The Weird History Podcast focuses on obscure, horrible, and strange corners of history. New episodes appear roughly weekly.

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216 The War of 1812, Part One: Surface Causes

America doesn’t talk much about the War of 1812. In the historical narrative that the U.S. likes to construct for itself, its first official, declared war might as well not exist. The war’s been ignored for a variety of reasons […]

215 Vortex One: An Excerpt From Storied and Scandalous Portland, Oregon

In 1970 Oregon governor Tom McCall had a problem: An American Legion convention was descending on Portland in August of that year, with a potential visit by then-president Richard Nixon. A group called the People’s Army Jamboree promised to protest […]

214 In Which Loki Ruins a Dinner Party

The Poetic Edda is one of our main sources for Norse mythology, and the poems in it feature tales of gods, heroes, giants, and (of course) Ragnarok. However, not everything in the Poetic Edda focuses on quests, battles, heroes, or […]

Bonus: A Visit From the Spirit of Vengeance or Ghost Rider Saves Christmas

Happy Holidays, everyone!

213 Where Does Santa Claus Come From?

Santa Claus is the result of cultural crossover and exchange. Historical and folkloric figures like St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, and Father Christmas combined in various ways over several generations to create the English-speaking world’s most popular personification of Christmas. It was […]

212 St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas is not Santa Claus, but he’s now inescapably bound up with Santa’s story and identity. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, a town in what we no call Turkey, and we don’t have any surviving sources about him […]