We love to hate our villains as much as we love to love our heroes. And many of us have a morbid fascination with some of history's most sinister characters, perhaps as a means of understanding the darkest aspects of human behavior. But as is regularly the case, the truth behind the real nature and actions of historical figures we can only glean from the reporting of others in that age and often many years after. Even official accounts are just a widely agreed upon set of assessments by a group of people, each with their own biases and personal opinions. In other words, one person's villain can be another's hero, or at least grossly misunderstood. In the case of Elizabeth Báthory, the authorities finally took action against one of their own, leveling upon her a judgment that could appear both lenient and harsh, but in either case, revealing an investigation that would forever brand her as one of the evilest people in antiquity with her name living on in infamy. Whether or not the testimony against her had any truth to it at all or what the real motivation for her incarceration was, is still debated by historians and researchers. What is clear is that misery, violence, and torture were part of the norm for her time. Some would argue that the stories about her were exaggerations, and her deeds merely accepted practice by the aristocracy of the day. But does normalcy justify a person's acts of any era? Where is the unacceptable line of behavior, regardless of the epoch or social status? History has judged Elizabeth Báthory. How will you?Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode: http://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/7/19/blood-bathory-part-2
Countess Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman and one of the most wealthy and powerful aristocrats in eastern Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Together with her husband Ferenc Nádasdy, a military hero known as the Black Knight of Hungary, Báthory held numerous estates, lands, and villages. She also currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the most prolific female serial killer and most prolific murderer of the western world. Báthory had been accused in the testimonies of over 300 witnesses and survivors of some of the most horrific tortures and murders imaginable before she was arrested, even by medieval standards. Her victims were her maidservants and lesser noble protégés, all girls, with some as young as ten years old. Years after her death, a legend had formed that Báthory had even routinely bathed in and possibly drank the blood of her virginal victims, believing that the pureblood had retained her beauty. Some claim that Báthory's story became the partial inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, along with her more famous sanguinary neighbor, Vlad the Impaler. But were any of the accusations against Báthory true? Was she merely a victim herself of a political and gender-biased conspiracy aimed at confiscating her riches and properties? As we'll learn once again, the truth behind our legends is often shrouded in a fog of conjecture misting through a forest of unknowns. Join us tonight as we examine the case of Elizabeth Báthory who, regardless of her actual guilt or innocence, will be forever known as, "The Blood Countess."Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode: http://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/6/21/blood-bathory-part-1
To really study the paranormal, any good researcher will tell you one must get out in the field to investigate the sightings, and that is especially true when it comes to cryptozoology. This is precisely what our interview guest has done. Lyle Blackburn is a full-time author, musician, and cryptid researcher from Texas, whose life-long fascination with legendary creatures has led him to write several acclaimed books, including Momo: The Strange Case of the Missouri Monster, The Beast of Boggy Creek, and Lizard Man. Lyle is a frequent guest on radio programs such as Coast to Coast AM and has been featured on numerous television shows like Monsters and Mysteries in America, Finding Bigfoot, and Strange Evidence, as well as other programs airing on the Animal Planet, Destination America, Discovery Science, and A&E channels. In addition, Lyle is a regular contributor for the monthly horror magazine, Rue Morgue. Lyle can also be heard as the frontman for his rock band Ghoultown, along with narrating/producing several Small Town Monsters documentaries, including Terror in the Skies, Boggy Creek Monster, The Mothman of Point Pleasant, and Bray Road Beast. When he’s not chasing cryptids and writing about them or performing with his band, Lyle can be found speaking at various cryptozoology conferences and horror conventions around the United States. Tonight, we sit down with Lyle to discuss his books and his thoughts about some of the most chilling encounters with bizarre and frightening creatures ever reported.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode: http://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/6/15/ep-146-lyle-blackburn
Does some element of us exist after we die? Is it possible that a message in a dire time of need could reach a loved one across vast distances without the aid of electronic or mechanical means, with a form of psychic energy either just before or after death? Could our emotional spirit be so intense in a moment of crisis that it leaves an imprint or echo that can reverberate in the ether and be heard, seen or sensed again and again? There have been many reported cases where this seems to have happened, and you may have seen such stories in the news or even have one from your own family. Don't you wish scientists would study these examples in a search for answers to some of the most significant questions of all? Well, some scientists are because this type of occurrence falls under the field of parapsychology and we're fortunate enough this evening to speak with Brandon Massullo. Brandon is a clinical therapist and parapsychologist with graduate degrees in clinical counseling from the University of Toledo and psychological research methods from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. His research at the University of Edinburgh centered on neurobiological correlates of ghostly encounters, and he studied within the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of author and international lecturer, Dr. Caroline Watt. Brandon has been fascinated by paranormal phenomena for 20 years and has been a participant and featured speaker in numerous paranormal forums and events. Join us for a fascinating discussion of his research into the possibility that our cries, or at least some form of our being, may linger beyond our earthly existence.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode: http://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/6/7/ep-145-brandon-massullo-and-the-ghost-studies
Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, the story of the Patterson-Gimlin film remains a superb example of the scientific investigation of an anomalous event that falls within the realm of the paranormal. Other documentation of things like UFOs, ghosts, and other cryptids have come under close examination throughout the years, but little has been of such relative quality and few examples if any have been able to provide such relatable data to examine. This relatability is due to the corporeality of the subject in the film. Whether an unknown primate or a man in a suit, it seems it is something from the world of which we know. Perhaps it’s not any data which is so troubling and debatable amongst the authorities, but the implications that data leads to if the film is authentic. In any case, it is a film and an event which deserves full reconsideration. Although of little value to scientists, another component worth considering is the personal experience, because it is that which gives the rest of us context. As we wrap up this series with our conclusions, we were fortunate to talk with one of the two men who were there, Bob Gimlin. Maybe character shouldn’t be considered when trying to determine the validity of this incident, but we can attest that Mr. Gimlin is as real and genuine a man as you’ll meet. After decades of remaining silent about his role, we’re grateful he’s finally agreed to tell his story because he deserves to be heard.
Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode: http://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/5/25/ep-144-the-patterson-gimlin-film-part-6-conclusions-with-bob-gimlin