What Did Holocaust Survivors Do After Liberation? Part Two: Immigration, Children, and Choosing to Stay

This post is part one of a series of posts adapted from a research paper that I wrote during my sophomore year of undergrad. This is not meant to be an exhaustive look at postwar Europe but it’s meant to provide insight into the conditions Jewish Holocaust survivors faced and their actions following liberation. For part one, about DP camps, please click here.

Postwar Destruction

Postwar destruction, southern Germany. Image via my family archives.

Survivors in DP camps worked to locate surviving family members, pouring over lists of survivors posted at the camps and published in camp newspapers. Jewish Organizations were instrumental with this method, compiling lists of survivors on carbon paper so several copies could be made at once. When someone left the town or camp, they took copies and distributed them on their journey. UNRRA (United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration) also helped reunite families as they kept records survivors could search. In addition, a word of mouth telegraph system had been developed to carry messages across international borders since mail and phone usage was reserved for military use only.

Landsberg DP Camp Chart

A handwritten chart listing children by nationality at Landsberg DP camp. Image via USHMM.

Many survivors spent the first months and years after liberation trying to obtain the paperwork and permissions needed to immigrate and by 1952, over 80,000 Jewish DPs had immigrated to the United States. While the US was popular with survivors, it was the second choice. In an April 1945 poll of 138,320 DPs in all three occupation zones, 118,570 (almost 85%) said the country they’d most like to immigrate to was Palestine. It was viewed as the promised land where a Jewish state could be developed but the British government (who controlled Palestine at this time) banned Jewish immigration to Palestine, a policy that was met with much resentment.

DPs Protesting British Immigration Policy

A group of displaced persons in Landsberg DP camp protesting Britain’s immigration policy to Palestine. Image via USHMM.

Lucille Eichengreen’s first choice was Palestine but after finding out the only way she could get there was by marrying her cousin, she decided to immigrate to the US. Lucille, who spent time living and working in a British DP camp, was lucky enough to have British troops escort her from Germany to Brussels, Belgium and then put her on a train to Paris. Once she arrived in Paris, she immediately went to

lucille eichengreen

Lucille in 2006. Image via Der Spiegel.

the American embassy to begin the immigration process. She had friends in New York who sent an affidavit for her but that wasn’t nearly enough. Lucille also needed a health certificate, a current passport, a second affidavit, and $600 for passage to New York City. This seems like standard travel procedure and, except for the affidavits, it is. But being a Holocaust survivor, Lucille had no identification. Upon arrival at any concentration camp, victims were stripped of their belongings, paperwork included. Because of this, virtually no survivors had identification. She was nervous about obtaining a health certificate as she, like many others, had contracted TB during her time in concentration camps. She was of Polish descent but was born and raised in Germany, therefore, the Polish embassy refused her request multiple times. Lucille stood in line at the American and Polish embassies every day to see what progress had been made on her requests. After over eight weeks, Lucille finally had the paperwork necessary to immigrate to the US. The second affidavit came from her uncle in San Francisco and the $600 from another uncle in Palestine. She finally made it to California in 1949. Today she is 92 years old.

Even traveling from country to country within Europe wasn’t a feat. If a survivor chose to leave a DP camp to immigrate, they faced rigorous laws no matter what occupation zone they happened to be in or where they wanted to go. Primo Levi wrote about Starye Dorogi’s “open camp” status, saying, “Although the camp was neither guarded nor fenced, the distant frontiers were, and strongly so.” Many left the camp, and many returned because borders could not be crossed. It was almost out of the question without passports, birth certificates, or being escorted by Allied troops.

While the majority of survivors wanted to leave Europe as quickly as possible, a small number of survivors chose to stay in Germany. This was a decision that most Jews and Jewish organizations looked down upon, to say the least. How could anyone stay in the country that killed over six million Jews, nearly wiping them out of Europe completely? The answers to that question are varied. Some chose to stay with family members who were too sick to immigrate, some were too sick themselves, some married German spouses, some managed to rebuild their life in Germany, and, most noble of all, some wanted to rebuild Jewish culture in Germany. After all, if all Jews left, the Nazi dream of a judenrein (“cleansed of Jews”) Germany would have come to fruition.

