The Strange and Unusual Podcast

By Alyson Horrocks | Morbid Network

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: History

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 1028
Reviews: 7

 Dec 20, 2020

Good Stories
 Aug 7, 2020
love the narrative!

Travis Mead
 Aug 4, 2019
Always enjoyable, often educational. Alyson Horrocks finds dark and intriguing tales to bring to the listener. GREAT for long nighttime drives, especially on quiet country roads or deserted highways.

wanderlust and murder
 Nov 10, 2018
Hard to listen to. The narrator sounds like she's reading the content for the 1st time & as a result her speech is weirdly halting, making it hard to follow. It's the worst of true crime & horror podcasts I've listened to & I unsubscribed.

 Sep 6, 2018


The unknown. It lies at the root of all fear, and has inspired legends, superstition, folklore, customs, hysteria, and even murder throughout history. Still today we feel the shadowy presence of our ancestors' struggles to explain the mysterious in almost every facet of our lives. Whether it be in the form of religion, urban legends, pop culture, ghost stories, superstitious rituals, and so much more we are still just fighting to keep our monsters in the dark. Welcome to The Strange and Unusual Podcast.

Episode Date
Haunted Places and Minds, Tales of Terror with W.W. Jacobs | Ep 35
In anticipation of the next episode of haunted houses, I present you with tales of haunted places and minds with Edwardian author, W.W. Jacobs, best known for his story, 'The Monkey's Paw'.
Oct 03, 2021
Off With Her Head | Ep 34
Tales of women mysteriously wearing ribbons around their necks, and the secret they keep beneath from their husband have been with us for centuries, perhaps most famously with Alvin Schwarz's "The Green Ribbon" from the book, 'In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories'. In this episode we look into the tale, its meaning, and its origins in the 18th century revolutionary days in France. 

Visit the podcast website:

Instagram: @thestrangeandunusualpodcast

Twitter: @thesandupodcast

Thanks to this week's sponsor Vodacast! Download the app in the App Store or visit their website at
Sep 18, 2021
Halloween's Final Trick | Ep 33
In this episode we take a peek into Halloween true horror, from accidental hangings to mistaken corpses, to kick off the spooky season.

Visit the podcast website:

Instagram: @thestrangeandunusualpodcast

Twitter: @thesandupodcast

Thanks to this week's sponsor Vodacast! Download the app in the App Store or visit their website at
Sep 01, 2021
Wondery Presents: Killer Psyche
Hey Listeners - There’s a new true crime podcast from Wondery that I just started listening to that I think you should check out. It’s called KILLER PSYCHE.

If you’re a True Crime fan like me then you know there are a lot of true crime stories out there. We watch them on TV, read about them in the news, and of course... We listen to them on podcasts. In the aftermath of these stories, we’re often left asking ourselves WHY. Was it about power? Ego? Revenge? Sex? What makes people like that tick? Most of the time there isn’t a satisfying answer. Until now.

In every episode of Killer Psyche, retired FBI criminal profiler Candace Delong (Duh-Long) dissects the thoughts and motivations of the most infamous felons in history. She’s been in the business for over fifty years and has sat across the table from hundreds of criminals. She’s spent enough time inside their heads to know how they think, and why they do what they do.

Candice unravels the psychology and instincts of America’s most complex and disturbing figures. Including high-profile cases that she personally worked on like the Unabomber. A case where a murderer’s bombs killed three people and severely injured twenty more over the course of seventeen years. And other cases like Chrisopher Duntch (Dun-Ch) who is better known as “Dr. Death”. In this case she uses her training and experience to help us understand what was going on inside his head-- was he delusional or a cold blooded killer?

I’m about to play you a preview of Killer Psyche. While you’re listening, follow Killer Psyche on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, or you can listen to new episodes early and ad-free by joining Wondery Plus in the Wondery App.

