Ghost stories, true crime reporting, and boxed wine recommendations are the pillars of Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz’s podcast And That’s Why We Drink. In each episode, Christine reports on unsolved crimes and murder mysteries while cohost Em covers all things paranormal. But since the podcast’s launch in 2017, the pair has wanted to dive deeper into the themes that exist beyond the physical realm. Now they’re doing just that with their new Spotify Original podcast, Rituals.
Produced in partnership with Parcast, Rituals will explore topics like witchcraft, sorcery, alchemy, satanism, spiritualism, and the occult. Christine and Em will separate fact from fiction as they take listeners on a tour through the dark arts and share stories about people who have first-hand experience bridging the gap between our world and the realms beyond it.
“I’ve loved reporting on this type of content during the few times I have on And That’s Why We Drink. However, I feel like my brand on ATWWD is primarily centered on hauntings, and that’s kept me from letting myself really look into more spiritual topics,” Em told For the Record. “With Rituals, I’ve been having so much fun discussing new cases that I’ve always hesitated to cover before now.”
This occult variety show will give fans of And That’s Why We Drink more opportunities to bond with Em and Christine as new episodes release each Monday. To celebrate the podcast’s launch, For the Record asked the dynamic duo more about what listeners can expect from their new project.
How can your fans who love And That’s Why We Drink expect this new podcast to be similar? Different?
Christine: Fans of ATWWD will get the same banter they’ve grown to love (or at the very least, tolerate), plus the same brand of spooky topics. But having the Parcast research team behind us is a game changer; they are experts at what they do and dig up so much incredible info, allowing us to focus on the fun part—sharing the story with you all, and each other!
Em: The main difference is that we cover less of the true crime cases and focus more on the occult and spiritual topics. Some people at Spotify joked that Rituals is the “occult variety show” and that definitely feels on target.
Why is podcasting a good medium for these kinds of stories?
Christine: At the core, we are storytellers. ATWWD grew out of our love of sharing spooky stories over wine late into the night. We just added a microphone!
Em: We’ve been told over and over that people who listen to our podcast feel like they’re just “catching up with friends.” I think our way of storytelling has made people feel comfortable to learn about darker topics without any pressure, because for them it feels like a laid-back conversation amongst pals.
On the surface, true crime and comedy seem like an unlikely pairing. Why do you think the mix works so well for your podcasts?
Christine: We have always made it a priority to entertain our audience, but never at the expense of the victims. We try to sprinkle in some humor to help us cope with how dark these topics can get.
Em: We have always tried to keep the levity away from the actual stories and more on ourselves. It’s always been important to us to keep things in perspective and remember that the content we cover is often the worst parts of someone’s life. The comedy element is never about their cases, and we try to poke as much fun at ourselves as we can.
What is your favorite topic you cover in the podcast?
Christine: My favorite topic so far has been tarot. I learned so much and have a whole new appreciation for the art of it. I have even pulled out my own decks and have begun dabbling myself!
Em: I loved reporting on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love the history of spiritualism and always knew the author was a big part of the movement, but I never totally knew where he fit in. It was a bonus to find out that he and I are both members of the same parapsychological organizations!
Ready to start learning about healing waters, love potions, and tarot decks? Listen to the first episode of Rituals here.