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Best Horror Podcasts Featured Horror Mystery and Lore Indie Horror Short Horror Stories

The 10 Scariest Podcasts Out There

It seems that podcasts are a dime a dozen these days, but fortunately for horror fans, the quality quite closely matches the quantity. We have scoured the web to find you the scariest podcasts. Also, quite luckily for the fans of the horror genre, the popularity of podcast creation is still on the rise. Like audiobooks, horror podcasts have turned into a popular form of entertainment because it only requires that we listen. We can listen to music, an audiobook, and even a scary podcasts while we’re doing our daily routine–when we’re getting ready for work in the morning, while we’re working out, while we’re commuting to or from work, and when we’re taking a relaxing bath… With horror podcasts, we especially enjoy allowing these creepy stories into our brains during the relentlessly sleepless nights, when an audio-only creepfest entitles us to retreat to the safety of our comfiest blanket while the darkness envelopes us entirely. Check out the ten scariest podcasts below.


10. Ghosts in the Burbs

Ghosts in the Burbs is a podcast made by a children’s librarian, who interviews her neighbors in Wellsley, Massachusetts about stories that no one would ever want to tell children. While she doesn’t bring all the special effects of music, special editing, or anything extraordinary, it’s her content that drives the creepy content of her podcast–while the stories don’t need to be heard in any particular order, we still recommend that you start at the beginning so you can get the full experience that Liz brings us with her dark tales that lurk in the otherwise sunny Wellesley.


9. The NoSleep Podcast

If you follow the NoSleep subreddit, then you’re probably not a stranger to the NoSleep Podcast, but if you’ve never heard it before, then give it a listen–there are so many plausible horror short stories that are a variety of styles as well as perspectives, but the one thing that they all share is the quality of scares. You’ll be consistently spooked by the stories told by NoSleep and you can thank us later.


8. PseudoPod

It seems like PseudoPod is kind of a horror-household name, they have amazing narrators, read some of the best horror short stories, that have come from some of the best authors around. There is something for everyone with this insanely simple and blood-curdling story-telling experience, it stands to reason if you don’t like one you should try another one, you’ll find something that you’re bound to enjoy.


7. Knifepoint Horror

Where other podcasts have an amazing track, or melodious narrators with voices of angels, who can emote through their presence of voice alone, Knifepoint Horror seems to only use the strengths of the narrator voices as well as limited sound effects somehow makes it feel like you’re there in the room with the characters. It makes you feel as if you might be the one that will next fall victim to the horrors that the characters are made to face. We highly recommend this horror podcast if you want something that will make your skin crawl at its best points and intrigue you at its slowest parts.


At number 6 in our scary podcast recommendation list is a self-proclaimed modern take on the Twilight Zone, it doesn’t fail to deliver with its eclectic collection of author contributions as well as narrators along with stellar audio effects make this an immersive experience, but what really makes this podcast special is the agonizingly spooky and mysterious nature of these short stories. The variety available with The Other Stories is perhaps one of its most attractive qualities of this horror, sci-fi, and thriller fiction show–but there’s also the themes that they tackle with each chapter. We even came up with a list of our favorites, so take a look at this podcast, we guarantee you won’t regret it!


5. Limetown

This horror mystery podcast gives the feeling that there is something real going on, it has the depth of a real news story–kind of like a forensic crime documentary. There is something wonderful about the production value of this particular podcast, as it features a fictional host of the fictional American Public Radio who is trying to solve the mystery of several hundred people vanishing from a town in Tennessee a decade ago. The interesting thing about this particular ongoing story is that there are moments where, despite being reminded that it’s pure fiction, that you can’t really be sure of whether or not it’s real. What’s more, there are moments where you might entertain conspiratorial beliefs about it being an elaborate cover-up. Regardless, it smacks hard of the Orson Welles’ adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic War of the Worlds as a radio broadcast that convinced many people that the world was being invaded by creatures from another planet.


