Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a good ghost story. Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the best ways to be creeped out and entertained. Get ready to tune in and freak out with the ten best horror podcasts on the air.
1.The NoSleep Podcast
Back in 2010, a thread appeared on Reddit called “nosleep.” It was a place for people to post their original short horror stories. Mat Hansen, a member of this thread, got the idea to share these stories in audiobook format, and The NoSleep Podcast was born.
Each episode of NoSleep features several different short horror stories grouped around a common theme. The stories are fiction, but they are all written from the perspective of personal experience. NoSleep has won multiple awards, and listeners agree that it is not one to listen to when you are home alone. Their website warns that this podcast is for mature adults only, but we’ve yet to meet someone mature enough to rest easy after listening to this spooky show.
If real-life horror is more your thing, then Lore might be the podcast for you. Lore’s producers dive into history’s darkest corners and examine disturbing human behavior from a folkloric perspective. Told in campfire-story style, Lore’s tales of the strange and macabre will stay with you long after the episode ends. You’ll never look at history–or humanity–the same way again.
3.Welcome to Night Vale
One of the most popular fictional podcasts right now, Welcome to Night Vale is perfect for anyone who needs a little more weird in their life. Night Vale is a fictional town located in an unnamed desert in the Southwestern U.S. Each episode gives community updates and news.
The news in Night Vale isn’t precisely typical, though. Some strange things are going on around here. Maybe it’s aliens? Maybe its government conspiracies? Each episode can stand alone, but some characters reappear throughout the series. Sometimes it’s creepy, sometimes it’s funny, but Night Vale is always entertaining.
If you are a first-time listener, you should check out their recap show, Good Morning Night Vale. This is a companion show that takes a deeper look at each episode, starting with their very first episode from 2012.
4.The Black Tapes
This podcast ended in 2017 with a cliffhanger that was initially stated to be the end, but in 2018 it was announced that the show would be back for another season. Now is the perfect time to start listening to get caught up before the last season airs.
Widely regarded as one of the best horror podcasts ever produced, The Black Tapes follows the adventures of a skeptical paranormal investigator and the public radio reporter who becomes obsessed with his unsolved (un-debunked) cases. Many listeners have compared the show’s style to the true-crime podcast Serial.
5.Alice Isn’t Dead
From the people who brought us Welcome to Night Vale comes a surreal story about a truck driver looking for her long lost wife. On her journey, she encounters towns that have been literally lost to time, not-quite-human serial killers, and a far-reaching conspiracy.
This one woman on a mission story has a lonely vibe to it that makes her strange encounters feel even more surreal. Alice Isn’t Dead just aired its 51st episode. This is a great show for anyone who wants to dive into a podcast but doesn’t have much time on their hands. The episodes range from 1 minute to 38 minutes in length, making it perfect for busy listeners.
6.Jim Harold’s Campfire
Jim Harold’s Campfire is the best way to hear real ghost stories from real people without having to go to the woods and actually make a campfire. The host of this show, the titular Jim Harold, takes phone calls from real people for an hour every episode.
Not all the stories his callers tell are going to give you goosebumps, but some real gems come up. Even when the stories aren’t as scary as we’d like, the experience of hearing a first-person experience is always entertaining. The Halloween episode this year is entitled “Spooning With a Demon.” How do you not listen to that?
This might just be the longest-running horror podcast out there. Pseudopod has been bringing short horror to ears everywhere since 2006. They pride themselves on providing a wide diversity of horror stories to appeal to all tastes.
This podcast is only for those who like to be truly disturbed and is not for children (or the faint of heart). If you are a writer of short horror fiction, you should know that Pseudopod accepts stories from writers and actually pays for them! Maybe that’s why Pseudopod consistently produces quality material.
The tagline of this podcast is “kinda creepy, kinda cool”. It’s the perfect description for their mix of fun and sometimes freaky folklore. Hosts Amanda and Julia are lifelong friends, and their rapport with each other is one of the best things about the show. They release new episodes weekly, and each one focuses on a different legend, myth, or creature.
Spirits brings a fresh modern perspective to old stories from around the world. In addition to their mythology episodes, they also have a once-monthly “hometown legends” episode that features ghost stories from their listeners.
Even spooky episodes usually have a positive vibe to them, so if you want a podcast that can creep you out but also somehow cheer you up, this is it. You can start listening anywhere, and their episode titles will give you a good idea of what each episode is about so you can easily find what interests you.
A troubled man takes a job as the caretaker of an arctic research facility in this horror fiction podcast that feels like The Shining meets The Thing. Station Blue tells a tense story of isolation, mental illness, and things that go bump in the night. It only has one season out right now, so if you are looking to get in on the ground floor of a podcast instead of having to catch up with dozens of episodes, you should give it a try. The sound effects will make you feel like you are in the antarctic.
10.The Moonlit Road
If you are a fan of southern gothic, you should tune in to The Moonlit Road. This atmospheric podcast features diverse stories from different southern states and cultures, including African American, Native American, and Cajun. Professional storytellers narrate each episode.
Some episodes are good ol’ fashioned southern ghost stories, while others have to do with strange creatures or surreal happenings. The one downside to this podcast is that they only put out about three episodes a year, but their current 55 episodes should hold you over until they come out with more.