If you’re in need of some more quarantine entertainment and love spooky stories, true crime and comedy, tune into the podcast that mixes all three. Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz host the popular weekly podcast And That’s Why We Drink.
Launched in 2017, Christine and Em breakdown whatever paranormal or true crime stories they are obsessing over that week — everything from alien abductions to haunted people (and dolls) and places.
The show, which has amassed over 80 million downloads, has built up a legion of fans and in 2019 won the People’s Voice “Webby” award for Best Comedy Podcast. Christine and Em have taken their show on the road (before COVID, of course) and now treat their listeners to virtual shows via Facebook Live and Patreon.
Christine and Em’s second virtual event And That’s Why We Drink LIVE (From Our Couches…Again) is coming on Saturday, August 22 at 8 pm EST. In the show, they will be reading the top 10 scariest stories submitted by listeners.
The show will take place on August 22nd at 8 pm ET. Tickets are $10.53 and can be purchased HERE. All net proceeds of all ticket sales will go to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute in support of their efforts protecting black trans and gender non-conforming people, especially in the arts.
Christine and Em talked about the podcast and lots more in our interview. Grab a drink and discover your new favorite podcast.
How did you get interested in true crime and the paranormal?
Christine: I’ve been interested in all things creepy ever since I can remember. I got my first Ouija board at age eight, and studied the “Am I Psychic? Book for Kids” like it was my job. When I got older my love of spookiness spread from the paranormal to the crime genre. I love Stephen King and other fictional crime, but when the true-crime “sensation” began a couple years ago, I realized I’d finally found my people.
Em: I have been interested in the paranormal since I was four years old, and I had my first experience with ghosts. I would hear someone in heavy boots walking in my room while I tried to sleep, and sometimes I would feel someone get really close to my face and stare at me. A couple years later, I saw my first ghost sitting on my bed. Luckily the ghost was my grandfather who had just passed, so that encounter wasn’t as scary as it could’ve been.
What was your inspiration for the podcast?
Christine: Em and I like to say we became friends “out of necessity” because we didn’t know many people out in LA. When we started hanging out, we’d end up awake until 4 am swapping creepy stories. When we decided to start a podcast together, the topic came to us pretty quickly. Spooky stuff was pretty much all we wanted to talk about!
The name of the show, however, is a different story… It’s become kind of an inside joke on the show that our original podcast name was “Eerie and Theory.” We even bought a website domain and a Google phone number! But during one late-night planning session one of us, exasperated, suddenly yelled out, “That’s why I drink!” and Em and I just stared at each other, having a mutual moment of understanding. Sure, we had just spent what little money we had left on a website domain called “Eerie and Theory,” but we knew in our hearts that we had to change the name. Since then, Em and I have had a few “That’s it!” moments just like that one, especially when planning this year’s tour (RIP). It’s a really cool feeling when it happens.
Em: My podcast inspiration was Jim Harold’s Campfire. The show is just people calling in to tell their personal encounters. It was so simple but so entertaining. My life inspiration for the show was so that Christine and I could have a reason to hang out regularly and get to know each other. When the show started, we barely knew each other, but we were really trying to become friends and Christine actually taught me what a podcast was. Starting one of our own seemed like it could be a fun hobby.
How do you choose what to cover on your podcast?
Christine: There’s no true rhyme or reason. A lot of times I’ll pick a topic submitted by our Patreon donors, which can be especially interesting when I’ve never heard of it before. But some weeks I have the itch to cover a missing person’s case, a cult, or even something more lighthearted, and I’ll go wherever Google takes me!
Em: As long as it’s supernatural or spooky in some way, I want to cover it. Whether it’s a haunting, an alien abduction, a cryptid, an urban legend, or a conspiracy theory, I’m in!
Is there a story or case you want to cover that you still haven’t?
Christine: There are so many! One massive topic that I’ve wanted to cover for ages is Scientology. I’ve had a fascination with it since I was a teenager, so I want to take my time and do it justice.
Em: I really want to cover the lore surrounding the Men in Black. I have been researching that topic for a while, and there’s so much information out there, I want to make sure I do it justice!
Have you found any stories or cases that were uncomfortable to cover?
