History

Monstrum

The world is full of monsters, myths, and legends and Monstrum isn’t afraid to take a closer look. The show, hosted by Emily Zarka, Ph.D., takes us on a journey to discover a new monster for each new episode. Monstrum looks at humans unique drive to create and shape monster mythology through oral storytelling, literature and film.

Tikbálang: The Filipino Nightmare Shapeshifter

9m 43s

A malevolent spirit lurks in the shadows of forests and the darkest mountains of the Philippines. Capable of adopting physical form, the most terrifying of which being a massive half-human, half-horse hybrid, the Filipino Tikbálang thrives on chaos.

Episodes

  • Tikbálang: The Filipino Nightmare Shapeshifter: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Tikbálang: The Filipino Nightmare Shapeshifter

    S4 E12 - 9m 43s

    A malevolent spirit lurks in the shadows of forests and the darkest mountains of the Philippines. Capable of adopting physical form, the most terrifying of which being a massive half-human, half-horse hybrid, the Filipino Tikbálang thrives on chaos.

  • Monster Plants and the Humans who Invent Them: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Monster Plants and the Humans who Invent Them

    S4 E11 - 12m 33s

    For millennia humans have turned to plants to heal the sick and wounded, to ward against evil, and grant magical powers. But what happens when plants themselves become conscious, and turn killers?

  • Is Siren Head the Ultimate Modern Monster?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is Siren Head the Ultimate Modern Monster?

    S4 E9 - 10m 41s

    Lumbering through the countryside blasting its eerie messages from metal speakers perched atop a forty-foot wooden humanoid frame, Siren Head is a prime example of modern folklore born on the internet. Featuring insights from Siren Head's original creator Trevor Henderson, this episode looks at how social media contributes to horror in the 21st century.

  • What Hellhounds Reveal about Humans' Oldest Companion: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What Hellhounds Reveal about Humans' Oldest Companion

    S4 E8 - 11m 53s

    Hellhounds, the fearsome canine beasts of the underworld who often serve as guardians to the very gates of hell, pop up in a wide variety of cultural folklore throughout history. They're also fairly commonplace in the stories we tell in modern times (think Cujo, Ghostbusters, The Omen). Why is that? What can these legendary hounds teach us about the history of humanity’s relationship with dogs.

  • Alien Abduction and UFOs: Why Are Grays So Common?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Alien Abduction and UFOs: Why Are Grays So Common?

    S4 E7 - 16m 27s

    Grey Aliens, sometimes called Zeta Reticulans, Roswell Greys, or just Grays, are defined by their humanoid forms, long limbs, large black eyes, small noses, thin mouths, and of course, gray skin or gray clothing. They are some of pop culture’s most recognizable representations of extraterrestrial life. But where did this depiction of extraterrestrials come from?

  • Mapinguari: Fearsome Beast and Protector of the Amazon: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mapinguari: Fearsome Beast and Protector of the Amazon

    S4 E6 - 10m 34s

    Deep within the Amazon rainforest lurks a mysterious creature called the Mapinguari. Notoriously elusive, this cave-dwelling giant leaves a trail of broken trees and trampled ferns in its wake. Massive, hairy, and pungent, this beast protects the South American jungle from human threats.

  • Why Has the Majestic Griffin Been Forgotten?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why Has the Majestic Griffin Been Forgotten?

    S4 E5 - 10m 3s

    The Griffin is a half-lion, half-eagle creature that is commonly seen adorning royal crests and perched menacingly atop buildings. Why is this ancient creature that many of us see every day largely forgotten?

  • Have Humans Always Feared Sharks?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Have Humans Always Feared Sharks?

    S4 E4 - 11m 59s

    Despite the extreme rarity of attacks on humans, Sharks have become perhaps the most widely feared animals on the planet. How did this happen? They're not naturally aggressive towards humans and kill fewer people each year than falling coconuts. So what gives?

  • Why the Dragon is Central to Chinese Culture: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why the Dragon is Central to Chinese Culture

    S4 E3 - 9m 32s

    The Chinese dragon is one of the world’s most globally recognized monsters. Playing a major role throughout Chinese history, they were both creators and destroyers and controlled the elements. They've influenced everything from politics to religion—what is it about the Chinese Dragon that makes it such a central figure in Chinese culture?

  • Adze: the Shapeshifting Firefly from West Africa: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Adze: the Shapeshifting Firefly from West Africa

    S4 E2 - 8m 55s

    For many of us, the firefly is a mystical, enchanting creature of the twilight. To the people of some West-African cultures, however, the firefly brings to mind a malevolent, shapeshifting, blood-sucking monster of lore: the Adze.

  • The Enchanting Fairies of Celtic Lore: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Enchanting Fairies of Celtic Lore

    S4 E1 - 9m 13s

    The fairies of Celtic traditions trace their origin back to an ancient race of otherworldly royalty - the Tuatha Dé Danann. As fairy nobility, the Tuatha Dé Danann were alternatively seen as gods, monsters, demons, and even the real ancient inhabitants of Ireland. But where do the Tuatha Dé Danann come from, and how did they become the ancestors of Ireland’s fairies?

Extras + Features

  • Exhumed: A History of Zombies Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Exhumed: A History of Zombies Preview

    30s

    In this new one-hour Halloween PBS special, Dr. Emily Zarka will deconstruct some of the most significant moments in zombie popular culture over the last two centuries to reveal what these creatures say about us.

  • Welcome to Monstrum!: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Welcome to Monstrum!

    48s

    The world is full of monsters, myths, and legends and Monstrum isn’t afraid to take a closer look. The show, hosted by Emily Zarka, Ph.D., takes us on a journey to discover a new monster in each new episode. Monstrum looks at humans unique drive to create and shape monster mythology through oral storytelling, literature, and film and digs deep into the history of those mythologies.

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