MonsterTalk

MonsterTalk

United States

Presented by SKEPTIC magazine, MonsterTalk is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

Episodes

Christmas Special # 3:  Pickman's Model  

In this MonsterTalk Christmas Special episode, Blake Smith reads aloud Pickman’s Model, a story by H.P. Lovecraft and gives a brief update about the MonsterTalk podcast.

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Conclusions (Episode 100)  

In the 100th episode of MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters, DNA researcher and author Bryan Sykes discusses the research behind his landmark book The Nature of the Beast: The First Genetic Evidence on the Survival of Apemen, Yeti, Bigfoot and Other Mysterious Creatures into Modern Times; plus, thoughts and reflections on 100 episodes of MonsterTalk, including hearing from many listeners about their own favorite monsters…

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Let's Get This Off Our Chest  

There are legends from around the world of a creature that comes to you at night and sits on your chest, sucking away your life force. The incubus, the succubus, the old hag — people really report these experiences, but how does science explain it? Dr. Brian Sharpless, co-author of the new book Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological and Medical Perspectives, joins us to discuss the terrifying phenomenon.

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Doctor Atlantis  

You’ve heard the legend of Atlantis. But have you ever heard the facts behind the legend? Dr. Kenny Feder returns to talk about the true story of Atlantis and it isn’t what most people think.

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Shame on the Lizard People  

Is the world secretly being controlled by a dark, shadowy cabal? Are many of the world’s leaders actually blood-drinking, child-abusing lizard people? No, they aren’t. But in this episode of MonsterTalk we talk with Jon Ronson about his experiences with conspiracy theorist David Icke.

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Fear Itself  

Why do we fear? What is fear? The Ressler Lab is located in the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta, and the studies they’re conducting seek to understand fear at the cellular, molecular and neural-circuitry level of granularity. Dr. Kerry Ressler, head of the lab, joins us to talk about that research and the neurological basis of fear.

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El D20ablo — The Satanic Panic & Role-Playing Games  

The late 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of a new kind of game. Dungeons & Dragons and its many competitors captivated many high-school and college students, but many parents and authority figures feared that these new games were a gateway to Satanic ritual and perhaps even murder. Author Joseph Laycock returns to discuss his new book: Dangerous Games.

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A Fear of Spiders  

One of the most common fears in the world is the fear of spiders. But what does a rationalist do when gripped by an irrational fear? MonsterTalk interviews author Lynne Kelly about her transition from arachnophobia to spider enthusiast. Note: This episode deals with spider sexual reproduction which includes masturbation and cannibalism.

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Christmas Special #002: An Inhabitant of Carcosa  

Blake Smith reads aloud An Inhabitant of Carcosa, a story by Ambrose Bierce. The story itself is brief, but its impact on American horror literature is still being felt today.

Fangs That Go Bump in the Night  

We’ve all seen the vampires of cinema and pop culture. Caped aristocrats, sparkling teens, monstrous revenants—which of these best corresponds to the real legends of vampires? Richard Sugg returns to talk about his fascinating research into historic vampire cases. He’s uncovered a recurring relationship between outbreaks of vampirism and poltergeist activity, which will be the subject of his next book.

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Demon Purrsession: Tales of Demonically Possessed Cats  

Can a domesticated cat be a monster? What if it can talk, fly, predict the future and grow to enormous size? Get ready for some of the strangest lore we’ve ever covered on MonsterTalk as we interview art historian Dr. Paul Koudounaris about demonically possessed cats.

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The Robot Apocalypse  

When the robots take over, will we all be forced to speak bocce? Author and robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson visits MonsterTalk to discuss the nature of robots and the risk of a robot apocalypse. Steven Spielberg has purchased the rights to produce a film version of his New York Times bestseller, Robopocalypse.

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Vampira  

In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake conducts a pop-culture interview with historian Scott Poole on the first monstrous horror movie host, Vampira (Maila Nurmi). His new book is Vampira, Dark Goddess of Horror.

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City Lion, Country Lion  

Was an African lion wandering the streets of Los Angeles? The case of the Norwalk Lion is solved beyond reasonable doubt—yet why do questions linger?

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More Brainssss  

What can a shambling zombie teach us about the human brain? According to Brad Voytek and Tim Verstynen, quite a lot. Their new book is called Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? and in this episode of MonsterTalk we’ll be talking “Brainssss…”

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Slenderman and Tulpas  

They say Slenderman was created for a contest on a website. But the thin, faceless character has gone viral appearing in numerous art, stories, videos and even games. Some claim that all that combined focus has turned him real — a process known by ancient Tibetan Buddhists as forming a Tulpa. In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake Smith interviews professor of religious studies Joe Laycock and doctoral student of Tibetan studies Natalia Mikels to discover the truth about Tulpas.

Since the creation of Slenderman the character has “gone viral” and spun off numerous art and fiction stories. And some fans of the Slenderman believe that he is real — either existing already from time immemorial, or that he exists now, brought to life by the combined belief of millions of humans in the form of a living creature known as a Tulpa.

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Alienable Rites  

What causes a person to be possessed? Are there demons? Is it mental illness? Is it abnormal neurology? Does exorcism work? in this episode of MonsterTalk, paranormal researcher psychologist Dr. Chris French joins us to discuss the psychology of demonic possession and exorcisms.

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New MT on the Bounty  

The 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty television contest is over and we’re going to talk to the science advisers for the show to see how they felt about the outcome. Did science win the day? Did editing take away the good take-aways? Will Justin Smeja be getting in trouble for hunting feral humans? Check it out in this episode of MonsterTalk!

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The Cures of the Mummy's Tomb  

Unwrap the secrets of the Mummy's tomb as we talk to "Mr. Mummy" Dr. Bob Brier about the history of mummies and the world's fascination with Egyptology. And then, we discuss the strange history of mummies as medicine with Dr. Richard Sugg. Join as we learn about The Cures of the Mummy's Tomb!

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The Mongolian Death Worm  

The Mongolian Death Worm—its name conjures up images of fantastic beasts like the sand worms in Dune or the creatures from the film Tremors, but the actual legends are even stranger. We discuss the legends and facts behind this cryptid with the official zoologist for the Center for Fortean Zoology, Richard Freeman.

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