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Everything Is Awful Forever

History Podcasts

A macabre history podcast in which Jess and Philippa wax lyrical over the awful oddities of the past.

A macabre history podcast in which Jess and Philippa wax lyrical over the awful oddities of the past.


United Kingdom


A macabre history podcast in which Jess and Philippa wax lyrical over the awful oddities of the past.




The John Smith Journals

Pocahontas. John Smith. The love. The colours. The wind. You've seen the movie. Now bear witness to the journal ramblings of the hero himself. John Smith, British explorer (2021) https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Smith-British-explorer First Prison in Colonial Virginia (2017) http://www.virginiaplaces.org/government/firstprison.html Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend (2015) https://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historyculture/pocahontas-her-life-and-legend.htm John Smith of Jamestown:...


Cutting Edge: A Tale of Two Surgeons

If there's one thing you've come to expect from our history podcast it's that we look at the very bluntest edge technology available. And where else to look other than the operating theatre? Join Jess and Philippa as they look at two surgeons: one, the paragon of his age just before the advent of anaesthesia; the other, a French surgeon who got up close and personal with the dark side of the Sun King. Sources: Fitzharris, L. (2017) The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the...


Blood and Butter: The Final Spread

Artichokes! Church brawls! Bounties! Tennis matches to the death, fought beneath the cold gaze of the indifferent stars. Pimp knights. Join Jess and Philippa for one last look at the life of the walking catastrophe also known as Caravaggio. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Exorcise Influencers

We've looked at demonic possession in Demoniac and Double Demons, but how exactly does one get rid of them once they've invaded your home, made a mess, and insulted your mother-in-law? In this episode, Jess and Philippa look at some of the ways in which both Catholic and Protestant authorities have tried to politely suggest that it might be time for everyone to get on home. So join us for tales of possession, faith, and potatoes. Sources: Levack, B. (2013) The Devil Within: Possession and...


Blood and Butter: Black Cloaks and Bawbags

Art! Betrayal! Stabbing! Also, what rhymes with testicle? Join Jess and Philippa as they continue with the Blood and Butter epic tale of one artist testing the limits of just how many people he can stab. Caravaggio can get away with murder...but what about a mean poem? Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Double Demons: The Haunting of the Gibbons Twins

We had one demon, yes. But what about second demons? Another turn of the screw, so to speak. In addition being possessed by paraphrase, Jess and Philippa are obsessed (possessed) by the case of June and Jennifer Gibbons. Join us as we look at this peculiar case that has so much in common with historical cases of alleged demonic possession. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)



We've always known that Jess might not be quite right, and Philippa suspects that she might finally understand why. Join the demonic duo as they weigh up the pros and cons of possession, as well as two common modern explanations for this phenomenon. Sources: Almond, P. (2004) Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern England: Contemporary Texts and their Cultural Contexts. Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo: Cambridge University Press. Levack, B....


Blood and Butter: The Garden of Evil

We've covered the temptations of butter. But have you considered the essential eroticism of fruit? This week, Jess and Philippa talk about the early life of Caravaggio (aka the human dumpster fire) and his fetish for shoulders, lizards, and the fruits to be plucked in the Garden of Evil Instacart link: http://instacart.oloiyb.net/5Vqm3 Instacart - Groceries delivered in as little as 1 hour. Free delivery on your first order over $35. Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you...


Toxic Tyrants

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Shakespeare was talking about a different Henry, but our favourite Tudor would have had a few reasons to keep up at night. After all, his servants needed time to throughly kiss his bed before his head could hit the pillow. Join Jess and Philippa as they look at poison prevention in the Renaissance period. Even if you have a few unicorn horns or bezoars, you'd better hope you have a strong stomach! Support the show...


Blood and Butter

Join Jess and Philippa as they explore the importance of context in a sweeping history of 1500 years, in which empires rose and fell, towers were buttered, battles were fought, and people were excessively tortured - all in the name of some Middle Eastern Jewish guy. Also, it's about art, maybe? Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Bottom Feeders

Strap in and hold onto your bottoms because this week we're going monster hunting. Join Jess and Philippa as they chat about the Whipping Toms and the London Monster: criminals with an unhealthy fixation on the female derrière. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Mad Monarchs: Nasty Names

If you've ever gotten stuck with a nickname that made you want to burn down an entire kingdom just to abolish it from the face of the earth, then this episode may be for you. Join Jess the Incorrigible and Philippa the Long-Suffering as they look at some of history's rulers whose names reflected - or altered - the course of their rule. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Social Diseases: Syphilis

CW: Graphic medical descriptions Philippa's back from her time abroad in the land of disease and she's got syphilis...facts. Join her and Jess for a sexy discussion about disease, eugenics, medical experiments, and blaming foreigners and minority groups for your problems. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Ma'am Mandelbaum's School for Thieves.

Join Jess and Fauxlippa (Rosie Cowling) as she tell us about the wheelings and dealings of the the biggest fence in the U.S. The criminal, exciting kind, not the keeps-your-chickens-in kind. A massive criminal enterprise, a school to teach kids how to pick pocket. She was the best. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Promiscuous Popery

From the most powerful Italian families comes a tale of promiscuity, mistresses, bribery, rackets and murder. No,no, not the mafia, but the Vatican of course! Join Jess and Philippa??? Rosie, the backup ginger exploring the wild sex parties and crimes of this mob boss pope and his equally terrible children. Everyone run, he comes the popo....pe. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Leeches Breeches: Victorian Job Features

Is your current desk job getting you down? Is the capitalist system leeching off your hard labour? Console yourself with the fact that some Victorian jobs involved actual leeches. Join Jess and Philippa as they search for new jobs among the Sin Eaters, Mudlarks, and Funeral Mutes of the Victorian underbelly. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Well Hung

We've looked at the inventive methods of execution that were designed to get attention (and at least a few chuckles), but who was it that had to ensure that the death sentence was carried out to the letter? Join Jess and Philippa for a game of hangman and look into the complicated, stigmatised existences (and fashions) of those who ruled the noose. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Night Witches

This week, we are so lucky to have Moxie LaBouche, the host of Your Brain On Facts, pay our podcast a visit! Join Jess, Philippa, and Moxie as they cling to the wood-and-canvas wings of the outdated, ramshackle planes flown by the Russian Night Witches during WWII and look into the lives of those who are often lost to history and the impact of those whom we choose as a culture to memorialise. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Batavia's Graveyard

If we've learned anything, during our time podcasting (and that may be up for debate), it's that nothing good happens on a boat. Join us onboard the Batavia, which set out from Texel in the Netherlands in 1628 and never returned. It would, however, carry its passengers to the site of one of the bloodiest, murderiest (technically not a) mutiny in naval history. CW: Sexual assault, child death, and murder Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)


Black Beards, Red Hearts

Join Jess and Philippa as they look at one of the greatest boat-based love stories of all time: that of Blackbeard and Black Sam Bellamy. Plunder, booty, and most important of all...REVENGE! Get your best pirate voice going and dive with us into this tale of broken hearties. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/Awfulforeverpodcast)