Reviews and Essays, Seasonal

Spooktober Podcast Essentials

History Mysteries, Ghost Stories and More!

For a fully immersive experience, I love revisiting special Halloween episodes from some of my favourite podcasts, listening while I cook or decorate the house. I was actually introduced to the concept of podcasts one October when a friend texted me one morning to say she heard my name on a podcast and sent me the link… and I was like, “what’s a podcast?” It was Stuff Mom Never Told You, an episode called Villainesses. In it, my essay, Horror Cinema and the Female Villain: The Perpetuation of Female Victimisation, is quoted. It’s also listed in their sources. From then on, I got more and more intrigued with this new medium, especially around Halloween!

Here are some episodes I highly recommend this time of year.

History Mysteries

Stuff You Missed In History Class

H.H. Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle, Part 1 and Part 2

As a student, Herman K. Mudgett used corpses to commit insurance fraud. In 1886, he moved to Chicago under the alias H.H. Holmes. In 1888, Holmes started constructing a building with secret passageways and an airtight vault. So, what was it for?

Spring-heeled Jack, Mystery Assailant!

Most people are familiar with Jack the Ripper, but Victorian England was also plagued by an odd character named Spring-Heeled Jack. Were reports of this bounding scoundrel a symptom of mass hysteria, or something factual? Tune in to learn more.

History Mysteries Double Feature

Two troubling tales from the 1920s share the stage in this episode. First, newlyweds that vanished on what would have been a historic boating trip. Second, a family murdered by someone who may have been hiding in their house for weeks or months.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Agatha Christie

In December of 1926, Agatha Christie left her home and vanished: Police found her car crashed and abandoned. An 11-day manhunt commenced and speculation ran rampant — but when she was finally found – alive – there were more questions than answers.

A History Mystery: the Mad Trapper of Rat River

In this episode, Sarah and Katie take a crack at one of Canada’s strangest mysteries: The Mad Trapper of Rat River. Travel back to 1931, when a man calling himself ‘Albert Johnson’ led the Canadian police on a 150-mile chase — all without saying a word.


On the Farm

This episode recounts the tale of one of the most famous murder mysteries of all time, the Hinterkaifeck murders.


Lore’s take on HH Holmes and the Murder Castle.

Ghost Stories


Going Viral

A look at the infamous Bell Witch Haunting.

Passing Notes

The eerie tale of an 1850 haunting of a Reverend and his wife in their Connecticut home.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Ghosts of History

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the tragic histories behind some homes are enough to send a chill down your spine. In this episode, we look into the real stories behind five historic houses that are believed to be haunted.

Madame Lalaurie and the Haunting of Royal Street

In 1834 a fire broke out at the Lalaurie house in New Orleans. Firefighters found mistreated slaves inside, and the family was banished. Wild rumours spread afterward, and now it’s known as the most haunted house in America — but are the rumours true?

Accused by a Ghost!

In the early 1760s, the so-called Cock Lane Ghost haunted a London home, communicating through knocks. The ghost accused her former partner of poisoning her. However, as more details emerged people wondered if the haunting was an act of earthly revenge.

Legends, Monsters and Other Creatures

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Gilles Garnier, the Werewolf of Dole

Sixteenth-century France had a serious case of werewolf panic. Did Garnier really transform into lupine form and attack and eat humans? Or were the gruesome deaths of several children merely the work of wild animals?

The Golem of Prague

In Jewish folklore, golems are powerful creatures created from clay. According to legend, a golem was created to defend the Jewish population of Prague during the reign of Rudolph II.

New England Vampire Panic

Starting in the late 1700s and running for a century, small rural communities in New England were sometimes stricken with a panicked fear that the dead were somehow feeding off the living, and many graves were exhumed in the hopes of ending the attacks.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Hollywood Witches

From Bewitched to American Horror Story: Coven, Hollywood has loved casting women as witches. This episode discusses why witches are arguably the best female archetype on screen and their ideal witch squad members.


Evil women and villainesses are the spice of pop culture life. This episode dives into what it’s all about it and how we view real-world women. An essay of mine is also listed in their sources, Horror Cinema and the Female Villain: The Perpetuation of Female Victimisation.


Aah, Real Monsters!

A fascinating look at the medical conditions that may have inspired our collective imagination to create monsters like werewolves and vampires.

The (Maybe) Real Dr. Frankenstein

The real story of a real doctor who bares an eerie resemblance to one we’ve all heard of: Dr. Frankenstein.

Myths and Legends

Werewolves, The Lost (E.87)

Werewolves are people that turn into wolves. Or they don’t. Maybe they just wear a fancy wolf belt. Or maybe part of a wolf skin. Or maybe they just like to think they’re a wolf. Or maybe they’re just people that like killing.

Dracula: Bad Blood (E.50)

Dracula isn’t a creature from myths, legends, or folklore. The fictional vampire is a product of Bram Stoker. The name, though, stretches back centuries to a prince who ruled the kingdom called Wallachia.


A Devil on the Roof

Few stories have the endurance to last centuries. Fewer still have a proven track record of documented, authoritative eye witness accounts to back them up. Among those rare myths, one stands above most.


Stuff You Missed in History Class

The History of Halloween Candy

Candy and Halloween go hand-in-hand, but when did candy become the standard for trick-or-treating, and who invented the holiday’s most famous sweet treats like candy corn?

A Brief History of Trick-or-Treating

Before children went door-to-door, Celts kept out evil spirits during the festival of Samhain. Halloween evolved over time, but trick-or-treating didn’t emerge until the 20th century. Join Sarah and guest host Cristen as they trace Halloween’s history.


Medical History Halloween Costumes

A rundown of historical medical figures that would be really fun to dress up as.

The Mütter Museum

A “tour” of what sounds like one of the creepiest museums in the world.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Halloween Slasher Spectacular!

Do slasher films glorify sex and violence toward women? What is the “final girl” archetype, and what can we learn from other slasher film tropes?

Sexy Halloween Costumes, Why?

These days, “sexy” female costumes for women are all the rage, but has this trend gone too far? And is it demeaning to women or empowering?

Why Didn’t You Believe Her?

Ever notice in horror movies, women are constantly saying they think something doesn’t feel right, but no one listens? What is UP with that?


That’s it for now. Have any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments 🙂

See also, my Spooktober Movie Essentials and Spooktober Book Essentials.


2 thoughts on “Spooktober Podcast Essentials”

    1. I love Sawbones. It’s hosted by a doctor and her husband and they essentially overview historical medicine, calling out some of the craziest ways people have tried to treat medical issues in the past. It’s quite funny, too.


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