Rebuilding Jewish communities was, as you might guess, difficult. After liberation, some towns had a Jewish population of 50 or less. It is difficult to rebuild Jewish life with no Jews. Furthermore, synagogues were not turned over to Jewish organizations and rabbis couldn’t be convinced to come to Germany. In fact, the Jewish community in Berlin didn’t have a rabbi until 1947, two years after liberation. Smaller communities had an even harder time finding and keeping a rabbi for more than a few weeks or months. As previously mentioned, those that stayed in Germany were met with hostility from fellow Jews. “Let them wait in their beloved Fatherland until their throats are slit too,” sounds like a quote from a member of the Third Reich but in fact, it’s from a “well-known German Zionist.” It was thought that if a person stayed in Germany, it must have been for material reasons. Why was it so difficult to believe that some stayed to rebuild their culture? It’s understandable that Jews did not want to stay in the country that brought them so much heartache the isolation Jews in Germany faced after the war did little to help those that chose to stay.

Young Buchenwald Survivor

A young Buchenwald survivor with a British soldier. Image via USHMM.

Postwar Europe was difficult for adults to navigate but children had a much harder time. Not many children survived the Holocaust since anyone deemed unable to work (usually children, the elderly, and the sick) were among the first to be killed upon arrival to a camp. In July 1945, the Institute of Jewish Affairs took a census of survivors in  Germany and Austria. The census included 25,000 Jewish survivors, almost 90% of whom were between 16 and 45. Only 3.6% were under 16.

Young Buchenwald Survivors

A group of young Buchenwald survivors, dressed in clothes made from German uniforms. Image via USHMM.

For the most part, children had the option to stay in a DP camp or go to an orphanage or hostel. Judith Hemmendinger studied a group of 90 child survivors of Buchenwald during their time in a Paris hostel. The children, all boys, were from Poland, Hungary, and Rumania. They took great pleasure in things we don’t even think about. Hemmendinger wrote that the boys took a train into town every week to have their pictures taken and loved to look at photos of themselves. They hadn’t seen a photo of themselves or even looked in a mirror in years so you can see how this would be very special for them. The boys also hid food in their bedrooms. Many survivors developed the habit of hoarding food as they still felt like it could be taken away at any minute. This prompted the director of the hostel to leave the kitchen open for the boys. They could have whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

Children in the Bindermichl DP camp

Children in the Bindermichl DP camp in Austria, 1947. Image via USHMM.

Like all survivors, the boys frequently checked survivor lists, hoping to see familiar names. Some refused to say the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, because they were so hopeful that someone from their family survived. Others were sure no one survived and said the prayer. When the hostel closed in 1947, Hemmendinger said they had “regained their former identity, their physical strength, sensitiveness, and interest in life.” A small number of the boys went to Israel and a much larger number located relatives in the US and immigrated to be with them. The younger ones who had attended school in Paris for the first time stayed in Paris.

Thomas Buergenthal, a child survivor of Auschwitz, has a unique story. After liberation, Thomas, who was 11 at the time, spent time as the “mascot” for a division of the Polish army. His time with the army was short lived as a Polish soldier recognized that Thomas was Jewish (and that the army was no place for a child) and took him to an orphanage in Otwock, Poland.

Thomas Buergenthal

Thomas, approximately six months after liberation, with the soldier who took him to the orphanage. Image via USHMM.

Buergenthal wrote that he was treated “very well” in the orphanage and when a doctor diagnosed him as underweight, he enjoyed hearty meals and treats like ice cream. He wasn’t sure if he was actually an orphan, though. He watched his father die in Auschwitz but didn’t know his mother’s fate. Other children did have one or both of their parents. Those children were temporarily in the orphanage while their parent(s) rebuilt their life or were still in another country. Those that were unsure if they had surviving family members were often offered to be adopted by Jewish camp survivors. According to Buergenthal, everyone declined.

Being so young and growing up in ghettos and concentration camps, he couldn’t read or write. While still in the orphanage, he, along with the other children, attended a nearby school where he began his education. During his time in the orphanage, arrangements were made for children that were orphans to be illegally moved to Palestine. Shortly before he was to leave, his mother found and wrote him. Due to the strict border controls and unreliable mail service, it took over four months for Thomas and his mother to be reunited. The two of them went on to live in Germany until 1951 when they immigrated to the US. He went on to law school, focusing on human rights law. In 2000, he was elected the American judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He served on several committees dedicated to human rights and retired as emeriti faculty from the George Washington University School of Law.

When I wrote the paper that I adapted these posts from way back in 2012, I was met with lots of, “huh…I never thought about what happened after liberation.” I hope that these posts can shed a little light on the situation. As I stated at the beginning of both of these posts, this isn’t an exhaustive look at this topic by any stretch of the imagination. For more information, please check out my sources below and explore the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s resources online.


