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Where does life end and death begin? New docuseries examines death in America

While there are numerous shows and docuseries dealing with serial killers, murder, and catching the bad guys, not many capture the way death impacts us quite like a new show that focuses primarily on those affected by the death of loved ones to those who work with death on a daily basis.

Created and produced by Keith Schulenberg, a new web-based docuseries, The After Hours Club, looks at death in an unprecedented way that examines death and dying across the United States. Why do so many people avoid death and avoid the mourning process? Why do others embrace it and dedicate their lives to it? The story isn’t over when we die. Do we know what happens next? It will happen to all of us, but the question of what we truly experience after death remains elusive to many.

The After Hours Club is a new documentary series that focuses on death in America. We travel across the country to get personal stories from people whose lives have become intimately entwined with death. From embalmers and cemetery workers to death investigators and experts in serial killings, to hospice workers and suicide awareness activists, our journey uncovers some startling truths that will expand your understanding of death, and give you a new perspective on life. 

By Keith Schulenberg

Episode Synopses

Episode 1: “Into That Good Night”: We begin our journey with a look at the aspects of death most people are familiar with: funerals and cemeteries. We look at what really happens during an embalming, visit cemeteries small and large in New Orleans and Atlanta, and investigate alternative funeral and burial options that are growing in popularity. 

Episode 2: “That Darkly Shining Abyss”: For most people, death is something to avoid. But others willingly embrace it. We delve into the dark world of serial killers, those who find death to be a sexual turn-on, and the prevalence of, and easy access to, videos showing death and its aftermath on the internet. We also hold a deep conversation with forensics expert Jospeh Scott Morgan, whose experiences as a medicolegal death investigator had devastating consequences on his life. 

Episode 3: “Angels Among Us”: Hospice is often a word that’s whispered, if it’s ever spoken at all, among terminally ill patients and their families. The most common preconception is that hospice is simply a place where you go to die. The truth is much different. We profile one of the oldest hospice organizations in the U.S. and learn how much their services can enhance quality of life for patients and their families, and why hospice is about living, not dying. 

Episode 4: “Through A Mirror Darkly”: Every religion deals with death in its own way. Americans are most familiar with the big three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their views on death and the afterlife. We take a different route in this episode, speaking with clergy from non-mainstream religions including Buddhism, Voodoo, and the mysterious followers of Santa Muerte, who pray to death personified. 

Episode 5: “This Mortal Coil”: Fun and games with death? Well, fun at least. Be careful with the games, because in some of the places we visit in this episode, you break it, you buy it. And you just might end up buying an exploded skull, or a mummified human hand. Yes, you CAN buy those things! We take you to places that showcase death as part of their business, speak with an artist who is inspired by death imagery, and then take a deep plunge into the world of vampires… fictional AND real!

Episode 6: “An Untimely Frost”: Suicide is a highly taboo topic in this country. But nothing is taboo for “The After Hours Club.” We look at how suicide is viewed in this country, and speak to suicide attempt survivors and those who have lost loved ones to suicide, who are trying to change public perceptions and start conversations that can be lifesaving. 

Visit The Afters Hours Club official site, where you can view each week’s current episode, every Thursday.