American Hysteria is a podcast exploring our moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Host Chelsey Weber-Smith explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes distressing stories of modern and historical American freak-outs, why we fear the wrong things, and what these bizarre panics might be covering up.

Recent Episodes
December 10, 2018
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.'
November 26, 2018
The Illuminati
For this episode, we'll explore the mother-of-all conspiracy theories, the Illuminati, an alleged secret society and their evil world domination plan known as the New World Order
November 19, 2018
AH The Calm Down: Needles & Strangers & the Illuminati, Oh My!
Every other week host Chelsey Weber-Smith will sit down with a guest to breakdown the previous episode, reveal all the stuff that was left out, as well as chat about the next week’s topic.
November 12, 2018
Poisoned Halloween Candy
This episode takes a look at our history with candy, the desire and the panic, and explains why sweets have always been a source of fear for parents. Starting with the strange 1800s religious beliefs of Dr. Harvey Kellogg, about candy leading to sexual deviancy, we'll move through the goofy urban legends of the 1970s, to the 80s and 90s when people allegedly began finding dangerous objects in their foods, like syringes in Pepsi cans and poison in Halloween candy.
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