With horror films doling out CGI monsters and jump-scares galore, it's easy to forget the fear-inducing power of spoken word storytelling. Scary stories have existed for thousands of years, passed down through generations as cautionary tales, ways to explain otherwise unexplainable phenomena, or simply as a means of frightful fun! So why not put down the remote, get out that dusty old imagination and give these spooky podcasts a listen. You won't regret it!
The No Sleep Podcast
This spooktacular podcast owes its existence to user-submitted scary stories from Reddit. No Sleep picks only the scariest gems from the forum to share with listeners and, true to its title, makes sleeping rather... difficult. Scary stories from the minds of horror nerds + high-quality production = an extraordinarily chilling podcast.
Zombie lovers look no further- this is the podcast for you! This audio drama features a juicy, continuous storyline, accessible even to those who may not consider themselves 'horror fans.' This suspenseful, emotionally-charged story of survival is already hugely popular and it's not difficult to see (or hear) why.
The Black Tapes
Best described as Serial meets X-Files, this masterful work of freaky fiction follows a radio journalist who finds herself face-to-face with the paranormal world. Featuring many twists and turns, plus your fair share of ghosts and demons, this is one to follow closely. Don't start from the middle, as the Black Tapes are best enjoyed in sequence.
Bundle up as host Lex Wahl narrates “personal paranormal stories” that are sent in to him from his devoted listeners. These are real stories from real people, so get ready to feel very unsettled in the timespan of 45-60 minutes. Have a scary story to share? Send it in to Wahl, or record yourself telling your paranormal experience- he might play it on the show!
Welcome to Night Vale
Prepare for 30-or-so minutes of total immersion into the fictional town of Night Vale, where the only thing to expect is the unexpected, and where spooky conspiracy theories run rampant. Relayed in a radio show format by the main character (think Prairie Home Companion), guest stars occasionally give voice to some local townspeople to further the eerie and bizarre narrative.
Limetown is best encapsulated by its website's description:
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again.
In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
Was it aliens? A government conspiracy?? You'll have to listen to find out.
With the tagline "sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction," Lore is so terrifying because it's entirely historical. On this biweekly podcast, host Aaron Mahnke explores the "dark historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions." Honestly, there's no better way to buff up on your history while simultaneously getting the sh*t scared out of you!
Have any suggestions for other spooky podcasts? Let us know what we missed in the comment section below!