By Jillian Diamond
Podcast live shows, in which podcast hosts perform and record a new episode of their show in front of a live audience, have become increasingly popular on the Internet. And on Monday, March 4, the University of Maryland became the setting of the latest live show held by the “And That’s Why We Drink” podcast.
Riding the wave of true crime and paranormal content that has become wildly popular among podcasters as of late, “And That’s Why We Drink” features one ghost story-lover, one true crime enthusiast, and a whole lot of alcohol.
The podcast was started in February of 2017 by Christine Schiefer, a writer who currently works at Nickelodeon and Em Schulz, a former professional clown. A typical episode will feature Schulz telling a ghost story and Schiefer discussing some sort of real-life crime or murder, with occasional breaks for tangential conversations and gratuitous drinking.
The boxed wine the show is known for was noticeably absent at their UMD live show, as the college is a dry campus — instead, the two settled for bottled water. Hosted by Student Entertainment Events, the performance took place in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, and was claimed by Schiefer to be their “first college show.”
Schulz spent their half of the show talking about supposedly haunted locations on the UMD campus, such as Morell Hall. The hall used to be a military drill ground, and people have claimed to have heard sounds of marching and talking when no one else is in the building. While renovating the hall, workers allegedly found human remains under a sink — which could be the cause of the mysterious smells of decomposition reported by visitors, but nothing seems to explain the strange burning smells that have also been reported. The Maryland Ghosts and Spirit Organization once investigated the building and pronounced it haunted.
The Hornbake Library was also touched upon — several witness accounts from staff claim that they’ve seen a strange woman in a black dress pass them by while they’re alone, but she disappears as soon as she’s looked at. Books have also been known to fly off of its shelves. One audience member who works at Hornbake chalked this up to the ghost of a “pissed off librarian.”
Other locations talked about during the paranormal segment of the podcast included the Diamondback offices, H.J. Patterson Hall, several sorority and fraternity houses, and Tawes Hall — which allegedly is inhabited by a prankster ghost named Mortimer.
As for the murder, Schiefer went off-campus to discuss the murders of Josh Ford and Jeannie Crutchley, a couple who disappeared while vacationing in Ocean City in 2002. After a search that turned up nothing and an attempted robbery of a local Hooters, it was discovered that Erika and Benjamin Sifrit were responsible for the couple’s death — and the story only got crazier from there. The story was even featured on an episode of “Forensic Files” (Season 13 Episode 47, for those interested).
In an attempt to lighten the mood at the end, Schulz and Schiefer performed a magic trick where they made a cup full of water disappear before the show concluded.
“And That’s Why We Drink” updates on Sundays, and previous episodes are available on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play and Apple Podcasts.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of “And That’s Why We Drink”‘s Facebook page.
Jillian Diamond is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.