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Category: History

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Subscribers: 4679
Reviews: 13

 Jan 1, 2021
great story telling and expertly presented.

 Oct 16, 2020

J. Smith
 Aug 11, 2019
If you enjoy Lore, by Aaron Mahnke you will especially enjoy this. Season 1 takes a Lore like deep dive into the infamous Salem Witch trials & brings to light a wealth of history that most are unaware of. Enhanced by many superb interviews.

 Jul 20, 2019
love the podcast but I hate the interviews. it's better to have a shorter season.

 Jan 31, 2019


History is full of stories we think we know. They are old and dark, but time has robbed us of perspective and clarity. They've become obscured and misunderstood. Which is why this series exists: to dig deep and shed light on some of history’s darkest moments. To help us better understand where we’ve come from. To make it Unobscured. Each season pairs narrative storytelling from Aaron Mahnke, creator of the hit podcast Lore, with prominent historian interviews. Season Three: Jack the Ripper

Episode Date
14 | INTERVIEW 4: Paul Begg
Our interview with writer Paul Begg. To wrap up our exploration of Whitechapel in 1888, we turn to the historian and researcher whose dedication to the original documents laid the foundation for deep and rigorous study of the murders.
Jan 27, 2021
13 | INTERVIEW 3: Drew Gray
Our interview with Dr. Drew Gray, historian of the 18th and 19th centuries, and Subject Lead in History at the University of Northampton. With Dr. Gray, we explore the history of police magistrate hearing, the development of Victorian model dwellings, and meditate on the power of the Ripper industry. 
Jan 20, 2021
12 | INTERVIEW 2: Louise Raw
Our interview with Dr. Louise Raw, whose book, "Striking a Light," became a new landmark in British labor history. We explore her journey into historical writing, the process of discovering the matchwomen, and hear the stories that brought them to life for Dr. Raw and for all of us as well.
Jan 13, 2021
11 | INTERVIEW 1: Adam Wood
Our interview with Adam Wood, publisher of Mango Books and executive editor of "Ripperologist Magazine." His book, "Donald Swanson: The Life and Times of a Victorian Detective," gave us a dramatic and on-the-ground perspective. Our conversation explores how it came to be and what the life of Donald Swanson offers to readers today.
Jan 06, 2021
10 | Never Done
Cases were closed and the files were sealed. Investigators went back to careers scattered across the British empire. It would be decades before their conclusions would shed light on London's dark Autumn of Terror. It would be almost one hundred years before what they knew offered answers.
Dec 09, 2020
9 | Making a Killing
Turmoil swept England, from Whitechapel's mean streets to the halls of power. Public servants savaged each other in person and in the press. Blame was thrown on all sides. None of it helped. Vulnerable women continued to die.
Dec 02, 2020
8 | Solitary
A terrorist bombing campaign left London crawling with spies. Paranoia and isolation afflicted everyone, from the clandestine service to the people they were sworn to protect. But even efforts of the government's Special Branch couldn't prevent one of the most horrifying moments in the history of English crime.
Nov 25, 2020
7 | House to House
Taunts in red ink sent a wave of fear through London. The Metropolitan police knew they had to respond. So the forces under Charles Warren mobilized like never before, and everything was on the line.
Nov 18, 2020
6 | Mismatch
The version of events all depends on where you stand. Eye witnesses and identifications are key to detective work, but even veteran investigators can struggle to see through the screen of their assumptions. Matching perception to reality can be the biggest challenge of all.
Nov 11, 2020
5 | Flaws
Chief Inspector Swanson inherited a complicated legacy. The history of the Metropolitan Police was full of twists and turns. No less the city they patrolled, that had never grown completely comfortable under a watchman's eye.
Nov 04, 2020
4 | Synthetical Turn
They said London was a den of vice and violence growing grimmer by the day. The police had their orders to put the pieces together. But there were plenty of visitors who had no trouble taking pleasure in a community falling apart.
Oct 28, 2020
3 | Stardom
Victorian journalists had learned the lesson well: true crime sells. They were investigators, but they were storytellers too. And the story they told was meant to shock middle class London, as much as it was meant to inform. Not a hard job when the news was this horrifying.
Oct 21, 2020
2 | Rome & Babylon
A city divided. It didn’t happen by accident. A century of destroying the old to bring in the new left many without homes. If glossy West London was the city’s pride, the poor pushed to the margins were shamed. All the more when the knives came out.
Oct 14, 2020
1 | Temple Mount
Victorian London was the world’s greatest city. But building an industrial empire of steel and treasure comes at a startling human cost. The ancient city’s cults of personality raised heroes and villains for a new era: the Scotland Yard Detective and the killer he hunted.
Oct 07, 2020
Trailer: Unobscured Season 3
The deep-dive historical documentary podcast, Unobscured, returns for a dark and bloody 3rd season. Follow along as we take a journey into what many consider to be the most infamous true crime story in history: Jack the Ripper. Season 3 premieres on October 7th.
Sep 30, 2020
20 | INTERVIEW 8: Molly McGarry
Our interview with Molly McGarry, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. To wrap up our exploration of spiritualism, we follow her observations about the power and influence of spiritualism in American life, from past to present.
