Aggregated reviews for American Hysteria

American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through the lens of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of historical and modern American freak-outs, and the real social issues they act to cover up. An in-depth alternative history, the show also analyzes how issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class have informed our beliefs from the Puritans to the present. Subscribe now on Apple, Google, Spotify, or where ever you get your podcasts.

Skip this knock off and stick with the original...   (1/5)

...You’re Wrong About. Far superior, infinitely better researched.

Vocal inflection can be annoying but overall great   (4/5)

Interesting stories and solid storytelling, but the vocal fry is grating. At least she figured out how to pronounce nuclear. Just need some vocal coaching on avoiding that vocal fry and we're good to go!

Awesome   (5/5)

I saw this podcast in an advertisement and wanted to try it out... Honestly I fell IN LOVE! Its just so intriguing and amazing how it ties together American history and culture with its freakouts. Great podcast!!

Good listen!   (5/5)

Love the host. She has a way of making every topic very interesting. I’m glad to have found a new podcast to listen to.

Must listen   (5/5)

Brilliant, funny, personal, brutally honest, uncomfortable in the best way. The writing draws together every element presented in a way that makes them all reflect on one another. I feel like it’s making me smarter. Thank you for this unflinching and heartfelt podcast!!

so much insight   (5/5)

i always get chills when i listen and always learn something new!!! love Chelsea

Come for the story. Stay for the sermon.   (4/5)

Overall, I like the podcast. It is well researched, produced and delivered. I also like the way it reminds me of the popular culture and angst of my childhood. However, the show is very preachy.

One of my favorite podcasts of all time probably   (5/5)

I just discovered this show like yesterday but I love it so much!! If any important podcast network people are reading these reviews, please pick it up lol I want more episodes so badly.

My conservative dad and his college liberal daughter love it   (5/5)

I love this show and so does my dad, who is a boomer conservative. I am a gen z liberal and we can actually find common ground on the shows that are political in nature (like Monsters and the Terrorism episodes). He and I can even laugh at the stupidity of people (like first part The Satanic Panic episode) and have meaningful/often hard conversations (especially with the Stranger danger episode), we talked about my experience with sexual trauma in the second part of the satanic panic and why I empathized with the kids and McMartins involved. I’m seeing a lot people taking issues with the political nature and yeah it’s obnoxious sometimes, but if two different individuals can find this entertaining, than I highly recommend it.

Love   (5/5)

I love, love, love, this show! Keep up the excellent job.

It’s gotten too political   (2/5)

The first season was good, but now it feels like a politics podcast with some of the actual hysteria sprinkled in. I don’t disagree with most of your views, but it’s not what I subscribed for.

Mama samurai   (5/5)

I love this podcast. Always well informed and very interesting!

Some Interesting Ideas For Liberals   (2/5)

An Interesting show with a left wing view of society. It might be better focusing on facts rather than just preaching her anti-traditional views. The hostess harbors a lot of self-hatred and SJW nonsense. Sad. A fun listen though.

Addicted already   (5/5)

Found this show via an ad from The Conspirators Podcast and I haven't stopped listening since. Love the nostalgia mixed in with the storytelling

A 100% must   (5/5)

If you wanna learn something new, feel some nostalgic and relax to a great podcast here it is.

Extremely Gender Binary.   (1/5)

Update: I find this podcast harmful to non-binary and other gendered people. I feel hurt by the way gender has been portrayed and so sad that Chelsey W. Smith has not responded to requests for conversation. Original post: I find this podcast informative, but as a non-binary person of color, the way gender is discussed is quite uncomfortable. I am surprised that the host is also non-binary. I want to support other-gender voices except when they make the gender divide larger. I’m still a listener; this just makes me sad.

Amazing   (5/5)

Well thought out, great listening. I look forward to each episode.

Excellent and Informative   (5/5)

I very much enjoy the content and the clear, succinct way this podcast is delivered. I feel more knowledgeable after listening.

your politics   (1/5)

I get it. You have angst. Your research is fantastic and it supports your one wing opinions. Glad you play greatest fiends 👍 & you can get lost in the game when you are not having a tantrum over the pain... everyone needs an outlet glad it’s an ad for your sponsor 😁

Every World Problem Caused By White Men   (1/5)

The pod actually started off good. Season 1 was interesting, but as self-proclaimed “queer, non-binary poet...” The host has turned her platform into just another forum to blame every single issue on white American men. The episode Terrorism: Part 1 states that southern, white, American men started slavery! Creator had a great idea, but her own obsession and hatred towards race and sexual identity turned the concept into a “blame white, American male” platform every episode.

Fantastic   (5/5)

Great show! Very well and thoughtfully researched. I appreciate the hosts tackling subjects that inevitably get negative, knee- jerk comments (anything that contradicts toxic ‘murrican culture). This is one of my favorite new shows.

Good Stories but Trump Hater   (1/5)

Love the stories. Well written and well spoken. But could we leave the opinionated politics out of it? I enjoyed the stories in season 1, even though there are too many ugly references to Fox News and President Trump. Season 2 is a joke. I tried, but can no longer listen to all the negativity towards “normal” people. Unsubscribing.

American Hysteria should required listening   (5/5)

You can tell that Chelsey Weber-Smith and the AH team are passionate about every topic they tackle. They do not shirk away from uncomfortable historical facts that have given rise to the unconscionable levels of racism, misogyny, disrespect and divisiveness that we experience today. The amount of research and investigating that goes into each episode must be mind boggling. I, for one, am grateful to the entire AH team and look forward to each episode. Thank you!

This could be soooo much better.   (3/5)

Love the info, especially love the theme song. But the attributing every unpleasant topic to institutional "-isms" and "-phobias", gets very tiresome. Sorry, I really want to like it.

Meh!   (1/5)

I, too, like the podcast but I can no longer listen to the put-on, affected voice of the narrator. I’m deleting the podcast 😥

It’s like I’m still in school   (1/5)

All the episodes now into a social study lesson it’s very boring in season two and one it was fun and informative but now all it’s just a podcast about white supremacy and colonists

Cannot stand host’s voice   (2/5)

Too bad, like the podcast but hate the affected, put-on voice of the host. Will keep subscribed until I absolutely cannot stand it anymore.

Well researched and intelligently delivered   (5/5)

One of the best researched podcasts I’ve ever listened to. Chelsey Weber-Smith is a conscientious and intelligent host. Recommended for people who want to be critical of their preconceived beliefs and mainstream culture.

Hysterical   (5/5)

American Hysteria shines new (and often strange) light to the mundane and things we take for granted. It’s well researched, engaging, and easy to both follow and listen. The topics are of a wide variety from hamburgers to the Appalachia. It’s a must listen to anyone who enjoys even a little bit of the unusual. Give this a listen and subscribe!

Amazing Hillbilly episode   (5/5)

Just a brilliant episode on Appalachia and the roots and profound impact on our culture from the manipulation to always have someone to fear. I went to school on the margins of Appalachia in southwestern Virginia. Your research that ties into white southern supremacy is a terrific contribution to to the sociology and politicization of groups in our society today. Keep up the amazing work. Jeff

Safe Targets   (1/5)

We could tackle controversial hysterias such as rape culture, cancel culture, and the patriarchy but we will stick to the tried and true targets of masculinity and white people. Racist and sexist virtue signaling for everyone.

Thank you Chelsey Weber-Smith!   (5/5)

This podcast is amazing. I’m a psychology major, and I’ve learned more here than from my classes about how our culture shapes our minds, and vice versa. Chelsey Weber-Smith is a great storyteller who will draw you in and blow your mind. Sure you’ll laugh at some of the beliefs Americans have had throughout history, but you’ll also walk away from each episode with a look into how they shaped your own behavior.

I’m loving it!   (5/5)

Great topics to listen too, I loved the one about people beating each other up over cabbage patch dolls in the 80’s. I remember seeing that on the news when I was a kid.

I’d give it 10 stars if I could   (5/5)

This podcast is amazing. So well researched, well written and well presented. A broad range of topics that’ll leave you hooked from the first listen.

Thanks for saying the things that your counterparts will not   (5/5)

This show speaks truth, and brings to light a lot of ways that race has impacted the decisions that society has made. Thank you so much for speaking to white America, and giving voice to issues that they would ignore if coming from a black voice. We love an ally!

THE BEST   (5/5)

This is seriously one of the best podcasts and is a must listen. It’s informed, terrifying, funny and interesting all in one show. Support this podcast!

5 stars   (5/5)

5 stars? Yep 5.

Riviting podcast.   (5/5)

The stories are well told and need to be heard. Hats off to Chelsey Weber-Smith. This cast is golden!

a wonder of roaming intelligence and insight   (5/5)

Don't be put off by the title--this is an amazing podcast for anyone curious about why we behave why we do. Ms. Weber-Smith and her team roam through history, psychology, sociology, movies, books, cultural movements, and the issues of numerous disenfranchised populations (race, gender, age, lifestyles) to deliver an endlessly entertaining narrative about a podcast's subject and the many, often surprising things that connect to it. Much of what makes American Hysteria so memorable comes from Ms. Weber-Smith herself: her thoughtful, intelligent insights; her narrative flair; her willingness to draw from her own personal struggles; a mind that makes unexpected connections playfully and with good will toward all. And at the end of a podcast, she draws the camera back and talks about an even larger subject--who we are, and who we can become. She is seriously talented and unique. I want to keep her in business, so I'm contributing $60 a year to American Hysteria. Contribute if you can. Spread the word about her as much as you can. She is that good.

