American Hysteria explores moral panics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture from the Puritans to the present. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying, sometimes heartfelt, host Chelsey Weber-Smith tells the strangest stories from American history that have created the reality we share, or maybe more accurately, the reality we don't.
Manage episode 266952926 series 2746442
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In 1979, James Dallas Egbert III disappeared from the steam tunnels underneath Michigan State University. He was known to play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends as they acted out the gameplay in the maze of tunnels under the school. When he disappeared, a private investigator discovered clues that lead him to believe that the game had something to do with his disappearance. This lead to a media storm surrounding D & D and it's links to the Occult. Cameron and Hannah discuss how games, toys and cartoons became symbols of the ever-growing fear of Satan indoctrinating children. And with broadcast television becoming more of a reality, and the Church of Satan running amok in that damned San Francisco, it didn't take long for worried churchgoers to launch religious programs to counteract the evil.