Fate will unwind as it must
October 11, 2021 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Synodus Horrenda is a podcast about death, dying, and the dead. [CW]

[CW: this podcast unavoidably gets pretty heavy. Topics include illness, accidents, murder, assault, and su*cide, as well as racism and antisemitism in certain episodes.]

Via meticulously researched explorations of everything from the sinking of the Titanic to the Burke & Hare murders to the death of Julian the Apostate, Synodus Horrenda interrogates our societal and cultural relationship to mortality.

Its creator manages to look unflinchingly at their subject matter without crossing the line into exploitativeness or ghoulishness, which is IMO what makes Synodus remarkable in the very crowded (and sometimes tasteless) field of true crime/horror/"daark history" podcasts. SH is arguably at its best when examining which deaths captivate us (for varying values of "us"), which ones we're eager to forget, and why.

(For fans of the also-excellent You're Wrong About, the SH episodes on Kitty Genovese and Terry Schiavo make interesting companion pieces to their YWA counterparts, though they won't necessarily contain any new info if you're already familiar with the latter.)
posted by TinyChicken (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

But, on the other hand, does Synodus Horrenda cover the meatier topics — like, say, Cowboys vs. Zombies or Navy Seals vs. Zombies: Which is Better ?
posted by y2karl at 2:12 PM on October 11

I know Castanada's been discredited but there were a few observations of his "characters" I appreciated. Here's one that might be of interest to others on this topic: https://www.carlos-castaneda.com/death-as-advisor/
posted by Guy Newport at 2:23 PM on October 11

I feel like I ought to have something more intellectual to contribute but in the meantime I can't get over the feeling I'm hearing all this narrated by Ron Swanson. It is soothing at least.
posted by traveler_ at 3:22 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]

@traveler_ , agree that the striking baritone is definitely a plus. :D
posted by TinyChicken at 1:38 AM on October 12

Great to see Synodus Horrenda on the Blue! I binged the first dozen or so episodes a while back and this is a great reminder to pick back up. It is very well researched and has a wonderfully calm and sensitive tone to it all.

The pandemic has put me on the path of diving into thanatology and this podcast has been one of the highlights, even if it treads some ground that I've consumed through several other true crime podcasts.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:58 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

i have a hard time listening to things. are there transcripts i could read instead?
posted by misanthropicsarah at 3:19 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]

Great point misanthropicsarah and apologies for not having thought of it for the initial post. So far I haven't been able to find anything in the way of existing transcripts, unfortunately. The podcast has a Twitter account, I'll ask the question and see if the creator responds.
posted by TinyChicken at 3:05 AM on October 15

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