The book and TV movie called Sybil told the extraordinary story of a woman who manifested sixteen different personalities, allegedly triggered by the horrific abuse she had suffered as a child. In the 1970s and 80s, the case was a cultural phenomenon, and became the flash point in a psychiatric debate that to some extent is still raging today. Is multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) a real illness or simply a misdiagnosed aspect of something else? Did Sybil (whose real name was Shirley Ardell Mason) really have sixteen personalities, or was she coaxed into displaying these symptoms by her ambitious therapist and the author of the best-selling book? Was Sybil truly a victim of her mother’s extreme cruelty, or were these memories implanted under hypnosis? Tom and Jenny discuss the fascinating aspects of this troubling case and try to sort out the fact from the fiction.
Published by jennyashford
Jenny Ashford is a horror and paranormal writer, graphic designer, and podcaster. Her books include three novels, Bellwether, The Five Poisons, and Red Menace; two short story collections, Hopeful Monsters and The Associated Villainies; a graphic novel, The Tenebrist; and four paranormal nonfiction works: The Unseen Hand: A New Exploration of Poltergeist Phenomena; The Mammoth Mountain Poltergeist, co-authored with Tom Ross; House of Fire and Whispers: Investigating the Seattle Demon House, and The Rochdale Poltergeist, both co-authored with parapsychologist Steve Mera. Her short stories have also appeared in several anthologies, including The Nightmare Collective, History Is Dead, 2012AD, ChimeraWorld #3, and ChimeraWorld #4. Along with Tom Ross, she co-hosts a podcast called 13 O'Clock on the Project Entertainment Network, on which the duo discuss all measure of strange and creepy topics, ranging from the paranormal to true crime to historical mysteries to horror movies. She also makes videos for a sister list channel called 13 O'Clock In Minutes. Jenny's graphic design work can be seen in marketing materials for Van Gogh Vodka, promo materials for bands including Astari Nite, Ending the Vicious Cycle, Withering Earth, Kids Without Heroes, and Sons of Ragnar, poster designs for Memento Mori at Independent Bar, Thee Grotto and Vengeance at the Haven in Orlando, and on the cover of The Young Atheist's Survival Guide by Hemant Mehta (aka The Friendly Atheist), among many other places. She also runs an online store called GraveCake selling products with her gothic and horror-themed designs. View all posts by jennyashford