Misinformation abounds   (1/5)

I loved this podcast. I recommended it to everyone who asked. But after the gross misinformation from the burger episode, I don’t feel like I can trust the evidence offered.

My Favorite Podcast   (5/5)

It’s absolutely enlightening! There are so many things I wouldn’t have expected to be connected to the topics and that’s precisely what makes it such an enticing podcast.

I can't get enough!   (5/5)

I appreciate the heads up on what drives us crazy in America! I've been around for a few of the outrages and remember (vividly) the fear and propaganda surrounding them. Great show!

Entertaining yet profound   (5/5)

Chelsea brilliantly weaves cultural criticism and history with personal experience. Her training as a poet shines in the show’s pacing and her eloquence. She has a light touch and delightfully quirky sense of humor, and with these qualities, she delves deep into topics at the heart of American life today. As a 31-year-old, I also really connect with her memories of urban legends from our youth, toy crazes, and other touchstones. Beautiful podast!!!

So Good   (5/5)

I just recently discovered this podcast and it’s great! It really goes into depth on how these cases of mass hysterics occurred and puts it in context of the time and how it relates to our modern day boogeymen. Well written and hosted, it’s compelling stuff.

Political agenda   (1/5)

This podcaster clearly has a political agenda and she uses this platform to spread her ideas freely. It should be more factual and less political.

An amazing podcast   (5/5)

This podcast is incredibly engaging, well-rehearsed, and informative. Each episode makes a powerful and nuanced political point without veering into a one-sided diatribe. I would suggest a future topic on the white slavery panic that culminated in the passage of the Mann Act...if it’s not on the docket already!

So well written   (5/5)

Adore this podcast! CWS is lever and a great writer and all of the topics are interesting. So many of them are things I grew up with and had totally forgotten about. This show is wonderful.

Disappointing   (1/5)

Speaking style is more news reporter and less story telling. One sided and elementary content probably well suited for the very young or persons not well informed. A bit insulting and derogatory at yimes

Love it   (5/5)

Always interesting, humorous, and fact filled discussions into the different myths and reasons for the mass and local hysteria throughout the generations. Never dull or boring and always enlightening.

Poorly researched   (1/5)

Mainly ranting opinions.

Politics are such an essential part of this podcast.   (5/5)

So huge lol to everyone who’s commented and been like “love the story until it got political” because history and culture is political!!!! This show is super well researched and super important for cultural and historical context. I appreciate the time and effort put in and I look forward to every new episode

Great!   (5/5)

Extremely well researched and fascinating topics.

Don’t waste your time   (1/5)

Poorly told stories

Balanced, Entertaining, Meaningful   (5/5)

A balanced and enormously well-researched podcast on how we freak out and how we can do better. Makes the necessary connections to current politics and serves as an engaging lesson in how we can make our present different from our long American history of persecution and fear. I particularly appreciate host Chelsea’s obvious passion for her topics, and her humble willingness to acknowledge all of us (herself included) are fallible in the face of moral panic and division.

Great Show   (5/5)

Great show. I look forward to every episode, and I love Just another Panic Monday as well, the episodes are casual and fun but still highly informative. Looking forward to season 3.

I wanted to like it   (2/5)

It's got great topic ideas, but they are so poorly executed that I can't sit through an episode. I'm in Gen X, so I have virtually first hand knowledge of what it was like to be a terrified kid in the 70s and 80s. These hosts manage to drain all the fun out of those memories.

topics good, hosts are stupid   (1/5)

I really like the topics and research, but the hosts are irritatingly “woke”. Or at least they think they are. I had to unsubscribe when they said “OK Boomer” 3 times in 30 minutes of listening. If you’re 14, it might be a good listen for you.

Very informative with some light-hearted moments   (5/5)

This is a great podcast with excellent insight and facts about different hysterias that we, as Americans, fall victim to. Not only does it go into the panic, but also the reasons why it happens as well as thoughts about what we can do to avoid it in the future. It is very informative with some light-hearted moments. The host is very likable and has a very smooth voice. There have been many reviews lately about the current format, but the hosts have mentioned many times that this is a temporary change while they are in-between seasons and getting the new season ready. If you're not a fan of the off season shows, don't listen to those and concentrate on how great the regular seasons are.


I’m a actual person. I am a 14 year white male who lives in America and I have always felt a lull towards activism and injustice. I love the education they bring to the world! They are historical stories that are very intriguing!!! The hosts are also hilarious! I love you Chelsea!!!! While some might complain it disenfranchises white Americans, it doesn’t it tell history. Today and past!

Loved it...until...   (2/5)

Yeah, I listen and I know the new weekly thing is just temporary but I am so not a fan of the talk show format and I’m honestly not sure I am going to make it until February. It’s too talky and jokey and grating. Love the regular episodes but I have a strong dislike for the current format. You guys do you, but is there a way to separate the two into different feeds? I’m totally ok with waiting for new regular episodes but each time one of the current episodes pops up in my feed, I start listening, get depressed that it’s not a regular episode, am reminded of why I stopped listening to MFM (too much banter, too little facts, and too self indulgent), fast forward to the end, and delete. I was even all for supporting the Patreon thing but I can’t put money behind this. Hope a change comes soon. I really want to support content I love(d).

Awesome podcast :)   (5/5)

The regular show is always really well-researched and insightful. I also love the new just another panic Monday format and the new co-host. They’ve stated over and over again that this format is for the intervening time between regular seasons, and the usual show will be back in February, so everyone freaking out in the reviews about the show having changed has clearly not been listening.

Simply Inspiring   (5/5)

American Hysteria provides a specific kind of content that's absolutely vital in our current political climate. It's interesting to hear where all these old-time panics came from, and really well done when it comes to relating them to how they effect us today. I wish them all the luck on going indie. If they keep up the good work, I know this podcast can go really far on it's own.

Spine-Chilling!!!   (5/5)

One of the very best, encapsulating podcasts I’ve ever heard in my life!

Perfection in a Podcast   (5/5)

I LOVE this show! Chelsea does a fantastic job of discussing and explaining these panics we have hear in the good Ole USA. I never knew the origins of a lot of these, and have been shocked to hear that some things I had believed were not only completely false, but also originated from racism or homophobia. She also does a great job at interjecting some comic relief into these pretty heavy subjects. I really can't say enough good things. Great show. Good job!

Please get rid of the cold-host!   (2/5)

This was a 5 star podcast up until the last few episodes of the “off season” show. The host/co-host seem to hit it off and that’s great but this new situation makes me feel like I’m overhearing girls gossiping over lunch - not two adults discussing large scale topics. Hopefully she’s just temporary so I can start listening again.

This show is amazing.   (5/5)

I learn a LOT from this show — mostly how I’ve panicked about things I that shouldn’t actually worry me. Highly recommend. Chelsea Webber Smith is a rad and thorough host.

Has me shook and enlightened every time lol   (5/5)

I recommend this podcast to people all the time. It’s for anyone who likes conspiracy theories, the paranormal, history, psychology, true crime, and more. Chelsea’s voice is easy to listen to as she imparts thoroughly researched, engaging material. <3

Remove the co-host!   (1/5)

I have not been able to endure listening to more than a few minutes of the new format. It sounds like two stoned teenagers giggling in bed and is embarrassing and cringeworthy. I enjoy the regular podcast with Chelsey Weber-Smith. Please get rid of the co-host and go back to the original format.

Can’t listen to this new person   (1/5)

I really enjoyed the fun and smart commentary before the new person joined. With the addition of this new young woman, they giggle non stop, and it sounds like a slumber party. Too bad.

Sadly becoming a childish convo   (1/5)

I am so disappointed. I enjoyed this series before the addition of the sidekick. Her research and insights when presented earlier, I found interesting and thought provoking. Now it sounds like I am eavesdropping on a silly conversation between a couple of friends.

Awwwah loved until....   (1/5)

L🥰VED these ✌️ ladies’ perspectives until... today’s episode (vaping) in which they insulted my President Seriously ladies ... It’s America Be grateful (gaining perspective internationally- prior to ridiculing your commander in chief so casually without hesitation) Love & blessings to you as you continue in your life journey 🇺🇸 in America (presuming) you’ll look up in 🖐 years and no longer cling to the ideas central just a few years prior 😉 #thejigisup #savethechildren #greatawakening

Love the pod   (5/5)

But.... after this latest vaping episode I look forward to the episode on the “hysteria” around the health effects of cigarette smoking.

