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Unobscured

Each season of Unobscured digs deep into one of history's darkest and most misunderstood moments, and sheds light on the true story beneath the myth.  Explore the Salem witch trials (S1), the Spiritualist Movement (S2), Jack the Ripper (S3), and Grigori Rasputin (S4) through the narrative storytelling of Aaron Mahnke, along with prominent historian interviews.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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S3 – 7: House to House

Taunts in red ink sent a wave of fear through London. The Metropolitan police knew they had to respond. So the forces under Charles Warren mobilized like never before, and everything was on the line. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46mins

18 Nov 2020

Rank #1

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S2 – 1: Seer

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.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

39mins

2 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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S1 – 1: The Arrival

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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38mins

3 Oct 2018

Rank #3

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S2 – 6: Restless

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? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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S1 – 2: The Outsiders

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 against a few powerful insiders.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

41mins

10 Oct 2018

Rank #5

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S1 – 10: Pen and Paper

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 far more to change minds than any hanging or spectral testimony. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

41mins

5 Dec 2018

Rank #6

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S2 – 7: Preach the Word

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, the spirits raised their voices to a military march, singing songs of freedom—and war. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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S1 – 12: Making Amends

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 mistakes of colonial New England village? The answers aren't as easy as they might appear. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

52mins

19 Dec 2018

Rank #8

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S1 – 8: King and Queen

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 expectations. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

48mins

21 Nov 2018

Rank #9

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S2 – 3: A Spirit Globe

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 world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

44mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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S1 – 11: Floundering

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 Salem to victory over darkness? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

47mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #11

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S1 – 9: Fight or Flight

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 Salem began to plot a more hopeful conclusion to their story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

44mins

28 Nov 2018

Rank #12

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S3 – 9: Making a Killing

Turmoil swept England, from Whitechapel's mean streets to the halls of power. Public servants savaged each other in person and in the press. Blame was thrown on all sides. None of it helped. Vulnerable women continued to die. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31mins

2 Dec 2020

Rank #13

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S3 – 8: Solitary

A terrorist bombing campaign left London crawling with spies. Paranoia and isolation afflicted everyone, from the clandestine service to the people they were sworn to protect. But even efforts of the government's Special Branch couldn't prevent one of the most horrifying moments in the history of English crime. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

45mins

25 Nov 2020

Rank #14

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S1 – 7: She Is One Of Us

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, it seems anyone could be a witch. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

35mins

14 Nov 2018

Rank #15

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S1 – 6: Consequences

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, deadly price. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

38mins

7 Nov 2018

Rank #16

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S2 – 5: Seek and Ye Shall Find

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 seance became a street fight.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

46mins

30 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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S2 – 4: The Way, The Truth, The Lie

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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

47mins

23 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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S1 – 5: A Higher Power

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 be caught up in the blaze. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

39mins

31 Oct 2018

Rank #19

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S1 – 4: The Refugees

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 threats were about to come home. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31mins

24 Oct 2018

Rank #20