American Hysteria

45 EpisodesProduced by Skylark MediaWebsite

American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through explorations of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Poet turned podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith exp… read more

45 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

6: Toy Riots

August 26th, 2019

After the heavy first half of this season, I wanted us to take a little break together and have some fun. We will be covering the volatile toy riots …


August 19th, 2019

MAKE SURE to follow us on social media to get the visual companions to this episode!!Instagram: @americanhysteriapodcast  Facebook:

Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast

August 12th, 2019

Today I plan to lose all creditability among our dedicated skeptics by sharing my ghost experiences, talking about astrology, and even getting a …

AFTER SHOCK: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

August 5th, 2019

In the summer of 1944, Americans saw terrifying headlines about a possible Nazi chemical weapons strike in the form of an invisible poison gas. Underneath those headlines, a small town in Illinois began experiencing …

5: Monsters

July 29th, 2019

*This episode contains graphic racism*

Monsters come from the darkness, from the depth of lakes and swamps, from the shadows of forests and hills, and live too in the dark parts of all of us. However, this episode is …

Ted Bundy

July 22nd, 2019

This 1970s rockstar biopic of a man whom we can all agree should be deeply reviled isn’t a new or shocking concept in America, the country with the …

4: Celebrity

July 15th, 2019

Please take our LIVE SHOW survey, we want to come to your city!

Whether we like to admit it or not, we have celebrities that we follow, and we can …

Skylark Presents: The Long Hallway

July 9th, 2019

Subscribe to The Long Hallway on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts

The Long Hallway is a thriller anthology series, …

Parrot Fever

July 8th, 2019

AFTER SHOCK: On this week's show we talk about a disease known as Parrot Fever that frightened the nation in 1929, leading to parrots being abandoned in the streets and thrown overboard from ships. But just as quickly, …

3: Quackery

July 1st, 2019

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle-brand ‘Goop’ and the expensive products it peddles are just the newest in a long line of medical quackery leading back to the 1800s. America has a long history with selling and buying Snake …


June 24th, 2019

We all remember the very real threat of cooties, a contractable playground malady that developed out of the adult fear of germs. Cooties have long …

2: Germs

June 17th, 2019

In a real sense, germs are our only modern predator and they are invisible and impossible to detect; what could be scarier? America has adjusted to …

Introducing Man in the Window

June 11th, 2019

From the partnership that brought you Dirty John, comes Man in the Window. Pulitzer prize winning reporter Paige St. John investigates The Golden …

AFTER SHOCK: griefbots

June 10th, 2019

American Hysteria presents the AFTER SHOCK, a follow-up minisode to the main episode before it, basically The Shit They Didn't Show or From The …

15: Talking to the Dead

June 3rd, 2019

For the season two premiere, we are exploring the rich American history of Spiritualism, a massive 80-year trend of popular culture lasting from the …

14: Presenting American Hysteria: Season Two

May 27th, 2019

Join us next week, Monday, June 3rd, for the premiere of season two where we cover the creepy, sexy, gross, and surprisingly political American …

14: #freebritney

May 20th, 2019


After TMZ reported that Britney Spears had been checked into treatment for mental health issues in April, concerns were raised about the state of her conservatorship, the legal agreement that gives her father a great …

14: Murder Minute: Check out our newest sponsor

May 15th, 2019


Through meticulously crafted storytelling and sound design, American Hysteria's newest sponsor, the Murder Minute podcast, delivers a unique and …

14: American Hysteria LIVE in Seattle

May 13th, 2019


For the very first time, American Hysteria is putting on a live variety-hour vaudevillian show so that you can experience our first season of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories in a totally different …

13: Skylark Presents: Earth Break Starring Jenny Slate

May 7th, 2019


Out now, Earth Break is the latest scripted series from Skylark Media. Jenny Slate stars as Lynn Gellert, the last person left on Earth. Her constant and only companion is the voice recorder she managed to salvage from …

13: Believing in the Blair Witch

May 6th, 2019


This is the 20 year anniversary of one of my favorite movies of all time, The Blair Witch Project, a movie that masqueraded as real found footage of …

11: Skylark’s Blackwood: An Urban Legend Audio Drama

April 29th, 2019


Check out another of the Skylark family's podcasts: Blackwood, the story of three teenagers investigating a local urban legend, The Bugman, that turns out to be more fact than fiction. Blackwood is an audio drama …

12: The Mandela Effect

April 22nd, 2019


Our culture, our society, our very sense of self, relies heavily on a faith in our memories as perfectly accurate. But what if our memories aren’t as …

11: Skylark Presents: Feminist Folklore

April 15th, 2019


Feminist Folklore is a weekly podcast from Skylark Media, assistant produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith. Each week, Carlea Holl-Jensen and Rachel Marr …

