Hey, everyone! Thanks for putting up with my short hiatus. Guys, I’m really hoping that time was enough to get things back on track for this blog. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start posting weekly again, as well as include more “thoughts” posts about gaming and myself!
But first, I promised you all some very special stuff for October. And that starts with this post right here. You see, I may seem like a cute little food blogger with a nerdy twist and an extremely geeky lifestyle. And you would be right. But I also have a pretty strong dark side. I love to be afraid. I’m addicted (in a good, non-harmful way) to the thrill and adrenaline rush that comes with being scared. I love reading, watching, and listening to horror. I love haunted houses, both real and the ones created for entertainment. I enjoy dark, slightly twisted tabletop games and have even dabbled slightly in horror video games.
But, in tandem with my very eclectic tastes in desserts (for example, I don’t like frosting… or cake, really), I’m pretty picky about what I like to scare me. I’m not a fan of slasher films or games. Not a huge fan of violence for violence’s sake or sexual violence as a medium for horror. And definitely don’t enjoy things that play around with demons and demonic possession. So, you ask, what does a girl who doesn’t enjoy half the horror genre actually like? That’s easy. It’s ghosts, paranormal activity, unexplained disappearances in mysterious circumstances, haunted houses, graveyards and crypts, the dark, monsters, and just about everything else.
As a lover of Halloween and this spooky time of year, I’m going to release a Top Spooky Things list each week until Halloween! Each week will have a theme: movies, books, podcasts, songs, and games. I’ll also be posting one of the 5 Monster recipes from Breath of the Wild each week. There may also be, thanks to some encouragement from Kim over at Later Levels, be a special fiction short story released on Halloween! I’ve never tried a short story before, but I’m genuinely curious if I can do it. Guys, this October is going to be amazing!
And now, without further ado, let’s talk about my Top 5 Spooky Podcasts.
I’m actually kinda picky about my podcasts, and particularly from the horror genre. Those “call in” podcasts where people tell their own stories don’t always seem believable to me and usually have a hodge-podge format I struggle to pay attention to. And, as a bit of a skeptic, I don’t always enjoy “tell your own paranormal encounter” stories. I’m also pretty picky about the quality of the story. Even Lore nearly didn’t make the cut because I’ve started to hate shows that sound too fabricated; puns that feel too forced, writing that seems too obvious, and podcasts that don’t understand how to tell a story without being overly descriptive, a quality that diminishes my immersion in the horror.
The Magnus Archives: Rusty Quill
This is easily the best horror podcast on the market. And, in my opinion, one of the best podcasts ever! Writer Jonny Simms and producer Alexander Newell, are a dynamic duo who understand writing for an audio audience, allowing the listening to fully immerse without falling into so many of the mistakes other podcasts don’t even understand they’re making. Combine that with an intriguing overarching story and genuinely frightening episodes, The Magnus Archives is my favorite podcast to date and well worth listening to, even if you don’t love horror. Definitely start from the beginning on this one, as the story unfolds over the course of the 3 seasons currently available!
Unexplained: Richard MacLean Smith
Unexplained is, by far, my favorite non-fiction horror podcast. Delving not only into scary stories, this podcast explores any event without any final explanation, including treasure hunting and reincarnation. Richard MacLean Smith has thoroughly researched each story he tells, with a wealth of information and un-embellished details that help you understand the truth of what really happened and what we really don’t know. Some of his episodes are interesting and some just downright frightening. Go ahead and listen to this one out of order, but some stories are broken up over several episodes, so make sure to hear those in order!
Spooked: Snap Judgment and WNYC
Spooked is my favorite of the “real life” horror podcasts. The stories aren’t simply “call in”, with terrible quality and no editing to ensure they make sense. They are people sharing real stories in a documentary format, which means the stories are rounded and coherent, putting this podcast number one in this genre. Some of the stories aren’t frightening, merely interesting. Some are downright unbelievable. But then you get the few that are genuinely terrifying. Definitely worth a listen to if you’re into that kind of thing! The biggest downside is the long, overly-dramatic introduction. The host, though possessing a nice, smooth voice, is a bit over-the-top for me. It definitely detracts from the podcast for me, so I usually just skip forward to the stories.
Lore: Aaron Mahnke
As the podcast that introduced me to audio horror, Lore will always be on my list, and I’ll probably always listen to it. The stories are interesting, most of them stories I’ve never heard before. Some are funny, others interesting, and the rare episode a bit frightening. This podcast focuses on legends, even the legends surrounding true historical events. And while this gives him an enormous amount of creative license, which enhances some aspects of the stories, it can be a bit distracting when he’s telling a story you actually know and gets some of the facts wrong… His way of storytelling can also be a bit off-putting, with seriously forced puns that he pretends aren’t and a stilted way of speaking that can, on occasion, grate on your nerves. In general, however, I’ve listened to every single one of Lore’s episodes, and I do enjoy them. So if terrifying isn’t your thing, gives this podcast a listen to! It’s spooky without being frightening.
The Horror: Relic Radio
This podcast makes the list, but it’s definitely last on it. In The Horror, host Jim Paul releases actual radio show epsidoes from the 1920s-1960s, the golden age of radio. Each episode is, essentially, a rebroadcast of a stand-alone radio show episode. The quality, because these are digital copies of recorded radio, can sometimes make it difficult to understand the show, and the content can sometimes be more funny than scary, and the episodes are definitely hit and miss. Some are well worth your time, others are just… not. So while I enjoy this one, it’s hard to say definitively that I recommend it. But, if you’re ever in the mood for some “old-fashioned horror”, it’s worth a shot!