Jul 15, 2021
The Axeman Returneth: The Axeman of New Orleans, Pt 3 | Ep 32
In the concluding episode on this series on the Axeman of New Orleans, we see the axeman returns after a long break. 
Jun 27, 2021
One Summer Day and Premature Burial
Taphophobia (tap-oh-phobia), the fear of being buried alive has existed for as long as, well, we’ve existed. In this episode, we touch on the history of this fear and end with Ambrose Bierce's 'One Summer Day', a story of premature burial with a twist.
Jun 13, 2021
Horror Stories Bonus: Plethora of Poe - Obsession and Death
Join me for 3 Edgar Allan Poe Tales of Obsession and Death - The Oval Portrait, The Premature Burial, and The Tell-Tale Heart.
May 17, 2021
Horror Story Bonus: The Waxwork
Join me for a bonus horror story reading of 'The Waxwork' by A.M. Burrage. In this tale, madness is brought on by the uncanny valley, a concept discussed in Episode 7, Raising the Dead, Part 2.
Apr 19, 2021
Horror Story Bonus: The Body-Snatcher
Join me for a bonus horror story reading of 'The Body-Snatcher' by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you haven't listened to episode 10, 'Grave Matters in Edinburgh', you may want to listen to that first, to hear the real-story of Burke and Hare, that inspired Stevenson's fiction.
Mar 22, 2021
Jazz It: The Axeman of New Orleans, Pt.2 | Ep 31
In part two we explore Congo Square, the development of jazz, the culture of New Orleans, and finish coverage of the axeman's first attacks.
Mar 08, 2021
Morbid Network Presents: A Chat With Rachael O'Brien From Seven Deadly Sinners (Special Episode Sneak Peek)
Ash and Alaina from 'Morbid: A True Crime Podcast' are joined in a discussion with the wonderful and charming Rachael O'Brien from the podcast 'Seven Deadly Sinners'. Take a listen and fall in love with more of the Morbid Network family!
Feb 28, 2021
Masking In Darkness: The Axeman of New Orleans, Pt.1 | Ep 30
Join me as I tell part 1 of the story of New Orlean's history, it's complicated relationship with race and immigration, its soul and joy, and how one masked himself in darkness to terrorize the city.
Feb 25, 2021
Ghostly Winter Tales | Ep 29
On this episode is a collection of haunting winter tales, some new to the podcast and others are old friends from past episodes. So, get cozy and comfortable, get a roaring fire going, and join me as we revive the old Victorian custom of telling scary ghost stories.

Feb 08, 2021
A Victorian Dark Parade, Pt 3 | Ep 28
In this conclusion of our journey through the Victorian cult of death, we delve into the rise of post mortem photography, 19th century viewings and funerals, the rise in desire for corpse preservation, the birth of the garden cemetery, mourning wear and widows weeds, and the annoyance and perils of crepe, especially crepe veils. You'll also hear the tale of Percy Shelley's death, cremation and how his heart ended up in the desk of his widow, Mary Shelley. Additionally, we look into how the medieval cult of saints influenced the Romantics and Victorians. Death relics, hair art will also be explored, as well as an odd story of how one woman's dead husband ended up as parlor decor.
Jan 19, 2021
A Victorian Dark Parade, Pt 2 | Ep 27
On this supernatural look at the 19th century Victorian cult of death, as we explore banshees, ominous clocks, death tokens, harbingers, the birth of Victorian gothic literature, and madness brought on by death and body snatchers.
Dec 01, 2020
A Victorian Dark Parade, Pt 1 | Ep 26
"Dark Parade," a phrase in a Emily Dickinson’s poem, captures the spirit of the Victorian cult of death, a social movement built on strict mourning rules and funerals, the fetishizing of ephemera of the dead, a movement that was meant to beautify and romanticize the horrific. In this first part of our look into Victorian mourning and death, we explore death by fashion, Queen Victoria's mourning, the Victorian concept of "The Good Death", wakes and vigils gone wrong, and premature burial.

