Family Ghosts

Family Ghosts Podcast

Every house is haunted. In each episode of Family Ghosts, we investigate the true story behind a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations. Grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace, and other ghostly characters who cast shadows over our lives in ways that might not be immediately obvious. We are all formed in part by our familial collections of secrets, intrigues, and myths. By engaging with each others’ legends, perhaps we can see each others’ realities more clearly. Hosted by Moth Grand Slam winner Sam Dingman, whose stories have been featured on Risk!, TBTL, Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything, and The Moth Radio Hour.

25: The Ambassador
Mac and his mom have a lot to talk about: her relationship with her psychic, his brother's murder, and a life-altering betrayal that happened decades ago. But with her health in rapid decline, Mac's starting to worry it might be too late to get any answers. ~41~ This episode is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kindred Spirits - our supporters on Patreon. In addition to getting early access to all our episodes, and hearing them ad-free, Kindred Spirits get special bonus episodes that aren...

24: Little Stonehenges
Following her father's death, a ghost appears in Natalie's childhood home and refuses to leave. Natalie has spent the last few decades attempting to decode the ominous messages it left behind. ~41~ This episode is made possible by the generous support of the Kindred Spirits, our supporters on Patreon. In addition to early access to all of our episodes, Kindred Spirits hear them ad-free, and get bonus episodes that aren't available anywhere else. This week, they're hearing a story from Sam about a supernatu...

23: Your Ghost
Three stories about the moment when the static dissolves, and a transmission from the past comes through loud and clear. Featuring Sandi Marx (https://www.sandijmarx.com/), Richard Cardillo (https://themoth.org/storytellers/richard-cardillo), Nimisha Ladva (https://twitter.com/nimishaladva), and Maggie Carson (http://maggiecarsonmusic.com). ~41~ This episode is made possible by the generous support of the Kindred Spirits, our supporters on Patreon. For just $5/month, Kindred Spirits get early access to all...


22: The Trove
Mariah travels to a country she's never been to in hopes that she can find a man she's never met: her father. ~41~ This episode is supported in part by the Kindred Spirits - our supporters on Patreon. For just $5 a month, Kindred Spirits get early access to all of our episodes, hear them ad-free, plus exclusive bonus episodes that aren't available anywhere else. This week, they're getting a behind the scenes conversation between Sam and Mariah about the development process for this week's story. If you hav...

21: Collateral For Ten Million
Kierran grew up hearing stories about her grandfather's adventures owning diamond mines, tangling with the mafia, robbing banks, and other wild tales. But as she's gotten older, Kierran's starting to realize some of those stories might be total B.S. And if they are, she wants to know why everyone was so willing to let him get away with it. ~41~ The Kindred Spirits, our supporters on Patreon, have already heard this episode ad-free - and they're also getting exclusive bonus episodes you can't hear anywhere ...

20: A Boy In A Story
David tells the story of three unlikely family members who shaped his life. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


Interlude: A Holiday Message From The Ghost Host
A message from Sam to the Ghost Family - plus a recommendation for something to fill your headphones with while you await the release of our next episode on January 8th. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


17: The Clotilda Legacy, Part 1: The Descendants
Africatown is a small community in Mobile, Alabama, where many families share a painful history. For decades, their story has been an open secret - until now. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

A Circle of Ghosts
The official trailer for Season 3 of our show - coming to your headphones on December 4th. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

A Circle of Ghosts
The official trailer for Season 3 of our show - coming to your headphones on December 4th. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


Season Three Launch Party! Plus: Introducing "The Left Ear"
Today we're announcing our Season 3 kickoff event, and introducing you to a powerful new project from our friends at Spoke Media. Grab your tickets for our Season 3 release party, and we'll be back in your ears soon, Ghost Family. ~41~  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Fieldwork
For our last bonus episode of Season 2, stories and music about recognizing where you come from, whether you like it or not. Featuring John Tong (The Story District), Jeff Simmermon (The Paris Review, This American Life), and Milktoast Mille & the Scabby Knees. Thank you for a wonderful season, Ghost Family - we'll be back in your headphones on December 4th, 2019. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: The Performances
Stories and music about adolescent moments when we discover we're dancing with the past. Featuring Pat Regan (co-host, Seek Treatment With Cat & Pat), Micaela Blei (micaelablei.com), and D & Chi (dandchimusic.com). ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


BONUS: Get Behind Me Satan
Stories of evil happenings and benevolent mythologies. PLUS: Sam takes a fateful trip to Baltimore. Featuring Dr. Njoki McElroy (author of 1012 Natchez: A Memoir of Grace, Hardship, and Love), Erin Barker (The Moth, The Story Collider), and the Gotham City Pickers. ~41~ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: I'm Not Afraid
Stories and songs on the subjects of family, falling, flight, and fearlessness. Featuring Gianmarco Soresi, Gastor Almonte, and Jocelyn Mackenzie (with The Peggy's). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Janielle Kastner's Untitled Dad Project
Producer Janielle Kastner tells us about "Untitled Dad Project," her intensely personal podcast about her own family ghost. Find "Untitled Dad Project" in Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


