Satanic Panic: Part One

This episode is part one of our two-part series on perhaps the most mystifying moral panic in US history, the 1980s and early 90s 'Satanic Panic.' For this episode, Chelsey covers the rise of organized Satanism beginning in the late 60s, as well as the adversarial countercultures of the hippies and the metalheads, and their apparent Satanic crimes that would be hailed as proof of their evil, as well as proof that teens, as well as children, were in serious moral peril. Satan was allegedly hypnotizing the youth with secret messages in backwards rock songs, teaching them occult magic in Saturday morning cartoons, and causing suicides through a popular role-playing game, all while helping religion blur into politics for good.

For part two Chelsey will cover what came next, a serious investigation into an imagined network of Satanic cults ritually abusing children in daycare centers all over the country. Chelsey will try to understand this shocking decade in history, why it happened, and the cultural issues it was really about. Part two is coming after the holidays.

Check out Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s by editors Kier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe for further reading.

This episode is sponsored by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized vitamins and supplements, head to takecareof.com and use promo code AH

From Skylark
American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Assistant produced by Derrick Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache

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