For at least a century, possibly longer, people have claimed that the Santa Lucia Mountains of California’s central coast have been home to strange humanoid entities, garbed in black, who keep a silent watch, seeming to care little about the humans who witness them. Their nature and purpose is unknown, but they have appeared in both local legends and works of literature. In this episode, we look into the Dark Watchers.
In this episode, Matt explores the relationship between ghost stories and historic injustice as it relates to the experience of Chinese migrants to 19th century California. The episode involves a weird book in a Death Valley Cabin, bloody rainstorms, and a bunch of smart-aleck pre-teens, all trying to come to terms with history.
Matt discusses a famous hidden road that is part historic educational facility, part tourist trap, and part spooky story generator. In this episode, you will learn about the intersection of plague horrors, ghost stories, urban renovation… and also how ghost stories and public perceptions of history intertwine.
This episode’s story is a bit of an oddity. It’s not quite a ghost story…but also not quite something else. The entity – commonly known as Gef the Talking Mongoose is said to have claimed to be a variety of things, ranging from an extra-clever mongoose from India to a spirit to…something else strange, but not completely defined. Matt and, special guest, Dave talk about Gef, what he probably was, and why it matters… or does it?
This story involves treasure hunters, crazy old prospectors, a spectral ship, and one of the most unfortunate alleged navigation errors in human history.
The story of London Bridge, Arizona, would be weird enough without any supernatural elements. But, then, it wouldn’t be in a Ghosthropology episode. Hear the tale of how a London landmark ended up in the land of cowboys, and consider whether the ghost of Jack the Ripper has been forcibly relocated to the American Southwest.
Matt discusses the history and hauntings of the London Bridge site in London, England. The stories associated with the site range from profound, yet disturbing, to creepy and silly, but all are part of the folklore tapestry of an old and storied city bridge.
Strange as it may seem to many people today, sharing ghost stories used to be an important part of the Christmas celebration. In hopes of restarting this tradition, in this episode Matt shares tales told to him by co-workers, friends, and even a particularly chatty convenience store clerk.
Santa Cruz Island, part of California’s Channel Island Chain, is host to ghost stories that inform us about California’s history and misconceptions regarding that history. Matt tells some tall tales and a couple of genuinely creepy stories. Plus you get to hear about the time that Matt went out on a dare to confront a spirit.
Matt has spent far too many hours of his life driving on two California roads – Highway 152 between Monterey and Fresno, and Highway 246 in Santa Barbara County. Turns out that his commute time should have been way more interesting than it actually was. Now he feels a bit cheated. He’ll tell you why in this episode.