It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Halloween season! For those of us who love horror, there is nothing better than the month of October when everyone is in the mood for a little bit of a scare. To help get you in the mood for Halloween, we have compiled a list of our favorite spooky podcasts that you can listen to in October–or year-round–that will give you goosebumps and possibly keep you awake at night.
Lore is my favorite podcast hands-down. In fact, I never really knew what the big deal about podcasts was until I discovered this one. Hosted by creator Aaron Mahnke, this podcast is part scary story and part history lesson as it delves into the historical context of legends, folklore, and myth to show that there is always some truth in what we think of as scary. The meticulous research that goes into each episode is incredible and creates some truly memorable stories, including one of my favorites “Under Construction” from 2015. If real-life experiences give you the biggest creeps, definitely check this one out!
Like Lore, Unexplained features real-life stories to give you a mightier scare. This podcast hails from the UK and is hosted by Richard MacLean Smith. Most of the stories featured on this podcast are British, and most are more modern rather than historical which, to me, makes them more spooky. These are actually plausible accounts of ghosts, murder mysteries, and well, the unexplained. All of the episodes are left fairly open-ended with the listener being encouraged to come up with their own conclusions to the story. So let your imagination wander as you discover this delightfully creepy podcast.
Alice Isn’t Dead
From one of the creators of Welcome to Nightvale, Alice Isn’t Dead follows the narrative of a clinically anxious truck driver searching for her missing wife, Alice, across the great American landscape. Sinister mysteries lurk in her path, and she must overcome serial murderers, government conspiracy, and Lovecraftian monsters to reach her destination. If serials are more your thing, check out the absorbing stories of this spooky podcast.
Do you know what happened to Dan Powell? He took a job as an archivist cataloging interviews from residents of a sinister apartment building, and all we have left to find him are the tapes he mailed out before he disappeared. Any information on the whereabouts of Dan should be sent to email@example.com. Members of the Visser Historical Society need not respond. If this teaser doesn’t pique your interest, then nothing will! Check out Archive 81 which is a found-footage serial format focusing on the supernatural and gentrification of our cities.
Thinking Sideways covers odd, weird, and unsolved mysteries and it’s very hilarious, despite the often gloomy nature of the subject matter. It covers everything from crime to lore to internet mysteries. This podcast offers you the stories and encourages you to do some additional digging on the subject if it interests you.
The theme here so far is that truth is scarier than fiction. That is very true for Casefile and it happens to be their tagline. This podcast is a very in-depth true crime documentary. Covers all sorts of crimes. Of particular note is his multi episode series on EAR/ONS. Strong trigger warning for rape for that one clearly, but it’s still very well done and educational. This podcast is heavily researched and will probably freak you out.
The Trail Went Cold
The Trail Went Cold is another true crime podcast hosted by a really charming Canadian guy (Robin Warder). The episodes are short and mostly cover things from the old TV show Unsolved Mysteries which inspired the cast. The cases are scary but something about the host makes it not so horrifying, and he also offers his own takes on what happened.
The NoSleep Podcast
Since all of the prior podcasts listed are non-fiction (gulp), I present you with The NoSleep Podcast which is inspired by the internet phenomena known as creepypasta. This podcast features original fiction in short “audiobook” format, and many of the stories are quite explicit. These are the kinds of scary stories you would tell around the campfire to completely frighten your friends. This is a great one to listen to if you don’t listen to many podcasts or don’t have time for serial but want to get scared anyway.
We hope that you enjoy this list of our favorite podcasts. Let us know if you have any other favorite spooky podcasts by leaving a comment, or sharing your thoughts about this list. We would love to hear about what scares you!
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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