4. Video Palace

So if you were to stumble upon Video Palace without any previous knowledge of what they were about, you might think that the narrative was a true story–it starts when the narrator’s girlfriend wakes him up after he began sleep-talking in a non-existent language. They decide to do a full investigation into what could be causing this and what they end up finding is something of a mystery that needs to be solved. The thing that really makes this fictional podcast feel all-the-more real, is the real-life writers, bloggers, and filmmakers that have their own history in the horror genre.


3. Unwell

There’s something very unwell about Mount Absalom, Ohio–even if everything about it screams hospitality. When Lily Harper returns home to Mount Absalom to look after her mother, Dot, she encounters all of the things she hated about visiting her mother during the summers. This podcast is amazingly done, with impeccable audio and a quirky sense of humor that doesn’t overwhelm the darkness and malice that lays beneath the facade of niceties. If you want to disappear into a story, then this is an incredible one to immerse yourself in.


2. The Magnus Archives

Another anthology podcast with a classical sense of tone, the cadence of the narration weighs heavily upon the mood that is delivered–there is something soothing, but utterly petrifying about the way the words are spoken. Something that we find wonderful about the Magnus Archives is the fearless nature in which it tackles each of the episodes–the eerie ability to pull you into a story–submerse yourself in the Archives.


1. Alice Isn’t Dead

There isn’t a way to describe this podcast without gushing like a complete geek–there is something in the production value of this podcast that truly pulls you into the story. We’re following a female truck driver as she searches for her previously thought-to-be dead wife through a desolate landscape of mystery, allure, and a darkness that is difficult to capture through words. With a stunningly capturing score, an entrancing voice actress who gives us a narrative that we don’t want to quit. Just take a listen and tell us you didn’t want to keep listening through to the end.

We hope that you enjoyed this discussion on horror podcasts–it’s an eclectic bunch of channels, but if you’re a horror junkie, you now have hours of content at your fingertips and all for the low-low price of your time and attention! The popular Lore Podcast did not make the cut here, as it isn’t fully horror-based, but we do have a list of some of the scariest Lore episodes you can check out. Let us know what you think about these podcasts and let us know if you feel we should include other horror channels in any future podcast discussions?

Categories
Featured Indie Horror Short Horror Stories

The 12 A.M. To Nowhere

This must be the hundredth time I have woken up on this damn subway covered in blood and body parts. If I have to spit one more ear lobe out my mouth again, I swear I am going to shit a brick.

Nothing changes.

It is the same thing over and over. There’s the red head over there draped across the seat. One of her green eyes is dangling out of the socket and her legs are gnawed off at the knees. Then there’s the douche bag looking bro dude with black hair and a trimmed beard. Well, what’s left of him anyway. He is splattered all over the car. At my feet are the police officers. One has his chest ripped open. The other has her organs over her face, and still another is missing his head.

I examine the car and see broken windows. It had crashed at some point. I walk down the aisle and see the mangled remains of men, women, and children. A crash didn’t do this. There is no way a wreck can take someone’s intestines and wrap them around the holding bar like a coiled serpent.

“Hello!” I yell. I say the same words every time. “Anyone there? What the fuck happened?”

I look down at my hands and they are dripping crimson. My eyes scan my body again and I am naked. Goosebumps are all over my flesh and there is skin underneath my fingernails. I hold my hands up and stare at them.

“What the hell…” Something crunches under my feet. I stare down at it and see a severed jaw.

The sinews and ligaments are wiggling and dripping blood. Then I remember Ronnie. He got on the subway with me. We were going to the movies because they were having a horror triple feature.

“Ronnie!” I call. “Where are you, man?”

I step over more dead people and go into the next car. I see Ronnie. The expression on his face is sheer panic. His brown eyes are gazing into me and he is missing his ears. Blood trickles down his neck and for some reason, all I can focus on are the drops which are on a few strands of his neck hair. His fingers are missing from his hand. They had been shoved in his mouth and he resembles a bad Dick Tracy character.

I sob and tremble. “Ronnie! Oh, God! Ronnie!” I grab him and shake him. The fingers spill out of his mouth and topple onto the floor. “Shit,” I mumble and step back.

I remember now.

I know what’s coming.

I have the same memory lapse for a while then when I get to this point it all comes back to me.

