The Best Paranormal Podcasts
Testing. TESTING. May the spirits of the electricity and the ghosts in the machine quell this microphone’s cries of torment!
Because something wicked this way comes… and that is… Spooky Season.
Yes, ghosts and ghouls, October is less than a month away. And to celebrate the impending month-long spookathon, The Mary Sue has compiled a list of paranormal podcasts to put you, creatures of the night, in a Halloweeny mood.
So, finish that Pumpkin Spice latte and hold on to your wide-brimmed hat, because here we go. Here are the best paranormal podcasts.
Knifepoint Horror is a horror anthology created, curated, and narrated by Soren Narnia. Episodes vary in length from twenty minutes to a few hours, but each episode delivers on the scares. The format is simple. Each story is written from a first-person perspective of a narrator who survived a horrifying encounter. The type of encounter varies, but each episode tends to be entirely unique. In one episode, a group of beleaguered soldiers of the Napoleonic War are tormented by a spectral horse as they lay siege to Moscow. In another episode, a man is terrorized by his neighbor, who he realizes has been breaking into his house at night, and is planning to eventually kill him. The tales also feature a menagerie of monsters such as fleshy giants, hideous chimeras, and even an alien invasion of extraterrestrial fungus. Each episode is narrated by Soren himself, who does a phenomenal job of filling the listener with a sense of dread without going over the top. The podcast has been going on for over a decade and has a plethora of episodes for viewers to sink their ear-teeth into. And what’s that horrible little monster on the cover art? Why, nothing but a little demon from Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Check it out while you listen to an episode if you really want nightmares.
Southern Demonology is my personal favorite series on this list. Hosted by a man who goes by the moniker JJ, it is a podcast that explores the study of angels, demons, ghosts, and ancient myths from around the world. JJ is a religious scholar and is fluent in a variety of different dead languages (that were used to write both the Bible and other similar religious texts from ancient times). The stories of angels and demons are often a translation of a translation of a translation, as the Bible and its related scriptures have been translated time and time again throughout history, resulting in a two millennia game of telephone that has divorced many passages of the ancient text from their original meaning. JJ, however, is able to provide a direct translation of many of these passages, as well as provide historical context, which allows for a fascinating retelling of religious texts. His discussion of the angels of the Book of Enoch is especially fascinating. While not a book of the Bible, The Book of Enoch is seen as canonical in some sects of Christianity, and features a tale of a group of angels who were sent to watch over the earth. The angels rebelled against their original instructions and mated with human women, resulting in a race of half human/half spirit giants called the Nephilim who devoured everything in their path. Freaky. He dives deep into demonology as well, and tells tale after tale of real-life accounts of demonic possession that were actually acknowledged by the Catholic Church. Some of it sounds too specific and spooky to not be true. He also lived in Japan for many years, and has a collection of terrifying accounts of yurei, or Japanese ghosts. His podcast isn’t as well known as the others on this list, but you, dear reader, could change that by feasting your ears on his delightfully terrifying tales.
Old Gods Of Appalachia
I can’t believe that no one had thought of this idea before. It’s absolutely RIPE for the picking. Old Gods of Appalachia is a horror series based on a small town in Appalachia whose coal mining exploits unearth a nest of horrors hidden under the mountains. Elder gods, who once lay dormant in the earth, have been reawakened, and are now wreaking havoc on the populace. The series also delves into the horrors of Christianity, as bizarre and bloodthirsty cults have arisen, thanks to the Old Gods meddling with the minds of a God-fearing populace. The series is full of action and horror, and takes in a setting that is usually left completely untouched by fiction writers. The people of Appalachia are often overlooked by most Americans. The towns are small and secluded in the mountains, and due to the desperate poverty that many residents of Appalachia face, few of them have the means to leave the land on which they were born. The towns are also extremely old, and many people chose to stay because their families have lived on that land for generations, sometimes centuries. Old Gods of Appalachia provides a fascinating peak into the lives of a community of people that most Americans have forgotten. The only caveat is: you may not like what you see. Hear? Whatever. It’s really good.
Welcome to Night Vale
Welcome to Night Vale is a wonderfully weird little podcast created by Jospeh Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The episodes take the format of public service announcements on the radio of a little desert town called Night Vale, where all of the world’s conspiracy theories are real. The town is haunted by strange angels, deer-faced goddesses, and a former mayoral candidate known as The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives In Your Home, who, like her name suggests, simultaneously lives in the home of all of the residents of the town. The townspeople are equally strange, and content themselves by farming imaginary corn, killing their doppelgängers, and taking care of floating cats. The charm of the series is the attitude of normalcy with which the characters view these strange goings-on. For the residents of Night Vale, fantastical things like alien abductions and five-headed dragons are about as unusual as a walk in the park. You may, after all, encounter many of these things (and more) strolling through the parks of Night Vale yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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