There’s no better time of the year for scary stories than Halloween. And now, due to the ever-growing popularity of podcasts, you no longer have to huddle around a campfire with friends to hear a scary story be told – you can creep yourself out right in the (dis)comfort of your own home! So, if tales of the mysterious, eerie and unexplained are your thing, I’ve put together a little mixed bag of creepy podcast treats you may want to check out.
Creepy True Crime
“Fact is scarier than fiction” is the tagline for Casefile, a podcast that details in chilling, mysterious true crimes of a murderous nature – both solved and unsolved. Like the anonymous host, the majority of cases discussed hail from Australia, but are regularly interspersed with cases from other countries such as the U.S., Canada and England. But, a creepy tale is a creepy tale no matter where it’s set, and these crimes definitely have that creep factor. Notable episodes include “The Eriksson Twins” (about two strange-acting sisters who get involved in a traffic altercation which suddenly takes a frightful plunge right off the deep end) and “The Weepy Voiced Killer” (about a spate of attacks on women in Minnesota that were followed by pleading calls to 911 – calls that were made by the attacker, himself). Of key note to these specific episodes – they both managed to incorporate actual recordings of the incidents depicted – and hearing them will definitely give you the shudders.
On Unexplained, host Richard MacLean Smith guides listeners through tales of mysterious happenings and strange incidents. Leaning heavily into events with a strong paranormal or supernatural feel, the common thread is that they have all defied explanation to this day. Oh, and that they’re also creepy as hell. For an episode that will have you both scratching your head in puzzlement as well as checking nervously over your shoulder, I’d recommend checking out “When The Light Fades”, about the mysterious disappearance of the secluded lighthouse keepers of Eilean Mor.
Creepy Crowd-Sourced Stories
Think of Scared? as your virtual campfire tales. Host Phil Holmes stokes the fire, but the fuel is brought by listeners themselves, who call in to share their own personal brushes with the paranormal. Tales of ghosts, UFOs, hauntings, strange creatures and other unexplained phenomena can all be found on the bill here. The stories are generally short in nature, so usually there are multiple stories presented in each episode.
While having the tales told by those who actually experienced them does generally work in the show’s favour, it also works against it at times. Basically, some people are just better storytellers than others. But also, since these are crowd-sourced tales and not known incidents that have been researched or vetted by a third party, you can’t help but occasionally feel some lingering doubt as to whether someone is being entirely truthful with the tale being spun. However, if you can push aside those thoughts and just want to hear some good ol’ creepy campfire tales, then huddle close and dig in!
So, there you have it, a small sampler of scares for those of you looking to download or stream a spooky pre-Halloween fix! (All podcasts can be found on iTunes or downloaded from their respective websites). Enjoy!