Format   (2/5)

The content and research is beyond reproach, but the new “talk sesh” format is annoying and not necessary. I used to look forward to seeing the logo pop up on my phone with a new episode, and I would listen to it before anything else, even if I was in the middle of another podcast. Now it’s painful. Please go back to thoughtfully recording the episodes. Thank you.

A new favorite   (5/5)

I grew to love a podcast called Liar City that unfortunately no longer puts out new episodes. I was so delighted to find American Hysteria, which covers some of the same ground, but with a different style. Keep going! I love it!

Ok for the left leaning   (2/5)

I was exited for this podcast but the constant left agenda is eye rolling and gets worse and worse each episode. The new format is even sillier and hard to listen to for anyone. A great idea, poor execution.

Lovable hosts, interesting content   (5/5)

I’m already obsessed with this show but omg Chelsey playing off of a cohost on Just Another Panic Monday was so so so delightful I loved both hosts and I want more!

Why :(   (2/5)

It used to be so good! Now it’s just a Goop podcast.

Last episode is a disappointment   (2/5)

I have been listening to this podcast for a while and found it to be informative. I do appreciate all of the research done and will listen to the rant at the end because it sums up what the host found out and clearly gives her conclusions. The most recent one about Disney subliminal messages was a disappointment. The regular host and new co-host sounded very unprofessional. They also sounded like giggling school girls, and they kind of sounded high. I can do without that in the future episodes. Normally this podcast is 4 stars.

Sad   (1/5)

This podcast was so good and entertaining but now it’s ridiculous not taking serious. Sad.

Top Notch Podcast   (5/5)

Phenomenal show. A great podcast that makes you think. CWS artfully crafts each podcast for maximum emotional impact. Well done!

Excellent   (5/5)

Truly a great study on American history on topics many schools ignore or just educate falsely. If my early history classes were anything like American Hysteria, I may not have spent so much time sleeping at my desk.

Favorite podcast   (5/5)

Every time this show is released it’s the first one i listen to, and always excited when it comes out. Chelsey is such an amazing story teller and all the subjects are right up my alley. My kids are fans too, and gets their little minds thinking deeper into things too. It opens your mind up to look at thinks more, and differently. With an understanding of history and how it ties into current events. Every easy to follow the subjects and my mind never wonders off when listening (sometimes things might get too technical or too much and our minds start thinking of other things) My attention is always fully on each episode, my mom also enjoys listening when she’s driving with me. And many times brings up what we heard earlier months later because it had her thinking too! Legit listeners here from 3 to 73! All 5 of my kids enjoy listening and always an awesome conversation starter for us all. Thank you for sharing and teaching Chelsey!! ❤️

Well researched and thoroughly entertaining   (5/5)

Chelsey does such an amazing job with this podcast! It’s one of my absolute favorites. They combine their rigorous research with narratives about all things moral panic in America. The result is one of the best podcasts out there. Folks who don’t like this one because of Chelsey’s politics are really missing the point of the show.

1st season was EXCELLENT, 2nd not so much.   (3/5)

The 1st season featured very targeted memes in the American Hysteria pantheon such as “Stranger Danger” and poisoned Halloween candy, and it was GREAT. The second season leans towards long-standing, nebulous cultural problems such as racism that are not so easily dismissed, and it quickly turns the podcast into more of a liberal political platform than a brief explanation and dismissal. Season 2 also features many more autobiographical and opinionated diatribes, which really ruins the objective platform the podcast originally started on. Yet another podcast that’s gone from cool, interesting non-fiction to the host just trying to attract all the attention to themselves and their beliefs rather than the incidents at hand.

So much potential...   (3/5)

Interesting topics, well written... unfortunately the leftist politics of the host slips the podcast from intriguing subject discussion into listening to an articulate 19 year old snowflake who’s vocal tone goes up at the end of every sentence. I know nothing about her politics personally, but like most millennials, she can’t help but cloud an otherwise good podcast with her obviously leftist leanings. Not liking our current President is fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But he did not become president based solely on a reality tv show. He was a Millionaire (possibly billionaire) who was a major player in real estate, a #1 best selling author, and self made entrepreneur- all be it mostly by self promotion. You are a young female... we already know your politics... it’s not why we are here. Stick to the topics and back off how it applies to your emotional state and you could have something great.

Five Stars   (5/5)

Not a writer so I’ll try my best to do this amazing podcast justice! It uses pop culture references to explain how and why we’ve historically reacted to any number of things (see episode titles.) It doesn’t avoid “controversy” (aka talking about real shi*) by presenting well researched topics in a matter-of-fact way, by unapologetic addressing racism, gender, the prison industrial complex, and etc, and having an openly queer host. This podcast always gets me thinking of the saying that goes something like, “Know history or be doomed to repeat it.” It’s informative, fun, and as a trans person, I feel involved in the conversation which is still a major rarity outside of exclusively queer podcasts. Thank you for this and all of your hard work- it shows.

V   (5/5)

I think the pod is well-done. However, I kind of feel like I was baited in by interesting stories just to get me to the most current offering — where you shame us into hating America because we’ve been nothing but if we’ve made no strides in becoming better citizens. Just because there’s parts of our collective pasts that we shouldn’t be proud of, doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of Good things that we should be proud of.

Needs more objectivity   (3/5)

Not that I should have to disclaim this but I will. I am a mixed more left leaning woman in her mid 20s. So before you blow off everyone getting irritated with her blatant disrespect of ALL people because you think they’re all “middle aged white people” don’t. I really do enjoy the show. I’m a podcast junky from comedy, true crime, conspiracy, and some political. I like these short episodes that scratch the surface of true American hysteria’s. And she is right unfortunately many of our villains have come out of political agenda and race. But she can’t keep speaking her opinions like they’re facts. I don’t mind opinion laced podcast as long as your transparent. And as long as your fair to all sides. And fair is just being factual (there are some clear factual errors) Unfortunately sometimes I cringe so hard I can’t finish an episode. But all in all it’s okay. I just wish the host would be more honest.

Keep the politics out   (1/5)

Concept is great- execution becomes worn out.

Great Podcast   (5/5)

Such a great podcast. I don't agree with the hosts views, but the research is thoughtful and she encourages all of us to really process why we think what we do about the world around us. Love it!

So fascinating!   (5/5)

Chelsey give a ton of historically-based information about the things that freak is out, why we're so ridiculously gullible, and how rumors become gospel. She helps debunk a lot of the biggest scares in America's past with a well-rounded view of what actually happened and how we can avoid such erroneous thinking in the future. Like others, I found it difficult to sit through to her excessively emphatic inflection and "nukular" mishaps throughout the first season, but I could not stop listening, cause the content is PHENOMENAL. And I'm so glad I didn't, as she has vastly improved her presence in the second season--way to go! I will definitely recommend this to anyone who talks about stranger danger, those stupid clown encounters, the Illuminati, etc. etc. etc.

Mind numbing   (1/5)

This had so much potential but of course it’s left leaning idealist host and writer is out of touch with reality. Don’t waste your time.

Interesting and insightful   (5/5)

One of my favorite podcasts lately!

Liberal agenda started leaking into shows   (1/5)

After being a listener from the very beginning the last few episodes were interjected with Ms. Webber’s personal political views and now ✌🏻 good luck!

Lively & brilliant podcast focusing on very cool topics   (5/5)

Highly recommended! American Hysteria is a great indie podcast; the informed host, Chelsey, has a lively voice, an intelligent style of presentation, and she covers compelling topics (such as the 80s/early 90s satanic panic and the “evil clown” sightings that were breathlessly covered by Fox News et al. a few years ago. I can’t believe that really happened...sigh) in concise episodes that NEVER feel too short or (worse) too long. Her analysis is always thought-provoking, informative, and the guests she invites always add value. Chelsey does a lot of work for her episodes, and her knowledge of the topics is readily apparent. I listen to a number of popular true crime podcasts; this podcast is not a “true crime” podcast yet I go out of my way to listen to every new episode as the topics are fascinating! Chelsey also avoids the mistake that undermines too many paranormal or strange/mysterious topics sorts of podcasts — over-indulging in coverage of absurd topics (you won’t find for example a ten part series on the so-called Mandela effect and how CERN, and of course “government agents,” caused it all or how string theory “explains” it, etc). I want to congratulate Chelsey and her small devoted team at American Hysteria for putting together a creative and intriguing podcast that (refreshingly) focuses on issues other than true crime. American Hysteria explores “moral panics” and outbreaks of the all-time cable news favorites — “BEWARE OF >INSERT NEW FORM OF TERROR< AS IT IS COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN” — various phenomena not new to modern times. This week the hysteria seems to be about vaping (ffs) — something that clearly will save lives as ex-smokers and smoker-curious types have found it a very effective substitute for the smoking of cigarettes but which one is being targeted ferociously by our news media and politicians? Which one do they want to outlaw? It has been associated with a tiny number of deaths (like being killed by lighting or shower curtain levels) yet without solid research or any serious determination of how it assists people who would otherwise smoke cigarettes the government wants to ban it. Sigh. Who benefits one wonders? I love the range of topics featured on American Hysteria — from evil clowns and the uncanny valley to the terrifying teenagers of the Roaring Twenties with their immoral jazz and their “petting parties” to the infamous satanic panic of the 80s/early 90s (a moral panic that seems to rear its very ugly head every few decades in this country — see the Salem Witch trials or the 1980s era lawsuits in which Ozzy and Judas Priest members along with others were forced to testify how/if they were somehow (?) forcing teenagers who listened to their music to worship Satan and commit suicide or commit crimes. These issues have real-life results, consequences often devastating for the innocent parties swept up in the wild moment of hysteria, and Chelsey’s wise, sober, and sobering approach is welcome indeed.