16b: Bone Hill - Act 2
Martha's family makes a home on Black Mountain, and reckons with the past. "From whence we came, we shall return. From the old ways, our lessons learned." - Martha Redbone Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

16a: Bone Hill - Act 1
Martha's family has their land stolen, and then their identity. More than a hundred years later, Martha wants to set the record straight. "In the still of our hollows, we hear the calling of our Lord. Black coal is running through our veins." - Martha Redbone Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

15: A Settling in the Bones
Kirya's childhood home was haunted by two elusive ghosts - the fleeting presences of her grandfathers, neither of whom she knew much about. When she discovers an old audio cassette recording of herself making up songs and stories about the world she thought she understood, she decides it's time to seek out some real answers. "Here's to missed beginnings, and things that never start - for these are the ghosts that run around in my heart. When I see that where I'm going isn't where I want to be, I get the urg...


14: The Sasquatch of Spring Valley
After Asher's uncle dies, the family goes to clean out his apartment, and discovers a box of love letters from a woman they've never met. "Yes, you call me in the morning. You call me in the morning - I'll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning." -Harry Nilsson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

13: June & George
Kimberly's grandparents find themselves imprisoned without cause. When they're released, they refuse to talk about it, leaving Kimberly and her family with a lot of questions about what happened. "Try to separate a man from his soul. You only strengthen him and lose your own." - Brother Ali Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

12: The Chinese Food Incident
A mysterious burglary has haunted the Falco family for 25 years. This week, we try to catch the thief.  "What comes easy, you better hold on to. Because when it gets tough, believe me when I tell you: all you got is what you been through." - Melissa Ferrick Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


11: His Minor Years
A souvenir from from Meara's great-uncle turns out to be a clue about a scandal that almost tore her family apart. "I've got a box of old photographs - mostly pictures of you. I never look at those pictures anymore - I guess you got your negatives, too. They're playin' oldies on the radio - kick the clutch and shift the gears. You can drive all night long, but you can't get there from here." - Trout Fishing In America Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

10: The Love Family, Part 3 - Constance & Composure
Posey tries to uncover the connection between the loss of her mother and her parents' time in the Love Family. "I've lived my whole life for it to come down to this. Remember me if I forget." - Charlie Parr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

9: The Love Family, Part 2 - Vision & Completion
Love is real. "Those of us who are lost and low - we know how you feel. We know it's not right, but it's real." - Laura Marling Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


8: The Love Family, Part 1 - Love & Logic
After a fateful acid trip in 1967, a man named Paul tries to build his ideal family. "You and I both know that the house is haunted. You and I both know that the ghost is me." - Shakey Graves Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

We Never Really Talked About Our Past
The official trailer for Season 2 of our show. New episodes begin on May 15th. "I've been told there is a power in the blood. Is it enough? Is it enough to carry me back from where I am, to where I was? I hope there is some power in my blood." - Josh Ritter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

Good News At Last
Good news, Ghost Family - we'll be back with an all-new season on May 15th. Details inside.  "I thought it was over. I thought you were gone - as I walked through the dark house, wishing your lamp was still on. I lit a candle - it had a pretty red glow. I should've known that you were still close." - The Wood Brothers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


Season 2 Update
An important update about our second season. "There’s times the lines get hard to see. And there’s days the haze takes over me. But in the end you’re gonna grit your teeth, and keep movin'." - John Fullbright Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Salt in the Eggs with Hubby Jenkins
Producer Odelia Rubin talks to Hubby Jenkins (Carolina Chocolate Drops) about blending music with history, and keeping the family in the work. PLUS: a meta edition of Wild Card Wednesday.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Keeping the Wounds Raw with Thi Bui
Producer Jennifer Lai talks to graphic novelist Thi Bui about using intimate, personal stories to talk about big questions, the delicate art of interviewing family members about the hardest parts of their lives, and the intersection of those challenges in her memoir, "The Best We Could Do." PLUS: on this week’s installment of Wild Card Wednesday, a quick trip to the Pastures of Heaven. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


Announcing Family Ghosts Live!
Big news, Ghost Family! We're having a special live show in celebration of our second season, and we'd love for you to be there! On September 13th at 8pm, join us at the Bell House in Brooklyn for live music and storytelling from Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), Micaela Blei (The Moth), Gianmarco Soresi (59E59), and Ophira Eisenberg (NPR). Plus - a very special surprise guest! Tickets are just $15 with promo code GHOSTS - get one (or ten!) at our website: http://familyghosts.panoply.fm. Learn more about you...

