From Wondery comes the true crime podcast, “This is Actually Happening.” Created, produced, and hosted by Whit Missildine, each episode is a first-person narrative of a real story. With over 200 episodes in the course of its 11 seasons, the show has risen in popularity. You’ll hear all kinds of storylines, many involving harsh realities of tragic circumstances, and how they impacted those involved forever. Many of the episodes feature true crime cases.
“This is Actually Happening” provides an inside look at the often messy and unexpected sides of the human experience. Listeners will hear of stalking cases turning into murders, people joining cults, traumas, phobias, and more.
Jose Hernandez from Netflix’s “Surviving Death” appeared on the new season’s first episode to speak about his near-death experience.
In a recent episode, a lady shares her experiences with OCD. Since she was a child, she felt the need to repent sins and felt the heaviness of life while other kids were having carefree fun. She also felt the desperate desire to save others. Her family was tragically killed in a plane crash. Later on, she found she was experiencing harm OCD, and she was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance. We learn about her challenges after becoming a mother and the intrusive thoughts she had involving her child.
Can the happiest place on earth be nightmare-inducing? In another episode, you’ll hear about a father with an unusual Disney obsession. At home, he became volatile and abusive. He’d require his kids to attend Disney with him and would watch Disney films at home non-stop. He’d have adult tantrums once in the park and would accuse his kids of ruining his trip if they protested. When back home in Seattle, the guy would force them to attend local, Disney-themed events and quiz his kids on Disney trivia. When they’d go to Disney, he’d make his kids wear special outfits.
The situation got worse when the mother lost her leg to diabetes and had to navigate the park via wheelchair. This obsession segued into hoarding Disney memorabilia and Beanie Babies. The wife had trouble getting around the house with all of his stuff in the way. Sometimes, he’d forgo buying food for the family to feed his obsession. He also only ate food burned to a crisp and demanded everyone to eat frozen TV dinners. As a result, the story’s narrator says she didn’t learn real-world skills, like having a job while in high school or learning how to ride a bike. It was only after she moved out at age 21 that she realized the severity of her dad’s mental illness. After he died, she learned he took out over $20,000 in loans to afford his trips.
What happens when you survive a genocide? Can you navigate to an alternate reality? What happens if you didn’t experience fear? Believe your mom is a robot? Questions such as these are explored in “This is Actually Happening’s” episodes.
All episodes of “This is Actually Happening” are around an hour in length. Tune in weekly for new episodes.