Here Be Monsters Podcast

The Podcast About the Unknown

HBM068: The Wake Up Stick [EXPLICIT]

When Dylan Wright placed his first Craigslist ad back in 2006, he called himself a “nice and genuine person with waking up problems.”  He was looking for someone to help him in the mornings.  First it was phone calls, but those didn’t work, so he moved on to something more personal.

Dylan’s problem is that, left to his own devices, he sleeps and doesn’t stop sleeping: “Seventeen hours was the longest I ever slept...that’s like four times as much as some people get daily.” And he’s tried to fix it in a lot of ways—bright lights suspended over his bed hooked to a timer, multiple alarms—nothing worked.  He lost jobs, missed flights, messed up personal relationships, all because he couldn’t wake up.

So for most of the last decade, Dylan’s hired someone to come to his house, and physically wake him up.  “Nothing weird or inappropriate about this, it’s just a job.” he says.  Dylan estimates he’s had ten people fill this job.  Most of them quit abruptly, or just stopped showing up.  But he likes his current guy, who doesn’t even come into the house.   Instead, he’s taken to knocking on Dylan’s bedroom window with a long stick (that way he doesn’t have to stand in the flowerbeds).  He knocks until Dylan gets out of bed puts on clothes and makes himself some coffee.

It’s $10 per day, five days per week, sometimes six.

Lisa Cantrell produced this piece.  She’s the host of An Inexact Science, which is a podcast about human psychology.  

Music: The Black Spot

 

In other news:  there’s a chance that you subscribed to our podcast while you were looking for the work of another podcaster named Derek Hayes.  He has a show that’s also about monsters (though his are more the bigfoot, chupacabra and hellhound variety).  Until recently, his show had a very similar name to ours.  So, to clear up any confusion, Derek’s changed his podcast’s name to Monsters Among Us.

HBM067: Dispatches From PestWorld 2016

Feeling anxiety about the American presidential election, HBM host Jeff Emtman took a trip to a place he hoped to be insulated from politics: PestWorld 2016, the largest American gathering of pest management professionals. Jeff has always liked bugs and pest animals, so it was a miniature vacation.

He talked with the following attendees about the tools and the philosophy of pest management:

Rose Eckhart of ZappBugg bed bug heaters
Carlita Turk of
TAP Pest Control Insulation
David Walters of
HY-C Home Solutions
Evan Bruce of
Heat Assault glycol bed bug products
Roger Johnson and
Evan Church of Pest Routes
Sheree Swindle of Bed Bug Mutts with Lily Loo
Bill Robinson of
B&G Curtis Dyna-Fog sprayers and foggers
Alan Huot of
Wildlife Control Supplies outfitter for wildlife professionals

Rose Eckhart of ZappBug explains the basics of bedbug infestations.

The Golden Eagle mosquito fogger from Curtis Dynafog.

Alan Huot of Wildlife Control Supplies demos wildlife baits.

Jeff Emtman produced this episode with help from Bethany Denton and Nick White.

Music: Serocell | | | Flowers

HBM066: What Jacob Heard [EXPLICIT]

Jacob Sutton loved going to church when he was a little boy. He sang in the choir, and when he got older he led Bible studies and helped teach Sunday school classes. Eventually he learned to speak in tongues. Jacob grew up Pentecostal, the oldest son of a deacon. His father used to work with people who believed they were possessed by demons, and would use prayer and Bible readings to cast the wicked spirits out. All of his life, Jacob knew that demons and The Devil were very real, and that they could possess his body, if he allowed them.

Jacob felt deeply connected to his male friends when he was young.  As a teenager, he realized that what he felt was more than friendship. But Jacob’s church was, like most Pentecostal congregations, staunchly against homosexuality. Jacob’s parents, pastor, and peers all talked about homosexuality as if it was a terrible disease that could only be cured by God. For years Jacob tried to hide his attraction to other boys, and became increasingly involved in his church in the hopes that he could just work through ‘the problem’.

Jacob's senior picture.

Jacob at a school dance.

In his freshman year of high school, Jacob was feeling helpless against his gay attractions. Exasperated, he asked aloud for a demon to come into his body. He figured he was already evil, so he might as well “get something out of it”.

A few months later, just as he was about to fall asleep, he heard a voice in his ear. Jacob was frozen in fear. He could not speak. The voice was dark, gravelly, and spoke a language he’d never heard before. Jacob knew in that moment that it was the demon he’d invited into his body.  It left only once he spoke the word “Jesus.” He woke up his father and they prayed together.

