When it comes to living the life podcastic, I veer toward the comedy end of the spectrum. My phone is, in addition to the obvious This American Life and Serial sort, filled with Comedy Bang Bang, How Did This Get Made and such. But, as we enter October, I wanted to give myself some spookiness. See, with small children, it’s harder to turn this time of year into the horror-and-gore-fest my heart desires. Three-year-olds aren’t typically wild about House of 1000 Corpses or the like. Enter the podcast. These five podcasts will make your commute or workday extra creepy.
While we all love a good scare, there’s something both fascinating and endlessly unsettling about the truths behind the terrors. Sometimes reality is far more effed than fiction, and that’s what Lore explores. It just started this past spring, so you can catch up and get your chills realtime.
The NoSleep Podcast
Have you ever made the fantastic mistake of reading scary stories online in the middle of the night? This is the podcast for you. Filled with readings of stories culled from Reddit’s /r/NoSleep, these short stories can range from fun to downright terrifying. No joke, the early episode “correspondence:;//” and the “Penpal” series had me so scared in my own office in broad daylight that I yelped a little every time the phone rang or my email dinged. Word of advice: if you listen to “correspondence:;//” which is my personal favorite (it’s from season one) hit Reddit and read the whole thing—the story has been going on for four years now and continues to freak me the hell right out every time.
The Last Podcast on the Left
The internet is filled with complaints, and our readers and some writers are no exception, that outrage culture and PC politeness is ruining society. And I don’t particularly agree with that myself, but the one area I refuse to shy away from all things offensive is horror. I may seem almost nice and normal, but it’s probably time to admit to you that I’ve more than once sought out lists of “most disturbing movies of all time” or “horror movies that are basically snuff films” and watched them all. For that, the guys on TLPotL get me. While some are turned off by their “morning zoo”-esque style (a common descriptor I’ve seen used among the pod’s haters) as they cover—without much in the way of gentleness—everything from demons to serial killers to pedophiles, it takes me back to torrenting the Guinea Pig series with my film school friends. That’s fun. You know. If you’re completely headfucked like me I guess.
While not necessarily horror, Criminal tells true stories that definitely might disturb or unsettle. Murder, mystery, just where the hell flytraps disappear to—if you like your fears to be more based in reality than ghosts and goblins, Criminal is the answer. And at only about 20 minutes per episode, you can knock one out in a drive to the grocery store.
Limetown is my favorite new podcast. Only two episodes in, I’m completely hooked, and the end of the second episode literally made me jump while driving my car. Presented in the manner of Serial or Mystery Show, Limetown is a (fictional, I assure you) tale of the disappearance of an entire town and the mysteries and secrets behind it. It’s like if Serial, The Leftovers and the good parts of True Detective season one had a baby, only that baby was super creepy and kind of scary. GET ON BOARD WITH THIS BABY, FRIENDS.
BONUS: Just listen to the Sleepaway Camp episode of How Did This Get Made on repeat for the entire month. You won’t be scared, but your life will be immensely improved.
You got more scares for me? I CAN TAKE IT. Leave ‘em in the comments.