What I like about podcasts, in general, is the intimacy of the listening process. Once those headphones are plugged in, it’s just you and the voice(s) in your head. This Halloween, these voices in your head are about to get a little louder as you indulge your thirst for creepy stories with these five shows.
Alice Isn’t Dead
A follow up to the unbeatable podcast hit Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead is a must-listen, if only for the fact that it’s produced by the guys at the Night Vale network.
Written by Night Vale co-creator Joseph Fink, the show follows a truck driver on the hunt for her wife who she previously thought to be dead. Its David Lynch-esque storyline is filled with eerie, dream-like, time-hopping narratives that make it hard to distinguish between what’s real and not. Season two concluded in August and the third and final season is currently in production, so it’s not too late for a binge-listen.
The Black Tapes
Created and written by Paul Bae and Terry Miles and launched in May of 2015, The Black Tapes is a supernatural docudrama hosted by Alex Reagan, a public radio journalist for Pacific Northwest Stories, and follows her as she investigates the mysterious Strand Institute and its more mysterious founder, Dr Richard Strand. Over the course of three seasons (third and final season is currently underway), things go from creepy to apocalyptic in this ‘monster of the week’-themed series, not unlike The X Files.
The Girls in the Back Row
This podcast if for the horror obsessed. Brought to you by Fangoria’s podcast network, The Girls in the Back Row is hosted by Kate and Tab, who describe themselves as “the kind of girls your mother warned you about.”
A deep dive into the world of horror cinema, The Girls in the Back Row showcase their horror chops in an entertaining and engaging show with weekly spoiler-free reviews of the films they’ve watched, which also includes first impressions from a guest who hasn’t seen the movie before. Once a month, they also compare two or more thematically similar films. Fans of The Faculty of Horror will especially enjoy this show.
Sword and Scale
A podcast series that goes back to 2014, Sword and Scale is hosted by Mike Boudet and is likely your next true crime addiction source, if you aren’t already into this series.
Each week, Boudet covers a different true crime story or a conspiracy that veers towards the absurd or downright creepy, all set in the US and Canada. Many episodes are based around original tapes — interviews, trial snippets, 911 calls — with Boudet giving the stories shape through his narration.
Some instalments include criminal experts, authors or people related to the case. The podcast is split into various categories to help sort the 100+ episodes and they include single murder, mass murder, torture, sex crimes, heists and mobsters, among others.
Using just her voice (and minimal background music), Soren Narnia describes tales of supernatural suspense that might be best suited for a night out camping or a sleep over involving blanket forts and torches.
This one’s perfect if you want to do a fun little Halloween listening party at home with friends and family: just turn off the lights and make a playlist of four to five episodes, and you’re good to go. On a Reddit thread, the host herself listed these episodes as audience favourites: ‘staircase’, ‘sisters’, ‘landmark’, ‘sounds’, ‘vision’, ‘school’ and ‘possession’.