Episode 87: Road Trip

Every now and then a story comes along that is so powerful and compelling that it creates a new branch on the tree of folklore. Yes, it has deeper roots, but sometimes a new expression of fear grows out to cast new shade on our already-fearful lives. And one of these rare moments happened less than six decades ago.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett and music by Chad Lawson.

Episode 86: Under Siege

Our bodies are a fortress, and every day, they suffer through attacks from the outside. Over the centuries, we’re become very good at protecting ourselves from illness and disease, but all of those efforts assume everyone around us will be responsible. Illness, though, has often been misused—sometimes maliciously and other times through sheer ignorance—and the results have been horrifying.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with music by Chad Lawson and research assistance from Marcet Crockett.

Episode 85: Creature of Habit

Our home is supposed to be a safe space where we are free to relax and enjoy life. History, though, contains stories that break that mould. Places where people want to live in peace, and yet find themselves at odds with forces beyond their control. And if there’s a logical reason, it might very well be buried in the past.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Carl Nellis and Marcet Crockett.

Episode 83: Carried Away

Humans have always been more than a little bit superstitious, and one of the oldest and most universal of those beliefs is the curse. The story of how that belief has evolved in relation to one particular culture, though, is both powerful and frightening. It would serve us well to not get swept up in the lies.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, music by Chad Lawson, and research assistance from Carl Nellis.

Episode 82: Forgotten

People are really good at moving on. We rush from fad to fad at an alarming speed, and it’s difficult to predict where our interests will land next. In the process, we tend to abandon things—things like the places we live. But don’t be fooled; even after we’ve all moved on, those places are far from uninhabited.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett and music by Chad Lawson.

Episode 81: On the Edge

Humanity seems to always be at risk of suffering through another major outbreak. History is full with dark moments of biological chaos, and despite constant advances in medical science, there seems to be no end in sight. We’re afraid of getting sick, and sometimes it feels like we’re right on the edge. And that can be a terrifying place to be.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, music by Chad Lawson, and research assistance from Marcet Crockett.

Episode 79: Locked Away

Our lives have a way of becoming magnets that attract pain and suffering. Some of us go through more than others, but in the end, we’re all running from something. Just how far we might go to get away is a mystery, but it could never top the lengths one person went to to escape a life of pain and guilt. This is their story.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with music by Chad Lawson, research assistance from Marcet Crockett, and administrative help from Carl Nellis.

Episode 78: Exposure

We live in a very technological world today, with constant updates and improvements over last year’s model, and while many of the advancements are amazing, few have impacted humanity quite like photography. It opened up new worlds, and changed the way we think about time and space. Some, however, might have taken that too far.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Carl Nellis, and music by Chad Lawson.

Episode 77: Withering Heights

Waves of illness crash against the shores of humanity. They always have, and they probably always will. But we weather the storm through advancements in medical science and the resilience of human nature. Still, no matter how hard we’ve tried, some outbreaks have left a dark stain on the pages of history.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett.

Episode 76: Talk Show

Life is a lot like a big budget movie. We click play, and then let the action wash over us. There are highs and lows, laughter and tears, and then it’s all over and the screen goes silent. The dead can’t talk back, something most people are thankful for. Still, there have been rare moments in history when that rule appears to have been broken—and the results were extraordinary.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett.

Episode 75: Black and Wild

The pages of our greatest literature are full of tales of powerful wizards. People gifted with abilities that stand head and shoulder above their peers. They act as guides, ushering us into a new world with fresh possibilities. And yet they are much more than simply a tool used by storytellers. In fact, history paints a much more fascinating—and dark—picture for us.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett, music from Chad Lawson, and administrative help from Carl Nellis.

Episode 74: All Fall Down

The sky is a source of life for everything on this planet. Rain to quench our thirst and sunlight for our food. We don’t look up too often these days, but that hasn’t changed our dependance on it. But occasionally, the sky can be a source of something else. Something much less typical than rain or snow or sunshine. History, it seems, paints a very frightening picture of the world above us.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett, and music from Chad Lawson.

Episode 73: A Sweet Embrace

When our health is failing and our lives are at risk, trust is essential. The people who care for us often find themselves in a position of power, with our well-being entirely under their control. As history has shown us, however, there’s danger in handing that much control over to another person.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett and music from Chad Lawson.

Episode 72: A Grave Mistake

Humans have a seemingly never-ending list of fears. The dark of night, small spaces, open water…there doesn’t seem to be an area of life that doesn’t come with a few reasons to take pause and be afraid. But the greatest of those fears might just come at the end of our lives, and for over a century, that fear drove people to unimaginable things.

Researched, written, and produced by Aaron Mahnke. Soundtrack is available here.

A Grave Mistake: The Lore Variations by
Chad Lawson is available today!

Episode 71: Silver Lining

We’ve conquered much of our world, but even with all of our great cities and urban sprawl, there are still shadows on the edge. And it’s in the shadows that the greatest threats still exist—creatures from our darkest nightmares that threaten our feeling of safety. Which has led some to strike out into the dark and hunt them.

Written and produced by Aaron Mahnke, with research assistance from Marcet Crockett.

Trick or Treat 2017 - Set 1

The first Trick or Treat Halloween special of 2017 features two tales. The first, A Bridge Too Far, walks us through a winter train ride that went horribly wrong over a century ago. The second story reminds us that life is a lot more complex than we’re willing to admit. Rise Above introduces us to the darkness found inside that complexity.

Researched, written, and produced by Aaron Mahnke. Music by Chad Lawson.