiliate Link) Seduction of the Innocent by Frank Wertham (The...
Published 04/04/22
Blake and Karen are joined by Joshua Emms of the The New Mexico Herpetological Society to discuss reptile myths and legends. Footage of Sandhill Cranes (via Mr. Emms) Sandhill Crane Mothman Prophecies (Amz Affiliate Link) Gila Monsters Horned Toad Hoop Snake Joint Snake The Giant Gila Monster (trailer)  Catch MonsterTalk on All Your Favorite Podcasting Sites Apple Podcasts| Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn Follow MonsterTalk on Facebook| Twitter| YouTube Support Love the show? Consider...
Published 03/21/22
We take a look at the incredible horror franchise based on The Amityville Horror. Real tragedy compounded by alleged hoaxing forms the basis of films, sequels, books, and a lot of dollars. You can watch this interview on our YouTube channel.  The 1979 film (Amazon Affiliate Link) The 2005 remake (Amz) And a bunch of other movies, spin-offs, books, etc. (Also Amz) Can’t get enough of monsters? If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to listen to more from MonsterTalk , click here! Want to...
Published 03/07/22
Blake, Karen and Matt continue their series looking at the true stories behind popular horror movies alleged to be based on fact. This week we cover The Exorcist and discuss the novel, the film, and the many spin-offs and sequels. Passing of "Roland Doe." (The Guardian) Seytan: The Turkish Exorcist The Exorcist (Amz Affiliate Link to MANY choices/versions/sequels/spin-offs) MonsterTalk YouTube The Exorcist novel (Amz Affiliate Link) Can’t get enough of monsters? If you’ve enjoyed this...
Published 02/21/22
Blake, Karen and Matt dig into the alleged true story behind 1980s ghostly chiller The Changeling.  A great spooky ghost story - but is there anything to the claims that it was based on a true story? Fantastic research article from Denver Library's Katie Rudolph: A Denver House that inspired a Horror Film Part 2 of her research Can’t get enough of monsters? If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to listen to more from MonsterTalk Radio, click here! Want to talk about a monster we haven’t...
Published 02/07/22
While Blake recovers from COVID, we'll take a listen to the MonsterTalk series "DeBased on a True Story." The audio isn't quite up to our regular quality, but we hope you enjoy the content.  This episode deals with the legend behind the 1977 Wes Craven film The Hills Have Eyes. If you'd prefer to watch this episode you can catch it on our YouTube channel.   A lot of our research materials have disappeared from the web since we recorded this, but I'll come back to shore up the notes when I...
Published 01/24/22
Karen and Blake discuss the myths and legends of the Basilisk (and the Cockatrice). The conversation includes ancient legends, medieval legends, alchemy, a whole lot of bird sex, A.I. and information hazards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 01/10/22
(AKA - The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor, The Unseen Hands) The legend of the Hairy Hands is set in Postbridge, Dartmoor. The road is now known as the B3212. Since 1921, the road has been the locale of a legendary menace - a pair of powerful unseen hairy hands that occasionally drives people to their death. But where did this story come from? And is it true?  Blake discusses his research into the case with Karen, and he thinks he's figured this one out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...
Published 12/27/21
A reading of "In a Dim Room" by Lord Dunsany. A ghost story for Christmas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 12/27/21
We talk with Dr. Jeffrey Weinstock (Central Michigan University) about "Monster Theory" and his new volume which collects a panoply of essays on this interesting topic.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 12/13/21
In this episode of MonsterTalk Radio, Blake and Karen have David Farnell of Fukuoka University on the show to talk about Frankenstein and the novel’s—and the monster’s—impact on pop culture, as well as how the definition of what a monster is and how monsters are perceived have evolved through literature. David has published numerous papers on monsters and monsters in literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 11/29/21
When we think about monsters, the number one reaction most people will have is fear. Why is that and where does it come from? How do our brains process the concept of monsters, our gut reactions to them, and about where we stand with all of that? In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake sits down with author, professor, and artist, Stephen Asma to delve into how monsters evolved with us as humans culturally, how our imaginations play a role in it, and how our minds wrap themselves around our...
Published 11/15/21
A look at the brief but influential "life" of the Grand Guignol theater, a Paris stage venue that specialized in gore and terror. We interview Professor Richard Hand, who has co-authored four volumes about this amazing little production company that for a brief while made much of true-crime and visceral nightmarish plots to present gore, horror and terror to Paris audiences. With less than 300 seats but with thousands of performances, the screams that came from its stage still echo through...
Published 11/01/21
We're joined by the Spooky Science Sisters to talk about one of our favorite ghost stories, the psychic/omen/folklore/horror story that has haunted Karen and me since we were kids - the tale of Lord Dufferin and his encounter with the beyond.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Published 10/18/21