Great podcast!   (5/5)

Beautifully written and fascinating, well-researched material. Love it!

One of my favorite podcasts   (5/5)

I love everything about this podcast- except that I wish the episodes were longer! The topics are always interesting and well researched. Episodes are often funny, sad, and thought provoking all within the same episode. Oh, and nostalgic! Chelsea leaves me wanting more at the end of each episode.

Learn something new with a creepy twist   (5/5)

I love this podcast! I love podcasts where you can learn something new but this podcast gives me a unique perspective on things that I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. It’s helped me look at the world in a different and more skeptical way. I’m obsessed with the topics that they choose, always different and creepy and I love them! Looking forward to more podcasts!

Fun, informative show!   (5/5)

It’s fascinating, edgy and peppered with snark. Well-researched, but always questioning. A voice I enjoy listening to and a bomb theme song to top it all off. Keep it up ☺️

First and favorite   (5/5)

AH was the first podcast I subscribed to and it remains my favorite. Very educational about unusual topics! Chelsea is a pleasure to listen to 💕

Good stuff   (5/5)

Love weird world podcasts like this. and the scripts are good, straightforward, and engaging

Great content, but buzzing sound effects very irritating   (4/5)

I’ve been enjoying the content of the podcast and the narration/writing, but the startling TV static buzz before certain clips are played make it almost unlistenable, especially when you can’t anticipate it. Other people I’ve shared the podcast with found the noise equally grating.

One of the best!   (5/5)

Absolutely amazing show! Recently stumbled upon this podcast through an add, and it’s exactly what I have been looking for! Awesome stories, and amazing analytical skills without inundating you with facts! Give it a listen you won’t be upset!

🌟   (5/5)

Good show. Strange amount of whiny 1 star reviews tho

Binge-worthy   (5/5)

Thoughtful, crazy, fun, engaging, scary, informative. Some listeners seem to think reporting on actual events and facts is political? What do these people think "conservative" means? Conservative segments of society frequently pearl- clutch at what the socially liberal people do. That's not about politics. Social behavior is one of the spectrums that runs from conservative to liberal in the apolitical sense of the word. You don't have to be a political conservative (and even that had many definitions depending on what issues you are looking at) to be conservative or liberal with social behavior. Eg people who ID as conservative fiscally but want to destigmatize drug addiction. Next in American Hysteria: every podcast thoughtfully dissecting overreactions to normal human behavior and disregard for effective methods for dealing with social ills is promoting the liberal agenda!!!

Like, like, like, like   (1/5)

I like the idea of the show but I stopped when the hostess went off script and the work “like” was used over and over. I just couldn’t listen anymore.

Well researched and refreshing perspective   (5/5)

I listen to a lot of true crop and paranormal podcasts. This is a refreshing premise which captures some of the same subject matter with a different sociological perspective. While the host admits that she herself is too young to remember when some of the stories occurred, her research ensures that she explains it well (unlike some other sloppy research I’ve heard). This is a great show.

Let me help.   (1/5)

I will save you the time of listening. Every problem discussed is due to the ignorance/racism/sexism of white men or right wing religious people. Seems this podcaster has some of what she calls “folk monsters” hiding under her bed as well.

Had high hopes   (1/5)

Do yourself a favor and just skip it!

Very informative   (5/5)

And I love that the host doesn’t just deliver the facts without acknowledging the ridiculous shenanigans. Some people may consider this ‘political’ but I prefer a host that reacts WITH me. Not one that just continues talking like they didn’t just traumatize me. Love it

Shoddy reporting and horrible pronunciation   (1/5)

I really wanted to like this show. The showrunner reads her copy very woodenly and mispronounces words like Des Moines (Iowa) and Adventist (as in Seventh Day Adventist). The overall production quality is horrible. The supposed facts of the stories seem like a mix of Wikipedia entries and Millennial bravado. Not what I hoped for.

Great!!!!   (5/5)

This show is great I binged the first season in a day. Please continue the great works!

Interesting topic but . . .   (2/5)

I like the subject matter. I remember when many of those types of hysteria in America occurred. I enjoy hearing the details of the stories, but unfortunately the host can’t end it there. It appears she loves the sound of her voice and goes on and on about why they happened. I choose to listen to non-political podcasts but Chelsea seems to believe that everybody agrees with her politically. For example when she talked about the Hall of Presidents at Disney world she chose two Republican Presidents to discuss how creepy the animatronic figures are. I’m guessing that she doesn’t like Republicans or she’s trying to be one of the “celebrity cool kids”. Chelsea decide if you want to be a history type podcast or a political opinion one.

Good podcast marred by political extremism   (1/5)

This is a good podcast on an interesting subject, however the host includes an extremist political lecture at the end of each one that ends up ruining the experience. Even the irony of doing a show on social panics followed by a PSA promoting today’s social panic is sadly lost on her. If you don’t mind getting a sophomoric lecture with your podcast then this might be one for you, otherwise avoid.

Brilliant New Podcast Voice   (5/5)

Absolutely love this podcast and the subject matter. The host sheds light on some of the darkest corners of the human mind and our very American rush to hype and hysteria. I lived through a number of these events and it was always mystifying to me, then and now, that people could fall into the sort of thinking that drove them to take up such actions and give in to such prejudices. . . Keep up the great work!

A smart, engaging, charming, enlightening listen   (5/5)

I really enjoy this podcast. Very well done!

These reviews are insane?   (5/5)

In today’s America, I guess “facts” and “moral decency” are considered too political by some. If you find this engaging and well thought out podcast is too political for you, there’s surely some Fox News approved podcasts you can find that won’t trigger you! Kindly jog on, conservative killjoys

Great Show Delivered by Witty Host   (5/5)

Chelsea has such a way with words. Tactful yet unmistakably direct, with a hint of playfulness, she exposes and attempts to make sense of phenomena of the our historical social senselessness. Very interesting podcast.

Not what I hoped it was   (1/5)

This looked right up my alley, but it felt more like an excuse to write about how she thinks conservative politicians created mass panic. They start off interesting but end very political.

This podcast made me get excited about podcasts again   (5/5)

Do yourself a favor and check out this show. Each episode is thoroughly researched and delivered in such a skilled way that you end up learning all these crazy facts about human psyche, paranoias, weird historical trends, and all the hysteria! I’ve been looking for a show to listen to at work and while working on my side projects and I’m so glad I found this one. Truly, my favorite current podcast.

Wonderful   (5/5)

Every time I listen to this I learn something new! From internet campaigns like #FreeBrittany, historical hysteria likeTalking to the Dead, or even Halloween Candy scares, I am never disappointed. The writing is A+ and I’m always excited to hear more!

Too political   (1/5)

I don’t care for social justice warrior lectures while listening to history-type podcasts.

Really good podcast   (5/5)

Seriously this is a gem of a listen! Good job and keep going!

Good but I cannot   (4/5)

This is a very good show with very interesting topics and the host is likable right away. I for one will not be able to continue listening to this for one reason. The word “LIKE” is used every third word and I personally can’t listen to people that use that word so frequently.

End of the World, Satanic Panic, and Clowns   (5/5)

This is one of my favorite podcasts out there. I think the host said it best in her AH Calm Down on Satanic Panic: as a society we are interested in true crime and eerie serial killers because we can’t relate, and we’ve moved on to being interested in cults because we can kind of relate a little bit more, and now we are looking at ourselves as a whole to figure out what is going on and why we get so wrapped up in all the panics (in the 80s it was Satan, and now we have the Shirley’s calling the cops on little kids of color selling water on the street). This is just a really good, well researched, well produced podcast with an awesome host! Definitely add this to your subscriptions if you are into all the true crime and cults and urban legends and weird American history podcast you’re already listening to.

Love it!   (5/5)

I couldn’t even tell you how many people I have recommended to listen to this podcast. I have spent many commutes listening and will continue as long as it’s around.

Love this podcast   (5/5)

This is really a great podcast and I recommend it to everyone. Super interesting!

An incredible podcast!   (5/5)

American Hysteria is my favorite podcast. It’s intelligent, it’s witty, and it’s fascinating. The host does a fantastic job walking listeners through hysterical periods in US history (for example, “Satanic Panic” or that terrifying clown phase) where we all just seemingly lost our rational minds. The content is well-researched, but it’s a very easy listen. I love the host’s personality, too. It’s actually my new life goal to meet them and turn them into my new best friend. I would recommend this podcast to: Americans, non-Americans who want a kick out of some of the crazy stuff we believed, people who like learning cool history (not the stuff taught in schools), people who are into pop culture, people who like mysteries/true crime/horror, and people who like to fill awkward silences in social sittings with “did you know...” followed by a totally random and off-topic fun fact.