Nov 06, 2020
The Beast Within | Ep 25
This episode gets kind of beastly, as we go through the history of the werewolf from prehistoric times. We follow the wolf man through tales written by Bram Stoker, through the medieval werewolf trials, the lunacy of lycanthropy, and so much more.
Oct 19, 2020
Sleepy Hollow, A Region of Shadows | Ep 24
Often we want to sequester ourselves in some pretty, little hamlet, and leave the rest of the world behind. But in this telling of 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow', we find that when you do, you may just lose your head. 

Join me as I talk of contagion and fear, ghosts and goblins, and of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane during this spooky time of year.
Oct 01, 2020
The Curse of Winthrop Falls, Pt 3 | Ep 23

Join me as I tell part three, THE CONCLUSION, of a ghostly tale I wrote about an old, haunted house in the fictional town of Winthrop Falls, Massachusetts. The curse of Winthrop Falls began on Halloween night in 1866, after a mysterious, bloody, accident befell a young woman alone in a dark cellar, but the curse touches everyone in the house up through current day. And so, Jennifer, the current teen resident, must go through all the clues she can find surrounding the home's tragic history, in order to save herself. Can she do it? Find out in the conclusion!

Aug 05, 2020
The Curse of Winthrop Falls, pt 2 | Ep 22

Join me as I tell part two of a ghostly tale I wrote specifically focused on the Halloween season, though it fits all seasons, if you're macabre enough! The curse of Winthrop Falls, Massachusetts began on Halloween night in 1866 after a mysterious, bloody accident befell a young woman alone in a dark cellar. But was she really alone? In part two, we follow the curse as it touches the young of Winthrop Falls during the 19th century, continuing into the 20th and 21st centuries. Will the curse ever be brought to an end?

Dec 31, 2019
The Curse of Winthrop Falls, Pt 1 | Ep 21

Join me as I tell a ghostly tale I wrote specifically for the late autumn season. The curse of Winthrop Falls, Massachusetts began on Halloween night in 1866 after a mysterious and bloody accident befell a young woman who, at the time, was alone in a dark cellar. But was she really alone? In part one we follow the curse as it winds it way through the 1980s and current day to those unfortunate enough to live in the house at 10 Black Manor Gardens.

Nov 01, 2019
Here There Be Monsters | Ep 20

Monsters have been with us from the dawn of humankind. The monster's history in our mythology and belief systems speaks to the many hidden needs and fears within the human mind. On this episode, we explore why the human mind has always needed monsters, through combat myths, Beowulf, an Egyptian creation myth, Greek tragedy, and more. And in homage to scary monster stories, it opens with a monster-under-the-bed tale I call 'Silver Eyes'. 


'Silver Eyes' written by Alyson Horrocks

Research Sources: 'Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and all Manner of Imaginary Terrors' by David D. Gilmore

'On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears' by Stephen T. Asma


Jul 19, 2019
Send in the Clowns | Ep 19

Clowns, clowns, clowns! This episode starts off with a dramatized clown urban legend, before exploring the long history of clowning that stretches back to ancient times, with a special emphasis on Joseph Grimaldi, the first modern clown. The fear of clowns is also delved into, as the psychological reasons for this fear is explained, as well as the real-life and fictional examples of those who've inspired it, like John Wayne Gacy, Pennywise, and the clown doll from 'Poltergeist'. The role of the clown in society is analyzed as well, from his appearance in Shakespare's plays down to the killer clown panics that began in the 1980s. Send in the clowns!

Apr 19, 2019
A Haunting Winter | Ep. 18
The custom of telling winter’s tales is not known to most of us today, but it was a custom that stretches back hundreds of years. And more often then not, these winter tales turned to horror. 

The popularity of these winter ghost tales peaked to an all time high during the Victorian era and became a celebrated Christmas tradition. And this entanglement of ghosts and Christmas, ultimately led to a ghost story becoming the most enduring Christmas tale of all, Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’, a story in which the ghosts of past, present, and future, change a man’s life for the better. 

