I’m not usually a list person, but Halloween is a great time to help people find the spoooooookiest things to listen to, watch and read! So here’s my favorite horrific podcasts in no particular order.
With stories culled from r/nosleep with excellent voice acting and audio production, the No Sleep Podcast has to be on this list. It’s hit or miss, some stories fall flat, or try too hard and feel like they belong on r/shittynosleep but the majority are generally creepy or unsettling. This podcast is narrated by a variety of talented voice actors and hosted by David Cummings who has the perfect old time radio voice for such a project. There is an option for a longer, 2-hour episode through their website, but I am subscribed to the free feed on iTunes.
A relatively new show, Aaron Mahnke’s Lore quickly shot up the iTunes rankings, and rightfully so. Lore is a look at the world’s legends and stories from a historical and cultural approach. Mahnke delivers the tales and historical records in a smooth, dry tone worthy of NPR. Topics have included the history vampires, witches and werewolf legends and even the man known as America’s Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes. It is currently bi-weekly and I often find that I want to hear more about the subjects after listening to an episode.
Also very new, Limetown is a fictional podcast in the style of investigative journalism into a small town where everyone vanished. Presented as a series of interviews with people connected to the town. It goes dark very fast and the mystery deepens quickly by the end of the first episode. The easiest way to describe it would be X-Files as told by Serial.
Pseudopod is one of the first horror podcasts that I stumbled upon and it remains my go-to recommendation for short story audio. Usually consisting of a single short story but occasionally they do flash fiction episodes with a series of super short fiction. Ranging from Lovecraftian horror to monsters to science fiction and nearly 600 episodes, there’s something for everyone at Pseudopod.
Similar to Pseudopod, the Drabblecast is a series focused on a mixture of science fiction and horror. Often times featuring slightly more humorous tales, the Drabblecast is a delight for those of you that like the tropes of horror, but maybe don’t take it as seriously. With almost 400 episodes under their belt, the team has really nailed down the format and it shows in their narration and production.
An honorable mention goes to The Black Tapes Podcast. If it wasn’t for the interesting concept and production, this show wouldn’t even be on this list. The voice acting is abysmal at times, passable at best, but if you find yourself invested in the world and story they’re building, then it makes it slightly more bearable. Following a reporter from a fictional news outlet, Pacific Northwest Stories, as she looks into the unsolved paranormal events within the Black Tapes kept by Dr. Richard Strand, a skeptic with a mysterious past.