I peek over my shoulder and remember Hannah. My beautiful, blonde angel who loved me like no other. She came with me because we both love horror movies. Too bad I couldn’t save her. She is sprawled out on a seat with her throat ripped to shreds. Her hip bones are missing too.

Who the hell can rip out hip bones?

You can The thought arose from the recesses of my mind. “Bull shit!” I yelled. “I did not!” I clasp my palms over my ears. “Shut the fuck up and get out of my fucking head!”

I spin in circles and scream. All I notice are the blood stains splattered on the car. I stop then grab Hannah and hold her in my arms.

“Who did this!” I yell. I fling my head back and cry. I pull a hand away from Hannah and wipe my eyes then blood mixed with tears stream down my cheek.

You did this, the voice in my head says again.

I throw Hannah’s corpse down in rage and glare up at the ceiling. I clench my fist and lift them towards the heavens. “I did not!”

Yes, you did.

“Bull shit! You liar!”

Then the events play through my mind. I killed all these people. I killed Ronnie. I killed Hannah. I killed those kids. The revelation is too much for me. My knees grow week and I fall to the ground. I can feel the warm blood on my naked butt. I pull my knees to my chin and bury my head into them. I weep and rock, smelling the copper scent of blood and organs.

I don’t know if this is hell.

I don’t know if this is reality gone mad.

I don’t know if this is quantum physics on hallucinogens.

All I know is I can sense the full moon even down in this subway and I am going to have my transformation.

And this shit is about to happen all lover again.

Categories
Indie Horror Lifestyle

The 7th Guest: remembering 1993’s CD-ROM smash horror video game hit, and celebrating its long-awaited 2019 follow-up

Anyone who owned a PC with a CD-ROM drive in 1993 was the envy of their friends; compared with the archaic floppy disks PC gamers had been familiar with, a CD drive seemed so futuristic it was almost like alien technology.  This new era promised huge games, orchestral soundtracks, and even (whisper it) full motion video (still known as FMV).

With any new video gaming hardware, a successful product relies upon early platform-shifting ‘must have’ software; only a couple of years previously a certain blue hedgehog had helped to launch Sega’s Mega Drive (or Genesis for any readers outside Europe) into the stratosphere.  In this case, it fell to a peculiar little puzzle game called The 7th Guest to encourage people to splash out on a CD-ROM.  Developed by Trilobyte and published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment, the game was released to much fanfare, leaning on its use of live action video clips as well as its adult themes and content.  Although amusingly tame today, the game really did seem genuinely dark and disturbing at the time, a much more cerebral and chilling proposal than the comedy cartoon gore we’d been drenched in by the likes of Mortal Kombat.

Despite its psychological horror trappings, the game was a simple puzzle affair, with the player taking on the role of an amnesiac trapped in a haunted house.  Only by solving a series of brainteasers could they learn the truth of their identity and make their escape. The puzzles themselves were apparently lifted straight from 19th century puzzle books to avoid copyright issues, and although they were cleverly worked into the game’s themes and a bizarre storyline about a demented toymaker (more on him later…) they were hardly revolutionary from a gameplay standpoint.  Despite these shortcomings, The 7th Guest video game sold a staggering two million copies, with Bill Gates calling it ‘the new standard in interactive entertainment’.

I first played it at a friend’s house (my parents hadn’t yet caved into my demands for a high-spec PC) and was hooked straight from the introduction – follow this link to relive the (dark) magic!

In this sequence, the game’s ground-breaking graphics were showcased via a 3D-rendered story book, whose pages flipped over to present short video clips.  An ominous lullaby plays in the background as a deadpan narrator sets the scene, detailing the fall and rise of a certain Henry Stauf, a toymaker whose creations made him rich and famous… that is, until the children that bought his toys begin to die of a mysterious disease, and Stauf retreats into self-imposed incarceration inside his greatest plaything of all, a sinister and imposing mansion at the top of a hill.  Six guests find themselves invited to the house, each baffled but intrigued by the mysterious letter they have received from the enigmatic entrepreneur.