Feb 26, 2020
19 | INTERVIEW 7: Cathy Gutierrez
Our interview with Cathy Gutierrez, who has served as Professor of Religion at Sweet Briar College and Scholar in Residence at the New York Public Library. We discuss the nuances and historical development of spiritualist theology, as she explores it in her book Plato's Ghost: Spiritualism in the American Renaissance.
Feb 19, 2020
18 | INTERVIEW 6: John Buescher
Our interview with John Buescher, co-director of the International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals. His dedication to cataloging and preserving spiritualist newspapers give his books on mediums a remarkable command of the people and ideas driving the movement forward.
Feb 12, 2020
17 | INTERVIEW 5: Mary Gabriel
Our interview with Mary Gabriel, whose books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critic's Circle Award. Her biographies of Victoria Woodhull and Karl & Jenny Marx unveil the radical threads running through American spiritualism.
Feb 05, 2020
16 | INTERVIEW 4: Nancy Rubin Stuart
Our interview with Nancy Rubin Stuart, whose award winning biographies of American women include The Reluctant Spiritualist, our guide to the life of Maggie Fox for this season of Unobscured. 
Jan 29, 2020
15 | INTERVIEW 3: Emily Clark
Our interview with Emily Clark, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. Her first book, A Luminous Brotherhood, explores spiritualism in New Orleans, giving us a perspective on spiritualism beyond the northeastern hubs of the movement. 
Jan 22, 2020
14 | INTERVIEW 2: Margaret Washington
Our interview with Margaret Washington, professor of History and American Studies at Cornell University. Her work on Sojourner Truth's life in the American landscape was invaluable for seeing spiritualism in a broad historical context.
Jan 15, 2020
13 | INTERVIEW 1: Ann Braude
Our interview with Ann Braude, Senior Lecturer on American Religious History at Harvard Divinity School. Her book, Radical Spirits, was a guiding light for our exploration of the role of spiritualism in American life. 
Jan 08, 2020
12 | There Is No Death
Blows fell. Times changed. New voices rose up with answers to the nation’s pressing questions. But through it all, spiritualists worked to create an enduring place for themselves where the spirits could go on speaking.
Dec 18, 2019
11 | The Sheep and the Ghosts
What power did the spirits wield? They had convinced millions of their presence. They had moved mediums into high places. They had crossed oceans and shaken slumbering nations. Now the movement's leading lights saw a world to win. 
Dec 11, 2019
10 | Invisible Hands
Seances circled a high stakes table. Spirits were still comforting families, but in cities like New Orleans and New York, they also held to a glowing vision. The future of the nation's laws, and the levers of its economy, were up for grabs. Now was the time to bring heaven down to earth.
Dec 04, 2019
09 | Wounds
The war was over but the fight to determine the future of the nation continued. And the spirits had much to say. Devastated families cried out for their lost loved ones. Sometimes, the beloved dead answered back.
Nov 27, 2019
08 | Open Graves
As shots rang out and armies crossed the nation, black spiritualists in New Orleans found themselves fighting for their homes against all comers. But most of the nation’s spirit believers were focused on the spirits clamoring around a different residence—Abraham Lincoln’s White House. Could they guide a generation of followers through the fires of conflict into the light of a new day?
Nov 20, 2019
07 | Preach the Word
The news was grim. Across the south, slave states were withdrawing from the nation. In the north, some spiritualists saw their chance to take their winnings and withdraw from conflict. But others kept their printing presses running. In their pages, the spirits raised their voices to a military march, singing songs of freedom—and war.
Nov 13, 2019
06 | Restless
The child stars of spiritualism were growing up. And facing a whole host of new realities about their world. Were the spirits up to helping their young vessels find love and fight for reform as the storm clouds gathered?
Nov 06, 2019
05 | Seek and Ye Shall Find
The movement continued to swell. It found friends in high places. But everywhere it went, it found entrenched beliefs threatened by this new source of revelation. Finding harmony around a table was one thing. But when mediums met ministers, the seance became a street fight. 
Oct 30, 2019
04 | The Way, The Truth, The Lie
Spiritualists weren't the only ones who believed the dead could still be heard. That belief came trailing many stories. And with many aims. Some found a nourishing home. Others found a hunting ground.
Oct 23, 2019
03 | A Spirit Globe
Who could have imagined how quickly their message would cross oceans? Even as they traveled from city to city, the first spiritualists were celebrated by seekers. But an anarchic new faith wasn't met kindly when it faced the authorities of the old world.
Oct 16, 2019
02 | Instruments
A Harmonial Philosophy was one thing. But Rochester, New York, was about to become the cradle for so much more. The city wanted more than just words. They wanted a demonstration of power.
Oct 09, 2019
01 | Seer
It was all wide open. Great awakenings shattered the old religions. Showmen made spectacles of cutting-edge science. Radicals campaigned for a social revolution. The nation waited with bated breath for a new kind of prophet to take the stage. 
Oct 02, 2019
Unobscured - Season 2 - Trailer
