Pre-Dead Boys-logo

Pre-Dead Boys

History Podcasts

You're gonna rot - but that doesn't have to be a bummer! Prepare for the inevitable with Max and Dorian as they explore the history and culture of death and decomposition. Twitter & Insta: @predeadboys

You're gonna rot - but that doesn't have to be a bummer! Prepare for the inevitable with Max and Dorian as they explore the history and culture of death and decomposition. Twitter & Insta: @predeadboys


United States


You're gonna rot - but that doesn't have to be a bummer! Prepare for the inevitable with Max and Dorian as they explore the history and culture of death and decomposition. Twitter & Insta: @predeadboys






58: Black American Death Care

The funeral industry faces many challenges. But the segment of it that serves, and is comprised of, Black Americans faces its own unique struggles. Join Max and Dorian as they explore homegoing celebrations, the use of coffins in the Underground Railroad, the distinct issues befalling Black-owned funeral homes, and the open-casket funeral of Emmett Till. Needless to say, this episode gets pretty heavy. But we also talk about a baseball player turned happy funeral director to lighted things...


57: Animals 2

This week, Max and Dorian look at more animal stories! It’s a little bit of a bummer at first as they examine how animals grieve, but they end on an uplifting note by honoring some HEROIC DOGS. For more animal stories, go back and listen to episode 22. ( Need a mask? Check out LunarPoison’s shop! (


56: Veneration

Mere minutes before Dorian sets out on a death-defying stunt, Max teaches him about the religious act of honoring a dead person through relics! Although most of their discussion revolves around the (often dubious) personal items and remains of the Catholic saints, a dramatic Buddhist self-mummification tradition bears mentioning as well. And oh boy, do we have some disturbing news about the planets and a certain famous baby.


55: Death and the Internet

In an extremely online world, no one truly disappears when they die. Join Max and Dorian as they explore death in the era of Web 2.0! It's a realm of digital remains, post-mortem social media profiles, public mourning of celebrities... and brands being very, very dumb. Click here to read Natalie Kane's transcribed talk on Death and the Internet. ( Click here to watch Mark Zuckerberg smoke these...


54: Food

Love food? TOO BAD, according to several cultures! While some funeral celebrations have sweet confections and savory meals for the mourners to enjoy, others strictly prohibit the enjoyment of funeral food and keep things as bland as possible. Listen to this episode to learn all about these traditions, the system of sin-eating, and the worst food America has to offer. Click here to read Gastro Obscura's article on funerary comfort foods....


1: Bone Diaries ep. 1

Dorian found a dead squirrel. He wants its bones. Click here to read Jake's Bones. (


53: Necropolises

Cities of the dead (a.k.a. Necropolises) sound scary, but are actually pretty chill! This week, Max and Dorian learn about the Vatican, the Giza pyramids, and other large burial destinations around the world. As time goes on, society will have more and more dead to bury. Will we build more of these massive cemeteries in the future? GLAD YOU ASKED... because there's one in progress that's shaping up to be pretty cool.


52: Gravediggers

Whether by heroism, necessity, or both, the essential worker steps up when average people consider a job too lowly or risky. Enter the gravediggers! In this episode, Max and Dorian tell the stories of the faithful workers protecting Jewish bodies from desecration, the brave women who buried victims of disease when no one else would, and the pub that has served gravediggers nearly 200 years of post-burial pints. Finally, we cover some celebrity gravediggers. One of them sure does show up on...


51: What to Do in a Pandemic

Are you anxious over the current global crisis? Max and Dorian have the remedy for your socially-distanced blues! For those not on forced quarantine, might we recommend a visit to your local cemetery? Believe it or not, these were originally constructed to be used for relaxation. After covering the history of leisurely cemetery strolls, the boys give you a couple weird death-related research rabbit trails for your personal enjoyment. Stay safe out there folks! -- Click here for a list of...


