Lore Report: “Bad Seed” (Episode 196)

For thousands of years, the things above us have altered the way we live our lives down below. It’s a realm of folklore that might seem boring and predictable, but in reality it’s one of the darkest homes of our weirdest behavior. And I promise you this: you’ll never look at the sky the same way again.

Aaron Mahnke talks about the weather in the latest episode of the Lore podcast, but the host’s discourse proves anything but banal. Sojourning back through world history, Mahnke discusses how the dependence on healthy crops led many cultures to adopt unusual measures to try to control the weather (ritualistic acts that make a Native American rain dance seem quaint by comparison). The central portion of the narrative is devoted to the Eastern European belief that the burial of decedents deemed “unclean” (contaminated by wickedness or awful misfortune) would spark a divine wrath that manifested in meteorological terms. When such a foolish burial occurred, and was superstitiously connected with drought conditions, the subsequent desperate and fear-driven act of disinterment could lead to a wild mob scene. The adjective of this episode’s title urns out to be the only negative here; superlative from beginning (an explanation of the mysterious phenomenon of crop marks) to end (an examination of lightning strikes), “Bad Seed” forecasts a sublime listening experience for Lore lovers.


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