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Mary Toft

Mary Toft (née Denyer; c. 1701–1763), also spelled Tofts, was an English woman from Godalming, Surrey, who in 1726 became the subject of considerable controversy when she tricked doctors into believing that she had given birth to rabbits.

 

Our theme song was written and performed by Anna Bosnick. If you’d like to support the show on a per episode basis, you can find our Patreon page here.  Be sure to check our website for more details.

 

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William Chaloner and Victor Lustig

William Chaloner (1650 – 22 March 1699)[1][2] was a serial counterfeit coiner and confidence trickster, who was imprisoned in Newgate Prison several times and eventually proven guilty of high treason by Sir Isaac Newton, Master of the Royal Mint. He was hanged on the gallows at Tyburn on 22 March 1699.[1][3]

 

Our theme song was written and performed by Anna Bosnick. If you’d like to support the show on a per episode basis, you can find our Patreon page here.  Be sure to check our website for more details.

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The Darien Scheme

The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called “Caledonia” on the Isthmus of Panama on the Gulf of Darién in the late 1690s. The aim was for the colony to have an overland route that connected the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. From the beginning it has been claimed historically that the undertaking was beset by poor planning and provisioning, divided leadership, a lack of demand for trade goods particularly caused by an English trade blockade,[1] devastating epidemics of disease, collusion between the English East India Company and the English government to frustrate it,[1] as well as a failure to anticipate the Spanish Empire’s military response. It was finally abandoned in March 1700 after a siege by Spanish forces, which also blockaded the harbour.[2]

Our theme song was written and performed by Anna Bosnick. If you’d like to support the show on a per episode basis, you can find our Patreon page here.  Be sure to check our website for more details.

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Charles Ponzi

Charles Ponzi, (born Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi; March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949), was an Italian swindler and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. His aliases include Charles PonciCarlo, and Charles P. Bianchi.[1] Born and raised in Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money-making scheme. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage.[2][3] In reality, Ponzi was paying earlier investors using the investments of later investors. While this type of fraudlent investment scheme was not originally invented by Ponzi, it became so identified with him that it now is referred to as a Ponzi scheme. His scheme ran for over a year before it collapsed, costing his “investors” $20 million.

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The Dreadnought Hoax

The Dreadnought hoax was a practical joke pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910. Cole tricked the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the battleship HMS Dreadnought, to a fake delegation of Abyssinian royals. The hoax drew attention in Britain to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group, among whom some of Cole’s collaborators numbered. The hoax was a repeat of a similar impersonation which Cole and Adrian Stephenhad organised while they were students at Cambridge in 1905.

Our theme song was written and performed by Anna Bosnick. If you’d like to support the show on a per episode basis, you can find our Patreon page here.  Be sure to check our website for more details.

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Ghost Hunting

Ghost hunting is a fringe pseudoscience wherein its adherents visit and investigate locations that are reported to be haunted by ghosts. Typically, a ghost hunting team will attempt to collect evidence that they see as supportive of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters often use a variety of electronic devices: the EMF meter; digital thermometer; handheld and static digital video cameras, such as thermographic (or infrared) and night vision; digital audio recorder; and computer. Traditional techniques such as conducting interviews and researching the history of a site are also employed. Some ghost hunters refer to themselves as a paranormal investigator.[1]

Ghost hunting has been heavily criticized for its total absence of scientific method; no scientific body has ever been able to confirm the existence of ghosts.[2][3] Ghost hunting is considered a pseudoscience by a vast majority of educators, academics, science writers, and sceptics

 

From Wikipedia

 

Middle Skit music: 

“Burnt Spirit” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/