Each visitor is then introduced via a short clip; the acting on display is serviceable at best, but such is the quality of Robert Hirschboek’s performance as the dastardly Stauf that the game’s ludicrous plot and grainy cutscenes are genuinely engrossing.  Stauf taunts you at every turn, laughing at your attempts to solve his fiendish puzzles, shrieking in exasperation when you do, and revealing himself to be a master Machiavellian manipulator as he gleefully turns the guests against each other. Follow the link below for a poem that perhaps best sums up the character’s cruel, sadistic and at times downright frightening portrayal – I honestly could listen to Hirschboeck’s maniacal ramblings all day long.

Mention should also be made of the game’s soundtrack, which took full advantage of the new CD technology to bring us an array of truly dread-inducing tracks – indeed, the game’s second disc was almost entirely taken up by the music, which could be played in a normal CD player.  Check out the link below for a near-perfect half hour of dark ambience, which I use as a nice change from Akira Yamaoka whenever I’m writing something eerie.

The 7th Guest was a flawed but delightful horror masterpiece, and like all successful video games it spawned a sequel.  The 11th Hour game is a real curiosity – released in 1995, it did little to advance upon the mechanics of the original, and its storyline ventures into utterly preposterous territory – you can watch a compilation of all of its cut scenes below if you want to attempt to decipher the preposterous, often unintentionally hilarious goings-on.  Personally, I don’t rate it very highly, despite the best efforts of Hirschboeck, who reprises his role as the nefarious Stauf.

And that was it: two games, two major commercial successes, and then the franchise faded into obscurity as CDs became the default platform for video games for the next three decades.

And then.

In 2019, a fan-made and crowd-funded follow-up to The 7th Guest was released, disregarding the events of The 11th Hour and taking us back to Stauf’s mansion.  I contributed to The 13th Doll’s Kickstarter campaign and was absolutely overjoyed to receive a short video message from Stauf himself, after the development team managed to get Hirschboeck board for the project!  I was worried that the ageing actor might not be able to make a large contribution to the final product, but my fears were completely unfounded – Stauf is in fine form, sounding like he’s enjoying his devilish schemes more than ever!  (There is very little information about Hirschboeck online, although it’s worth checking out his official website at the link below, if only because it hasn’t been updated for so long that it’s a fascinating relic of the internet’s early days… I can feel myself tearing up as I recall the rough and ready Myspace era!) http://rhstauf.tripod.com/main.html

The game itself is far from perfect, but it’s an admirable attempt to recreate the style and gameplay of the original, and I had a great time with it. The puzzles are very well-crafted, and the soundtrack manages to perfectly recapture the feel of the first game; sadly, though, the storyline is pretty porous, and aside from Hirschboeck himself the acting is of a uniformly mediocre standard.  Still, to nit-pick is to miss the point – this is not some big budget production but a fan-made labour of love, and the development team’s affection for the original comes through in every dark corridor, creaking door and diabolical riddle.

I would thoroughly recommend The 13th Doll, especially if you fondly remember creeping around Stauf’s mansion back in 1993.

Just remember: only he knows the rules…

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  If you did, you can find more of my ramblings on my blog, which can be found along with my horror and crime thriller novels at www.jon-richter.com.  I’d be honored if you’d visit the site and sign up for my mailing list, as I have a couple of new novels out later this year that I think might be right up your (dark) alley…

Thanks for reading!
Jon Richter

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore Indie Horror

The Appearance of The Shadow Man

I never heard of a “sShadow Man” until my first-hand experience. It was a crisp October night and I was preparing for bed. My children were all gone and it was a beautiful evening alone with my husband. As I made my regular stroll through the house ensuring all doors were locked, windows closed, and the lights were off, I entered the hallway that ended at the master bedroom. The only light I could see was the bedroom light ahead of me and the waning full October moonlight shining in the windows. As I entered the bedroom I went to turn off the light when I saw a shadow. It could only be described as a man with a hat on, around 6 feet tall, standing in my hallway. I instantly felt goosebumps all over my body and I was frozen. I couldn’t move or speak. I just stood there, staring at this shadow, trying to comprehend what I was experiencing. I continued to watch for what felt like an eternity while the shadow man disappears through a wall.

