I love listening to scary stories, as my imagination conjures more frightening images than even the most intense horror film. If you also enjoy hearing spine-chilling tales, I submit for your approval the following podcasts. These shows are free and easy to download to your computer or mobile device – just don’t listen to them when you’re alone late at night.
The Black Tapes
The Black Tapes gives a clever nod to NPR’s Serial podcast, while mixing in a bit of (television series) American Horror Story. Narrator Alex Reagan investigates cases of child abductions, sinister cults, and demonic possession. Her mentor and occasional nemesis is Dr. Strand, a professional skeptic who may or may not be responsible for his wife’s disappearance. This fictional series will keep you guessing about whoís telling the truth and whether dark legends are real.
Bizarre States is a hilarious pop culture show that focuses on the supernatural and the dark side of Pinterest. Hosts Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser strike a fine balance between humor and horror as they discuss bizarre news of the week or interview celebrities about their paranormal encounters. But the creepiest part of the show is when the hosts read chilling listener stories of poltergeists or U.F.O. sightings.
Faculty of Horror is like that awesome pop culture class you always wanted to take instead of statistics. Not only are Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West accomplished academics and film critics, but itís also obvious they have a deep love for horror movies. The hosts always keep the conversation lively, whether they are discussing how horror films reflect societal issues or talking about their favorite B-movies on Netflix.
This podcast celebrates horror literature from the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bram Stoker. Each episode, hosts Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey read from a classic macabre tale and provide interesting background details about the writerís life and career. What I especially love about the show is how it spotlights lesser-known women and minority writers such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Pauline Hopkins.
If you prefer hearing about real-life murderers and psychopaths, I highly recommend Sword and Scale. This true-crime podcast does an excellent job of covering the latest grisly news while also examining heinous historical cases. Host Mike Boudet regularly conducts fascinating interviews with detectives, forensics experts, and investigative journalists.
Imagine a small desert town where the local sporting goods store is a front for the new world government, a ghost runs the little league program, and U.F.O.s hover above the local Arbyís. Radio reporter Cecil Palmer mixes scares with straight-faced humor as he chronicles the bizarre happenings in the fictional town of Night Vale. The fake ads from local businesses are especially funny, especially the ones for Big Ricoís Pizza (the only pizzeria left in town after all the other pizza joints burned down mysteriously).