Unobscured

HowStuffWorks & Aaron Mahnke

+22 FANS
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...Show More
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55:10 | Dec 19th, 2018

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 mistak...Show More

50:44 | Dec 12th, 2018

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 Sale...Show More
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44:44 | Dec 5th, 2018

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 f...Show More

47:31 | Nov 28th, 2018

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...Show More

51:26 | Nov 21st, 2018

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 expectation...Show More
More Podcasts from HowStuffWorks & Aaron Mahnke

38:47 | Nov 14th, 2018

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...Show More

41:09 | Nov 7th, 2018

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, deadl...Show More

42:03 | Oct 31st, 2018

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...Show More

34:03 | Oct 24th, 2018

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...Show More

48:52 | Oct 17th, 2018

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 ti...Show More

44:21 | Oct 10th, 2018

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...Show More

41:37 | Oct 3rd, 2018

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.

49:00 | Dec 4th

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 t...Show More

47:36 | Nov 27th

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.

46:13 | Nov 20th

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 resid...Show More

48:44 | Nov 13th

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, t...Show More

48:09 | Nov 6th

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?

49:48 | Oct 30th

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 seanc...Show More

50:37 | Oct 23rd

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.

47:54 | Oct 16th

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 wo...Show More

49:26 | Oct 9th

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.

42:32 | Oct 2nd

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. 

01:18 | Sep 25th

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 ...Show More

26:04 | Jul 12th

Your first sneak peek of Noble Blood, a brand new podcast from executive producer Aaron Mahnke and iHeartRadio podcasts. Join author Dana Schwartz on a narrative tour of history's most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and...Show More

53:20 | Feb 6th

Our interview with the Pulitzer prize winning author Stacy Schiff whose 2015 book The Witches was a source for this series. 

53:37 | Jan 30th

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. 

1:34:55 | Jan 24th

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."

1:35:22 | Jan 16th

Our interview with Richard B. Trask who has served as Archivist for the Town of Danvers, Massachusetts (old Salem Village) since 1972.

1:22:02 | Jan 9th

Our interview with Mary Beth Norton, professor of American history at Cornell University and author of In the Devil’s Snare.

1:24:27 | Jan 2nd

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.