loader from loading.io

Episode 108 - Dangers and Consequences of Ghost Hunting

Squaring the Strange

Release Date: 12/13/2019

Episode 117 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 2 show art Episode 117 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 2

Squaring the Strange

Part 2 finishes our discussion on three missing persons cases that Ben, Celestia, and Kenny followed in real time and tracked with psychic detective predictions. This episode features Ben's examination of the Harley Dilly case, and the same content warning applies: we discuss some details of the case that may be disturbing to some listeners. It's clear that well-meaning (and sometimes not-so-well-meaning) psychics waste police time and cause distress to families at their most vulnerable times.

info_outline
Episode 116 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 1 show art Episode 116 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 1

Squaring the Strange

After some discussion on the pandemic and social distancing most of us now face, special guest Kenny Biddle joins us (remotely!) to look at some missing person cases as they unfold in real time and how psychics have helped (or interfered). This first part has cases Celestia and Kenny looked into, and we talk about why debunking this type of psychic activity falls to grassroots skeptics. Content warning: missing child cases and psychic pronouncements on what happened to these victims are discussed.

info_outline
Episode 115 - A Few Angles on the Bermuda Triangle show art Episode 115 - A Few Angles on the Bermuda Triangle

Squaring the Strange

Ben still gets calls regularly from students eager to ask him questions about the Bermuda Triangle, a perennial favorite for seekers of the strange. We look into its history and a few factors that influenced its popularity. What does the Bermuda Triangle have to do with a college French class? What does a bit of 2020 shipwreck sleuthing have to do with the legend? The one thing the Bermuda Triangle does seem to attract is a kitchen sink of weird, from Atlantis to UFOs to magnetic time-space anomalies.

info_outline
Episode 114 - The Minnesota Iceman with Ron Pine show art Episode 114 - The Minnesota Iceman with Ron Pine

Squaring the Strange

Ben and Celestia discuss one of the most memorable fakes in Bigfoot history: a side-show exhibit that ended up the center of multiple origin stories, a tale about a reclusive California millionaire, and a possible homicide. Dr. Ron Pine, zoologist and former curator at the Smithsonian, tells us about what it was like to see the Patterson-Gimlin footage as well as the Minnesota Iceman for the first time, from the point of view of a scientist reviewing "evidence" from hopeful Bigfoot enthusiasts.

info_outline
Episode 113 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Myths & Misinfo, Plus a Virus Lesson from Doctor Dan show art Episode 113 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Myths & Misinfo, Plus a Virus Lesson from Doctor Dan

Squaring the Strange

Due to the late-breaking nature of the Wuhan/novel coronavirus (now officially named COVID-19), Ben discusses the latest misinfo in terms of recurring folklore, distrust of foreigners, and the psychology of why people grasp for simple memes over complex medical science. Then special guest Doctor Dan Ketterer goes over some of the nuances of viruses and how we treat them. There's a lot we don't yet know about COVID-19, but the public health measures should be making us feel safer, not create more panic.

info_outline
Episode 112 - Literary Hoaxes, part 1 of ? show art Episode 112 - Literary Hoaxes, part 1 of ?

Squaring the Strange

The field of literary hoaxes is rich indeed! Ben discusses "misery lit," stories of a victimhood: She Said Yes and Go Ask Alice are two prominent examples of teenage martyrdom that aren't what they seem. Celestia summarizes a 19th-century newspaper hoax involving randy bat-people on the moon, and we break down some cultural factors. Ben ends with a heart-wrenching literary version of Munchausen by proxy and the puzzling search for a very popular (and very ill) boy, one that moved both Oprah and Mr. Rogers.

info_outline
Episode 111 - The Mothman show art Episode 111 - The Mothman

Squaring the Strange

Ben recounts his investigation into the Mothman, first spotted in the 1960s in West Virginia. We discuss his trip there to research the creature for a German TV show. Like many cryptids, Mothman has gone through several incarnations, from men-in-black conspiracies to Native American curses. And what do Point Pleasant residents think of their hometown monster, who brings with him a museum and annual festival? From its glowing red eyes to its comic book abs and grey wings, we examine what makes Mothman tick.

info_outline
Episode 110 - The Head Show show art Episode 110 - The Head Show

Squaring the Strange

This is a long one, and be advised that this episode contains some grisly details. Ben and Celestia go on a sometimes quirky, sometimes bone-shivering tour of heads (or lack thereof). We have headless or multi-headed creatures in folklore, conjoined twinning, Miracle Mike the headless chicken, experiments on heads fresh from the guillotine, the Frozen head of Walt Disney, and shrunken heads. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of heads.

info_outline
Penis Castles, Teletubby Purses, and Suicidal Larpers show art Penis Castles, Teletubby Purses, and Suicidal Larpers

Squaring the Strange

We are joined by Erik Kristopher Myers to discuss a particular sort of easter egg: "hidden subversive elements" hidden in kids' entertainment, by a perverse animator or some sinister coalition bent on corrupting kids. There is a cottage industry of hiding filth in Disney cartoons--whether real, imagined, or hoaxed. And rumored dangers in D&D both plagued and popularized the once-obscure RPG. From pareidolia to pranks to the people who wring hands over such dangers, we break down some memorable legends.

info_outline
Episode 108 - Dangers and Consequences of Ghost Hunting show art Episode 108 - Dangers and Consequences of Ghost Hunting

Squaring the Strange

We are joined by Kenny Biddle, east coast paranormal investigator and skeptic, to discuss the darker side of ghost hunting. Not a demonic dark side, but real-world consequences. Things like trespassing dangers, costs to historical sites, loss of life and limb, and the mangling of personal histories and reputations. Ben and Kenny bring examples from their previous investigations, and Kenny shares some info he dug up on the "witch" behind the Conjuring house hauntings, from the Ed and Lorraine Warrenverse.

info_outline
 
More Episodes

We are joined by Kenny Biddle, our east coast paranormal investigator and skeptic, to discuss the darker side of ghost hunting. Not a demonic dark side, but rather real-world consequences. Things like trespassing dangers, costs to historical sites and organizations, loss of life and limb, and even the mangling of personal histories and reputations. Ben and Kenny both bring some examples from their previous investigations, and Kenny shares some background info he dug up on the reputed witch behind the Conjuring house hauntings, that staple of the Ed and Lorraine Warrenverse.