Paranormal Pajama Party

Paranormal Pajama Party

Isn't it weird how often the horrors in our favourite scary stories tend to look a lot like, uh… ladies? Join me as I dig up the social and cultural contexts behind classic ghost stories and legends to challenge the often one-dimensional portrayal of women in horror.

Episodes

July 21, 2024 29 mins

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This episode is the long-promised part two of our exploration of “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. 

Poe was doing his thing In 19th-century America, at a time middle- and upper-class white women were being encouraged to join the "Cult of True Womanhood", which idealised women as pious, pure, submissive, and domestic, confining them to the private sphere while men dominated public l...

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Paranormal Pajama Party is pro-self-care. I mean, come on. Pajamas are right there in the name.

To be kind to myself this week, I'm not releasing a new episode. Instead, I'm sharing an episode I wrote and produced for the other podcast I make – the one people actually pay me for.

This is Monash University's What Happens Next?, episode 79: "Are Reproductive Rights Human Ri...

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When you think horror, you think of Edgar Allan Poe. His stories go hard on the eerie atmosphere, intricate plots, and unhinged characters.

But it’s important to note that most of those characters are men. And among Poe’s female characters, two recurring traits stand out prominently: they’re usually beautiful, and they’re usually dead.

This episode explores Poe's fixation with beautiful dead women, tracing...

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The dark history of witch hunts has some unsettling parallels with modern misogynistic violence. Tonight’s episode continues our discussion on Heinrich Kramer’s witch-hunting manual, the “Malleus Maleficarum”, with a critical look at its legacy, especially as it relates to incel culture and the manosphere.

We’ll examine the parallels between Kramer's misogynistic beliefs and the 2014 Isla Vista killings b...

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Tonight we’re burning books! Well. Just one book. And it started it.

We’re opening the pages of the “Malleus Maleficarum”, or Hammer of Witches, a 15th-century treatise on identifying, trying, and punishing witches. We get into the origins of the book and its misogynistic zealot of an author, Heinrich Kramer.

I’m not saying Kramer's obsession with women's sexuality and his book's endorsement of t...

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June 9, 2024 31 mins

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Last week on Paranormal Pajama Party, we met the monster girls of Greek mythology. This week, in part two of our monster girls series, we’re considering the representation of monstrous women in horror video games.

Monster girls are female-coded creatures that blend human and monstrous elements, often portrayed as both alluring and terrifying. This duality reflects male anxieties about female sexuality and auto...

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June 2, 2024 28 mins

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This week on “Paranormal Pajama Party”, we’re kicking off a two-part series on the fascinating and often unsettling “monster girl” trope. These characters are more than just staples of horror media and anime; they are complex symbols that reveal deep-seated societal fears and fantasies about women.

Monster girls have long embodied dual roles as both objects of desire and figures of dread, reflecting ...

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Tonight’s special guest is the ciguapa, a legendary creature from Dominican Republic folklore.

At first glance, the ciguapa may seem like just another fantastical being, with her backward-facing feet, golden or blue skin, and mesmerising black eyes. But a closer examination reveals layers of meaning deeply intertwined with the history of the Dominican Republic and its diverse people.

This ep...

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Get ready to uncover the chilling mysteries surrounding the infamous Island of the Dolls.

In this episode, we delve into the eerie tale of Don Julián Santana Barrera and his encounter with the spirit of a drowned young girl in the canals of Mexico City’s Xochimilco district.

But why are dolls so inherently creepy? It's more than their lifelike appearance; it's the uncanny feeling t...

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May 12, 2024 29 mins

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Welcome back to Season 2 of “Paranormal Pajama Party”! I hope you’re as excited to dive back into these stories as I am.

Set against the backdrop of Regency-era England (think “Bridgerton” and Jane Austen), this episode unravels the tragic story of Sarah Whitehead, a woman consumed by grief and desperation after the execution of her brother for forgery.

We’ll explore the complexities of life...

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Paranormal Pajama Party Season 2 trailer

Hey, boo. (Get it? Because ghosts?)

It's me, Steph, and I'm delighted to announce that Paranormal Pajama Party is back for a second season, launching next week! Pull on your favourite pyjamas, grab a midnight snack or a warm drink, and join me for another round of spine-tingling stories and spirited discussions.

Throughout this seas...

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The Tower of London, Part 2: Ghost of Anne Boleyn | 13

Welcome back, as we continue our ghost tour of the Tower of London, focusing on the notorious female phantoms and femme fatales who have left an indelible mark on its history.

In our previous episode, we met the Countess of Salisbury Margaret Pole, Lady Arbella Stuart, and England's nine-day queen, Lady Jane Grey. But tonight, we tu...

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Tonight, we’re throwing our pajama party in the iconic Tower of London, a historic fortress that has long captured the public imagination. Renowned for its rich and often dark history, the Tower of London symbolises power, intrigue, and mystery. It’s also supposed to be one of the most haunted sites in the world – and its most famous ghosts are female.

In this episode, you’ll meet some of the ghostly...

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April 1, 2024 24 mins

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Beatrice Cenci | 11

The life of Beatrice Cenci, born into the noble Cenci family in 1577, is a tragic tale of abuse, desperation, and defiance. Subjected to unspeakable violence and cruelty at the hands of her father, Count Francesco Cenci, Beatrice orchestrated his murder alongside her family as a means of escape. Their plot, though successful, led to their arrest, torture, and eventual public execu...

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“Coraline” (Part 2) | 10

Welcome back to part two of our discussion on the children's horror movie "Coraline". Tonight, we’re drawing on the works of Judith Butler, Barbara Creed, and Sigmund Freud to explore its themes of gender, power, and the uncanny.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how the introduction of a male character in "Coraline". raises questions about ...

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Tonight on the podcast, we’re unravelling the chilling tale of Coraline Jones and her mother. No, not her mother. Her Other Mother. The one with the button eyes.

Coraline – both the children’s movie and the novella – is the story of a girl battling for independence and identity. This battle is symbolic, sure, but it’s also literal – Coraline has to destroy the Other Mother from the mirror world hidden behind a...

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Felines, Females, and Fear | 8

The relationship between women, cats, and darkness is as ancient as human civilisation itself – and that’s not just the toxoplasmosis parasites in my brain talking. Tonight, we’re diving deep into the connections between cats, women, and evil… or at least, male fear.

The episode begins with a whirlwind meet-and-greet of cat goddesses of the ancient world, from Lilith to Bastet to ...

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The Pontianak | 7

The Pontianak is the Malay Peninsula’s fiercest – and most fearsome – phantom. She’s a vampire ghost known for her terrifying appearance and insatiable hunger for revenge.

This powerful entity represents a fascinating tension between traditional mystical beliefs, contemporary Islamic culture, and Western scientific viewpoints in the region.

Of course, her story also reflects the patriarchal soc...

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February 26, 2024 26 mins

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26.2.24
Paranormal Pajama Party
The Headless Mule | 6

Tonight’s episode tells the story of Brazil’s headless mule, or mula sem cabeça, Argentina’s almamula, and their older sister, the muladona of Catalan mythology. Hold on – we’re in for a wild ride with this one.

Imagine being cursed for eternity because you dared to defy societal norms. These aren't your run-of-the-mill monster stories...

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19.2.24
Paranormal Pajama Party
“The Boarded Window” | 5

⚠️ This episode contains spoilers ahead for “The Boarded Window”, which I read at the beginning. You can read it here (for free!) first if you’d prefer. ⚠️

In Ambrose Bierce’s popular short story, “The Boarded Window”, the mysterious former pioneer Murlock lives out his solitary existence in a one-room cabin, the standout feature of whic...

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