Devilish Digital Delights: Fall Entertainment Recommendations

Take a break from real life with these spooky podcasts, streaming shows, and video games that will make the hair on your neck stand up.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is considered by many horror fans (myself included) one of the scariest TV shows ever made. This October, the Hill House cast and crew are back for an all-new tale based on Henry James’ classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Victoria Pedretti arrives at Bly Manor to care for two troubled orphans (played by Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth). Of course, the manor is haunted by malevolent ghosts who might or might not have murdered the previous nanny. Hill House vets Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel also return for the new season, while newcomers Rahul Kohli and Tahirah Sharif join the cast as cursed residents of the manor. Show creator Mike Flanagan promises a terrifying experience with plenty of jump scares, ghost sightings, and possessed toys.

Lovecraft Country (HBO Max)

Lovecraft Country is equal parts period drama and weird tale inspired on the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) returns home from the Korean War to learn his father has gone missing. Atticus joins his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend turned flame (Jurnee Smollett) on a rescue mission to rural New England — a.k.a. Lovecraft Country. There, they encounter otherworldly horrors including vengeful ghosts, psychopathic witches, and alien monsters called Shoggoths. But these supernatural elements are nothing compared to the real-life horror of Jim Crow America.

NoSleep (Creative Reason Media Podcast; Free for Apple and Android)

If you prefer modern to classic horror, the NoSleep podcast features fiction from some of today’s best horror writers. Every week, host David Cummings and a team of top podcast narrators bring creepy tales to life. The all-new season 15 features stories such as a man trapped on an elevator that leads straight to hell, a patient who discovers his dentist is a sociopath, and a nurse who delivers a demonic baby. Meanwhile, the music and audio effects do a perfect job of heightening the tension. I recommend not listening to this right before bed, given this podcast lives up to its name.

Supernatural with Ashley Flowers (Parcast Network Podcast; Free for Apple and Android)

True crime podcasts are all the rage, but Supernatural focuses on real-life mysteries that cannot be explained. Host Ashley Flowers does an excellent job of presenting the facts behind stories of alien abductions, unsolved murders and disappearances, hauntings, and demonic possessions. At first glance, many of these cases have logical explanations. But at the end of each episode, Flowers leaves just enough doubt that the real world might be a stranger place than we thought.

Carrion (Phobia Game Studio, $20)

Creature lovers, rejoice — here is your chance to be the monster for once. In Carrion, you play an escaped alien that is all tentacles and teeth. Navigate the tunnels of a secret facility seeking out tasty scientists to devour while avoiding security. The game is approachable for new players, but gaming aficionados will appreciate the retro graphics and challenging final levels.

The Bellows (Bot Jungle Productions; Free for HTC VIVE, $5 on Playstation VR)

The Bellows brings all your favorite scary movies to life in virtual reality. Trapped in a rotting gothic mansion, you must find your way out with only a small lamp for light. As you walk around and interact with clues in virtual space, books and furniture fly at you, and creatures scamper just out of sight. Meanwhile, someone — or something — is hunting you from room to room. On the plus side, the VR headphones will help drown out your screams.

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