Shadow Man
Shadow Man

I tried explaining to my husband what just happened and how the whole situation rattled me. It took a long time to shake the uncomfortable and terrifying feeling I had. The next day I met with a colleague and tried to discuss what happened. This was when I learned about the Shadow Man.

A Shadow Man, aka Shadow People or Shadow Beings, is a supernatural being that has been sighted for centuries. It (or he) appears as a dark, human-like silhouette, or a moving shadow, with no apparent features. It feeds off the fear of an individual and often will torment your dreams, making you paralyzed, but in awake-like state. There are various types of shadow men. The most demonic is known as “The Hat Man”. This being often appears with a hat and cloak and piercing red eyes. He will appear in your peripheral vision and disappear as you turn to gain sight of what you think you saw. A Shadow Man is a soulless entity that is conscious, intelligent, and can move between dimensions. He has never been alive.

The general consensus is that Shadow Beings are attracted to negative energy. The main line of defense is to start clearing out all the negative energy in your life. Calling on a higher power for help is expected, whether is it your God, spirit guides, angels, or ancestors, invite them to lend you their energy and protection.

At one point on another, we have heard the term paranormal, maybe it was in a television show regarding haunted artifacts or places, ghost stories, or a movie that’s primary topic was the paranormal. You may have seen the Shadow Man in movies such as, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Ouija, and even in Amityville. They are often seen but not acknowledged or recognized as the Shadow being they are. Many believe it couldn’t happen to them or the skeptic inside tells you this is not real, but what if it happened to you? If you are dabbling in the paranormal via rituals, divination, channeling, or summoning, you must take precautions to ensure your physical, emotional, and spiritual safety. My experience might resonate with you.

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Best Horror Podcasts Best Of Featured Horror Mystery and Lore Indie Horror

The Best of the Other Stories Podcast

The Other Stories Podcast
The Other Stories Podcast

The eclectic nature of The Other Stories podcast is perhaps one of its most attractive qualities of this horror, sci-fi, and thriller fiction show. Their variety of authors and narrators along with stellar audio effects make this an immersive experience, but what really makes this podcast special is the agonizingly spooky and mysterious nature of these short stories.

These aren’t the stories your mother told you, no–these are the Other Stories!

Ready to get your blood pumping a little bit and help your body out at the same time? Here is our curated list of our 10 favorite episodes of The Other Stories, we truly hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

The Chip Truck Man

David J. Thirteen brought us this interestingly chilling tale of two brothers who are never the same after encountering a terrible man on their shortcut home.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

The Doll

Kathryn Stablin wrote this short story and she did a masterful job in conveying the story of a woman whose strange niece comes to visit her; while watching her niece the woman realizes the terror of the doll.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

The Gorgon’s Head

The Gorgon’s Head was written by Ben Errington about a boy who had always believed in the Greek myths–but then he unexpectedly finds a powerful object and unleashes its wrath upon others.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

Stranger in the Night

Horror writer Matt Butcher brings us the story of a jaded and miserable girl who has lost her religion and the hitchhiker that is let into the car.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

Painted Anguish

This is a story written by Zach Friday, about a man who goes to an art show on the weekend–what he doesn’t realize is the painting that draws him in has evil intentions and he will bend to its will.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

One Last Drink

This story was written by Jon Freeman and Daniel Willcocks, who tell the story of Jack as he goes to meet his old university friends who had fallen out of contact. Their reunion takes place at a bar, but as Jack gets progressively more intoxicated, he realizes that things aren’t exactly as they seem.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

Nocturne In Spirit

Written by Kezia Kynaston-Mitchell, this short story is about an aging concert violinist who is haunted by her memories. The loneliest place to be is in a crowd, especially when you have a terrible secret.

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.

The Solstice

Writer Kev Harrison weaves the tale of a boy of the northern villages, as the winter solstice looms near, he learns that it is time for him to get his mask made to ward off the siege of the dark spirits. The only problem is, he’s the only boy in his village, will he be enough to keep the darkness from ravaging the land?

You can find this and other episodes on The Other Stories Podcast channel.