Gaslight: Manipulation, Asylums & Old Hollywood

Since the 2016 election that gave Donald Trump a platform, not to mention the presidency, the word has been everywhere. But what does it mean? Where does gaslight come from?

We hear a lot about ghosting. You know, it’s when someone ends a relationship suddenly without warning and just disappears, with no contact. Nothing.

But what about gaslighting.

According to Wiktionary, “The verb sense derives from the 1938 stage play called Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment.”

Recently, I watched the original movie from 1940, which was based on the stage play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton.

The film, besides being super dramatic in the way movies were back then – you know, close ups of crazy eyes, that sort of thing, it was actually fascinating to see where the term that we use so freely today, actually came from.

Join me as I travel through the last century to find the origins of this fascinating word.

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Sound engineering and original music by Jeff Willis. You can find his tunes on Spotify and iTunes

Produced by Jo Vraca. You can find my books on Amazon