Podmasters is a bi-weekly column in which staff writer Laura Rosenfeld highlights the podcasts you need in your life. Every week, she tackles a new genre, recommending everything from well-known series to little-listened-to-gems that will make you laugh, cry and learn.
This week, Podmasters presents five bone-chilling horror podcasts that are sure to keep you up at night.
Horror is having something of a renaissance on TV these days with the likes of The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Sleepy Hollow filling up your DVR, Ash vs. Evil Dead coming later this month and more scary series surely in the works. The same goes for podcasts.
If you're currently in the market for a horror podcast to listen to, it's easy to find one ... frighteningly easy, in fact. If you search for "horror podcast" on the Internet, you'll be met with pages upon pages of shows that feature spooky stories, horror film reviews and everything in between.
So, how do you separate the scary-good horror podcasts from the horribly awful ones? Well, you've come to the right place.
That's right. This week's Podmasters is a treat and not a trick for horror fans. I've rounded up some of the creepiest, most haunting, yet still entertaining horror podcasts out there today. These shows will make you scream, laugh and think twice about putting your headphones on and pressing play.
Pseudopod is subtitled "The Sound of Horror," and that's definitely an accurate description of this podcast. Each weekly episode brings you some of today's most terrifying tales of fiction from a variety of horror authors. Listening to Pseudopod will make you feel like you're sitting around a campfire swapping ghost stories, but without the wholesome part.
Scary stories are of course meant to send chills down your spine, but at the end of the day, there's comfort in knowing that they're not really real, right? However, the podcast Lore explores the situations in which that's not the case. Each installment of this biweekly podcast goes into the true history behind terrifying tales, such as serial killer H.H. Holmes' real American horror story hotel and 16th century werewolf sightings in Bedburg, Germany. You know, all the stuff you wished didn't actually happen in real life but unfortunately might have.
As I previously mentioned, there's a lot going on in the world of horror today, and trying to keep up with it all can be more stressful than the usual kind of anxiety you feel while experiencing something in this genre. Lucky for you, Hauntcast exists to bring you the latest in today's horror, from news about upcoming horror events to macabre music to interviews with people who make a living out of freaking other people out. Casual scary movie fans should probably look elsewhere for their fright fix because this podcast goes deep, but if you really want to immerse yourself in all of the goings-on of the most obscure corners of the horrorverse, you should let Hauntcast take you to the dark side.
If you're more into the type of horror that's on the campy-fun side — which is a nice way of putting that you're too much of a scaredy-cat to handle the real stuff — then you need to subscribe to Goosebuds, stat. Oh, and you should also probably have an interest in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps book series, because that's what this podcast is all about. In each episode, three guys — or Goosebuds, if you will — tackle one of the books in the Goosebumps series with part-analysis, part-comedy and all nostalgia for '90s kids everywhere. So far, they've gotten through 10 books, including Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood and Night of the Living Dummy, with hopefully more on the way since Goosebumps is kind of having a moment these days.
The Castle of Horror Podcast
The thing that most people associate with the horror genre is probably its many films. The Castle of Horror Podcast dissects the genre's many movies and highlights the people that made it what it is today. Each set of episodes looks back at flicks of a particular type of horror, from musicals to Asian films to Christopher Lee movies. There are also interviews thrown in every once in a while with today's movers and shakers of the horror and supernatural genres. The sound quality of The Castle of Horror Podcast isn't great (it really just sounds like you're listening to the radio), but it actually kind of complements the eerie feel of the subject matter.
Photo: Dean Hochman | Flickr