The USS Hornet is one of several Naval vessels permanently moored and used as a museum. Like most of these vessels, the Hornet has a reputation for being haunted. In this episode, Matt has an opportunity to speak with Laura Fies, the Executive Officer of the USS Hornet Museum, about the ghosts and the role that ghost stories play in the educational mission of the museum.
Throughout the British Isles, people claim to see the specters of Roman soldiers, but there may be more to these stories than initially meets the eye. In this episode, Matt constrains himself to sightings of Roman ghosts, specifically in England, to discuss what these stories may be telling us about English/British identity and their attitudes towards history.
The story of the Winchester Mystery House is well known and often retold – the frightened widow who continued to build on to her already massive and sprawling home out of a fear that if she stopped, evil spirits would kill her. The truth of Sarah Winchester is, however, very different. In this episode, Matt discusses what is known about the origins of the Winchester Mystery House and why it is often worthwhile to dig deeper into popular legends.
Matt interviews Dr. Alena Pirok, author of The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg about the very special relationship Virginians have with their ghosts and how these stories and first-person interpretations serve to link modern Williamsburg to historic Williamsburg.
naturally, it ended up as a ghost story. In this episode, Matt discusses how these legends form, how they can misinform us about the past, and how ghost stories can sometimes soothe us into a false sense of security about who we are and what values we hold.
The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice Lagoon, is said to be haunted by plague victims, Roman soldiers, and possibly an evil mad scientist. Regardless of whether or not the stories are true, that they persist tells us something about how we perceive the past and how we view people in the present.
In this episode, Matt speaks with fellow archaeologist and podcaster Sara Head about her show, Paranormal Archaeology, and the ways in which belief in the supernatural influences how people interact with physical objects and spaces.
her is said to be the site of a showdown between the toughest immigrant ever to arrive in California and a literal Demon from hell…but don’t worry, the tough guy wins.
Return to Babylon is a film said to have been altered by supernatural forces. In this episode, Matt talks about the story, its possible origins, and how it relates to “The Dark Side of Oz,” legend tripping on your couch, and the very real very disturbing truth behind what happened on the set of Poltergeist.
of Robert the Doll, a haunted toy in Key West, Florida, contains more layers than it appears to when you first hear it. Matt discusses how this disturbing doll invokes ideas from psychology, modern gender politics, and the history of race relations in the United States.