Sources (contains affiliate links)

After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany by Michael Brenner
The Reawakening by Primo Levi
Among the Survivors of the Holocaust by Irving Heymont
From Ashes to Life by Lucille Eichengreen
Before – During – After by Siegfried Halbreich
A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal

“The Children of Buchenwald: After Liberation and Now” by Judith Hemmendinger

What Did Holocaust Survivors Do After Liberation? Part One: Displaced Persons Camps

This post is part one of a series of posts adapted from a research paper that I wrote during my sophomore year of undergrad. This is not meant to be an exhaustive look at DP camps, but a look at the conditions Holocaust survivors faced and one Jewish camp in the American zone. For more information about DP camps, please visit my sources at the bottom of this post.

Life after the Holocaust isn’t a topic that comes to light very often. What did survivors do? Where did they go? Almost everyone has some knowledge of the horrors of the Third Reich but far fewer people possess knowledge of the life that waited for their victims once liberation came. It was impossible for life to go back to normal…there was no normal anymore.

When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, millions of Europeans were left displaced. We don’t know the exact number. Figures vary greatly, even among historians, but the task of putting the lives of the Jewish, Romani, homosexual, and political prisoners that survived concentration camps as well as the lives of Europeans displaced by war wasn’t easy.

Postwar Destruction

Destruction in postwar Europe, circa 1945. Image via my family archives.

One option that survivors had were the displaced persons camps (DP camps) set up in the occupation zones (American, Soviet, British, and French). The camps were often established in either the remains of the concentration camp or in German army barracks. They were set up by the Allies to give survivors a safe place to stay while they regained their strength, tracked down surviving family members, gathered the paperwork needed to immigrate, and/or become acclimated to life outside of a concentration camp. They were small communities with schools, synagogues/churches, hospitals, and recreation areas. This post will discuss DP camps, particularly the Landsberg DP camp near Munich, Germany in the American-occupied zone. Much of the information in this post comes from the letters of US Army Major Irving Heymont, head of the Landsberg camp from September-December 1945.

To understand what a survivor of the Holocaust faced after liberation, it’s important to understand the atmosphere in Europe, particularly Germany and Poland. Anti-Semitism was prevalent in pre-war Europe and obviously, the effects of years of Nazi propaganda were strong and didn’t immediately disappear (in some ways, it survives to this day.) Jewish survivors often faced physical and verbal attacks, known as pogroms. Primo Levi, a Jewish-Italian survivor of Auschwitz, wrote, “We felt we had something to say, enormous things to say, to every single German, and we felt that every German should have something to say to us…”

Survivors who returned to their hometown to try to reclaim their pre-war property were met with “violent opposition” from the current owners of their homes. According to one of the men who witnessed such an attack, the Polish police often did nothing to stop the attackers. The events that transpired under the Third Reich paired with the residual hate left most survivors with the desire to get out of Europe as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, it took time for that to even be a possibility. In the meantime, those that stayed in DP camps found that they weren’t always the refuges they were intended to be. Major Irving Heymont, himself Jewish-American, of the US Army told the Landsberg camp committee that “the army came to Europe to fight the Nazis, not stand guard over their victims.” Heymont didn’t want to be in charge of the camp and statements like the aforementioned show his true feelings. Regardless, this attitude wasn’t exclusive to Landsberg. Julius Spokojny spent time in the Wildflecken DP camp, also in the American zone. Spokojny wrote, “…after the concentration camp, there was still a concentration camp, only without annihilation, without gas chambers, but the same closed camp. With armed guards.”

Protests took place at the White House when Americans found out about the treatment of survivors by US troops. President Truman decided to investigate the situation and sent Earl G. Harrison, then a member of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, to inspect a few camps in the American zone. Harrison’s report aligns with Spokojny’s comments about Wildflecken. In his report, Harrison wrote,

As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them. They are in concentration camps in large numbers under our military guard instead of SS troops. One is led to wonder whether the German people, seeing this, are not supposing that we are following or at least condoning Nazi policy.

Truman immediately took action, writing a letter to General Eisenhower in August 1945 stating that the Americans had a responsibility to show the German people that “we abhor the Nazi policies of hatred and persecution” and that the best way to demonstrate this was to treat the survivors with dignity. This letter led to improved treatment of the DPs as well as the improvement of the camps becoming a priority in the American zone. With new men being put in charge of the camps and the turbulent atmosphere, this policy took time to sink in. In September 1945, Major Heymont, then only 27 years old, became the head of the Landsberg DP camp in Germany.

