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American Spirit: A History of the Supernatural [rebroadcast]

Halloween—despite its solemn Celtic roots—has become a day that American children get to play around with goblins and ghosts. But for some, the dearly departed have always been a very real part of daily life. This episode of BackStory explores how witches, spirits, and ghosts have haunted American history. Why were colonists so fearful of New England “witches”? How did progressive social reformers find a home in the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century? Why did technological breakthroughs like the telegraph and telephone conjure up talk of spirits? Can social upheaval help explain our history with the supernatural? Brian, Ed, and Peter look for answers…

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