Editor’s Note: This Week’s Eeks is a four-part series during the month of October featuring the spookiest movies, tv shows, podcasts and more to help get you in the Halloween spirit; because even a pandemic can’t stop the things that go bump in the night.
You don’t always need a horror movie to raise the hair on the back of your neck. What podcasts may lack in visuals, they certainly make up for in storytelling, and when you stumble across a good podcast, I argue that they can be just as gripping as a film or tv show. So here are my top five favorite chilling podcasts that I listen to all year round (I might be slightly unhinged) but are even better to tune into during spooky season.
1. Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked
No other podcast has given me full-body chills quite like Spooked. This is a supernatural podcast, so be forewarned you will hear plenty of ghost stories, hauntings, and unexplained bumps in the night. However, what makes this podcast so compelling is that each episode is told in the style of firsthand narrative by the people who have experienced these otherworldly phenomena themselves. Not to mention, colorful anecdotes are sprinkled intermittently by the podcast’s host, Glynn Washington, who is a master storyteller, and honestly just has a really great podcasting voice. If you don’t believe in the paranormal, listening to just one episode of Spooked may have you changing your tune, and keeping your night light on.
I went through a phase a few years ago where I was obsessed with listening to Lore. Lore’s host Aaron Mahnke retells some of humanitys’ darkest historical events, in a style that reminds me of telling spooky stories at a sleepover while holding a flashlight below your face. Whether it’s a beast terrorizing a French village in the 1700s, why coffins used to have bells in them, or the story of the infamous Robert the Doll, Lore tackles all sorts of our history’s strangest, and scariest legends. I think that sometimes, these stories are even scarier than fiction because even if you personally don’t believe it, legends often grow from a seed of truth.
3. My Favorite Murder
Any podcast list written by yours truly just wouldn’t be complete without Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the gals from My Favorite Murder. This is a true-crime comedy podcast, which any “friend of the pod” will know can be a tricky genre to explain to those that aren’t familiar. It’s a genre that retells some of the most intriguing, disturbing, and horrifying real crime stories while adding a lighter spin through the hosts cracking jokes and chatting extensively throughout. However, I want to be clear that they are not ever joking about the victims or making light of murder in any way, which can be confusing to those who have never given it a listen. But if you’re into true crime, and female badass comedians, give it a try.
4. And That’s Why We Drink
In a similar vein as My Favorite Murder, And That’s Why We Drink mixes comedic elements with the retelling of true crime and paranormal stories. It’s fun, it’s creepy, and it’s hosted by two hilarious friends. Each episode is divided into two parts; supernatural and true crime, so it has a little bit for everyone looking to be creeped out. They also read listener stories out loud and react to them, which is always entertaining. So whether you’re looking for a ghost story, or to learn more about a serial killer, this podcast has your bases covered.
5. Up and Vanished
If you’re in for the long haul, I recommend listening to Payne Lindsey’s, “Up and Vanished.” I’ve never torn through a podcast so voraciously as I have the first season of “Up and Vanished.” Payne Lindsey isn’t just any regular podcast host, researching facts from behind a computer. Lindsey actually investigates the cold cases themselves, diving deep into a spider web of clues and potential leads, attempting to get to the truth. His storytelling is harrowing, as he interviews those closest to the case, attempting to put the pieces together that others may have overlooked. It’s storytelling at its finest, although it can be difficult to listen to at times, given that these are real unsolved mysteries that have rocked communities and families. So, listener discretion is definitely advised.
So that’s it for This Week’s Eeks! All Hallows Eve is almost upon us, so as you watch, listen and indulge in all things spooky, remember, as Spooked podcast would recommend, “Never ever never…turn out the lights.” Sound advice.
Email Emma at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @emma_sammuli