The horror genre and conspiracy groups go together like cloaks and daggers. They are both mysterious on their own, but something special happens when you combine them. Horror writers and directors have been pulling from the well of cults and government cover-ups for a long time.
Now, we can look at Stranger Things, one of Netflix’s most popular shows, where the plot revolves around the captivating MK Ultra experiments. There is also a treasure trove of movies that reference Nazi scientists being moved in secret during Project Paperclip.
We catch glimpses and nods to these cover-ups and conspiracy theories all of the time in the media. But what if you wanted to know more, what if you wanted to understand the real-world impact of these ideas? Well, like most things, you check YouTube first.
That’s where the documenter of the strange and unusual, Emily Louise comes in. Over on her YouTube channel, Weird Reads with Emily Louise we get in-depth video essays exposing the web that connect historic practices to modern day movements.
I sat down with Emily Louise to discuss her YouTube channel and to ask what drives her to illuminate the darker side of what many assume to be benign groups of people.
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Emily’s freelance documentary production skills shine, elevating her content with unmatched professionalism among her competitors. Her goal is to bring more documentary style content to YouTube, as opposed to the more podcast type of environment we often see.
Luckily for her, there is a large demand for this type of content, and a wealth of sources to shift through. According to Emily “The place that I operate in at the moment is very broad. Fringe culture, weird stories, paranormal, conspiracies, ufology, cults new age. Those things all overlap and intersect with one another.”
If you delve into Emily’s YouTube content, you will swiftly realize that numerous themes observed in present-day spiritual movements can be traced back to a distinct group of historical figures, such as Madame Blavatsky. Emily is aware of just how often these characters pop up remarking that, “These are my ghosts, they haunt me.”
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What compels individuals to delve deep into the formation of modern folklore and its bizarre histories? According to Emily “The stories that interest me most are people’s beliefs. Why they believe, how they believe. Folklore and how that influences people’s belief systems.”
Like many YouTube projects, this one began as a boredom response during the pandemic. Once Emily started noticing the intersection between new age and fascist ideology, she became fascinated with connecting the dots.
This YouTube channel distinguishes itself by demonstrating an exceptional level of empathy towards these communities, setting it apart from others. Emily stated that she did not want to be classified as a debunker. Saying “From researching some of these belief systems, it is very obvious to me how a lot of people end up believing this type of stuff.”
Emily elaborates that there is an element of truth to some of the things she discusses. She explains how government past cover-ups can make it easier for people to fall into a sense of distrust. Her goal is to explore and inform people, not to insult the people who may believe in these ideas.
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When it comes to UFO encounters, cryptids, and wealthy esoteric groups these aren’t exactly a new topic of discussion. We have all heard the stories and seen them represented in pop culture. Emily manages to take these topics and show people how relevant they are, and how important dissecting them can be.
In a world where political ideology is being discussed more than ever, Emily’s YouTube channel is shining a light on some of the more esoteric ideas out there. If you have ever wanted to know how 19th-century religious movements inspired modern ufology, then you need to watch Weird Reads with Emily Louise on YouTube.