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22m 24s

Mothman: America's Notorious Winged Monster

Dr. Z travels to the town of Point Pleasant, WV to research the complicated history of the flying creature and how the town was forever changed by the myth of the Mothman. Newspapers gave the winged, red-eyed creature its name after it was spotted on November 15, 1966—an incident followed by almost a hundred other eyewitness accounts.

6m 40s

Banshee: Ireland's Screaming Harbinger of Death

Dr. Zarka shows how this wailing female ghost connects to the very real Irish tradition of keening— a rhythmic wailing and mourning performed by women as part of the death ritual. Tune in to see how fact and fiction combine to create a supernatural tradition that connects the people of Ireland to their ancestors.

11m 0s

Cyclops: The Origin Story of this Terrifying One-Eyed Giant

In this episode, you’ll hear all about Homer’s Polyphemus and Hesiod’s one-eyed blacksmiths, but also a little about the role paleontology has played in creating monsters. Join Dr. Zarka and special guests Kallie Moore and Blake de Pastino from Eons to learn all about the surprising fossil inspiration behind cyclopes.

7m 55s

Martians! How Aliens Invaded Earth

From the invading, high-tech aliens of ‘War of the Worlds’ to post-world war escapism literature and even real-life scientific exploration today, the stories of Martians have changed throughout time. Find out how we’ve gone from viewing Mars as a pre-existing utopia populated by alien races to actually seeing the planet as a potential new home for earthlings.

5m 34s

The Legend of La Llorona

The legend of La Llorona, the “weeping woman,” has terrified generations. This female ghost wanders in the darkness, crying as she searches for her children--the children she murdered. Some even say that she will capture other kids in her desperation. How could a murderous mother become such a cultural symbol?

6m 16s

Golem: The Mysterious Clay Monster of Jewish Lore

Made from clay and animated by the sacred word of G-d, the golem of Jewish origin has evolved from a 6th-century meditation of creation, to a source of labor, and finally, an avenging symbol of redemption. The golem many people recognize today wasn’t invented until the 19th century--but how did it become so influential?

6m 26s

How Chimaera Mythology Became Reality

The impossible, three-headed monster of Ancient Greek mythology, the Chimaera, may have started off as a fantasy, but today, the word “chimera” can be used to refer to anything that seems impossible. This includes the real-life, interspecies animals humans have successfully created.

7m 20s

Godzilla and Mothra: King and Queen of the Kaiju

Godzilla is one of the most recognizable monsters in film, and he should be. After all, he is part of the longest running film franchise in the world, but you might be surprised to learn that his history in literature is just as prolific. Without his giant footsteps paving the way, we wouldn’t have the female kaijū Mothra, who is perhaps even more beloved.

6m 24s

El Chupacabras, a Modern Mystery

Did you know there are two different types of chupacabras? Or that these bloodsucking monsters only starting popping up 25 years ago? Sightings of el chupacabras, the “goatsucker,” began in Puerto Rico in 1994 for a very real reason—the unexplained deaths of many farm animals.

6m 10s

Are White Walkers Really Nordic Zombies?

What do the Sagas of the Icelanders and Game of Thrones have in common? Dr. Zarka answers this question and explores how the draugr, Nordic undead monsters, bear a striking resemblance to the White Walkers—and more importantly, how these monsters connect to the history of Ancient Nordic peoples.

5m 45s

The Origin of Medusa

Medusa has inspired art for centuries, whether as a symbol of protection or a monster. Explore her literary and cultural history in this episode of Monstrum from PBS Digital Studios. #GreatReadPBS

6m 7s

Release the Kraken!

Legend has it this monster could take down ships, grab sailors off decks, and create whirlpools. Meet the Kraken in the latest episode of Monstrum from PBS Digital Studios!

6m 4s

What Dragons Say About Us

In the first episode of Monstrum, Dr. Emily Zarka reveals the mythological origins of iconic dragons from Game of Thrones and The Hobbit, and explains why dragons have been a part of human culture for thousands of years.

5m 57s

Rethinking Frankenstein's Monster

Now celebrating its 200th anniversary, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a revolutionary text that pioneered the sci-fi genre. On the surface, it’s a novel about a scary monster, but the sympathetic description of a soulful creature makes us rethink the label.

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