American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through the lenses of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our history and culture, and why we end up believing them. Through meticulous research as well as personal narrative, poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith examines the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of historical and modern American freak-outs, how psychology and biology inform our beliefs, and the real social issues these bizarre panics often act to cover up. An in-depth alternative history, the show analyzes how clashes around race, gender, sexuality, and class have informed our fears from the Puritans to the present. 

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