13 O’Clock Episode 26: Going Underground – Strange Subterranean Discoveries

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As we merrily traipse down the sunlit city streets of our mundane daily existences, most of us remain blissfully unaware that an entirely different world might lie just beneath our feet. On this episode of 13 O’Clock, Tom and Jenny don their mining helmets, jump in their subterrene, and tunnel deep into the earth to uncover a few of the strange, forgotten wonders that lurk below the surface, including vast underground cities and mysterious tunnel networks, creepy abandoned military bunkers, a priceless treasure trove possibly hidden beneath a famous landmark, and even a shadowy secret society that gets up to all sorts of delightfully clandestine activities beneath the avenues of one of the world’s great metropolises. Specific topics of discussion include the Burlington Bunker, Dixia Cheng, Derinkuyu and the underground cities of Cappadocia, erdstall tunnels, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the lost library of Ivan the Terrible, and the secretive collective of French catacomb dwellers known as the UX.

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13 O’Clock Episode 25: The Scole Experiment

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Often bandied about as one of the most compelling investigations into the reality of spirit communication, the Scole Experiment was actually a five-year-long series of around 500 Spiritualist seances attended by mediums, researchers, and scientists in various fields. The list of witnessed phenomena seems impressive: disembodied spirit voices, moving lights, spinning and tilting tables, and the appearance of bizarre images and writing on unexposed film kept in a locked box. But how solid is the evidence gathered by the Scole experimenters really? On this episode, Tom and Jenny give an overview of the project and examine some of the problems with methodology that cast doubt on the conclusions drawn by the experimenters.

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13 O’Clock Episode 24: Fun Facts and Myths About Aleister Crowley

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Aleister Crowley is one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. Known as “The Great Beast 666” or “The Wickedest Man in the World,” facts and rumors about Crowley’s occult shenanigans have become so intertwined that it’s now impossible to separate the reality from the legend. On this episode, Tom and Jenny examine some of their favorite facts, anecdotes, myths, and conspiracies about Crowley, including the possibility that he was a Jack the Ripper copycat killer who carried out the Curse of King Tut, that he fought off a female vampire sent to attack him by a rival, that he might have been Barbara Bush’s father, that his writings were the inspiration for Scientology, and that he once helmed a disastrous mountaineering expedition that ended in four deaths.

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13 O’Clock Episode 23: Sybil and the Multiple Personality Controversy

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The book and TV movie called Sybil told the extraordinary story of a woman who manifested sixteen different personalities, allegedly triggered by the horrific abuse she had suffered as a child. In the 1970s and 80s, the case was a cultural phenomenon, and became the flash point in a psychiatric debate that to some extent is still raging today. Is multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) a real illness or simply a misdiagnosed aspect of something else? Did Sybil (whose real name was Shirley Ardell Mason) really have sixteen personalities, or was she coaxed into displaying these symptoms by her ambitious therapist and the author of the best-selling book? Was Sybil truly a victim of her mother’s extreme cruelty, or were these memories implanted under hypnosis? Tom and Jenny discuss the fascinating aspects of this troubling case and try to sort out the fact from the fiction.

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13 O’Clock Episode 22: The Devil’s Breath – Zombie Drug or Overhyped Hallucinogen?

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Known alternately as Devil’s Breath, Angel’s Trumpet, Burundanga, or by many other names, the drug produced by the flowers of the Colombian borrachero tree has a fearsome reputation of being able to completely zombify a person simply by having it blown in said person’s face. The alkaloid called scopolamine that is responsible for the drug’s effects is certainly dangerous and has indeed been used as a date rape drug in addition to facilitating robberies and other crimes, but how much of this drug’s terrifying legend is legitimate and how much is wildly exaggerated? Can you really lose your free will completely, simply by touching the stuff? On this episode of 13 O’Clock, Tom and Jenny try to sort out myth from reality regarding the so-called “world’s scariest drug,” and along the way tell a few of their own stories about being dosed with various substances.

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13 O’Clock Episode 21 – Houdini vs. The Spiritualists

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Harry Houdini, of course, is the legendary illusionist whose unbelievable escapes still amaze, even a century later. But near the end of his short life, Houdini took on a new crusade, battling against the spiritualists and fraudulent mediums who he felt were giving people false hope that the living could talk to the dead. On this episode of 13 O’Clock, Tom and Jenny discuss Houdini’s entry into the murky world of spiritualism and séances, his famed debunking of medium Mina Crandon (aka Margery), his shattered friendship with spiritualist advocate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the ten-year quest by his widow Bess to contact Houdini after his death, using a special, agreed-upon code.