Love   (5/5)

I freaking love this podcast! Can’t wait for season 2!!

Awesome show   (5/5)

I love the show awesome stories I love listening while driving a truck in Chicago keep up the great work.

Great listen!   (5/5)

Entertaining and an interesting lens on things we blindly accept as truth. I’m surprised by so many reviews from conservative folks whining that they don’t agree - lol! I will say that it does sound like she’s just reading, so it’s not terribly engaging. Sometimes I tune out. But overall I like the content.

Very good for the most part   (4/5)

I like this podcast, the topics are very interesting. BUT - sometime I find the hosts tone very mocking, even when talking about serious subjects such as drug addiction and death. The material is very well researched, just please keep in mind that the things you speak may have had a big impact on members of your audience and adjust your tone accordingly.

What is wrong with the narrator?   (2/5)

Mediocre content. Host is apparently just reading but not comprehending the narrative. Example: Episode 10. Constantly says NUCKULAR! What the heck is nuckUlar? Don’t be ridiculous... NUCLEAR, NUCLEAR, NUCLEAR! At least pretend that you have a clue.

Bad   (1/5)

Terrible. Don’t waste your time.

Interesting   (5/5)

This show is interesting and very well done

Propaganda   (1/5)

If you want to do a radical left wing podcast, fine. Just don’t try to disguise it as something else.

Intriguing and well done   (5/5)

Chelsea!! Your writing is superb, and intelligent! Thanks for a great podcast, and a great narration of the various hysteria’s in American history. Very engaging and intriguing.

Yes!!   (5/5)

Chelsey - Really great content. You continue to bring it with every episode - a fantastic storyteller❤️

Interesting Premise but Disappointing   (3/5)

I enjoy listening to the history of the different “boogie men” that have pervaded in American culture and getting insight into their origins, but the personal politics is grating. The season finale has shown just how hypocritical the host really is. For an entire podcast about overreacting, she is quick to declare how climate change is something we should all be hysterical about. I guess when it’s an issue she personally feels strongly about, then being overwrought is the only appropriate response, dammit!

A personal aPODcalypse...   (5/5)

I’m a housewife living in the same small town in middle Georgia that I was born and raised in. Truthfully, if you can think of every southern mama stereotype you’ve ever known, then you’re thinking of me, I am that...but in a modern, “hey y’all” from WalMart in monogrammed yoga pants kinda way and NOT the 300lbs in a rebel flag, two piece, spitting dip kinda way! Nevertheless, there’s a saying about places like mine, “Small towns = Small Minds” and unfortunately, there’s more truth to that than I’d ever care to elaborate on. I depend heavily on Ted Talks and Podcasts like yours to keep my mind open and opinions educated and have grown mighty to accustomed to these weekly episodes. If I’m being completely honest (and possibly a little desperate for friendship, lol), I choked down a little lump in my throat once you signed off! Thanks for giving me even more “convo ammo” to toss way over all of my friends’ and families’ heads at Easter dinner this year. I’ll sure be looking forward to that, as well as, the return of next season. Sending high fives and good vibes from way down here in the pine trees of the great southern state of Georgia! I wish you a great 2nd season.

Incredible!   (5/5)

Very intelligent host with a very interesting podcast! Only a few episodes in bust absolutely loving, keep up the good work cause ones seems like it’ll be one of my favorites!

Love it!   (5/5)

I really enjoyed the first season and very much look forward to what’s coming next!

Ignorant   (1/5)

You are ignorant and inaccurate with almost everything you say. You need to fact check before you speak.

Good take on history   (4/5)

I love learning about past hysteria or current hysteria’s origins. Great show.

Interesting and logical.   (4/5)

I really enjoy this podcast. Anything that makes me think twice always holds my interest. Chelsea seems to be well-read in the topics she has chosen. 2 pieces of advice: list more of your sources and good God please stop the over rampant use of the word ‘like’ during ANY interview. (Even when it’s with a friend such as in the Stranger Danger episode). There was one point where it was said upwards of 15 times in 13 seconds. I would hate to see a relevant podcast lose credibility over something trite, but listeners can be fickle... I’ll continue to listen, however.

Snowflake alert!   (1/5)

Whew. Hard to listen to. I was drawn in early on and enjoyed this podcast. But as often is the case, it’s just too hard to listen to a lot of far left Snowflake whining. This poor girl is a victim of everything that’s came down the pike over the years. In small doses it’s doable. I hope it returns to being entertaining.

Disappointed   (3/5)

Could you try to be more political? No, probably not. Disappointing to the degree that I will discontinue listening to your show.

Amazing   (5/5)

I just got fully caught up. I do got to say that in light of the whole ‘MOMO’ thing, this podcast has reminded me to check my facts and not get carried away.

New Fave   (4/5)

Love the scripted episodes. They are well researched, super informative, and eloquently told. The wind downs, however, can get annoying. I agree with other reviews about “like” being every other word, especially in the first few episodes. Definitely worth listening to the non-“wind-down” eps though!

Great!   (5/5)

Love the podcast! Can’t find a contact email anywhere, hoping someone from the podcast will see this. Could you do an episode on the current sex trafficking panic? It seems like every other week a grown woman is nearly kidnapped in a grocery store parking lot and then the story is later debunked. This week it was an Uber driver mix up! Would love to hear this explored on the podcast.

Informative, never boring   (5/5)

One of the most fascinating podcasts I’ve ever listened to.

American Hysteria boils everything to one thing:   (1/5)

Trump derangement syndrome! Out of the 6 “episodes” a wide range of topics are covered. Candy, satanism, clowns, gay panic, Illuminati... all topics essentially boil down to being caused by, or somehow related to President Donald Trump. Yes, President, yours mine and ours if you are a resident of the United States. Most topics are somehow in direct correlation with how “evil” he is. Yes... even the clown episode. However most of the podcast has to be explained and re-explained in the “cool down” episodes. It’s like if the Walking Dead and Talking Dead were one continuous show instead of two separate shows. One not pack in your cohesive Trump bash into one longer episode. Mediocre podcast for the actual episodes, a lot of research is done into the topics and narrators personal spin on topics is interesting however the biased liberal spin at the end is a bit hard to stomach while being crammed down your throat. (Granted I have not finished the candy episode or first episode, they may end differently)

Smart and funny   (5/5)

I look forward to each new episode. Always makes me laugh. Easy to follow the narrative and keeps my attention. Keep up the good work!

So good!   (5/5)

I love the fast pace of this pod cast. The host does such a great job of packing in a ton of information into one show. The information is so clear, concise and entertaining to listen to. This is in my top 3 favorite podcasts.

Love   (5/5)

Chelsey is the best! I love listening to her! I wish she did shows every day so I have something to listen to on my way to work!

so interesting!   (5/5)

very well researched and presented. the host made connections and drew conclusions i had never considered in the discussion of satanic panic, even though i was there. the writing is often so good, i replay some sections to appreciate them fully. if you’re someone who doesn’t value the ideas of young people, or find vocal fry so egregious that you won’t listen to information presented in such a voice, then maybe move along. if you’re interested in learning more about some of the social and cultural movements that have influenced american life, this podcast is definitely worth a listen.

One of my new favorites   (5/5)

Awesome and well put together content. It’s definitely geared toward millennials and younger with a look into how America got to where it is now. If you want to learn anything about American panic culture this podcast is for you.

Enjoyable   (5/5)

Thanks for giving me something to listen to while I work in the greenhouses! The background on these subjects is interesting. 🌱

A Delightful Cocktail of Morbidity and Cheer   (5/5)

Chelsey’s cheerful enthusiasm is absolutely charming. Clever, extremely well researched, American Hysteria feels like it is made by morbid weirdos for morbid weirdos. One of my new favorites!

Well done!   (5/5)

Been listening since I heard about you on Dr. Death. Enjoyed every minute. And the latest “Gay Agenda” got me feelin the feels. Thanks Chelsea for your well researched and well written expression of our gay/queer experience and history.


Seriously, this has to be the most fascinating podcast I've ever heard. It's like a really good true crime podcast and NPR's Hidden Brain podcast mixed together. Great historical perspective and social commentary.

So much potential, so many politics.   (2/5)

This is a decently well researched podcast that does pick some interesting stories to discuss. It’s also highly political when it doesn’t need to be. The writer makes her political opinion well known despite the fact this isn’t a political podcast, constantly vilifying Trump and the right wing, ironically playing into the “American Hysteria” she discusses. It would be interesting to see an episode on the fear mongering that the left wing/liberals present as fact regarding the Trump administration. Also, they should do away with “The Calmdown” section. The guests aren’t experts, seemingly only appearing because they’ve known the writer for a while and share her viewpoint. This segment also appears to be free form without a script as the word “like” makes an appearance every 3-4 words and makes it appear the guest is making up their part of the story as they go. This podcast has potential, but it’ll never truly shine as long as politics are unnecessarily discussed and the guests on The Calmdown segment are as unprofessional as they have been thus far.

