I am a big fan of podcasts, they make me feel way more productive in life when I’m able to multitask by listening to them while I am working out, driving or sometimes even at work if I’m doing something mindless like data entry. I don’t know why, but I always feel like I have achieved so much more when I have smashed my days tasks as well as some podcasts.
I listen to a whole bunch of stuff, but those who know me well know I love horror and have a penchant for the dark themes. So in the interests of not cross contaminating my podcasts too much, today I wanted to talk about my favourite dark podcasts.
Straight up, I want you to know that I don’t get paid for my opinions and no one actually asked me to write this article – I am genuinely just sharing the ones I love, so no hidden agendas here! I’ll talk about each of them here, and you’ll be able to find all of these on the Apple Podcast app, and I imagine Stitcher as well if you’re an Android user. In each case, I’ll at least hook you up with their site links and you can go from there!
The Lore podcast is one of those ones I stumbled across after another podcast mentioned it and I feel really lucky that I found it. The host of this show is presented by writer Aaron Mahnke who tells us scary real life stories based on folklore. With beautifully eerie music and stories that are so nicely scripted… I feel like I learn new things all the time with this podcast but also get scared at the same time. I kinda love it.
It’s absolutely addictive and was voted as Best of 2015 on iTunes. With over 2 million monthly listeners, this show is polished and professional but also creepy as hell. The episodes are achievable being only about 20 minutes each which I appreciate because you can smash through them so quickly.
Excitingly, Lore is going to become a TV show sometime soon with this being announced recently. Get onto this podcast before the show comes out and catch up!
6. Faculty of Horror
These ladies from The Faculty of Horror are fascinating to listen to. Hosted by Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West, these monthly episodes involve our hosts watching scary films pre-podcast and then coming together to analyse and dissect them, talking about some of the deeper themes to the movies and not just the surface aspects of “did you like the movie?”
These discussions tend to stem from an academic perspective and can focus more on the craft of the movie and the tropes and if there are females in the movie, there’s the spin on if the movie is a feminist movie or not.
Both of these women are super intelligent and I love the episodes they put together that are about a theme and they’ll talk about a number of horror movies that fit within that theme and why.
It’s great BUT not my favourite because they can sometimes talk at great length about feminist issues (personally off putting for me), but there’s no way that I can’t mention it as one of my favourites in any case.
5. The Black Tapes
The best way to describe The Black Tapes is if you had the Serial podcast crossed over with X-Files. This is addictive. It’s a serialised horror drama that is recorded to sound completely legitimate. In fact, at first listen I thought it was real but then some of the acting let it down just a bit for me to believe it was real. Soon enough I saw past that though and got hooked.
This series is about journalist Alex Reagan who does a story on world renound skeptic, Dr Richard Strand… once she does some digging around, she finds his unsolved cases – what he calls, The Black Tapes. Each episode is about a different black tape. It’s captivating.
Even on their website, these guys will spout it’s a docudrama and live up to the image that this is real, and that’s what I love about it… there’s so much effort involved and even spin off series to back up the ‘legitimacy’ of this podcast. Really recommend this one, it’s fun!
Now, if we still only were on season 1 of Serial, this would be my number one podcast pic. Serial was the show that actually made me get INTO listening to podcasts in the first place. Season 1 was captivating, grisly, a real life murder mystery that I spent hours debating with colleagues about. It was the first podcast that broke the mainstream and had people of all walks tuning into because you couldn’t miss out on what happened next. Whilst not exactly scary, it’s definitely dark.
Season 2 was different – it addressed the story of Beau Bergdahl who is in the US Army and abandoned his post when in Afghanistan and then was captured by the Taliban for 5 years before a deal was arranged with the US and he was sent home. He is now on trial and there are so many mixed thoughts on what he did and why he did it. I was really entertained by this season – my boyfriend is in the US Army and so my ears pricked up a little bit more for that reason probably. But I have to admit, I missed my murder mystery case that season 1 offered which is why it’s no longer my fave. Definitely up there though.
Sarah Koenig is absolutely incredible at telling a story piece by piece in a way that sometimes makes you feel an inner conflict, but in a good way because you force yourself to answer some hard questions.
3. Seriously Strange Podcast
The Seriously Strange Podcast is hosted by two really awesome YouTubers that I am a fan of – Rob Dyke and Cayleigh Elise. Both have channels on YouTube that talk a lot about serial killers, mystery disappearances, urban legends and folklore, so naturally when I found out Rob was doing a podcast with Cayleigh I subscribed and I haven’t been disappointed since.
My favourite episodes are the one they did about the disappearance of Elisa Lam (God that story is scary!) which was episode 2, the episode they did on the Mothman (episode 3) and their most recent episode where they talked about these scary videos uploaded by an Australian (!) guy where you can see this ghostly image in the background of a video he took and they dissect this in episode 8.
These two are just generally funny and I really enjoy their chemistry and banter, so it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites at the moment. I wish they did more frequent episodes.. I think they do one a month at the moment but I am impatient.
2. The Girls In The Back Row
The Girls In The Back Row is frigging amazing. Hosted by Kate and Tab, these ladies pick a new horror movie each week and discuss it. I love the shows format because they always have the first half of the show being the non spoiler part of the discussion, and then they give you a warning and then the second part of the show is the spoiler part. It’s great that they allow their audience to get a taste of movies they may not have seen by listening to the first half and still allowing them to be involved. We’re always invited to pause the podcast, watch the movie ourselves and come back for spoilers or keep listening which is great.
Having seen most of the movies that Kate and Tab talk about, I firstly love their movie taste, but secondly I always find their opinions to be pretty on par with my own. It’s like I am listening to a chat with some friends, which is maybe why I like it so much.
The ladies are so interactive and have given me shoutouts on the show before just for tweeting them which I absolutely love because they really do acknowledge their listeners. It’s the little things that keep you really engaged that way.
Loyal fan of this show, and I highly recommend it. My boyfriend listens to this as well and we often have big conversations about the episodes and the movies themselves. If you’re into horror movies, you need this.
Oh god… this podcast has actually made the hair on the back of my neck raise. I can’t listen to it when the lights are off. I am straight up addicted to it though. I usually listen to this when I am driving to the gym, and then during my workout, and then on the drive home… but now that daylight savings has ended it’s too dark for me to be driving home listening to Nosleep.
Nosleep is a podcast of scary story retellings from reddit posts on the nosleep forum. For some reason, stories are so much scarier when you have the sound effects, music and creepy voice happening at the same time.
Some of these stories will honestly stay with me forever because they’re so well written and clever. I personally love when they do special episodes that are just focused on one story instead of the 3 to 4 that usually feature in an episode. Highlights for me are Butcherface, Penpals and Penpals II. So intense!
It’s my current obsession right now, so Nosleep gets number 1 from me!
I won’t be held accountable for you guys getting scared now! 😉 Enjoy!
Melissa / holybatgirl