11: The Momo Suicide Challenge

April 8th, 2019


The newest viral internet urban legend focuses on an entity named Momo, a creepy humanoid figure with giant eyes, a strange too-wide smile, and grotesque chicken legs, said to message teens and kids on messaging apps …

10: The End of the World

March 25th, 2019


It has been said that the apocalypse is as American as apple pie, and for our season finale we are exploring different versions of the end of the world, the hyper-religious, the new age, and the scientific, as well as …

9: AH The Calm Down: The Morality of Drugs and the Opioid Crisis

March 18th, 2019


This week we will be discussing the history of drug panic in the United States and its effects in the present day. My guest is Sarah Deutsch, a …

9: Drugs

March 11th, 2019


This episode contains references to graphic racism

When a security camera caught footage of a 31-year-old Florida resident eating the face of a …

8: AH The Calm Down: Murdered on Lovers' Lane

February 25th, 2019


For this week's episode of the Calm Down, my guests are the women of Feminist Folklore, our partner podcast at Skylark media. Each week Carela …

8: Teenage Sex

February 18th, 2019


In 1996, Scream taught American teenagers the first rule to surviving a horror movie. Never, ever have sex. Classic slasher movies have their roots …

7: AH The Calm Down: Talking to My Christian Friends About Gay Stuff

February 11th, 2019


For the Calm Down this week my guests are my two Christian friends who wish to remain anonymous, as they are sharing some anti-establishment opinions. Brianna is a poet who got her masters with me at the University of …

7: The Gay Agenda

February 4th, 2019


The purse-carrying, tutu-wearing purple Teletubby Tinky Winky was outed as a homosexual in 1999, capping off a decade of conspiratorial anti-gay …

6: Introducing Feminist Folklore

January 29th, 2019


Introducing another great podcast from Skylark Media! Feminist Folklore is a weekly storytelling and discussion podcast where each week, hosts Carlea …

6: AH The Calm Down: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Clown

January 27th, 2019


On the Calm Down this week we are talking Phantom clowns, horror movies, and the uncanny valley. My guest is John Campopiano, an independent …

6: Phantom Clowns

January 21st, 2019


For most of us living in the US, clowns have become much more associated with horror than the laughter of kids. The “killer clown” epidemic went viral in 2016, with reports across the nation of evil clowns trying to …

5: AH The Calm Down: Kids in Cauldrons and Satanic Ritual Abuse

January 14th, 2019


For this week’s Calm Down we are talking about part two of Satanic Panic that focused on Satanic ritual abuse. My guest is American Hysteria’s editor and producer Rod Rodriguez of Clear Commo Studios. A US Army Reserve …

5: Satanic Panic: Part Two

January 7th, 2019


Please be aware that this episode talks about child sexual abuse. We recommend listening to part one of Satanic Panic first.

In 1980s America, when 60% of people believed that devil worship was a serious problem, two …

5: AH The Calm Down: He's Baaaack! Satanic Panic Themes in Riverdale and Sabrina

December 17th, 2018


Welcome to The Calm Down, this week Chelsey is talking Satanic Panic with two friends and coworkers, siblings Will Rogers and Kristen Rogers Anderson. Will is the writer behind Skylark media’s audio drama Blackwood, an …

4: Satanic Panic: Part One

December 10th, 2018


This episode is part one of our two-part series on perhaps the most mystifying moral panic in US history, the 1980s and early 90s 'Satanic Panic.' For this episode, Chelsey covers the rise of organized Satanism …

3: AH The Calm Down: Hidden Anti-Semitism in Conspiracy Thought and Getting to Know Satan

December 3rd, 2018


The Calm Down is a mini episode of American Hysteria coming every other week. Today we’re following up on last week’s show about the illuminati, …

3: The Illuminati

November 26th, 2018


For this episode, we'll explore the mother-of-all conspiracy theories, the Illuminati, an alleged secret society and their evil world domination plan …

2: AH The Calm Down: Needles & Strangers & the Illuminati, Oh My!

November 19th, 2018


Every other week host Chelsey Weber-Smith will sit down with a guest to breakdown the previous episode, reveal all the stuff that was left out, as well as chat about the next week’s topic.

This week, Chelsey and long …

2: Poisoned Halloween Candy

November 12th, 2018


This episode takes a look at our history with candy, the desire and the panic, and explains why sweets have always been a source of fear for parents. Starting with the strange 1800s religious beliefs of Dr. Harvey …

1: Stranger Danger

November 12th, 2018


This episode explores the evolution of American's bogeyman, the Stranger, and reveals how rare these types of kidnappings really are. Through looking …

1: Introducing American Hysteria

November 5th, 2018


Skylark Media presents American Hysteria, a brand new podcast exploring our moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our …

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