The Shannara Chronicles: Behind the Scenes video

the-shannara-chronicles-mtvWe are two months away from the premiere of The Shannara Chronicles! If you haven’t read the book The Elfstones of Shannara you better get started.

MTV released a Behind-the-Scenes video that introduces the actors and the Shannara universe. Enjoy…

Ireland’s 9 Most Haunted Sites


Lady Isobel and the Phantom Children

Looking at Ballygally Castle, a cute Scottish baronial pile on the Antrim coast, you’d never think it was one of the most haunted places in Ireland. It all started when a previous owner locked his wife, Lady Isobel, in a tower because she couldn’t produce a male heir. Rather than starve, Isobel leapt to her death on the rocks below. Now a hotel, guests have seen her spectre and phantom children roaming the corridors.

A Jester’s Curse

The only thing more tragic than a sad clown? A murdered jester. Just look at Malahide Castle, a medieval fortress on Dublin’s coast where the spirit of one is rumored to be roaming the grounds. Puck was his name, and stories say he’d fallen in love with one of Malahide’s prisoners, Lady Elenora Fitzgerald. Puck was found out, stabbed in the heart and with his last breath, swore to haunt the castle.

We featured Malahide Castle in our Haunted Castle Podcast series!

The Bloody Chapel

Behind the medieval walls of Leap Castle in County Offaly are stories of murder and betrayal. Like in 1250, when two ambitious brothers vied for the family seat. One, a priest, was giving mass in the castle chapel when his brother ran in and plunged a sword into his heart on the altar of what’s now called the Bloody Chapel. And then there are the skeletons discovered on a secret spike, but that’s a story for another day…

MAP#69: The Pit and the Pendulum

The_Pit_and_the_Pendulum Medieval Archives

Happy Halloween!

The Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478 by Ferdinand and Isabella, was used to rid Spain and the Spanish Territories of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition targeted Catholics who strayed from the Catholic teaches and expanded to Jews, Muslims and non-Catholic Christians.

Being convicted by an Inquisition tribunal didn’t also led to death, but it almost guaranteed torture. Torture to confess your sins, torture to renounce your evil ways or to name other heretics.

Today on the Halloween inspired episode we are going to listen to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum. It’s a tale of one man’s experience as he is tried, sentenced and tortured for crimes against the cross.

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In this episode we discuss:

  • The Spanish Inqusition
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum

Download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.

The music was provided by Tim Rayburn. It is available at

Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway

Viking Sword

The sword, found at Haukeli in central southern Norway will be sent for conservation at the The University Museum of Bergen. Jostein Aksdal, an archeologist with Hordaland County said the sword was in such good condition that if it was given a new grip and a polish, it could be used today. He said that…

The Shannara Chronicles: NYCC Official Trailer

During the New York Comic Con (NYCC) MTV released another trailer for their upcoming adaptation of The Shannara universe. The Shannara Chronicles debuts on MTV in January 2016!

The Middle Ages Unlocked: Author Interview

Middle Ages Unlocked front cover

The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Medieval England, 1050-1300, a comprehensive guide to life in Medieval England, is now available in North America! Written by historian Dr. Gillian Polack and archaeologist Dr. Katrin Kania The Middle Ages Unlocked explores all aspects of medieval life law, religion and education as well as the tools and…

King John arrives in the USA!


King John of England, best known as the wicked King who ruled England in the Robin Hood legends. Was he really as bad as he’s portrayed in the legends? Well, he may have been worse! As the fifth son of King Henry II, John was a long shot to become the King. But the earlier…

MAP#68: Combat of the Thirty


During the first phase of the Hundred Years War a smaller war broke out in France, the Breton War of Succession. Wars of Succession always start the same way, a Noblemen dies without and heir. In this case it was he Duke of Brittany, John the Good, who died childless in 1341. Two men stepped…

The Holy Ghost: Historian pinpoints final resting place of one of medieval England’s greatest ships

Historians and archaeologists have tentatively identified the location of one of medieval England’s greatest ships. Detailed archival and aerial photographic research carried out by British maritime historian, Ian Friel, has pinpointed a 30 metre stretch of the River Hamble near Southampton as the final resting place of one of Henry V’s largest warships – the…

Chinese archeologists unearth 800-year-old rare turtle shaped tomb with human remains


A very rare 800-year-old brick tomb that gives a turtle like appearance when viewed from top was discovered under the house of a Chinese villager. Archaeologists believe that the tomb was used by our ancestors for preserving human bodies and it still possess human remains of several generations which reveal important information of that era….

Medieval Tuscany village on sale for £30m complete with fruit farm and a church

Why buy one holiday home when you can buy 70 – and a church and organic fruit farm? Villages in Europe that were abandoned during the recession as their owners fled the country to find jobs in the city have been put up for sale – but you’ll need deep pockets for the biggest and…

Neurological condition probably caused medieval scribe’s shaky handwriting


Scribes usually have pretty good handwriting. That’s not the case for one prolific 13th century writer known to scholars only as the Tremulous Hand of Worcester. Now scientists suggest the writer suffered from a neurological condition called essential tremor. Neurologist Jane Alty and historical handwriting researcher Deborah Thorpe, both of the University of York in…

50 Graves Uncovered at Medieval Pilgrimage Site in England


The skeletal remains of about 50 medieval individuals have been discovered in shallow graves near the pilgrimage site of a famous seventh-century saint in England. The human remains, which have been exhumed, may help archaeologists learn more about the medieval era, according to Archaeology Warwickshire, an archaeology and excavation firm. The company plans to study…

Drone Technology Aids in Discoveries at Medieval Irish Sites

Irish drone

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been gaining attention in the news for the last few years, but archaeologists like Saint Louis University history professor Thomas Finan, Ph.D., have always appreciated what aerial photography could accomplish. Finan says UAV technology, along with high speed computer applications and mapping software, and sensors that can collect multi-spectral image…

American Academy in Rome Fellowship Opportunity

rome prize

General Information Each year, the Rome Prize is awarded to about thirty emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their working lives. The deadline for the nation-wide Rome Prize competition is 1 November 2015. Applications will also be accepted between 2-15…