Join The Strange and Unusual Podcast, as we explore the tradition of winter ghost stories and the reasons they meant to so much to our ancestors, and maybe ought to be kept alive today.

Jan 02, 2019
The Masque of the Red Death and A Memento Mori Halloween, Part 2 | Ep 17

A telling of 'The Masque of the Red Death' by Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the conclusion of A Memento Mori Halloween is in this episode. European witch trials, Macbeth, Irish and Scottish traditions, the evolution of Samhain and Halloween, and the Dance of Death is all a part of this fascinating and spooky story.

Nov 09, 2018
A Memento Mori Halloween, Part 1 | Ep 16

In this episode, Halloween, and its predecessor Samhain, is explored with the telling of the ghost story 'The Pale Man' and a dive into its evolving history, which includes a look at the Gaelic Celts, The Black Death, Danse Macabre, All Saints and Souls Days, the concept of Memento Mori, and more.

Oct 31, 2018
Conjuring Magic and Murder: A Mystery in Motor City | Ep 15

On July 3, 1929, Italian immigrant and occult mystic healer, Benny Evangelist, was beheaded with an ax in his home office. The killer than murdered Benny's sleeping wife, Santina, and their four children upstairs. The murders remain a mystery, but what kind of motivation could inspire such a frenzied and brutal attack? In this episode, we delve into occult practices, magic, folk Catholicism, magical healers, a suicide inspired by fear of the ax killer, Italian folklore, as well as a look at the misconceptions about immigrants at the time, and how that may have affected the case, leaving it a perplexing, eternal mystery.

Sep 22, 2018
The Affair of the Poisons, Part 3 | Ep 14

In the conclusion of this series about the Affair of the Poisons, the increasing accusations against those in King Louis XIV's royal court become more sinister, shocking investigators and the king. With black magic, human sacrifice, witchcraft, priests admitting demonic practices, orgies, love spells and potions, aphrodisiacs, and black masses, this investigation could not have become stranger. (WARNING: sexual function is discussed in this episode, using the actual stories, taken from documents from the time)

Jul 13, 2018
The Affair of the Poisons, Part 2 | Ep 13

In February of 1677 the 'Affair of the Poisons' was launched in Paris, France. And King Louis XIV, who had named himself the Sun King, after the Greek god, Apollo, was being faced with possible poisoning murder attempts within his own royal court, as well as realizing that those within his own circle may have sought the services of the magical underworld of Paris. Fortune-tellers, alchemists, diviners, conjurers, magicians, and those accused of practicing both white and black magic were rounded up, as well as so many who were now being of accused of murder by poison within the highest ranks of Paris. King Louis would be faced with his childhood fear of betrayal and rebellion, all while building up the grand palace of Versailles. For the next several years those practicing magic and those within the Church said to be holding black masses, as well as sacrificing babies and more to the devil, would become the focus of fascination and horror of those within French society.

Jun 06, 2018
The Affair of the Poisons, Part 1 | Ep 12

In 1672, mysterious poisons were found in the home of a recently deceased Frenchman. This discovery would eventually lead to a years-long murder scandal that would come to be known as 'The Affair of the Poisons', and before it done even those in the noble class would be accused of devil worship, human sacrifice, treason, murder and more. In this first part, Mme de Brinvilliers' murder of her father and brothers by poison will be explored, as this was the case that started it all. Also, explored in this episode, in relation to the world view and time period, is alchemy, the philosopher's stone, and the lives of Sir Issac Newton and Nicolas Flamel.

Apr 08, 2018
Wolf in Sheep's Clothes | Ep 11

In 1873, three Norwegian women were murdered on the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New England, by someone they thought they could trust. in this episode, we explore the uncertainty, fear, and the sometimes unfortunate results of trusting real-life wolves in sheep's clothing. Along with an accounting of this murder, the phenomenon is also examined through Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack the Ripper, ax murder, and more.