Why,   (2/5)

Didn’t sub to hear about politics or trump. There a a billion other podcasts I could listen to from conservative to liberal. I don’t subscribe to them because I don’t want to hear it from either side. So annoying.

Is this about American Hysteria or Politics?   (2/5)

I get it sometimes things are more political than we realize, but this podcast loses it’s edge when the political biases come into play every single episode... Focus on the topics you say you’re going to focus on and I’d consider listening again.

Absolutely wonderful   (5/5)

Don’t let the haters get to you, most people would rather live a lie, than learn the truth.

Increasingly distracting way of speaking   (3/5)

It’s an ok podcast. Not super interesting but ok to pass the time. Her inflection and emphasis on random words is increasingly annoying and distracting to me. “In central MAINE, clowns were seen in streets, in FIELDS and near CHILDREN’S playgrounds.” Super annoying.

Informative, but very “anti-conservative.”   (3/5)

The podcasts are interesting and enjoyable, but feel like the host works to offend and ostracize anyone with conservative beliefs. Each podcast ends with several minutes of the host ranting about the idiocy of religion, the ridiculousness of conservative values and in the “cool down” episodes using the F word. It would be more satisfying without the unsolicited political commentary.

Entertaining and Woke AF   (5/5)

Entertaining and well-researched. Each episode also discusses the psychology behind the mass hysteria and how it’s a reflection of what’s happening in society. Can’t wait for more!

LIKE   (2/5)

This could be a fantastic podcast. Could be but isn’t. Every third or fourth word is Like”. I actually started counting the “likes” after three or four minutes of listening. When I got to 112 I turned it off deleted it from my library and wonder how on earth anyone can take these pre pubescent speakers seriously. Between the “likes” and the vocal fry I think this podcasts only value is to be used in a torture chamber.

Starts strong every time..   (1/5)

Topics are wonderful and interesting. But none of us care at all about personal views. Just deliver facts. It’s too bad this premise was wasted on this host.

Increasingly annoying   (1/5)

She is often incorrect on facts, and is constantly going off on her own political ideals. It quickly becomes poor entertainment

Meh.   (2/5)

Interesting concept. Too heavily opinionated; would be better if it was more "true crime" styled.

Okay, I Guess   (3/5)

Clearly an intellectual person, the host has an excellent grasp on academic research which greatly benefits the *factual* evidence and aspects of this show; however, this only goes so far. Often times, the host abandoned the journalistic integrity of the show in favor of painfully moralistic tangents that rival the Bible-thumping she’s condemning. Let’s be clear, (most of) what she is arguing for aligns with what I think and believe, but the manner in which is presented comes across as naively emotional and morally superior. Admittedly, I was shocked to discover the host was, at the very least, a master’s candidate, if not a master’s graduate as the host comes across as a fresh university student zealous to correct all the wrongs in (her perception of) the world. One thing I both find interesting and questionable is the host’s usage of social theories. Lots of academic possibilities flood the show, but it’s hard to see how or why the host gravitates to *these* theories in particular. It would be nice to know the host’s academic foundation (or at least biases) so as to better understand why she is making the assumptions and claims she is. Understanding the tenets that inform the host would also all some ability to either a) ignore her off-topic ramblings, b) disregard that aspect of each show/episode, or c) ward of people that are clearly alienated by the host’s moral tangents. All in all, the factual and historical aspects are wonderful, the dialogue is (mostly) engaging, and the focus of each episode is enticing. It is rather sad that the tangents are so detrimental to the whole of the show. Would I recommend this show? Yes, but with a preemptive warning of the show’s sole issue.

Fun dives into strange bits of history   (5/5)

As someone who clearly remembers the Satanic Panic of the 80s, the McMartin trial, and much of this stuff, it's fun to hear historical and sociological context to these events. It's a light, fun way to think about the *why* as much as the *what* of these events

Politically Biases   (1/5)

I was actually enjoying this podcast up until she threw in her very biased liberal opinions. I get more than enough one sided politics from the media. I don’t want it from a non-political podcast. Goodbye!!!

Good, but...   (3/5)

I know this is your show, which gives you the right to say your own opinions. I love the premise and the facts, but podcasts are where I go to get away from politics and such. If that were left out, it would be WAY better!!!

Fascinating Topic   (5/5)

Love how info is threaded together to tell a story. Well done.

Great history lesson   (5/5)

I have always been curious to know where certain sayings or pandemic's come from. This is a good podcast for that. Whether be "Satanic Panic" or the Poisined candy at Halloween. It covers all that and more.

Please don’t get political   (1/5)

I really enjoyed the first 5 episodes. However, episode 6 went political. The same message could have been made by stating that our current political climate is creating tension. Period. Please keep the politics out of the show.

Good   (5/5)

I wish the episodes weren’t so few and far between but I love this show!!!!

Meh.   (2/5)

I liked the idea of this podcast based on the description and have listened to a few episodes, but I find myself turning it off during the last 1/4th due to how preachy/political she gets. If the host would not curtail into a preachy speech at the end of every episode I’d rate it 4/5 in terms of information.

Seattle based?   (5/5)

Is this a Seattle based pod? I’m from lake Stevens!! Loving the pod so far! I’m a 80s baby so I remember all this teddy and mcgruff!! Yes keep them coming!!

Satanic panic cracks me up   (5/5)

I grew up in rural Texas in the 80s. The crazy stuff people believed!! Omg it was ridiculous! I love that your show touched on the idea that teenagers were essentially driving the panic with stupid pranks just because it was so out of control stupid. I might have helped create a scene involving a pentagram and a person built of sand and stabbed with a stick. The police response actually scared us because we didn't think anyone would take something so stupid seriously.

I love it   (5/5)

Very well researched and entertaining to listen to. The narrative is intriguing and well told. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Interesting premises   (4/5)

Love the main episodes of the show and the deep dives into the fear mongering strategies. Super interesting and well researched. Not as big of a fan of the interviews with the host’s friends and/or non-experts on the topics. Doesn’t fit with the tone of the show and I often skip the episodes in general after a while.

Hitting the ground running!   (5/5)

This is a great podcast. We needed a look at the ridiculousness of American culture from a socio true crime perspective. Keep going, we’re listening!

Great new pod   (5/5)

Just found this pod! I love it! Perfect for anyone but particularly for people of my generation. (I’m 30)

Soapboxy   (3/5)

I like the stories...but I feel like she could be a little less sarcastic and little less soapboxy....I have a vision of her reading this and looking at everybody is stupid. Which I can understand, but I feel like she could be a little less preachy. Calm down, it’s not that bad!

Amazing Thought   (5/5)

There’s some deep level observation going on in this podcast and I’m consistently amazed at that depth. I thought this would be a fun listen, and it is, but it’s giving me major fodder for further academic research.

Well informed   (5/5)

This podcast is so good. It’s about time someone put something like this together.

Amazing   (5/5)

This podcast is amazing!! I love it with all my heart!

Conclusions are a letdown   (3/5)

After listening to two full episodes regarding satanic panic the conclusion is Hilary lost the 2016 election because the pizza gate conspiracy. A conspiracy put in place because she was out of place as a woman. Really? I’m not conservative but that seems like a stretch. I guarantee the overwhelming majority has no idea what pizza gate even is. I think you too may be a victim of the biases you condemned throughout the podcast.

My favorite   (5/5)

I learned so much from your Illuminati podcast. I’m listening to it for a 3rd time and just can get enough. Thank you for investigating!

Great Idea but ruined with an SJW bias   (1/5)

Title says it all “Great Idea but ruined with an SJW bias.” I was excited to start listening but all the explanations have some type of SJW and intersectional feminism bias sewn throughout. Advertised to be a factual explanation/debunking of conspiracies etc but ended up being a simple propaganda filled, man demonizing, waste of time that will give other SJWs with more subject matter to grow their ever enlarging echo chamber.

It was like just ok   (3/5)

The podcast is pretty interesting in its content. However the amount of times they say “like” was driving me crazy.

Very interesting!!   (4/5)

I don’t know why people are calling the host immature and other various insults. Honestly, it feels like maybe she struck a sore spot within them and they’re feeling triggered... I think the subject matter is interesting and see mass hysteria happening all around. Just recently there was a “neighborhood watch” Facebook group in my area because there were a bunch of (mostly white) people who were paranoid about a “suspicious” woman of Asian descent “lurking” about. The conspiracies were rich and it was feeding so much fear. It was simultaneously fascinating to watch it grow and develop as a social study, heartbreaking to see how much racism (not that I was unaware) exists everywhere, as well as terrifying how quickly it had spread and how angry people got. Mass hysteria is scary!

