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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Podcast duo writes a book that uncovers spine-chilling locations

Photo Credit: Photo via Alyssa Cifelli
Em Schulz and Christine Schiefer have been touring since 2018. This year’s spring tour has already sold out 7 of their 14 shows.

Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz host the hit podcast And That’s Why We Drink. Each episode of the podcast is split into two sections: Schulz focusing on stories of the paranormal and Schiefer centering around tales of true crime. They release a new episode every Sunday, with their recent being episode 362. The hosts started this podcast back in 2017, accumulating over 184 million lifetime downloads. Leading That’s Why We Drink wining 12 awards over the past five years, and winning eight in 2023 alone.

About the Authors

Schiefer and Schulz met in Grad School where they both attended Boston University. They became inseparable when they both moved to Los Angeles to pursue careers in film.

 Schulz (They/Them) is from a small town in Virginia and has always been interested in ghost stories. Through college, Schulz was a paranormal investigator in Virginia. They have previously worked as a Hollywood prop designer. Schulz  worked on shows such as Stranger Things, Adam Ruins Everything, and The Fosters. They are a member of many supernatural organizations such as The Society of Psychical Research and the Mutual UFO Network. Schulz enjoys a milkshake every week during the podcast.

 Schiefer (She/Her) grew up in Ohio before deciding to move to California to pursue television writing. She has always been intrigued by dark topics and claims to have spent a lot of time reading horror novels. She has a Master’s degree in Television and previously worked as a writer for Nickelodeon.  Schiefer currently lives with her husband Blaise and her 2-year-old daughter.

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About the book

“A Haunted Road Atlas: Sinister Stops, Dangerous Destinations, and True Crime Tales”  was published in 2022, written by Schiefer and Schulz, and illustrated by James Mied. The book is formatted to reflect their podcast. Each destination has a true crime story and a story of the paranormal. The destinations are split into 6 territories and cover locations in 25 states. There are lists of scary tours, hotels, ice cream shops, and other haunted places in the area following each story. Some also have QR codes that link to the corresponding podcast episode that covers the topic in more depth.

Natalie all_books_great_and_small on GoodReads was given a copy from the publishers and rated the audiobook 4/5 stars. Elvina Ulrich who was also gifted a copy in exchange for a review, rated the book 5/5 starts. They stated that they loved the format and would read again.

Schiefer and Schulz manage to let their personalities shine through each page of this book. Although the reader can not hear them, they give the book the same energy as their podcast. In each story, there is an info box containing commentary from either Schulz or Schiefer depending on the subject matter. Mied’s clever illustrations are minimalist but get the point across. It adds just enough color and charm. The retelling of each story is summarized well, yet leaves the reader curious for more information. The QR codes are the perfect solution however, not every story has one. The locations are spread fairly evenly among the United States, but only including half of the country. It is understandable to not be able to cover all 50 states, however, there are a few states such as California that have much more content than others.

Overall, “A Haunted Road Atlas” is well-written and interactive. It is a must-read for true crime lovers and milkshake enthusiasts!


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About the Contributor
Alyssa Cifelli
Alyssa Cifelli, Reporter
Alyssa Cifelli, a Senior at Colonia High School, is very involved in theater in and outside of school and plans to continue through college. Cifelli is an aspiring director of plays and movies who spends her free time gardening and listening to true crime podcasts. She works at a local youth center as a counselor a few days a week along with being a part of Heroes and Cool Kids and five different honor societies. She loves autumn, art, and trying new foods. Cifelli is very excited to be part of The Declaration and hopes to grow as a writer in the process.

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