October 26, 2015
Last year we covered in a podcast how truth is stranger and often scarier than fiction, especially when it comes to the history genre. Case in point: the story of Henry Rathbone. You’re probably thinking, who’s Henry Rathbone? That’s kind of the point. Henry Rathbone and his wife Clara were sitting next to Abraham Lincoln the night of the assassination, and despite the decades of conspiracy theories and ghost stories surrounding the Lincoln family, the craziest and bloodiest story of the night belongs to Mr. Rathbone.
See, in the years following Lincoln’s assassination, Rathbone’s mental state declined as he blamed himself for not being able to prevent the president’s death. Soon after that, he started to believe his walls were talking to him. Then he went full Shining and murdered his wife, tried to murder his children and stabbed himself 5 times in the chest. He spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum. This is an absolutely bonkers story edited from the margins of history, yet we choose not remember it because it doesn’t read like a textbook.
This sort of historical amnesia also applies to how we look at the horror genre. There are countless unsolved murders, disappearances and mass hysterias that we don’t know how to classify just because their details are too strange to swallow, the leads go nowhere and eventually we give up.
So in honor of Halloween, Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) share 12 creepy and macabre unsolved mysteries that are just too weird to fit into our cookie-cutter version of the horror genres.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.