Christine: Oh boy, yes. But a lot of times those are the ones worth covering. Among true crime topics, the “lighthearted” ones are few and far between. The heavier topics, for example, police brutality, are tough to talk about but are important for that very reason. As someone with a platform, I know I have a responsibility to bring more attention to the social injustices that often surround true crime stories.
Em: Very few of my stories have significantly dark moments. A lot of Christine’s stories have more potential to be uncomfortable to cover because she’s often reporting on real assaults. My stories are usually more light-hearted and have room for silliness, especially since they can also be argued as fictional.
What are your favorite true crime and paranormal stories?
Christine: I’m a sucker for an unsolved mystery. Whether it’s a missing persons case like the disappearance of Bryce Laspisa, or a mysterious death like that of Rey Rivera, they are both chilling and riveting because they don’t yet have a solution. That’s probably why I love the paranormal so much – I love theorizing about the unknown and imagining what might be out there.
Em: My favorite true crime story of Christine’s is when she covered the serial killer Ed Gein. His story has always been one of the more fascinating ones to me, even before we ever had a true-crime podcast. He was the inspiration for “Leatherface” in the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was my favorite horror movie growing up. My favorite stories that I’ve told are the ones about haunted dolls. Those seem to get the most reactions from our audience, and personally I think dolls, in general, are super creepy.
What has been your favorite episode to record?
Christine: My favorites are the ones that scare me the most! A few of Em’s have really spooked me to the point that I couldn’t sleep that night – these include the haunted Dybbuk box, the black-eyed kids, or any of the haunted doll episodes. My favorites to cover are those with plot twists – I’m known for my “gasps” on the show so it’s fun when I get to turn the tables and surprise Em!
Em: We recently put out an episode (#173) about Gef the Talking Mongoose and the Smiley Face Murders. That episode had a lot of wonderful banter and was just fun to record together. I also love our first episode of the podcast, just because it was the inception of And That’s Why We Drink, and it’s fun to listen back and hear how far we have come as podcasters.
I know (obviously) it’s not happening now, but let’s talk about your live show. What can fans expect when they will (eventually) see you on stage?
Christine: Em and I have both agreed we’ve never worked so hard on a project in our lives! I know that sounds dramatic, but 1) we’re Geminis, and 2) it’s true!!! The live show combines new elements, including audio/video, and old elements, including our classic drinking game, to make one big show that is both very spooky and also (hopefully) very entertaining! We are counting down the days until we can get back on the road again.
Em: We have a completely different format to our show now! Last time people saw us, we were basically doing a live version of our podcast where we presented a local paranormal and true crime case to the audience. Now our show is more of a visual experience! We are doing the same show in each city instead of individual local stories. So far, we have somehow successfully kept the concept pretty hush hush. We want people who come to our show to have no idea what they’re about to see! It’s something Christine and I have worked so hard on, and it’s worth the suspense!
How has doing this podcast changed you?
Christine: Massively! I can’t even picture what life would be like without it. I’m working a dream job I didn’t even know existed. Because of the show, Em and I have been able to meet the most incredible people (I may be biased, but our audience is the best) and travel the country. Don’t get me wrong, podcasting is hard work, but ultimately, I get to spend my days telling spooky stories with my best friend while drinking wine… I mean, how much better can life get?
Em: My entire career has changed! Plus, I have learned some amazing skills in the podcast world, and I’ve gotten to travel all over the country which I never thought I would get to do. I have also gotten to become my own boss, which is terrifying, but also incredibly rewarding.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
Christine: Yes! My brother and I host a comedy podcast called Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet, in which we dramatically read one-star Yelp reviews. I also have a relatively new YouTube channel called “The Xtine Files” that features viewers’ personal true crime stories.
Em: For the podcast, we have been working on a few things that are still in their early phases. We are constantly throwing ideas at each other and are always excited to try whatever our minds come up with. Personally, I don’t have anything I’m working on outside of the podcast! Christine is more of the go-getter, I’m happy just focusing on And That’s Why We Drink!
Listen to And That’s Why We Drink wherever you get your podcasts. Visit Christine and Em on the show’s website, Instagram, Facebook and become a patron on Patreon for even more spooky and funny content.