BONUS: Mark Pagan's Manual Transition
Season 1 storyteller Mark Pagan (Lookin' Good, Charlie) shares a new piece from his podcast, "Other Men Need Help." PLUS: on this month's installment of Wild Card Wednesday, a piece of slam poetry about one of the characters from "No Brown Spots." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Telling Our Stories To Ourselves with Tayari Jones
Producer Veralyn Williams explores the vitality of black women telling their own stories with Robin Boylorn (Crunk Feminist Collective) and Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage. PLUS: on this week's installment of Wild Card Wednesday, Sam drinks root beer in a terrifying mansion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


BONUS: A History of Mischief: Malcolm Gladwell on Storytelling
Producer Jacob Smith sits down with best-selling author and "Revisionist History" host Malcolm Gladwell to talk about his signature approach to storytelling, finding ideal interview subjects, eggplant parmesan pancakes, and much more. PLUS: Sam's friend Nick discovers the meaning of life on this week's installment of "Wild Card Wednesday." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: Josh Ritter's Electric Dissatisfaction
Producer Jayson De Leon talks to singer-songwriter Josh Ritter about the ways his music influenced Season 1 of Family Ghosts. PLUS: another installment of Wild Card Wednesday, featuring bonus audio from Season 1 storyteller Jill Chenault. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

BONUS: A Mutual Seduction: Steve Fishman's Empire On Blood
A big announcement about the future of our show, plus a conversation with prize-winning journalist Steve Fishman, host of "Empire on Blood," a new seven-part true-crime drama from Panoply. Thanks for bearing with us these last few months, Ghost Family! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


7: None Of Your Business
Sam discovers he has an uncle he never knew about. He starts asking questions his father never thought he'd have to answer - and gets answers he never knew he needed. For more information about our show, please visit our website: http://familyghosts.panoply.fm. And if you have a story you'd like us to consider for a possible future season, don't hesitate to email us: familyghosts@panoply.fm. Thank you for listening to the first season of Family Ghosts - where every house is haunted. Learn more about your ad...

6: That You Should Be Happy
Micaela is haunted by a recurring dream - a vision from her family's harrowing past. This week, she tries to figure out what it means. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @famghoshow.  Learn more about the show and join our mailing list, the Ghost Post, at our website: http://familyghosts.panoply.fm. Thank you for listening! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

5: Lookin' Good, Charlie
After his dad dies when Mark is only 14, Mark is forced to make his way without much guidance - his only memories of his father are tender, stubbly hugs and an old leather shaving kit. What did Mark's dad mean to him? And will he ever kill it in a dance montage? For our full episode archive and lots more information about our show, visit our brand-new website: http://familyghosts.panoply.fm. For more stories like this one, listen to Mark's podcast, "Other Men Need Help." Find us on Twitter and Instagram: @f...


4: A Spirit of Vengeance
NOTE: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence. Jill grew up hearing the terrifying legend of Austin Riddick, who her mom always called "the crazy man from Mississippi." But as an adult, she starts to question her mom's version of the story. The closer she gets to the truth about Austin, the closer she comes to confronting the truth about herself. Find our show on Twitter and Instagram: @famghoshow. Join our mailing list, the Ghost Post: http://eepurl.com/c6qJIL. Thanks for listening to the sh...

3: Sue's Clues
When Nick's grandfather died in 1994, something bizarre happened: his aunt Susan stole the body and hid it. Susan died shortly thereafter, and for the last twenty-three years, Nick and his family have agonized over his grandfather's whereabouts - but much to Nick's frustration, never enough to actually try and find him. This week, Nick asks "Family Ghosts" host Sam Dingman to see what he can do. Find us on Twitter and Instagram: @famghoshow. Join our mailing list, the Ghost Post: eepurl.com/c6qJIL. Thanks...

2: No Brown Spots
Everything changed for Caila on June 22, 2010. On today's episode, she finally confronts the truth about what happened that night. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


1: The Family Jewels
One afternoon in 1961, a mysterious woman in sunglasses wandered into my grandfather's jewelry shop and stole his heart. Two years later, she vanished without a trace, leaving his life and career in ruins. For years, that's all I knew about her - until a few months ago, when I decided to start asking questions. This show is part of the Panoply Pilot Project. Ever wonder how a podcast gets greenlit? Now YOU get to be part of the process. Help us decide which pilots will become series! Cast your vote by subs...

Trailer: Every House Is Haunted
Coming November 15th: true stories of the spirits that haunt our family histories. Each week, we'll bring you a different family's attempt to exorcise their ghost. Our pilot episode, "The Family Jewels," produced as part of the Panoply Pilot Project, is available now. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @famghoshow. Subscribe to our newsletter, The Ghost Post. And remember: every house is haunted. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...