More than two years after the And That’s Why We Drink U.S. tour brought one of the top true crime podcasts to 11 cities across the U.S., hosts Em Schulz and Christine Schiefer hit a setback—as did countless others—when in early 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live events. But now they’re back on the road to continue the “Here For The Boos” roadshow—and it pulls into L.A. soon.
Since 2017, Schulz and Schiefer have been educating and entertaining listeners with both paranormal and true crime stories at length on their pod. From cryptids to serial killers, they bring their obsessions to their tens of thousands of fans with these stories adding humor—and as you likely guessed…a few drinks.
Schiefer currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and baby, but will soon join Schulz for the tour in Los Angeles—the city Schiefer says has the true crime stories that haunt her the most. The two will relaunch “Here For The Boos” at the Palace Theater on Friday, Sept. 9, just days after Schulz is set to undergo ablation surgery for their heart; in August, Schulz’s heart suddenly stopped. The host, who goes by they/them pronounces, was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT, a heart condition that causes an erratic heartbeat, they are hoping that the surgery will help their heart before the event and tour re-launch.
Meanwhile, the New York Times bestselling book the duo wrote together, A Haunted Road Atlas, was released in May. The book is an interactive guide to their favorite spooky sites all over the nation—from crime scenes to areas with alleged supernatural energies.
LAMag: Em, after your incident with your heart, how is your health?
Schulz: Fingers crossed that [ablation surgery] works. Some people have had to get a second one or a fourth before the issue is corrected. Hopefully, the first one does it because seven days later we’ve got a show and this thing is exacerbated by anxiety. Christine is a very good support person. There have been some times I thought I was having an episode during a show and I just look at Christine and she handles it.
Schiefer: We read each other’s minds nowadays.
In a few days, the tour starts in Los Angeles. Can you tell me what attendees can expect?
Schulz: We usually keep the main premise a bit of a secret. We’ve done a pretty good job so far giving a big surprise to the audience when they actually get there. Let’s just say, it’s very paranormal. It’s very spooky. It includes video content that people aren’t usually used to.
Schiefer: It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s funny but it’s also very scary. The biggest compliment we usually get is when people come up to us afterward who did not believe in ghosts and say, “I’m scared to go home.”
How do you expect the second leg of the tour to be compared to the first? Obviously, a lot has changed in the world.
Schiefer: We have had several years to hone in and update the jokes. Some of the jokes were a little outdated so we had to go through and revamp them.
Schulz: Some people who got their tickets back in 2019 have waited three years for the show. I think the main difference has been the overwhelming need to finally see what they bought tickets for.
Schiefer: In some cases, people have been waiting for years to go to any sort of event. So it’s really exciting and we made sure to have a drinking game and that the bars are all open. We are having a big party for the second time.
Is there anything else exciting that fans should be on the lookout for during the shows?
Schiefer: We will be selling our book and are really excited about the timing of this. People, just as they are able to see shows now, are able to travel more now so it’s a compendium guide to all the spooky and haunted places in lots of cities across the U.S.
Are there any spooky places you two will visit while in Los Angeles? And are there any relatively unknown spots that you recommend to L.A. locals that are either haunted or have some supernatural charm to them?
Schulz: We have previously gone to the Cecil Hotel together, which is one of the most haunted places in all of Los Angeles. We weren’t allowed in but I think being outside was enough for me.
Schulz: There’s a house in Korea Town that is supposedly so haunted it inspired some of American Horror Story. In Pasadena, there’s said to be a bridge that has a lot of people walking up and down at night—even though nobody is there. As far as oddity shops, Burbank allegedly has the most year-round Halloween stores per capita of anywhere. I think Magnolia Boulevard has at least two to three oddity shops open year-round. They also have the Mystic Museum which is one of my favorite places to go that sells all sorts of ouija boards and Wicca stuff.
What about pit stops you’ll be making during the California section of the tour?
Schulz: We are going to be checking out the Winchester Mystery House for the first time together. It’s the location that we very first covered in episode one of the podcast. It took us nearly 300 episodes to get there.
What are some stories that continue to haunt each of you?
Schiefer: The story of “The Black Dahlia” has stuck with me since the early days of the podcast, when I covered it. I also write about it in the book because it’s one that I just think is so crucial to L.A. history. It’s such a disturbing and tragic story […] that I hope will get solved one day. I keep my eye on that one, keep my Google alerts on for that one. That’s probably the one that haunts me the most.