The Landsberg DP camp was set up after the liberation of nearby Landsberg concentration camp, a subcamp of Dachau. This camp was part of “Kaufering IV.” If this name sounds familiar or the photo below looks familiar, it’s probably because this is the same camp that was liberated in episode 9 of Band of Brothers, “Why We Fight.”

Kaufering IV

Kaufering IV shortly after liberation. Image via USHMM.

Heymont’s letters to his wife give us clear view of what life in Landsberg was like. According to Heymont, the unit that was in charge before he got there had done nothing more than ensure the rations were distributed. He wrote that the residents, 6,000 total with 5,000 being Jewish survivors of Dachau and its sub camps, “appear demoralized beyond hope of rehabilitation. They appear to be beaten both spiritually and physically, with no hopes or incentives for the future.”

He went on to reveal his biggest struggle with the camp: the sanitation, or lack thereof. He described the camp as being, “filthy beyond description. Sanitation is virtually unknown. Words fail me when I try to think of an accurate description.” Due to the lack of sanitation in concentration camps, disease spread rapidly. Many survivors were liberated with typhus and lice. Cleaning the DP camp would stop the spread of disease among survivors as well as US soldiers and civilians in the surrounding areas. It’s also true that cleanliness can help you feel human.

There were two reasons for the condition of the camp: supply shortages left them with few cleaning supplies and the camp residents, having been dehumanized, malnourished, and used as slave labor for years, were not in any condition to clean. This left him extremely frustrated. Heymont wrote his wife an entire letter, several pages long, on the condition of various parts of the camp. The pots, pans, and stoves of the non-kosher kitchen were “encrusted” with grease and food debris and appeared not to have been cleaned in weeks. Meat was laying on the floor of the walk-in freezer as all of the meat hooks were rusty. The kosher kitchen was somehow worse than its non-kosher counterpart and there was human excrement on the floor of the kitchen’s storeroom. Of the bathrooms he wrote that they “beg description” and “the washrooms and toilets had an intense acrid odor that almost caused me to vomit.” The hospital was described as a “bright spot” with only small infractions and the schools were also surprisingly clean.

Landsberg DP Camp

Landsberg DP Camp, circa 1945-1948. Image via USHMM.

With all of that in mind, it’s important to realize that not all DP camps were in the condition Landsberg was in at this point in time. On September 28, 1945, Major Heymont and General Onslow Rolfe, the Assistant Division Commander, took a trip to the Fohrenwald DP camp near Wolfratshausen. This camp was “beautiful,” set up well, and run well. This visit inspired him. It’s also around this time, and probably not coincidental, that he seems to become more sympathetic towards the residents. In the same letter he mentions the Fohrenwald visit, he mentions a speech he gave to the camp in which he said,

Because I know what you have suffered, I want to assure you that I do not intend to see Landsberg another prison camp. We did not conquer the Nazis so we could have the hollow honor of standing armed guard over the victims of Hitler.

This is a far cry from his previous statement saying that the Army wasn’t responsible for standing guard over the victims of the Third Reich. In the same speech, Heymont stressed that he understood that under the Nazis, work meant death and that the US Army didn’t intend to work them to death. As the Army began to understand the survivors’ point of view, camp rules began to change. Residents no longer needed a written pass to leave the camp and the guards at the gate were withdrawn as they were reminiscent of guards outside of concentration camps. Only one soldier remained at the main gate to help camp police and keep unauthorized Germans from entering. The most symbolic change came when the barbed wire surrounding the area, left from the concentration camp, was finally torn down.

Heymont and Rolfe

General Onslow Rolfe (top, right) and Major Irving Heymont (top, center) speak to Jewish DPs in the Landsberg DP camp. Image via USHMM.

At first, DPs in camps, in all occupation zones, were organized by nationality. It seems that Jewish survivors were mostly unhappy with this system. They wanted to be seen simply as Jewish, not Polish Jews, German Jews, or Hungarian Jews. Once the US Army realized this, populations were moved around and many camps became Jewish or non-Jewish. Landsberg became a Jewish DP camp in October 1945.

