After Dark: Myths, Misdeeds & the Paranormal

After Dark: Myths, Misdeeds & the Paranormal

This is After Dark: Myths, Misdeeds and the Paranormal. The podcast that takes you to the shadiest corners of the past, unpicking history’s spookiest, strangest, and most sinister stories. Join historians Anthony Delaney and Maddy Pelling, every Monday and Thursday to take a look at the darker side of history. From haunted pubs and Houdini, to witch trials and weird UFO sightings. After Dark: Myths, Misdeeds and the Paranormal - a podcast by History Hit, the world's best history channel and creators of award-winning podcasts Dan Snow's History Hit, Gone Medieval, and Betwixt the Sheets. Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code AFTERDARK - sign up at historyhit.com/subscribe. You can take part in our listener survey here.

Episodes

June 12, 2024 38 mins

Convicts, illegal dissections, disease, all taking place on ships described as "Wicked Noah's Arks" where conditions were even worse than in notorious prisons like Newgate. Transportation to Australia awaited those who survived, and they counted themselves the lucky ones. Today it's the dark history of the Prison Hulks.


Our guest is Dr Anna McKay from the University of Liverpool who researches the lives and experiences of p...

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The Enfield Poltergeist is Britain's most infamous haunting - set in the late 1970s on the outskirts of London, it continues to be told and retold. Most famously in the film The Conjuring 2.


But this is a real piece of history about a real family and a young girl, Janet, who became the focus of newspapers, paranormal investigators and - if we believe what we're told - a malevolent poltergeist.


Written by Anthony Delaney.


E...

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On Christmas night 1843 a mother and child were found murdered inside their burned out home. Suspicion fell on one Polly Bodine. Over the next three years, Polly became the most infamous person in America in a blockbuster series of murder trials that gave birth to a monster - tabloid justice.


Our guest today is author Alex Hortis whose book The Witch of New York: The Trials of Polly Bodine and the Cursed Birth of Tabloid Justice...

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Mutineers, manhunts, uninhabited tropical islands and...SHIPWRECKS! The second part of the story of the Mutiny of the Bounty is even wilder than the first. This time we follow HMS Pandora as it hunts down the mutineers, and uncover the incredible story of how a group of mutineers and Polynesians escaped to the uninhabited island of Pitcairn.


Written by Maddy Pelling.


Edited and produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Cha...

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May 29, 2024 38 mins

Why are the Knights Templar surrounded by myths and legends? Is there any truth to the tales of the Holy Grail or that the Knights survived? Why does this medieval order, which disappeared in the 14th century, continue to enthral us today?


To uncover the real history of the Knights Templar we are joined by Dan Jones - historian, author, podcaster and host of This Is History, whose new series The Iron King is all about man who de...

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May 26, 2024 36 mins

At exactly the same time as Jack the Ripper, another serial killer terrorised London. Just like Jack the Ripper, all their victims were women - their dismembered bodies left floating in the Thames. This is the dark history of the Thames Torso Murders, a case which asks questions about what crimes we choose the remember and what ones we try our hardest to forget.


Written by Maddy Pelling. Edited by Peter Dennis. Produced by Fredd...

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May 22, 2024 32 mins

Garden gnomes have a secret life all of their own. If you don't believe us, then go ask Paris Hilton.


Today we discover the hidden history of garden gnomes and meet the eccentric aristocrat - Sir Charles Isham - who firmly believed that the mountains of the world really filled with little folk with pointy red hats and pickaxes.


Our guest is Twigs Way author of Garden Gnomes: A History.


Edited by Tomos Delargy, Produced by ...

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1847 was the darkest year in the spiralling horror of the Great Irish Famine. It is known in Ireland as 'Black '47'. The British Government withdrew its support, leaving famine and disease to stalk the land. Those who could leave Ireland did, sailing on board 'Coffin Ships'.


Today Anthony concludes his two-part history of the Great Irish Famine with the help of special guest Professor Christine Kinealy, Director of Ireland's Gre...

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***Warning: today's episode contains graphic description of violence***


In 1661 Oliver Cromwell was hung and beheaded...the only problem was he'd been dead two years already. Charles II had returned and revenge was in the air. It took many strange and gruesome forms.


Anthony and Maddy are joined again today by Ronald Hutton - one of Britain's foremost historians who is working on a three volume biography of Oliver Cromwell. T...

