Witches are having a pop culture moment, from Netflix's upcoming The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to CW's Charmed reboot. This makes it the perfect time to brush up on your knowledge of witches just in time for Halloween. Unobscured, a new podcast on the Salem witch trials from iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks, is a promising blend of history and horror that might be exactly what you're looking for.
Hosted by Aaron Mahnke, of the horror podcast Lore, Unobscured promises to “clean the foggy window” surrounding the mysterious trials of 1693, during which twenty people were executed.
From the first episode, Mahnke digs into the politics of Salem Town and Salem Village, once two rival communities, and covers plenty of factors behind the trials, from the religious writings of Cotton Mather to the history of the infamous Putnam family. It also delivers more than a few creepy moments, like the baking of a “witch cake” in the Reverend’s own home.
Fans of Lore will find this podcast less gory, but equally chilling as it lays out the elements that contributed to the religious mass hysteria that eventually gripped Salem. Refreshingly, the podcast does not blame the children as so many experts have in the past. “We’ve forgotten more about Salem than we ever remembered,” Mahnke says in the first episode. Unobscured sets out to correct misunderstandings — and to deliver plenty of scares along the way.
Unobscured is set to debut October 3.