Horror podcasts that are sure to keep you up at night
Here’s a list of horror podcasts to distract you from the horror of the real world.
By Sierra Tavasolian
Something about horror is so universal. From Norman Bates and the knife in the shower to Hannibal Lecter explaining his favorite dinner to Chris Washington watching a spoon stir tea, it’s the little details in horror that linger. And when those mediums go from visual to audio, the little details matter even more. We offer you this list of podcasts that nail those details and terrify the sleep right out of us.
“Alice Isn’t Dead”
This podcast from NightVale presents is the perfect mix of whodunit and Americana horror. The story is set up as the narrator monologuing into a long-haul trucking radio as she tries to find the wife who she thought was dead while being pursued by the terrifying thistle man.
This staple in podcasting and horror will haunt your dreams. Following a young journalist investigating the disappearance of a town–and her uncle–this podcast is sure to get under your skin. Even if you don’t listen to the second season, the first season finale is an amazing example of how all-consuming a podcast can be.
In our current, post-UFO reveal lives, this podcast hits a little too close to home. Following a group of cryptographers trying to decipher “LifeAfter/The Message,” a WWII recording believed to be extraterrestrial, this podcast does a lot with just 8 episodes. It works great as a standalone, but if you’re looking for more, it’s sequel “LifeAfter” is just as terrifying, if more heartbreaking.
“The Magnus Archives”
This epic, ongoing horror podcast follows archivist Rusty Quill as he tries to organize a neglected collection in the archives. As if that’s not terrifying enough, he’s organizing seemingly unconnected, unsettling statements. But the more he looks at them, the more they seem to connect, and the more terrifying the picture becomes.
“What Are You Afraid of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast”
If you’re a fan of ghost stories, this is the podcast for you. This thrice-weekly podcast features ghost stories submitted from around the world and is full of interviews with horror authors, ghost hunters, and people who have experienced the unexplained.
If you don’t want to worry about a big backlog, this series is an anthology of original audio dramas so you don’t have to worry about starting from episode one. Think “The Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits,” but whispered directly into your ears for maximum terror.
“Old Gods of Appalachia”
If you love the Americana feel of “Alice Isn’t Dead” but want something a little more regional, “Old Gods” is the way to go. Based in the titular mountainous region, this podcast is the perfect mix of true stories, local legends, and myths, along with that primordial fear of unearthing some long-forgotten item that someone buried a long time ago.
If you’ve been sufficiently terrified and are looking for a breather, “Lore” is the perfect palette cleanser. Written and narrated by the soothing Aaron Mahnke, this podcast focuses on a different ghost story, legend, or myth each episode. While the episodes don’t have jumpscares or the consuming terror of a fictional horror podcast, something about the based-on-a-true-story approach will linger in your mind long after the episode concludes.