Serpent Handlers of Appalachia with Eric Streit

This program was organized by Kendall Hudson, member #1206.



Deep in the hollers of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, small congregations of rural churches prove their faith by speaking in tongues, handling venomous snakes and drinking poison.

Snake Handling is a religious practice observed in a number of isolated churches throughout the Appalachian region. The practice began in the early 20th century and participants are often referred to as “Pentacostals” or “Charismatics” – but neither of these is the preferred name… which you will find out when you watch this program.

In the summer of 2008, Eric Streit spent three months living among serpent handlers in eastern Kentucky as part of a television series, Snake Man of Appalachia. But this was not Streit’s first exposure to the practice. Eric grew up in Kentucky, and his mother’s family all hail from Appalachia. His grandfather, along with some uncles and aunts, were part of the holiness movement, and Eric became familiar with serpent handling at a very young age.

Eric will speak on the history of serpent handling, and share his personal experiences, as well as photographs and brief video of serpent handling.

Eric Streit 1166

Eric Streit, member #1166, is a veteran Television Producer and Show Runner of unscripted, documentary, reality television shows and film. His credits include Gator Boys, Snake Man of Appalachia, Great Food Truck Race and Buddy vs. Duff.

Eric is a two-term president of the Adventurers Club, a member of the Friars Club & the Kentucky Colonels Association. He lives in Mazatlan, Mexico with his wife and their eight-year-old son, Sidney Lazarus while producing television programs world-wide.