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13 O’Clock Podcast – Episode 20: Hauntings and Poltergeists with Parapsychologist Steve Mera

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Happy 2017! On this first episode of the new year, Tom and Jenny have a very special guest, parapsychologist Steve Mera. Steve has been in the field for more than 30 years and has investigated hundreds of paranormal cases. Jenny even co-authored two books with him about two of his most fascinating investigations, The Rochdale Poltergeist and House of Fire and Whispers: Investigating the Seattle Demon House. On this episode, he talks about both those cases, as well as his career in the paranormal in general, including the differences between poltergeist infestations and hauntings, and what he thinks of popular “ghost hunting” shows. Tune in and enjoy the science behind the spooky.

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Episode 19: Amityville Horror – Haunting or Hoax?

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The Amityville Horror is probably one of the most famous “haunted house” tales in American history, but how much of this “true story” is actually true? On this episode, Tom and Jenny consider all the details, from the very real and horrific DeFeo murders that took place in the distinctive Long Island house, to the subsequent violent haunting of the Lutz family, to the legal battles and media frenzy that ensued in the wake of the publication of Jay Anson’s bestselling book, upon which the movie franchise was based. So shoo away the flies, scoop the black slime out of the toilet, scare off the red-eyed pig monster lurking around outside, and relax with this axe-wielding episode of 13 O’Clock. And when it’s over, GET OUT!!!

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Episode 18: Creepy Christmas Creatures!

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It’s the 13 O’Clock Christmas Special Edition! And because you know how we do, we’re focusing on some of the less savory aspects of this most festive of holidays. Most people are familiar with Krampus, the Christmas demon who kidnaps and eats bad little kids, but did you know that there is a whole menagerie of scary creatures and characters from folklore, making Christmas a frightful experience for children around the globe? Trolls, witches, giant cats, murderous butchers, belly slitters, and a host of other decidedly un-jolly old elves prowl the snow-laden Christmas landscape, just waiting to come across a naughty boy or girl that they can capture and gobble up in a delicious hearty stew. Enjoy Tom and Jenny’s seasonal sojourn into the very dark side of Yuletide, and remember, “Child abuse: it’s what Christmas is all about!”

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Episode 17: Star Wars – Story Themes and the Philosophy of the Force

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We love Star Wars, you love Star Wars, everybody loves Star Wars (except for wrong people). In honor of the release of Rogue One, Tom and Jenny take a fun, meandering little nerd-journey through the galaxy far away, tackling such topics as the influence of Eastern religions on Jedi philosophy, the relation of Nietzsche’s writings to the mindset of the Sith, if Han Solo would be considered Force sensitive, who exactly Snoke might be and what his ultimate endgame is, and whether Finn is Lando’s kid or not, goddammit.

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Episode 16: Dual Dirtbags – Serial Killers Leonard Lake and Charles Ng

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Ugh. One serial killer is bad enough, but when two psycho losers team up and begin to realize their sick fantasies of keeping women in a dungeon and killing their friends and neighbors for the hell of it (not to mention shooting babies, for fuck’s sake), then the end result is unspeakable horror and tragedy. On this episode of 13 O’Clock, Tom and Jenny delve into the depraved tale of Leonard Lake and Charles Ng, two murderous creeps whose bizarre friendship resulted in the deaths of at least eleven, but possibly as many as twenty-five, innocent people. Your intrepid hosts have a rambling and possibly error-ridden discussion about this pair of scumbags, during which T & J desperately try to use dark humor as a defense mechanism against the onslaught of monstrosity (with varying results). They then each feel the need to take a nice, long, Silkwood shower. Enjoy?

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Episode 15: St. Clair Triangle – UFO Over Illinois

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Since this IS a mysterious type of show, you knew we’d get around to aliens eventually, and on episode 15, we’re discussing one of Tom’s favorite UFO sightings. Known as UFOs Over Illinois or the St. Clair Triangle, this particular sighting from the year 2000 was witnessed by at least seven people in different towns, four of them cops from different departments. Was it simply a misidentified blimp? A secret military aircraft? Or were extraterrestrials cruising around southern Illinois in a gigantic arrowhead-shaped ship with a fantastic light display? Hell if we know, but we have a pretty good time discussing it. By the way, excuse Jenny’s voice and the fact that the show is a tad shorter than usual; Jenny had a cold when we recorded this. *sniffle*

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