49. Dudleytown

Dudleytown is often described as one of the strangest and most haunted places in North America. In this episode, Matt tells the tale, then is a total killjoy and destroys the tale, and then discusses how the folklore surrounding Dudleytown came to be. 

48. Spirits of Colonial Williamsburg

In this episode, Matt talks with Dr. Alena Pirok about her recently published book The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg, which covers the intersection of belief in ghosts, public perception of history, and ghost tourism.

47: The Exorcist (Crossover Episode w/ Pages and Popcorn)

In this special crossover episode, Kaylia (Pages and Popcorn) and Matt (Ghosthropology) talk about that 1970s classic: The Exorcist. We discuss the “true story” that inspired the novel, the novel that inspired the movie, and the movie that has inspired fear for almost 50 years.

46. Themes of the Podcast Part 1. What is a Ghost Story and Ghost Stories As Entertainment and Functional Tales

In this episode, Matt begins by defining the term “ghost story”, which is more slippery than you might think, and then talks about ghost stories as entertainment and as stories that serve a social function.

45: The Crying Boy – A Cursed Painting

 If you have spent much time on the web looking into paranormal lore, you likely have heard of the Curse of the Crying Boy Painting. In this episode, Matt discusses how the story developed and what we can learn about both folklore and our own beliefs from studying the tale.

44. Talking About Exorcisms (With James Tyner)

In this episode, James Tyner returns to speak with Matt about his time as a monk and, more specifically, about an exorcism that he witnessed, group sleep paralysis at the monastery, and a few other strange things worth talking about.

43. The Madera Man

Women driving on the back roads of Madera County, near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California, have reported seeing a strange specter – a man who appears on the roads and who requires that drivers take care to avoid hitting him, but then he vanishes. In this episode, Matt discusses the uncertain origin and possible meaning of this particular ghost story.

42. The Slender Man

ne of the most frightening modern ghost stories, the Slender Man is a known work of fiction…except to those who believe in him… which may be nobody…or not. In this episode, Matt discusses the line between fiction vs folklore and the difficulty in telling people’s real beliefs from stories told for fun.

Supplemental: The Monterey Waterfront

In another special supplemental episode, recorded near the beginning of the year, Matt returns to Monterey in search of the ghost of the Chinese Fisherman featured in Episode 15. Along the way, he talks about how our views of history can be both reflected and distorted by the landscape as we walk through it.

41. The First Ghosts (Interview With Dr. Irving Finkel)

In this episode, Matt has the opportunity to speak with Dr. Irving Finkel, curator in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum, and author of The First Ghosts. Dr. Finkel was kind enough to discuss ghost/demon beliefs in ancient Mesopotamia and how those beliefs reflect a lineage of such beliefs that continues through to the present day.