Here Be Monsters Holiday Special 2015

Four stories about things that are unexplained or at least seem to be. A special presentation of Here Be Monsters: An unusual podcast about the things we all fear. Explore the dark corners of the human mind and new frontiers in science, art and philosophy -­ all through visceral storytelling.

Do Crows Mourn Their Dead?

Crows have really strange habits around death. When a bird dies, crows gather, squawking loudly and gathering as many other birds as they can find to come and look at the dead body. Much of what we know about crow funerals comes from the work of John Marzluff a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. He and Kaeli Swift (one of his grad students) are trying to get to the bottom of these strange phenomena using taxidermy crows and masks and Cheetos and raw peanuts.

The Sasquatch Of Pumpkintown vs Motley Crue Jon Bon Jovi

Homemade Bigfoot costumes can get you in a lot of trouble. And in gun-toting community of Pumpkintown, SC, a fake Bigfoot costume might get you killed too. But when the recession caused a local outfitter’s store sales to sag, it was a risk he was willing to take. In the episode, Ben Becker tells the story of a disgusting hound dog named “Motley Crue Jon Bon Jovi,” a tobacco-juice soaked Sasquatch suit, and the world’s worst hot sauce. Sharp listeners should note that no one fact-checked a single claim in this story. Wait, actually, we did look up Pumpkintown on Google Maps. It’s a real place. Use discretion before you use anything else in your term paper.


Andy Wilson and Ryan Graves are best friends, despite having very different opinions on the hierarchy of human and animal life. The two come face-to-face with those differences after a fatal encounter on a frigid winter day in northeastern Idaho when Andy's dogs chase a deer into Lake Chatcolet.

Today, Andy is happily married (celebrating his year anniversary next week), working as a fine woodworker at Renaissance Fine Woodworking, and living in Pullman Washington. He now has three brown dogs and Quincy (the brown dog from the story) knows the word "deer" - but is less likely to chase it in his 11th year.

Ryan works as a nurse in Pullman Regional Hospital and lives just outside of town. His duck died last week, but he's looking forward to the five muscovy ducklings he's going to acquire soon. And he's looking forward to deer season.

This episode is heavily adapted from a short animated film also called Deers, produced by John Summerson. His film received support from the Princess Grace Foundation USA. Bethany Denton produced this piece, with editing help from Jeff Emtman and Nick White.

Below, images courtesy of John Summerson.

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Fear of Silence

HBM producers Jeff and Bethany are having more and more trouble bearing silence. On this episode, Jeff calls back crow researcher Kaeli Swift and asks her what it was like to sit in silence with a stranger. And Bethany explains the differences in the anxieties that she and Jeff have towards silence.


Jeff Emtman, Bethany Denton