Peter Bebergal writes widely on the speculative and slightly fringe. His essays and reviews have appeared in NewYorker.com, The Times Literary Supplement, Boing Boing, The Believer, and The Quietus. He is the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. His new book is Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural.
During this Art Bell Coast to Coast AM inspired New Year's Eve special episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Peter explains how mystics, psychics, and other practitioners of the occult and magic used the early versions of the internet as a space to practice their dark arts, how the national trauma of the American Civil War fueled the practice known as "spirit photography", and how séances were a space for female empowerment through the "spiritual fluid" known as "ectoplasm". Peter also researches if yes, you can actually hear the voices of the dead speaking through radio waves and other manifestations of "electronic voice phenomena".
On this week's New Year's Eve special episode Chauncey honors Alan Naiman, a hero who worked as a humble (and very frugal) social worker, and who at the time of his passing away gave 11 million dollars to charities which help babies and children.
Chauncey also reflects on our shared trials and struggles in the Age of Trump during these last few weeks of 2018. And as we wind down 2018 and transition to 2019, Chauncey offers some critical appraisals about the progress of the podcast, his own personal successes and failures during the past year, and (hopefully) shares some wisdom about goal setting and personal progress in 2019.
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