Jan 23, 2018
Grave Matters in Edinburgh | Ep 10

In 1836, seventeen tiny coffins were found on the hillside of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, adding to the mystery and legends of that location. A new theory emerged in the 1990's as to their purpose, and it would center on the infamous 19th century West Port murders, perpetrated by Burke and Hare. Join me as we enter the world of body snatchers, and explore 19th century Edinburgh.

Oct 28, 2017
The Catacombs of Paris and Holidaying with the Dead | Ep 9

Dark tourism is explored in this episode, as my visit and history of the Catacombs of Paris is detailed. I am also joined by Alyssa Conary, historian and resident of Salem, Massachusetts, in a discussion of dark tourism, its history, and a closer look at some of the most popular attractions that fall under this category. The 19th century phenomenon of tourist visits to the Paris Morgue, current day bed and breakfast stays at the Lizzie Borden House, witch tourism both in Salem and Pendle, and more is detailed in this episode.

Aug 08, 2017
The Tell-Tale Heart and Murder in Salem | Ep 8

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" found its inspiration in a real life murder in Salem, Massachusetts in 1830. In this episode, we examine Poe's story of madness, guilt, and paranoia and the shocking murder case of Captain Joseph White, which would inspire it.

Jun 15, 2017
Raising the Dead, Part 2 | Ep 7

As we continue exploring the world of necromancy in part 2, we peek into how scientific advances and spectacle factored into the practice during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Frankenstein, Spiritualism, and the Golden Age of Magic created an entertaining, thought-provocating, creepy, and playful atmosphere for raising the dead, which was irresistible for millions. And today it's still irresistible, as we still make use of relics from those exciting and macabre times.



Halloween Parade by Sam Haynes                                                                 Source:                Artist:

Undercover Vampire Policeman by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist:

Darkest Child by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist:

Ghost Dance by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist:


May 26, 2017
Raising the Dead, Part 1 | Ep 6

Listen to the tales of L'lnconnue de la Seine, the dead-raising magicians of the medieval clerical underworld, the Monkey's Paw, bells that woke corpses in their graves and more, as we explore necromancy in the first of this 2-part series on raising the dead.

Mar 31, 2017
Killer Green: St. Patrick's Day Special | Ep 5

While we don as much green as possible on St. Patrick's Day now, green gained a deadly reputation in the 19th century. And it was well-earned. Check it out to hear all about a green to die for!

Mar 18, 2017
New York Ripper | Ep 4

On the morning of April 24th, 1891, the body of a mutilated woman is found in a New York hotel room. Immediately, fear that Jack the Ripper was now at work in America hit the headlines, and the newly-formed New York Police Department was under tremendous pressure to find their man and prove their competence. 

Join Alyson for the mystery of the murder of Carrie Brown, a victim of Jack the Ripper or a copycat killer in Victorian America.

Feb 21, 2017
I Put A Spell on You | Ep 3

Curses, or the belief in the them, have been with us for millennia. Join Alyson as she takes you through the world of curses and hexes through history, fiction, and true crime. We will will explore the Black Death, Shakespeare, the witch trials, and more.




Feb 05, 2017
I Wanna Be Loved By You: Murder Mystery | Ep. 2

On the morning of October 30th, 1928, Elfrieda Knaak was found with her head, hands, and feet burned down to the bone in the furnace room of the Lake Bluff, Illinois police station. She survived her ordeal with fire, but not for long. Before her death she claimed she did it herself, but then made contradicting statements that seemed to implicate others being involved. The evidence in this case is perplexing and it remains a fascinating mystery to this day.

Join Alyson as we jump back to the 1920's and look into the revival of the spiritualist movement during that decade. Welcome to our first Murder Mystery Minisode!

Jan 22, 2017
Speak of the Devil | Ep 1

Speak of the Devil and the Devil will appear. The power and superstition of the spoken name is explored as we delve in the stories of Bloody Mary, Beetlejuice, real-life exorcism and more.

Jan 01, 2017