Since post-war Europe was divided into four occupation zones, it’s interesting to look at the differences between DP camps in the different zones. It was mentioned that Jewish residents in Landsberg, and most camps, wanted to be seen as Jewish and nothing else. In Starye Dorogi, a transit camp for Italians in the Soviet Union, things were different. Primo Levi, who spent time in the camp, said that the Soviets were impartial toward the residents and saw them simply as Italians, disregarding whether they were Jewish or not. This seemed to suit Levi, as he said the rest was ‘vsyo ravno’ or “all the same.” Another stark contrast comes with the physical treatment of the residents. Residents of American camps were certainly not treated the same as the soldiers themselves. In Star Dorogi, it seems that they were.

One constant in all of the camps was the desire for privacy. This is a completely understandable desire as survivors hadn’t experienced privacy in years. Ghettos didn’t allow for much solitude and privacy in a concentration camp was impossible. Unfortunately, almost every camp was overpopulated and privacy was still in short supply. Heymont was struck by the residents’ “intense desire” for it, to not be part of a mass as they had been for so many years. Residents strung blankets up and rearranged wooden lockers to create partitions. In From Ashes to Life, Lucille Eichengreen wrote about her time in a British DP camp where she shared a room with six or seven other women and, like Landsberg, the bathroom was dormitory style. Since most DP camps were established in the remains of concentration camps or army barracks, arrangements similar to Lucille’s and those in Landsberg were extremely common.

Major Heymont, later to become Colonel Heymont, was commander of the Landsberg DP camp for only three and a half months. According to Abraham Peck, who was born in the camp and went on to become director of the Academic Council for Post-Holocaust Christian, Jewish and Islamic Studies at the University of Southern Maine, Heymont’s work shouldn’t go understated. He called the Landsberg DP camp a “turning point” in Jewish history and explained that “Heymont allowed these people their own sense of humanity.” Holocaust survivors needed humanity.

Farewell dinner

Farewell dinner for Major Irving Heymont and Captain David Trott. From left to right: Ala Gringauz (nee Bergholz), Dr. Abraham Glassgold, UNRRA director, Major Irving Heymont, Captain David Trott and Dr. Samuel Gringauz. Image via USHMM.

Landsberg went on to become the center of Jewish cultural life in the American zone. In 1947, the camp population stood at 4,500 residents. They had a school system that spanned all ages, from pre-K to college and included a Talmud Torah (field of study dealing with Jewish law) and a Yeshiva (institution dealing with religious texts such as the Talmud and Torah). DPs in the camp ran newspapers, including the ‘Yidishe Tsaytung’ (literally, Jewish Newspaper), a radio station, and a theatre group. As we’ll see in the next post in this series, Jewish DPs were eager to reclaim their culture and went about it with impressive speed and efficiency.

Religion in Landsberg

Most DP camps remained in operation until the early 1950s when occupation forces withdrew. The Landsberg DP camp closed in October 1950.

For more information about displaced persons camps, please check out the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and my sources below.


Sources (contains affiliate links)

After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany by Michael Brenner
The Reawakening by Primo Levi
Among the Survivors of the Holocaust by Irving Heymont
From Ashes to Life by Lucille Eichengreen
Before – During – After by Siegfried Halbreich
A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal

US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Earl G. Harrison
Irving Heymont, 90, Commanded Displaced Persons Camp After WWII by Patricia Sullivan
ORT and the Displaced Person Camps

Historic Oak View County Park

A few weeks ago, I visited Historic Oak View County Park here in Raleigh. Despite living just a few miles from the park for over six years, I’d never been! I took advantage of the nice weather to explore.

Beginning in the 1830s, Oak View was a working farm for around 150 years, growing Southern staples like cotton and tobacco. During that time, it belonged to several high-profile families in Wake County, with the county acquiring it in 1984, decades after it ceased being a working farm. By 1984, it was made up of 72 acres of land, a fraction of its former size. Wake County planned an office park on part of the land, used the historic house for storage, and slated 17 acres of the orchard and several historic farm buildings for demolition. The Wake County Historical Society organized a citizens committee to raise funds and several county commissioners became involved with the project to save the park. In 1991, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1995, it became the first historic park in the Wake County park system.

Today, the park is comprised of several historic buildings, a museum, visitor’s center, a Farm History Center, a pecan grove, fruit orchard, and small cemetery.

This is the main house, built around 1855. In the 1940s, a Colonial Revival-style addition was added (to the right of the main structure). Now it’s a small museum!

Library1

Inside the library of the main house. Behind me was a fireplace and shelves of old books reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast (on a much smaller scale!)