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One million people died. Two million emigrated. The Great Irish Famine was the world turned upside down. The darkest chapter in Ireland's past.


It is not solely Ireland's history to bear. This is a piece of British history as well, one which needs to be faced. What really happened in the Great Irish Famine?


Written by Anthony Delaney with special guest Professor Christine Kinealy, Director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute ...

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***Spoiler Alert: this episode contains spoilers for the Harry Potter books and films***


Giant snakes, winged horses and hooded demons. The world of Harry Potter is full of bizarre and terrifying beasts... but what are the origins of these mythical creatures? To discuss this, Anthony and Maddy met with Ceri Houlbrook, folklorist and lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire.


Produced and edited by Tom Delargy. Senior Produc...

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Violence, sex, betrayal, death and ... SHIPS! This is the story of how a voyage that began with scientific aims and a regimented daily routine ended in all this drama. This is the story of mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.


Maddy tells Anthony the story this week.


Written by Maddy Pelling. Edited by Tom Delargy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.


Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning origi...

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April 30, 2024 39 mins

In 1649, Charles I had his head chopped off for treason. It's a unique, divisive moment in English history. Was Charles a tyrant or a martyr? Was his trial justice or a kangaroo court? Did he deserve to die?


Our guest to help tell this truly incredible piece of history is Ronald Hutton - one of Britain's foremost historians who is working on a three volume biography of Oliver Cromwell.


Ronald will be returning next week to he...

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Horror struck the East End of London twice in December 1811. Two brutal sets of murders within a few days of each other. It became ground zero for True Crime as for the first time ever the press helped turn this murder case into a nationwide sensation. The whole country was hysterical and hooked, who was the killer? Would they strike again?


Maddy tells Anthony the story this week.


Written by Maddy Pelling. Edited by Tom Delar...

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According to legend, Sawney Bean and Agnes "Black" Douglas raised a clan of cannibals in a remote Scottish cave. They killed and ate unlucky travellers on lonely roads. This went on for decades with more than a thousand perishing. Who invented this gruesome story? Why? And why has Sawney Bean become a kind of cult hero in Scotland itself?


Cat Byers is our guest today, a writer and historian based in Paris currently finishing a P...

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April 21, 2024 33 mins

Did you know legendary mountaineer Edmund Hillary found evidence of the Yeti? Or that David Attenborough is on board with the idea it exists? Today we explore the history of the hunt for the Yeti.


We're delighted to be joined by Pranaya Rana, a writer based in Kathmandu whose blog is at https://recordnepal.substack.com/


Written by Maddy Pelling. Edited by Tom Delargy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Charlotte Lon...

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Charles Hamilton allegedly had fourteen wives according to the newspapers, but the headline was that Charles used to be called Mary. In the 18th century newspaper stories about 'female husbands' were not uncommon; people assigned female at birth who assumed the legal, social and economic position reserved for men.


Today we explore two stories with Jen Manion, author of Female Husbands: A Trans History.


Edited by Tom Delargy. ...

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April 14, 2024 35 mins

Our second episode examining the very real history of Bigfoot. This time we're looking at ancient Native American rock art and meeting the extinct (or is it?) giant ape Gigantopithecus.


Our returning guest is the wonderful Dan Schreiber - host of We Can Be Weirdos and co-host of No Such Thing As a Fish.


Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.


Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentari...

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April 9, 2024 39 mins

When people think of Medieval diseases, hysterical dancing is not usually what first comes to mind. Yet in 14th and 15th century Germany, dozens of ordinary people claimed to be infected by the ‘dancing plague’. What was this mysterious phenomenon? What caused it? And was it even a real disease?


Anthony and Maddy are joined by Dr. Eleanor Janega, co-host of History Hit podcast 'Gone Medieval'.


Edited by Tom Delargy. Produced ...

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April 7, 2024 36 mins

Does Bigfoot really walk among us? Today we start a three-part mini-series exploring the very real histories of Bigfoot and the Yeti.


We begin with Bigfoot and the 1967 home-movie that lit the spark. Maddy & Anthony are joined by the one-and-only Dan Schreiber - host of podcast 'We Can Be Weirdos' and of co-host of 'No Such Thing As A Fish'. There can be no better guide into the world of weirdness.


Edited and Produced by Fred...

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