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Welcome to...

Something Wicked

In this Bonus Series, Martin talks us some of history's most bizarre crimes and criminals, each with a folkloric twist...


Episode 1: The Werewolf of Bedburg

Martin and Eleanor discuss the ghastly crimes of Peter Stumpp.

They begin with the centuries-long period known as The European Werewolf Panic, the horrific means whereby Peter Stumpp was executed, the even more horrific things he did to deserve such a grisly end.


Plus they chew over other tidbits including succubi, cannibalism and transformative magic garments...

Episode 2: The Blood Countess

Martin and Eleanor explore the dark life of Elizabeth Bathory, the "Blood Countess."

They begin discussing the 16th century penchant for stories of witches, magicians and the occult, and the context in which Bathory lived in Renaissance Hungary.


Next, they chat about her "Black Knight" husband, and the litany of crimes which earned Bathory the title of "Most Prolific Female Serial Killer in History..."


Episode 3: The Red Barn Murder

Martin and Eleanor discuss a ghostly murder that took the Victorian world by storm.

They chat about the life of William Corder and his lover, Maria Marten, whose ghost returned after she was killed to help solve the crime.


With a case that travels from Suffolk to London and involves a book bound in human skin, a haunted skull, an electrocuted cadaver, and mobs of people stripping the murder site and grave of the deceased for mementos, join us for a chat about this salacious murder which also birthed the most successful play of the mid-19th century...

Episode 4: The Candy Man

Martin and Eleanor chat about the life and crimes of Ronald O'Bryan, a.k.a. 'The Candy Man.'

They begin by chewing over the Satanic Panic, ideas of Halloween Sadism, the 'Mad Poisoner' trope and its roots in the Industrial Revolution, Urban Legends around food contamination and more.


Then they dig into the life, crimes, and media storm which surrounded O'Bryan himself, a wildly incompetent optician - and murderer - whose grisly acts on a rainy Halloween night saw him christened both 'The Candy Man' and 'The Man Who Killed Halloween.'

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Episode 5: Hans Trapp

Martin and Eleanor dig into the legend of the Christmas Scarecrow, Hans Trapp.

They set the scene by talking about life in the Holy Roman Empire during the 15th century. Then it's time to recount the truths and some of the likely fictions surrounding this legendary Christmas bogeyman.


For example, did he really do a deal with the devil for power? How many people died when he flooded Weissenburg and its abbey? What about all the baby-eating?


And why might it be wise to wear a big skirt and keep an eye on scarecrows during the festive season?

Episode 6: Alice Kytler

Martin and Eleanor conjure up the wild life story of the first witch condemned in Ireland.

They begin by discussing the history of Kilkenny within Ireland's five historic counties, then explore how a young Flemish immigrant managed to become one of the richest women in 13th century Leinster.


With a bizarre biography including several court cases, four dead husbands, and allegations of macabre magical practices, her story then collides with that of a mad bishop hell-bent on punishing anyone who fails to recognise church authority.


A man who, by chance, has just graduated from the Pope's brand new course in witch hunting...


Episode 7: Gilles De Rais

Martin and Eleanor explore the life of the knight thought to have inspired the Bluebeard fairytale, also known as "the first serial killer."

They start by discussing the state of France when Gilles de Rais was born, from the reign of 'Charles the Mad' and the Hundred Years War to the specifics of de Rais' brutal childhood.


Next they explore how he ascended to and within the French court, becoming an ally of Joan of Arc, Marshal of the French Army, and how his post-war life descended into crime, occultism, unhinged extravagance, and murder.


Lots and lots of murder...

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