50: Corpse Scandals

Let's look at some BIGTIME mismanagement of dead bodies! Max and Dorian begin their exploration with a long-abandoned island of bummer buildings and overstuffed graves, then wrap up (heh) by uncovering (heh heh) one of the biggest screwups in the history of the death care industry (oops). Hope this episode finds you well - be safe and healthy out there, friends!


49: Bog Bodies

Murder! Human sacrifice! And... peat?! It may sound crazy, but that cruddy fossil fuel is key to understanding the incredible things that happen when a corpse is stuffed into a bog. Discover the miraculous ways bogs preserve ancient bodies (and luscious locks), and what forensic analysis of these bodies has taught us. Watch your nipples!


48: Body Farms

It's the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Pre-Dead Boys, and things get a little steamy! Specifically, dead bodies get steamy. And chilly. And eaten by squirrels. And run over by lawnmowers. It all happens at Anthropological Research Facilities, a.k.a. BODY FARMS, where forensic researchers experiment with cadavers to learn about how bodies decompose. Listen and learn all about how they started, why they're so helpful, and what the haters are saying! KISSES <3


47: Plagues

Are you afraid you'll catch an illness? So is Max! His paranoia led to a frenzied deep-dive into the history of epidemics. Join him as he shares his newfound knowledge with Dorian, from the Black Death to today's Coronavirus scare. We also discuss those weird-looking plague doctors, and their modern-day replacements. It's pretty chill. Click here to see Old COSI. (


46: Coffin Tech

WE'RE BACK BAY-BEE, with a hot (yet comprehensive) take on the cutting edge of coffin developments throughout history! Discover the measures taken to make coffins better for those buried alive, worse for those who steal corpses, and weirder for the rest of us. Yes we do talk about exploding bodies again. You know us so well! Click here to watch the trailer for Pa Joe & The Lion. (


45: Deathy Holidays

In the name of the Kallikantzaros, the Mari Lwyd, and the unholy Krampus: Max and Dorian wish you a merry new year, and gift you with an episode absolutely STUFFED with death-centric winter holiday traditions from around the world! Don't let these Christmas-hating scrooges fool you - they wrap up with some truly heartwarming tales of holiday cheer. Granted, those tales may include just a bit of graveyard vandalism... but they're cheerful nonetheless. SEE YA IN 2020 YA FILTHY ANIMALS <3


44: Body Composting

Do you realize how much garbage we put into the earth when we perform traditional western burials? Before Dorian hops on his soapbox to rant about it, Max educates him (and you!) on the mechanics of composting a dead body, how it benefits the soil, and which teenage heartthrob opted for a similarly green burial - which, by the way, is currently experiencing some controversy! Uh oh, he’s getting on the soapbox again… Click here to learn more about Recompose. (


43: Exhumation

Why dig up a stinky dead body? Well, there are good reasons to do that, like honoring lost war heroes and resolving legal disputes. There are also gross reasons that make you rethink things like eating cream cheese. Today, Max and Dorian cover both! They also answer the age-old question: what should I do if I find a corpse in my backyard? Click here to read the Beyond the Dash article on Famadihana....


42: Daredevils

It's time to look death in the eye and say NOT TODAY! Learn about Evel Knievel, Buster Keaton, Alex Honnold, and other American legends who chucked their body into death-defying situations and lived to make money from it. Unfortunately, those paychecks are typically meager - so Max and Dorian also dive into their psychology and ask: What drives a person to do this? Click here for our episode on Terror Management Theory. ( Click...



Frankenstein isn't the only person to attempt to raise the dead! Join Max and Dorian on their crash-course through necromancin' in ancient Greek literature, the Hebrew Bible, and HP Lovecraft*. Pour yourself some goat's blood cocktails and pull up a chair, because for our final October episode, we're getting extra spoOoOokyyy * that dude SUCKED Click here to watch Joel Embiid die, then come back to life. (


Patreon FAQ

We launched a Patreon! Here's a mini-episode explaining what it is and how it works. Help us keep this podcast running, and get bonus rewards! Check out (