Long time listeners to the Ancient History Hound podcast may recall that each year I do a Halloween episode. Finding scary content from antiquity isn’t initially difficult, though once you’ve got past a couple of spooky stories and the whole werewolves in Arcadia bit then it does become a bit more challenging.
I thought I’d stick my Halloween podcasts, with some links, on one page. Each episode comes with a brief description, the episode embedded to listen and a link to the episode on the podcast website. You can, of course, find the podcast on the platform you use.
Night of the Livy Dead 1.
This episode dates back to the early days of the podcast (where it was called ‘AncientBlogger’s podcast – imaginative eh?). I was joined by a guest and we chatted so much it became a two-parter. We covered the instances of werewolves, vampire-type creatures and ghosts in antiquity and also how they match up against modern day horror tropes and films. The kit I was using was basic, but I think the audio is passable and the content makes up for it!
Night of the Livy Dead 2.
This was more a condensed version of the previous year with just myself and some added information.
Night of the Livy Dead 3.
We might think of ghosts as a modern phenomenon but they aren’t. The clanking of chains and haunted houses date way back and even before that a ghost in Mesopotamia was something which could make you ill. In this episode I cover a range of ghostly phenomena from across the Mediterranean.
Extra content – human sacrifice.
This was a two parter which wasn’t a #NightofTheLivyDead episode but certainly belongs here.
Despite the Greeks and Romans pointing fingers they had literal blood on their hands in this regard. There was an effort to forget and amend earlier instances in both cultures of human sacrifice. In part one I step outside the normal paradigm of Greece and Rome. What other cultures engaged in it and why? It’s the turn of Mesopotamia and Carthage and featuring the greatest name for a rock album ever.
Part two looks at Greece and Rome. Both cultures tried to place this activity outside of their respective cultures, it was something those awful barbarians did, not us. And yet when you peek behind the curtains and lift up the carpet there are bodies to be found. How did it originally manifest and how did they later mitigate it? Listen on.
Night of the Livy Dead 4.
During the research of the previous episode on ghosts I had become aware of the existence of witches and the numerous demons in Mesopotamia. What made a witch a witch? What did she do and how did demons interact with people. Finally, what could you do about it? If was genuinely fascinating to research particularly as there are some themes here which feel quite familiar.