Halloween in your Headphones: Six Spine-Chilling Podcasts
Looking for something scary to listen to this Halloween? We’ve hand picked six very different podcasts that’ll keep you awake for weeks. And they’re all completely free.
Whether ghosts, demons, genocidal aliens, zombies, satanic cults, or nightmare apparitions are your horror of choice, you’ll find them all lurking in the following shows…
Warning, these podcasts can contain strong language, as well as situations of a violent, or deeply unsettling nature. If that's just made you even more keen, then come on in!
The Self-Contained Story
By FinalRune Productions & Aural Stage Studios
This is an intense psychological horror that will put you through the wringer. Protagonist Alex wakes up in a New England Hospital following a serious car accident. His immediate concern is the health and wellbeing of his girlfriend, but as the creepy behaviour of his fellow patients as well as the hospital staff begins to unsettle him, it becomes increasingly clear that his problems are much bigger than he’d originally anticipated.
Intensive Care runs for just over half an hour, but it packs one hell of a punch, you have been warned.
By John Ballentine
John Ballentine and the team around him have created 13 dark audio tales since this anthology series began in late 2011.
Running at around half an hour each, these stories range between original content (Hungry Hollow, Night Delivery), the reworking of popular stories and myths (The War of the Worlds, The Philadelphia Xperiment), and some horrifying new takes on real life events (RIP, Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse). Heavily inspired by the CBC series Nightfall from the 1980s, Campfire Radio Theater describes itself as “A Modern Horror Anthology for the iPod Generation”.
The Spoken Word Piece
By Kaaron Warren/Nightmare Podcast
Nightmare is the podcast wing of the horror anthology magazine of the same title. In each episode,
published short stories featured in the magazine are read to you by professional narrators. Kaaron Warren’s tale ‘Mountain’ combines traditionally chilling ghost story elements with the issues of human greed and domestic violence.
Not only will this story scare you, it’s also an extremely thought provoking piece. Very cleverly executed and runs for just over 25 minutes.
By Pacific Northwest Stories
“Serial meets the X Files” was how one reviewer described The Black Tapes, and it’s hard to sum this show up any better. There’s a real Mulder and Scully dynamic between the two main characters, Alex Reagan and Dr. Richard Strand, and their relationship is every bit as fascinating as the gruesome, macabre, and downright terrifying cases they investigate in each episode. Production-wise there’s a real NPR quality to the show, with each episode running to around the 45-minute mark. The reputation of The Black Tapes seems to be growing at a rapid rate, and it isn’t hard to see why.
The Legendary Series
By Kc Wayland
Launched in 2009, We’re Alive is a seasoned veteran of the Audio Drama podcast world. The show
follows a group of survivors who hole up in a tower block in the midst of the outbreak of a lethal virus that turns the infected into bloodthirsty zombies. Each episode runs for 15-20 minutes and never fails to end on an agonising cliffhanger. You’ll binge your way through this show listening at every opportunity you get.
The show spanned four epic seasons, and has accumulated over forty million downloads to date. On top of that, fans of the show recently raised over $50,000 to fund ‘Lockdown’ – the next tale from Kc Wayland’s dark vision of a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
The 3D Audio Experience
By The Owl Field
You can get me on a technicality here, as Overnight isn’t really a podcast by definition. There’s no RSS feed, and no download option. But at just over 8 minutes long you won’t have to worry too much about that – you’ll have other things to worry about here, like what's that noise in the house around you?
Stream this directly from your phone, put on a good pair of headphones (no earbuds) and lie down in a dark room for this, because it’s a binaural audio experience (essentially, the audio is 3D, so you’ll hear sounds behind you and in front of you, as well as in each ear). It’s also done in the first person, putting you directly into the shoes of someone who has been sent to an empty house to investigate some strange and spooky noises. This is the type of show that you can’t help but tell someone else about once you’ve finished it. Enjoy, if you dare.
Skull image by danielle_blue