Thought experiment: imagine an alien. Great, experiment complete. Now examine what you came up with. It's almost definitely one of two things: 1) a specific extraterrestrial from a movie or show, who you can point to as from that movie/show. 2) what's known as a "Grey" -- a small humanoid with a large teardrop head and two face-dominating eyes. That second kind of Grey Alien dominates our cultural conception of life from other planets. But where did it come from? And what does it say about our larger belief in everything from dragons to werewolves to the scariest monsters ever invented?

On this spooktacular episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for the site as David Wong). They'll dig into the creepiest "true" story Jason's ever encountered. They'll also explore monster lore from the Salem Witch Trials to Slenderman creepypasta to the myth of The Deep State. And they'll consider whether all monsters, human and otherwise, come from a cultural & psychological source that's scarier than anything you could dress as for Halloween.

Footnotes:

"The Creepiest (True?) Story I've Ever Heard" by Jason Pargin (Cracked)

Barney Hill under hypnosis (audio on YouTube)

5 Eerily Specific Things Every Human Does Exactly the Same (Cracked)

Where Did Dragons Come From? (Smithsonian)

6 Popular Monster Myths (That Prove Humanity Is Doomed) (Cracked)

Hilarious Helmet History: Why The Salem Witch Trials Were Nothing Like You Think

Researchers Catalogue the Grisly Deaths of Soldiers in the Thirty Years' War (Smithsonian)

King William's War (Wikipedia)

6 Mind-Blowing Ways Zombies and Vampires Explain America (Cracked)

5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real (Cracked)

4 Terrifying Psychology Lessons Behind Famous Movie Monsters (Cracked After Hours)

Four Creepy Hidden Truths Behind Popular Scary Stories (Cracked After Hours)

Slender Man (Know Your Meme)

Bokononism (Wikipedia)

Hello From The Magic Tavern Episode 41: Skeleton

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