The first episode is irresponsible reporting.   (1/5)

I get the "hysteria" part of the Satanic Panic and The Illuminati. But, while the Stranger Danger campaign may have been a little overdone, there are plenty of other cases this podcast does not mention of children kidnapped, molested, or murdered by strangers then and now. The episode makes it sound like there are only a handful of instances when children were hurt by strangers. There is not anything hysterical about telling your children to be aware and alert for the things that might threaten them. It can be done with a healthy dose of logic and reason, which is what my mom did in the eighties. The way the podcast frames the issue makes it sound like there's zero to worry about, which is an irresponsible message to spread.

Fascinating. Things we all should condsider   (4/5)

She brings the “Folk Devils” and boogeymen out of the dark and lets us take a too brief glance at them in the light of facts and context. With more references and a bit less caffeine, the episodes could easily be twice as long without loosening the death grip of interest for the listener. I do find it ironic how her personal and still unaddressed political scapegoats sneak out into the discussion of other’s prejudices and misbeliefs. I hope if we all are willing to look at our own beliefs and research the truth after listening to podcasts like this, the current panic, media hype and blaming will be replaced by civility again.

Uhm   (3/5)

Is this a sort of rip off of “You’re Wrong About”?

Great podcast!   (5/5)

Really enjoying the topics and style, keep them coming!

Leftist drama   (1/5)

I was hopeful this would be good. In graduate school my research project was on stranger danger. I’ve worked in child protection for 15 years. You lost me when you merged the government (placing children into foster care) with sexual predators. You create hysteria. Shame on you!

fascinating and fun   (5/5)

I'm loving this new show! The topics are fascinating, and it is well-researched. Listeners should keep in mind that each episode is a stand-alone topic (with the exception of the two-part Satanic Panic one, so far). All of the details of each topic are not going to be covered in these 20-30 min episodes. It's kind of an introduction to looking at things in a different way, and seeing how ideas, movements and myths connect. It's a great show, and a fantastic debut for Chelsey Weber-Smith.

Yes   (5/5)

I’ve never written a review before although I’m a fervent podcast listener. I love this podcast, can’t wait for more!

Yay   (5/5)

You’re good! Like your flow and voice in storytelling. Good topics

so disappointed   (1/5)

I think that there is so much potential here. Tne topics are great, but the host ruins it with her immature rants ...

Could have been good   (2/5)

Great premise, but entirely too peachy and she uses opinions in her statements that she presents as facts.

DocLamble   (5/5)

I grew up in the 70’s, playing outside unsupervised all summer. It always baffled me how as the 90’s came, everybody was too afraid to let their kids out of their sight. This podcast explains lucidly how the panics of the 70’s, 80’s and beyond have manipulated all of us, and who has gained power from them. I vividly remember all the anecdotes she uses, but I never put it all together before! Way cool! Skeptics unite!

Profanity and politics drags it down   (1/5)

The casual profanity makes it seem more juvenile than it could be. The reflexive progressive moralizing that contaminates other Wondery podcasts makes it ultimately unlistenable.

Perfect Millennial Podcast   (1/5)

Myopic, misinformed host either cannot or chooses not to explore complex, nuances issues and offer judgmental opinions and simpleton POV. It’s obvious she has not been exposed to diverse world views.

Good skeptic dive out of the skeptics community   (5/5)

Oh man, it’s my new favorite podcast. I love the deep dive into these legends and conspiracy theories, and the honest perspective the host brings.

great start and lots of (sometimes spooky) fun!   (5/5)

i think they do a great job! chelsey is a great host and i love the bi-weekly friend conversations. v excited for more!!

Insightful but flawed   (4/5)

I like the overall production of this podcast. Some of the topics of American Hysteria have been covered 100 times by other podcasts, but I didn’t grow weary of any part of it and consider this a fresh approach to podcasting on these topics. I didn’t consider the political discussions of the episodes a problem for me, but it is definitely assumed that the listener is more sympathetic to “lefty” issues. However, several details and facts are incorrect, such as Otis Toole being repeatedly called Otis O’Toole or my pet peeve pronunciation faux pas - nuclear is pronounced as “nuke-u-lar.” If they just tighten things up a bit with fact checking and editing, then this podcast could be great.

👍🏽   (4/5)

Sooo interesting. Love learning about where these myths come from.

Unimpressed   (1/5)

Immature and ignorant conspiracy show. Very anti religion and government. Pass.

Awesome   (5/5)

Love the show! Just fascinating! I look forward to every single episode! Can’t wait for more!!

I want to like this podcast...   (3/5)

Because the topics are great. Chelsea provides the necessary information and has done her research, but the delivery is almost so informal, it’s difficult to listen to. Her conclusions are often on the opposite extreme of the hysteria, and as others have said, are annoyingly preachy, (and I even agree with most of her conclusions). I actually prefer the wind-down episodes. I do hope the podcast continues, and I will continue listening as I think it is a great premise. I believe it will get better with time.

Yessss   (5/5)

I AM OBSESSED!! Super unique 💯💜

Could that be true???   (5/5)

Chelsey does a great job of exploring the origins and often pernicious effects of panics, conspiracy theories and urban legends. She has a great talent for condensing topics without sacrificing relevant content. Great presentation- hope she doesn’t get discouraged by the haters who are bound to come out of the woodwork when she tackles the more controversial topics.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.   (4/5)

Love the show, but on Satanic Panic Part 1 you shared a terrible misunderstanding of Crowley’s motto (the motto of Thelema) as meaning “do whatever you want.” This is absolutely incorrect. To do one’s will is often contrary to what one wants. It isn’t about just putting yourself first, but rather aligning yourself with the Way of the Universe - because your True Will is in alignment with everyone else’s True Wills. It’s a common misunderstanding brought about by ignorance and lack of study. I hope you look into the beliefs of someone (Crowley) who had such an enormous impact on religious movements, culture/counterculture, and entertainment so as not to misrepresent them in the future. Thanks! Looking forward to more from you all

Serious potential   (3/5)

The idea is really good and the background on the topics is very interesting. However, when the host goes off the facts to give her opinion on how the topic ties into the world at-large, it really loses me. If that’s the goal, find some experts who will come on to connect the dots.

Let down   (2/5)

Love the premise of this podcast but the execution is just dull.

Loving the show   (5/5)

You are doing a great job, Chelsey....really enjoying the show!

Excellent   (5/5)

Beautifully written and insightful synopses of conspiracy theories.

Tangled Earbuds 58   (5/5)

This is a very interesting and insightful podcast. Glad I found it. I will be looking for to each new episode.

Hell yeah   (5/5)

Awesome show!!! Can’t wait for more!

Boring.   (1/5)

Was excited for this. But after awhile just turned into a social justice rant.

Not worth listening to   (1/5)

Host of the show is horribly immature.

Intonation and rhythm need variation   (3/5)

Cool topics. The parts where you’re just having a dialogue with a guest sound great. Your monologue is robotic. _/———/? _/———\. _/———/? _/———\. _/———/? _/———\. It’s like you have a metronome and every syllable is a 1/16th note at one of five tones. I want to like this, but the lack of vocal variations is distracting. To me.

Unsubscribing   (2/5)

It’s a great premise, but not very interesting and the host is super preachy. I’m not interested in a sermon.

A great podcast   (5/5)

I honestly love this one so much. I can’t wait for new episodes. The only thing I would say is to make the episodes longer

Disappointed   (1/5)

I was excited for this show. The host lumps disparate topics together in order to make people who question official narratives look foolish. There is a ton of nuance here which she doesn’t want to touch at all. There is a big difference between questioning fluoride in water supplies and thinking that reptilians are spraying birth control in the atmosphere. Why do vaccine companies have immunity against lawsuits? Maybe there’s something there, eh?

Boring Delivery   (2/5)

The narrator sounds like someone giving a 6th grade book report. More practice in presentation of information would make it much more interesting. The extra songs and sound effects seem cheesy. Whereas a continuous soundtrack could add to the allure and peak the interest of the listener. Instead there is nothing to create curiosity. It unfortunately falls flat for me.

Your personal opinion   (1/5)

I thought the show was going to be great with the Halloween candy episode which was on topic and since then has gone downhill quick. As far as stranger danger you can ask almost anyone and they’ve had some type of creepy encounter with a stranger as kids, most are just stopped before hand or the kids get away. The Illuminati episode is all just your own opinion with social justice sprinkled in. You’re making fun of people who believe in conspiracies (which I usually don’t js) without providing ANY proof that the Illuminati or any other secret government stuff DOESNT exist and saying it’s just all racist related basically as a cop out instead of taking the time to explain what your proof is and why you’re saying it’s all rediculous and not true and making fun of people. I can see where this show is trying to go

❤️ Love it!   (5/5)

Great podcast by a very cool woman! I love this type of subject matter and can’t wait for the next episodes to come out!! It’s very encouraging when other women are into true crime and “weird” research - I hope this show lasts a long time!