The critically acclaimed historical documentary series is back with a powerful new season. With insightful research, expert interviews, and Aaron Mahnke's trademark narrative style, the Unobscured team returns for a new season to delve deep into the world of Spiritualism. By tracing its bizarre trajectory from a scattered fad to a worldwide phenomenon, listeners will discover the truth about the movement—and how it still impacts our world today.
Sep 25, 2019
18 | INTERVIEW 6: Stacy Schiff
Our interview with the Pulitzer prize winning author Stacy Schiff whose 2015 book The Witches was a source for this series. 
Feb 06, 2019
17 | INTERVIEW 5: Jane Kamensky
Our interview with Jane Kamensky, professor of American history at Harvard University and author of Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England. 
Jan 30, 2019
16 | INTERVIEW 4: Marilynne K. Roach
Our interview with Marilynne K. Roach, author of "Six Women of Salem" and "The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege."
Jan 24, 2019
15 | INTERVIEW 3: Richard Trask
Our interview with Richard B. Trask who has served as Archivist for the Town of Danvers, Massachusetts (old Salem Village) since 1972.
Jan 16, 2019
14 | INTERVIEW 2: Mary Beth Norton
Our interview with Mary Beth Norton, professor of American history at Cornell University and author of In the Devil’s Snare.
Jan 09, 2019
13 | INTERVIEW 1: Emerson Baker
Our interview with Emerson Baker, interim dean and history professor at Salem State University and author of A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. 
Jan 02, 2019
12 | Making Amends
How does a community recover from a tragedy that claims over two dozen lives? How do they even begin to pick up the pieces and make things right again? And when it's all said and done, what can the rest of the world learn from the 300-year old mistakes of colonial New England village? The answers aren't as easy as they might appear.
Dec 19, 2018
11 | Floundering
With the Court of Oyer and Terminer officially disbanded, the fog of uncertainly rolled into Salem. What would happen to those still in jail? When would a new trial session begin? And most importantly, who would grab the wheel of power and steer Salem to victory over darkness?
Dec 12, 2018
10 | Pen and Paper
Between the examinations and the hangings, it was easy to see the witch trials as a battle fought inside the courtroom. But outside, word was spreading about the injustice of it all, and so the fight was taken to a brand new arena—one that would do far more to change minds than any hanging or spectral testimony.
Dec 05, 2018
09 | Fight or Flight
The witchcraft panic had been gathering victims for months by the time George Burroughs was hanged, and many of them were still in jail. With nothing but torture and certain death awaiting them at the end of their imprisonment, many of the accused in Salem began to plot a more hopeful conclusion to their story.
Nov 28, 2018
08 | King and Queen
As the trials continued to roll forward in Salem, crushing more and more lives beneath its wheels, the panic began to spread outside its borders. In the community of Andover, those old fears found a new home—and the results would defy all expectations.
Nov 21, 2018
07 | She Is One Of Us
It's easy for a community to turn on the outsiders among them. The Salem witch trials had become a textbook example of this over the first few months. But in July of 1692, all of that changed. As the Court of Oyer and Terminer rolled full speed ahead, it seems anyone could be a witch.
Nov 14, 2018
06 | Consequences
Until now, the daily flood of examinations had been a temporary fix while everyone waited for the new government to set up an official trial. For many, that trial would represent hope and conclusion. For some, however, it would extract a heavy, deadly price.
Nov 07, 2018
05 | A Higher Power
Some people saw the growing witch panic in Salem as a threat to their lives, and they tried to run and hide. Others saw an opportunity for profit and advancement. Through it all, though, the fire would continue to burn, and unlikely individuals would be caught up in the blaze.
Oct 31, 2018
04 | The Refugees
While the events of the Salem witch trials began within the borders of the Salem village community, many of the forces that drove it forward were external. As we're about to see, Salem was full of more than stories about witchcraft—and those external threats were about to come home.
Oct 24, 2018
03 | By the Book
As the first suspects are rounded up and questioned by the biased and partisan officials, their confessions unleash more trouble than relief. And as the number of witches multiplies, so too does the number of accusers. In an increasingly uncertain time, the Village leans on its faith.
Oct 17, 2018
02 | The Outsiders
Even though Salem had been without an official charter from England for almost a decade, there was no question that witchcraft was still a crime. The only question left was how to handle them, and the answer would involve pitting a group of outsiders against a few powerful insiders. 
Oct 10, 2018
01 | The Arrival
The stage is set, the characters are introduced, and the spell is cast. Welcome to Salem Village, home to a diverse and complicated gathering of families and personalities. It is a pile of dry kindling, and the match is about to be struck.
Oct 03, 2018
Unobscured - Season 1 - Trailer
History is full of stories we think we know. They are old and dark, but time has robbed us of perspective and clarity. They've become obscured and misunderstood. Which is why this series exists: to dig deep and shed light on some of history’s darkest moments. To help us better understand where we’ve come from. To make it Unobscured. Each season pairs narrative storytelling from Aaron Mahnke, the creator the hit podcast Lore, with prominent historian interviews. Season One: The Salem Witch Trials
Sep 26, 2018