Schulz: I am going to say this in a broken way because there’s a doll named Peggy but her name is usually said and then the doll. Apparently, that phrase alone really caused some issues for our listeners. She is supposedly very, very haunted and has caused a lot of danger for people, and even just covering the episode people wrote in saying, “Oh, I got in a car crash” or “I got random nose bleeds.” […] It was a weird amount of people so now even just thinking about her I’m a little scared of what can happen.
During the first leg of the tour, did anything eerie happen—besides a global pandemic?
Schulz: Christine’s favorite thing to do while we are on tour is book us in notoriously haunted hotels in hopes that we will find something before or after our own show. There were two hotels where there was actually something noticeable there. In Milwaukee, Christine booked us at Pfister Hotel, which is supposed to be the most haunted location there. I could hear footsteps in my room all night and hear someone sitting on my bed. The next day, I could see the imprints on the bed of someone sitting there. And after that, we went to New Orleans and stayed at a hotel that was supposed to be an orphanage that caught on fire, and now it’s haunted by all these ghost children.
Christine’s phone was turning on and apps she didn’t even have were going on and playing music and videos. We had equipment with us because we use it to decorate our shows so we pulled it out to see if we could talk to anything while in the hotel and there was a little ghost named Michael who wouldn’t leave us alone all night. The only thing that kept him peaceful so we could sleep was The Flintstones, which we put on.
Any predictions for paranormal activity on this tour?
Schiefer: Well, we’re going back to New Orleans so even if I try to book the least haunted hotel there, there might be something afoot. We also like to do the ghost tours in New Orleans so even though we’re scared of it we kind of seek it out.
Schulz: As for predictions during the show, I feel like anything is possible. During a New York show, at the height of a ghost story I was telling, the light bulbs on stage crashed and burst and they were apparently brand new bulbs and the tech people didn’t know what happened. We’ve also had people who passed out during the ghost stories.
Schiefer: To be fair, that person was hungover and dehydrated. She was okay, for the record.
You’re now spending so much time together but when did you two meet and connect?
Schulz: We have known each other since 2014. We went to grad school together in Boston where we just ran in different circles. In 2016, we had both moved to Los Angeles and we didn’t have any friends nearby, so I think just out of desperation we figured we should get along. […] I asked Christine to come with me to a fall festival. Eventually, we ended up on a hayride, stuck on a tractor together, so we were forced to start a conversation. It was Halloween season, so we were talking about spooky things and we realized that we both had the same interests of true crime and the paranormal.
She asked if I had listened to any true crime podcasts and I said, “What’s a podcast? “ So, Christine offered me the ones she listened to. Our friendship after that became us catching up where we were on the podcasts. From the very beginning, our whole relationship was creepy things and podcasts! About three months in, I said: “Every time I listen to one of these shows they talk about how they just gave it a shot and I was like, why don’t we give it a shot and see what happens?”
Both of you have had some really interesting and diverse jobs. Either tell me a spooky job-related experience or tell me a way that a past job has helped you with this current endeavor.
Schulz: I worked as a paranormal investigator and somehow the world has allowed me to continue in a career of ghosts and storytelling. I was investigating a house in Virginia from the late 1600s to early 1700s, the home of a tobacco farmer. I realized that whenever we’d bring out a lot of our gadgets we wouldn’t get any activity and he didn’t seem to be interested in technology. One of us at one point said, “Well, maybe he’s scared of the equipment” and then all the machines went off at the same time. And that was when we realized we’d have to teach our equipment to the ghosts so that they’d want to approach us. One of the pieces of equipment was just our cellphones so we had to teach the ghosts what cellphones were and what the internet was. So he explained that texting was just like the post office. These are things that would break the mind of someone from the 1600s.
Schiefer: I was working at an investigations firm. It was essentially a job where I just had to figure out about people online. Since I was the youngest one there, I was put on social media duty and I was essentially internet stalking people for work. At the time it was really cool. When we started the podcast it was a cool segway of Em being a paranormal investigator and me being a private investigator. We had had this true crime and paranormal crossover that served us pretty well and every day we’d come home and share stories about what work was like and eventually we put a microphone in front of us.
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