When the podcast Serial came out in 2014, and everyone started raving about how good it was, I vowed to listen to it. That was 3 years ago and I still haven’t listened to it. I put it off for so long because I couldn’t see the point in listening to someone talk when I could watch a documentary instead. It’s safe to say I’ve since seen the error of my ways!
The release of Serial seemed to bring about a podcast revolution with new ones in every genre popping up every day. Need motivation, self-help tips, business advice or a political breakdown of current world events? There’s a podcast for that! Need a creepy look into the macabre and shocking true crime stories? There’s plenty of podcasts for that – so many in fact that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Since I’ve recently developed a new obsession with them, I’m here to tell you which ones I think you should be listening to:
- Lore – A super interesting podcast which delves into the truth behind the myths and the old wives’ tales, produced by the executive producer of The X-Files. The first episode focuses on vampires, where the myth of vampires began, the story of one of the first documented ‘vampires’, and how Dracula got his name. I really wasn’t sure about this podcast but I’m glad I started listening as it’s teaching me a lot – it will definitely teach you enough random knowledge to get those obscure pub quiz questions correct! Each episode is only twenty minutes long (which I love as I don’t have the patience for episodes longer than an hour) but they manage to fit so much information in. The narrator is American but Lore focuses on myths and legends from around the world.
Favourite Episode: Episode 1 – They Made A Tonic: I’m still thinking about this episode now! It’s the episode about vampires but that isn’t really clear from the description; it’s about a group of townsfolk in Rural Rhode Island who dug up three local women and why they did that – was it regional panic that lead them to do it or something else?
- All Killa No Filla – The podcast that introduced me to podcasts (the narrators did a live version in our venue at the Edinburgh Fringe so I decided to listen) and it’s still my favourite. It’s narrated by two British comedians, Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard-McLean, who manage to bring a little light relief to an otherwise very dark subject. In each episode they discuss a different serial killer (or serial killers if more than one acted together). There isn’t a lot of discussion about the crimes they committed instead they choose to focus on the killers themselves. There’s no science behind their analysis of the killers; they just give us their opinions based on what they’ve read online or seen on documentaries etc. Go and give it a listen if you want something a little different to the usual rehashing of crimes, cases and professional opinions.
Favourite Episode: Episode Four – Elizabeth Bathory: This episode follows a medieval killer known as The Countess of Blood. She was wealthy, powerful and apparently liked to torture and kill peasant girls in her spare time. She was basically the Tywin Lannister of the real world as she had so much money she was propping up the crown and was more powerful than the monarchy. As the King was in debt to her there’s a theory that he made up a story about her being a serial killer to get him off the hook and finally become more powerful than her…
- The Black Tapes – I loved this one as soon as I started listening! It’s a fictional docudrama about paranormal events and the people who research them. It’s hosted by Alex Reagan (Lori Henry), a journalist who aims to research unexplained paranormal activity. She interviews the people involved including ghost hunters, regular people who claimed to be haunted and Dr Strand, a scientist who dedicates his life to debunking these stories, all in the name of presenting a balanced story. Each episode follows on from the next and we, the listener, get to hear everything as it played out to Alex so that we can form our own opinions. It gets creepy in parts when you’re listening to a ghost hunt – and when Dr Strand finds it hard to debunk the story you’re listening to! Like I mentioned above it is fictional (which ruins the scare factor a little), however, it is a very interesting and cleverly put together podcast. It’s worth a listen whether you believe in ghosts and the paranormal or not as there are convincing arguments from both sides. Just be prepared to be a little creeped out at times!
- They Walk Among Us – A podcast dedicated to true crime that has taken place in the UK. It’s narrated by a guy called Benjamin who doesn’t exactly have the right voice for a podcast (he talks a bit too slowly and his delivery seems a bit stunted) but, if you can get past that, it’s a gripping podcast. Benjamin is British though, which I prefer in a narrator. I like They Walk Among Us as each episode opens with descriptions of the crime and the subsequent police inquiry instead of just jumping straight into the analysis like many others do.
Favourite Episode: Season 1 – Episode 5: This episode follows the story of a series of brutal knife attacks in Colchester. These knife attacks all took place in broad daylight and the victims seemed to be picked at random which really fed into one of the biggest fears people have about violent crimes.
- Casefile – Hosted by an anonymous Australian man, Casefile sets out to prove that fact is scarier than fiction. Each episode of the podcast is long (i.e at least over an hour) but that’s to allow enough time to go into detail about the crimes they’re talking about, the perpetrators and the events which led them to do what they did. Something I really like about this podcast is that they try to be objective when presenting the facts, unlike many other true crime podcasts which often project their own views. Listen to Casefile if you want to be scared by some real crimes but if you also want cold, hard facts.
Favourite Episode: Case 60 – Jonestown (three parts): I’ve always been fascinated by the Jonestown case since I learnt about it for my sociology A-Level. It follows Jim Jones’ life from before he was even conceived (it talks about his parents right before his mother fell pregnant), to how his idea of a cult came about, to the end. If you think you know all about Jonestown listen to these episodes to be proven wrong.
Do you listen to any of these Podcasts? What other creepy podcasts would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
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