A promotional image for WOUB's "Who Lies Beneath: The Asylum" podcast. The image is of an aged headstone in a grassy graveyard with the podcast's title superimposed over it.

WOUB is getting ready to start releasing season two of the “WHO Lies Beneath: The Asylum” podcast

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Episodes one and two will be released November 1

ATHENS, OH – WOUB Public Media is preparing to launch the second season of its limited-series podcast that sheds light on some of the mystery surrounding the cemeteries at the old Athens Lunatic Asylum in southeast Ohio, now known as The Ridges. In its seven-episode second season, WHO Lies Beneath: The Asylum will continue to give names and voices to those who were buried there under numbered tombstones. The podcast is hosted by WOUB’s Cheri Russo and Retired Library Archivist Doug McCabe.

“For season two, we spoke with many of our listeners who reached out and said they were trying to learn about their relatives buried at the Asylum,” said Host and Co-Producer Cheri Russo. “We were able to use Doug’s research to find some of the missing pieces for them.”

Using records from the asylum, Russo and McCabe tell listeners about the life stories of the people who were buried under those numbered tombstones. Each person tells their own story using a first-person style account with the help of voice actors.

“These individuals did not have a voice in life,” said Russo. “By using voice actors on this podcast to tell their story, we are giving them a voice now.”

“Being able to hear the people tell their own stories with the help of voice actors showcases the power of audio storytelling,” said Audio Supervisor and Podcast Co-Producer Adam Rich. “It helps those listening realize that these were real people, with real life stories who had struggles, but also had names, names that should be on their tombstones.”

“During season two, we also learn about other cemeteries in Ohio and around the nation with unmarked graves,” said Russo. “Athens is not unique in having cemeteries with unmarked graves. But what does make Athens unique is the effort that has gone into identifying the people and making sure their graves are being treated with dignity and respect.”

Russo, McCabe and Rich are also already working on season three, which will move outside of Athens to an unmarked cemetery in Rochester, NY. Researchers there were inspired by the WHO Lies Beneath podcast to install a special marker at the location and find out the stories of the people who were buried there.

If the subject of this podcast interests you, please subscribe to WHO Lies Beneath: The Asylum. WOUB podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, NPR One, Spotify and Stitcher. Follow the podcast on social media on Facebook and X.

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