Interesting!   (5/5)

I Listen to hillbilly horror stories and they mentioned this podcast so I thought I’d give it a try. Must say pleasantly surprised with how well this show is. I love how in the stories you tell about the history of things. Great start can’t wait to continue listening

Keep up the good work   (5/5)

Very intriguing , and educational podcast nice break from the monotonous of work

Not focused enough   (2/5)

First, I appreciate the effort and subject matter. My feedback: too long; rambled far and wide; no consistent thread; good points made at the end. Would have preferred mention of how fear transformed into parental paranoia over the course of a generation, tied that into consequences and to the movement mentioned at the end (control, consent). As you likely have heard a lot, Des Moines is pronounced deh monies not dez monies. A little thing but it sticks out.

Can’t wait for the next episode!   (5/5)

I love this podcast, super interesting and well informed topics that intrigue me and make me nostalgic. This podcast is different and that’s a good thing! Can’t wait for the next episode :)

.   (2/5)

Good information but I can not handle all the “like” every 15 words. Sorry.

Annoying   (1/5)

She sounds like a young high schooler gossiping away. Her guests are boring and bland.

"Like", probably won't be listening past episode 3.   (2/5)

Might be an enjoyable podcast, but I cannot get past excessive and annoying overuse of "like" fillers in speech of the host, and to a greater extent, Jake. Take a reputable public speaking class before venturing into the world of podcasts, like, please.

Warning: you’re about to be preached to   (1/5)

This show would be great if not for the sermon at the end. If I wanted that, I’d watch Rachel Maddow. That may be your cup of tea. I just want to inform you like I wish someone had done for me.

Hopefully it gets better   (3/5)

There are elements of this podcast that are great but it neglects elements of the ‘hysteria’ that are based off true events.

Very good stuff, but take “like” out of your vocabulary unless it is synonymous with enjoyment   (5/5)

I love this podcast. It is very interesting and engaging and the storytelling is well done. I have recommended it to everyone I know who listens to podcasts. However, please be conscious of how often you say “like.” I didn’t notice it so much during the first two episodes, but you and your guest both said it multiple times per sentence in the Calm Down episode, and it was very distracting, almost drowning out the awesome content. You are clearly very intelligent, but people will find it difficult to hear what you have to say and take you seriously if you punctuate your thoughts with “like.” Overall, very well done. And pay no mind to the ones who think you are getting political because you dared to mention the children who are being taken away from their moms and dads by government right now.

Social justice   (3/5)

Episode one started out great, but turned into a social justice podcast. No thanks

Amazing show.   (5/5)

Super addictive.

Not surprised.   (1/5)

Apple BANS (forever silences) Infowars, whether you care or not, & then a whole crop of “if you believe in conspiracies, there’s the line for fitted tin foil hats” podcasts pop up with “funny, hip, quirky, with it, diverse” hosts. I can only pray that a member of any of these “see nothing, say nothing, beLIEve everything” shows will fall victim to a CONSPIRACY (not a violent one of course) where their live fall apart. Where they wail & cry & fail to convert any believers that what happened to them was a real conspiracy (2 or more people plotting against an individual), & not just caused by their own carelessness. POSTSCRIPT- The podcast that recommenced this podcast, Dr. Death is one gigantic medical conspiracy. Lol

“Like” the worst “like” podcast “like” ever   (1/5)

This could have been a fun and interesting podcast. Nearly impossible to listen to with the overuse of the word “like.” Very unprofessional.

Not horrible but...   (3/5)

Many mispronunciations of common words in the first two episodes. The podcast also seems like a thinly veiled political soapbox. However, the content aside from that is interesting.

New Favorite   (5/5)

Loving every minute so far. I'm looking forward to listening to more to this captivating, educational, spooky and fun podcast. Chelsey is the perfect host!

We Need This   (5/5)

Fantastic. It’s entertaining, sure; but it’s also something people need to hear. Great!

👌👌🎩   (5/5)

Loved these first episodes! Gives me all the pleasures of MFM but with more incisive cultural critiques and connections — looking forward to more

Goes above and beyond what I expected!   (5/5)

Seriously fantastic podcast. Was expecting a retread of some of the classics but a MUCH broader, contextual, and historical look at thes subjects at hand. Each episode even concludes with explanations for how the hysteria should be absorbed and ultimately dealt with moving forward. It's not afraid to take a stance in the modern context, either. Fantastic, all around!

Jury is still out   (3/5)

Interesting topics. Tone down the political narrative.... if I wanted to hear someone’s political swerve I’d be listening to a different podcast.

Okay   (4/5)

Yeah, Des Moines doesn’t get the S pronounced. And the kid’s name is Etan, Ee-tawn. Stuff like this is what will be bringing in the reviews lol

Concerned, not impressed   (1/5)

There were many things about the first episode that concerned me and I won’t be listening again. It seems more like those YouTube compilation videos of “10 worst myths” or whatever and nothing like journalism. Did you try to interview anyone who was a child in the 70’s or 80’s who might have given you a clearer perspective of the stranger danger? I grew up in the Bay Area of CA in the 80’s and can cite several famous stranger kidnappings from that time. The way it affects me and others my age was serious and your tone felt so mocking, not curious, not explanatory, mocking. Also, Etan Patz’s last name is pronounced with a long A, and Des Moines is pronounced “de- moyne”

Static   (4/5)

It’s ok and interesting so far but the static sound effect is almost unbearable.

A bit self-righteous   (3/5)

The topics featured so far have been debunked pretty thoroughly over the years. Was hoping for a fresher take. This podcast seems content to point and laugh at suburban stereotypes, which is a decidedly un-fresh take. There’s also a pretty significant difference between unfounded fears and highly unlikely events. Stranger danger, for example, is not a MYTH. There are a number of encounters between children and strangers, falling far short of abduction, that make precautions wise. I hope in ten years the folks making this podcast debunk some of their own current assumptions.

Great!   (5/5)

Love this podcast! Great topics and storytelling. The only complaint I have is the static sound transition. I listen with headphones at work and it startles me every time. Other than that keep up the good work!

The s is Des Moines is silent.   (2/5)

Is it on auto speed up or something?

What a show!   (5/5)

Thankfully stumbled across this new podcast — love it!

Stoked   (5/5)

Glad to see this!

Looking forward to more   (4/5)

Seems like a great start. Just FYI: you don’t pronounce either S on Des Moines, Iowa. Never have.

YES PLEASE   (5/5)

Just finished eps #1 and #2 👏👏👏 can’t wait for more!!

Important work   (5/5)

I’m think all this country needs is a little more rationality and this podcast is entertaining and educational. It helps us get to the facts. Thanks for the great podcast

Fascinating   (5/5)

Fascinating and really well done. Looking forward to hearing more!

Really well put together   (5/5)

Really well put together and great topic to keep me coming back. Great job

Great Work!   (5/5)

Nice job integrating real facts and statistics into some salacious tales of urban myths. This is different than what I initially thought it would be, but I am pleasantly surprised at that. Keep up the good work!

Solid   (5/5)

Really good highly recommend

Critical look at what we take for granted as fact   (5/5)

Somehow this podcast still manages to be fun and entertaining while being analytical and deep. I think it’s down to Chelsey’s personality and point of view, it’s not like she’s a journalist trying to remain completely objective. Each episode blew my mind 5 different ways and I was never bored. Listen and learn!

We need this now   (5/5)

I grew up in a time where these scares and panics were commonplace and created fear and anxiety around what COULD happen in the absence of information about what actually DID happen (AKA facts). Chelsey Weber-Smith shines a spotlight on how these panics came into existence and provides a clear and sincere perspective on the reasons why we want to believe them even when they simply just aren’t true.

Important & engaging   (5/5)

Just listened to episode 1 and I’m tempted to be late to work so I can listen to the 2nd one. Should I? Shouldn’t I?? Chelsey is a great host and I love every podcast she’s involved in. I can already tell this one is going to tell important stories about our past & present and why it all matters for our future.

Great host, great execution   (5/5)

This is one of my new favorite podcasts. Chelsey has a great voice and is easy to listen to. The way that each topic is presented is well written and entertaining. I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts, and I learned some things about the Stranger Danger phenomena that I hadn’t heard before. The large amount of research that went into these episodes really shows. I especially liked the little audio clips of commercials and I loved the candid interview in episode 1. I am excited to see what the next topic will be.

Blown Away   (5/5)

Just listened and definitely my new favorite go-to podcast!

SUPER excited about this!   (5/5)

Can not wait

Stoked!   (5/5)

This looks really great! I’m happily anticipating thoughtful, intriguing and funny content from this podcast.

Preview was fascinating, can’t wait!   (5/5)

Looking forward to the 1st episode!

I’m so excited for this show!   (5/5)

Can’t wait to see all the ways these hysteria’s are historically linked.

Upcoming   (5/5)

So excited to listen this Monday to the first two episodes!

Sounds soooo gooood   (5/5)

I can’t wait for this to launch, illuminati theories? ... bring em on!!!

Can’t wait for more   (5/5)

This is right up my alley. Can’t wait for more episodes!

Important topic   (5/5)

Such a necessary show right now

!!!   (5/5)

So excited for this show, love the host!

Can’t wait!   (5/5)

This sounds awesome, can’t wait to get the full episode. I grew up with these crazy theories.