KitchenHouse

This is the plank kitchen behind the main house. In the south, kitchens were detached from the main house to eliminate extra heat in the living space. This is the oldest building on the property, having been built in 1825 and served as the house’s kitchen until the 1940s!

Barn1

One of the barns on the property. You’d never know that the interstate is visible from the park. It feels like you’re away from modern life for a minute.

CottonBail

A bale of cotton beside the cotton gin house. I didn’t take pictures inside the house because it was so dark. You’re able to walk upstairs and downstairs in the house, which I thought was so cool! The cotton gin house was built around 1900 and processed the cotton from Oak View Farm as well as surrounding farms.

Chicken

And they have livestock! On the day I went, I only saw the chickens but they have goats as well. I was a little sad that I missed the goats but since I live so close (and I really didn’t explore much of the park), I’ll have to go back!

Park1

For more information about Historic Oak View County Park, click here!

What I Read in October

It’s already November, which means it’s time to share what I read in October! For past “What I Read” posts, click hereFull disclosure, this post contains affiliate links.

What I Read in October

The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman
This book is special simply because so few survived Treblinka. It was a death factory, where victims were hurried off the trains and straight to the gas chambers. The story is horrifying and chronicles the absolute worst humanity has to offer. For those same reasons, it’s an important one.

Murder in Little Egypt by Darcy O’Brien
Little Egypt is a sleepy area in southern Illinois. The town doctor, Dale Cavaness, treats nearly everyone in Little Egypt and they trust him wholeheartedly. There is a lot they don’t know about him, though. When one of Dale’s sons turns up dead, it looks like a horrible accident. But is it? You guys, this book is wild. I stayed up past midnight on more than one occasion because I couldn’t put it down. If you’re into true crime, you’ll definitely want to pick this one up.

Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson
Blood Done Sign My Name is part memoir, part story about a small southern town in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. Tyson grew up in Oxford, NC and in 1970, the town saw the murder of a young black man by a white store owner and his sons. Tyson talks about the Civil Rights Movement across the country, particularly in the south, and what it was like to grow up in that environment. It’s a fantastic book and unfortunately, it still feels very relevant in 2017.


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What I read in October

Creepy Historical Podcasts for Halloween

Because I love podcasts and I’m sure many of my readers do, too, I’ve compiled a list of some of the creepiest episodes of some of my favorite podcasts, all of which have a basis in history. Just so you know, many of these episodes deal with murder (although none get too graphic if my memory serves correctly) so proceed with caution if you’re sensitive to that or have little ears listening.

Creepy Podcasts for Halloween

Lore

If you’re looking for a creepy podcast, you’re looking for Lore. (And now it’s a show on Amazon!) Really, the entire series is perfect listening for the month of October but I have a few favorites…

Mary, Mary

The Big Chill (I swear, I think about this story at least once a week.)

Negative Consequences

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Lizzie Borden and Her Axe

The Bloody Benders

Spring-Heeled Jack: Mystery Assailant!

The Sisters Fox: They Talked to Dead People

Ghosts of History: Winchester Mystery House

HH Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle, parts one and two

The Belle Gunness Episode: Who was the Mistress of Murder Hill?

Criminal

Pearl Bryan

Poster Boy

One Eyed Joe

You Must Remember This

Charles Manson’s Hollywood
This entire series is phenomenal and I recommend listening to the whole thing but if you only want the creepiest, this episode covers the Tate/LaBianca murders

Haunted Places

This podcast is brand new (these are the only two episodes out so far!) but it’s perfect for Halloween.

 The Cecil Hotel

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories

Edgar Allan Poe, parts one and two

The Black Dahlia, parts one and two

Bugsy Siegel, parts one and two

Villisca Axe Murders, parts one and two

The Mystery of the Somerton Man/Taman Shud, parts one and two

The Zodiac Killer, parts one and two

If you need a little palate cleanser but still want to hear about spooky things, here are some podcasts covering creepy topics that are meant to educate and entertain, not scare!

Stuff You Should Know

What’s the Deal With Rasputin’s Death?

(Approximately) 10 Things That Vanished Mysteriously

The Dark Origins of Fairy Tales

How Haunted House Attractions Work

Do Zombies Really Exist?

How Exorcism Works

The Tomb by HP Lovecraft

Berenice by Edgar Allan Poe

Halloween Scarefest (2014)

Sawbones

Reanimation

Medical Cannibalism

Corpse Theft and the Resurrection Men

The Unkillable Phineas Gage

Aah, Real Monsters!

Do you have other recommendations? Let me know in the comments!


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