10 Terrifying Horror Podcasts To Binge
Running out of movies to stream? Give these horror podcasts a try.
It's officially Spooky Season, which means its time to start swapping out your summer clothes for sweaters, buying decorative pumpkins, and of course, binging all sorts of horrifying content. And since we're still in lockdown, this will obviously mean tons and tons of streaming. The good news is that there's plenty of horror of in streaming movie or TV show form. But what happens when you've exhausted your to-watch list and need to find something else? Maybe something more appropriate for a long car ride as you venture forth for the holidays or simply need to get out of the house for a while? If that's the case, please don't panic. We've uncovered hours of creepy, free horror for you to stream straight into your ears rather than your eyes.
That's right: It's time to take a terrifying deep dive into the burgeoning world of narrative horror podcasts.
We've collected 10 shows--some complete, some ongoing--for you to listen to, ranging from terrifying anthologies of short fiction and performances of "creepy pasta" memes from around the internet to sprawling original narratives with densely packed continuity and plots. We've curated a list of 10 fantastic horror podcasts for you to listen to whenever the mood strikes, in more sub genres than you can shake a stick at.
And, while you're in a podcast-y mood, check our GameSpot's own weekly You Should Be Watching and Wrestle Buddies podcasts on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and Apple Podcasts. Did we miss one of your favorite shows? Let us know in the comments below!
1. The Magnus Archives
Rusty Quill's horror juggernaut The Magnus Archives is rapidly approaching 200 episodes, having started all the way back in 2016. It's the perfect blend of spooky, X-Files style monster-of-the-week stories that gradually build into an eldritch mythology all its own. Centered around the titular Magnus Archives, the episodes are formatted as archived statements on the paranormal, dictated by head archivist Jonathan Simms or read directly from witnesses. With bite-sized episodes averaging around 20-minutes a piece, The Magnus Archives is as addictive as it is horrifying.
2. Old Gods of Appalachia
A relatively new face in the horror podcast scene, Old Gods of Appalachia puts a modern spin on Lovecraftian terror. Told in anthology style, Old Gods plays with the idea of an alternate history of the Appalachian US, complete with twangy, folkloric atmosphere, witches hidden deep within the woods, and strange, unknowable beings hidden beneath the mountains. These are stories about what happens when the coal mines dig a little too deep.
Dream-like and eerie, Mabel is a horror story by way of a fairy tale. It's about alternate dimensions, disappearances, and, against all odds, falling in love. This show is for anyone who likes their scares a little softer--though no less terrifying. Also, excellent production values make Mabel extra, extra unsettling--so be warned if you're planning on listening alone or with headphones.
4. Alice Isn't Dead
From Joseph Fink, one of the brains behind the now iconic Welcome To Nightvale, Alice Isn't Dead is a horror-flavored road story about a woman in search of her missing wife, Alice, who--if you couldn't tell by the title--isn't dead. Stripped of Nightvale's comedy and levity, Alice Isn't Dead is a mind bending journey from coast to coast across Twilight Zone-style towns and cities, uncovering a conspiracy that may be as old as the highways that connect the country themselves.
5. The No Sleep Podcast
Dramatizing stories from Reddit's popular /r/NoSleep board, The No Sleep Podcast is a wealth of horror content of all different sub genres and styles. This can make it a little daunting--each episode can contain as many as five different short stories so you're inevitably going to run into some that are less interesting or less scary than the rest. But the fantastic production and powerhouse narration team will make it well worth your time. This is the show to listen to if you're less interested in big, continuing stories and more looking for spooky one-and-done tales to scare your friends.
The Public Radio Alliance has a little family of horror shows to listen to, but Tanis is arguably the crown jewel of the bunch. The story of a horrifying pocket of alternate reality that moves from place to place--the titular Tanis--the podcast takes a sort of faux-investigative approach as it unravels its mystery. There's no real "found footage" genre equivalent in the podcasting world, but if there was, Tanis would be it.
Also worthwhile are PRA's other shows, Rabbits, a podcast about a sinister video game, and The Last Movie.
Recently made into a show on Facebook Watch with Jessica Biel, Limetown got its start as a six-episode podcast that focused on the mystery of the disappearing residents of a neuroscience research facility. It's less in-your-face horror than some of the other recommendations on this list, but will doubtlessly prove to be both deeply unsettling and engaging--especially as the truth of what the town was actually researching is made clear.
8. The Message/LifeAfter
Skewing more towards the sci fi, The Message and its sequel LifeAfter, deal in the dangerous world of decoding an alien transmission that may or may hold a secret to understanding both life and death. Blending real life astrophysics with speculative spooks, The Message and LifeAfter may not be traditional horror, but it'll definitely get inside your head and--with any luck--keep you awake at night.
9. Within The Wires
Another in the Nightvale Presents family, Within The Wires is a story told across--uh, "relaxation" style meditation tapes that you'll very abruptly realize are not exactly what they seem. Disconcerting in the best way, Within The Wires can feel like the world's most ominous ASMR at times as the mystery embedded within the soothing sounds of a woman telling you to take deep breaths and focus on your inner peace becomes more and more apparent.
10. The SCP Archive
If you're not familiar with the giant horror fiction wiki, The SCP Project, you'll want to head there first before giving this podcast a listen. With thousands of entries to read, the SCP Project is ground zero for some of the internet's favorite scary stories--and The SCP Archive aims to turn the best of them into audio dramas for when you'd rather be read to than do the reading yourself.