"Father God, my son was visited by a demon tonight. 
We need your protection, so that he can go to sleep...
We ask that you give him the rest of the righteous."

 

The next day, Jacob signed up for “spiritual boot camp”. It was a three day retreat for members of the congregation who hoped to make a life change, led by Jacob’s father. For three days, Jacob joined fellow congregants in prayer and worship, hoping this would be the beginning of his healing from gayness. After the weekend, Jacob didn’t feel “cured”, but he did feel like he was closer to becoming the man God intended him to be.

That was 13 years ago. Jacob has since stopped going to church and believing in God and Satan. He eventually came out to his family once and for all, and this time, he was met with open arms. Today he lives in Seattle and studies fashion design. And as of the time of this episode release, Jacob and his boyfriend have been together for almost three years.

ABC Report on Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues.

This episode was produced by Bethany Denton.

Music: Serocell | | | AHEE

HBM065: We Pay Them In Meat

Walk through any natural history museum and you’ll see rows of effortlessly clean animal skeletons.  Chances are you're looking at a strange form of human/insect symbiosis happening in the museum’s back rooms.

Preparing an animal’s skeleton for display is incredibly labor intensive for human hands.  So curators have turned to a family of beetles with millennia of experience.

The dermestidae family of beetles have followed humans since our early history.  They’re opportunistic eaters, and they like the things we like: grains, bacon grease, leather, silk scarves, books, carpets.  And as early humans traveled, the beetles came with, colonizing across the globe.

The majority of humans’ relationship with these beetles is and has been contentious, as they tend to wreak havoc on human possessions.  They’re often exterminated as pests

But several species of the dermestidae family have a taste for dead flesh. Including dermestes maculatus, aka. “The Hide Beetle”.  And for this reason, curators have enlisted their help as “museum volunteers.”

At least, that’s what Chris Stinson of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia calls them.  He’s the Curatorial Assistant of Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians and he approximates that he has 20,000 of these volunteers to prep the museum’s collection. 

In this episode, Here Be Monsters producer Jeff Emtman smells the beetle tank, listens to them eat an owl skull, and holds a real flesh-eating beetle.*

Jeff Emtman produced this episode, with help from Bethany Denton and Nick White.

Music: The Black Spot

Happy Birthday Paul.  We don’t know when your birthday actually is, but we hope it’s a good one...this year and every other.

*Due to dermestes maculatus’ preference for dead foods, they’re perfectly safe to handle, unless you’re a wild turkey (and if you’re actually reading this, you probably are).  

Timelapse of beetles eating macaw, owl and pheasant, from London’s Natural History Museum

HBM064: A Shrinking Shadow [EXPLICIT]

Erin was fat as a kid. Since middle school, she tried all different methods to lose weight. From a young age she developed the idea that the most important thing she could do with her life was lose weight.

That's part of why she and HBM producer Bethany Denton were such good friends in high school. They were both fat, nearly the same size. Both tried and failed to lose weight since childhood. Together they felt safe to enjoy food without judgment.

Bethany (left) and Erin (right) as teenagers.

But they parted ways after high school.  Bethany moved to Washington State and Erin to Indiana for college. They fell out of touch, observing each others’ lives mostly through the distance of a Facebook news feed.  

And there, Bethany began to notice changes in Erin.  She looked thinner, but also more hollow.  Her eyes sank into her head.  Bethany was ashamed that she felt jealous.  She also thought her old friend might be gone...turned into a shrinking shadow of her former self.

On this episode of Here Be Monsters, Erin explains how she developed her obsession with exercise and her intense desire to lose weight.  She explains how she descended into a dangerous place with her eating disorder.  She would later understand her symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and irrationality to be typical of starvation, as observed in a 1940s experiment known as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

After losing over 100 lbs, Erin hit rock bottom the summer after graduating from college. Her anxiety became intolerable, she was constipated, and her hair was falling out. After months of living with every characteristic of anorexia nervosa, she was given an official diagnosis once she became underweight.

"I felt like a shell...I felt so hollow."

In 2014, Erin sought treatment. The first step in her recovery was a process called refeeding. It's the process of replenishing a calorie deficit, providing a starving body much-needed energy to repair internal damage.

Erin has since made nearly a full recovery. Today she lives in Portland, Oregon and works at a bakery. She keeps a blog about her experiences with anorexia.

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, you can get help today. A good place to start is Eating Disorder Hope. Erin also recommends the website Performing Woman; she personally found it inspiring to her recovery.

This episode was produced by Bethany Denton, and edited with help from Jeff Emtman and Nick White.  

Music: The Black Spot  |||  Serocell