Horror is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone can handle the skin-crawling feeling while a creepy story unfolds. The ones who like happy endings cannot make peace with the gory deaths that befall the characters. Most importantly, not everyone can relish the possibility of some supernatural entity following you around all the time. A good horror story does all this to you, and more. It makes you scared to sleep with the lights off. It awakens your senses to every small sound in the house, especially if there is no one else around. It makes you terrified of going to the bathroom alone.
There are a lot of horror movies out there, but if you want to leave behind the tactics of jump scares and experience something that is truly disturbing, then you should rely on podcasts. The experience of listening to the story, and allowing your imagination to run wild is more effective than waiting for a ghost to pop up on the screen. With all that said, here’s the list of top paranormal podcasts. You can listen to several of these best paranormal podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or even YouTube for free.
18. This is Horror Podcast (2013- present)
After reading so many horror stories, after watching scary movies and listening to chilling campfire tales, there is a good chance that you too have come up with some stories of your own. A scene plays out in your head, a line that you think will send a shiver down the spine of anyone who hears it, but you don’t really know where to begin. How to get yourself started on this quest to tell your story? Listen to ‘This is Horror’ podcast. Hosted by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella, it features interviews with people who have already mastered the art. Joe Hill, Charlene Harris, Jennifer Lynch are some of the people who have been a part of it. You can listen to all the episodes here.
17. What’s the Frequency? (2017- present)
The story of this podcast is set in 1940s LA. The radios are not working. To be more specific, the broadcasts have died down. There is nothing but static on every channel. Somehow, a popular channel has managed to stay alive in this technological nightmare. But there is something that hinders its broadcast as well. There is a glitch, a voice that finds its way into the broadcast, over and over again. Walter and Whitney visit the city to resolve a mystery of their own but realise that the city’s madness might be connected to theirs. You can listen to ‘What’s the Frequency?’ here.
16. Limetown (2015- 2018)
The story of ‘Limetown’ follows the investigation of a journalist named Lia Haddock. Her uncle was a resident of the town and after the mysterious event that led to his disappearance, she decides to find out what happened. She travels to Limetown and finds out that it was a research facility and housed all the staff of over 300 people. One day, a 911 call alerts the police that something is going on in the facility, but when they arrive there, they are stopped at the gates. When they finally enter the site, everyone seems to have vanished without a trace. What happened in Limetown? Find out here.
15. Jim Harold’s Campfire (2009- present)
Jim Harold has been in the business of telling horror stories for a good amount of time. This podcast is the collection of his one-hour long sessions that feature the tales that’ll remind you of the time you shared stories in the camp. With a similar atmosphere, you can almost feel the crickets chirping in the background and the dark silence of the woods sitting behind you, ready to pounce as soon as the story ends. The podcast has been around for a long time now and there are hundreds of episodes that you can choose from. You can also start from the beginning if you feel a bit dried up and want to binge. Catch all the episodes here.
14. The White Vault (2017- present)
In a remote Arctic research station, the scientists receive a mysterious signal. They don’t know who it’s from and what it means. However, they need to find out where it is coming from. In order to locate the source, a repair team is sent out into the icy waters of the Arctic. A blizzard hits their path and they are trapped. They can’t go back and they can’t wait for help. They need to concentrate on staying alive and going back. But they face trouble when they discover that they are not alone. Something terrifying is amongst them. ‘The White Vault’ serves you the claustrophobic horror that feels like a noose tightening around your throat. You can listen to all its episodes here.
13. Horror Movie Podcast (2018- present)
What is better than watching your favourite film? Reviewing it. Sitting down with a couple of friends and analysing it from every angle to find out more meanings behind it. For the lovers of horror movies, this podcast brings that wave of nostalgia. From cult classics that have set the milestones for all that followed to the new releases that have swept the box office, ‘Horror Movie Podcast’ is the place where you get to relive your favourite horror films. You can catch up with all episodes of the podcast here.
12. Knock Once for Yes (2016- present)
‘Knock Once for Yes’ is hosted by Lil and Fitz, who stir the pot of horror stories and bring you the best of the batch. They share their own encounters and engage the audience by welcoming them to share their own experiences. When that’s not the case, they discuss the folklores that have given ground to the modern horror tales. An exploration of all myths and legends also finds a place here. You can listen to the podcast here.
11. Wrong Station (2016- present)
If you want a hint of how creepy the tales can get in this podcast, just read the synopsis of some of its episodes. The episodes are short and crisp and there is no way you will think of anything else while listening to the voice of the host as he serves you one disturbing tale after another. Sometimes he concocts ghosts of his own, sometimes he draws inspiration from well-known hauntings. In any case, you are always on the edge of your seat with this one. Listen to ‘Wrong Station’ here.
10. Are You Afraid of This? (2018- present)
While hanging out with friends, sharing stories is a usual thing. When you hang out at night, then the tone of these stories tends to be spookier, even better if someone in your group scares easily. It is a sign of having a good time, as long as it doesn’t turn out to be the beginning of a horror flick. Jen and Maggie indulge in such storytelling rounds in every episode of ‘Are You Afraid of This?’. You can join in on their conversation and listen to all the gruesome tales that they have in store for you. Listen to the podcast here.
9. The Magnus Archives (2016- present)
“If you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes back at you”. When Jonathan Sims scours the archives of the Magnus Institute, he comes across a similar feeling. The institute is known for indulging in all things weird and paranormal and its archives are full of stories that if you pay attention to, start creating a bigger picture. Prepare yourself for the shudder that follows after you find that connection. You can listen to all episodes of ‘The Magnus Archives’ here.
8. Horror 101 Podcast (2012- present)
A bunch of horror movies have already come out this year and have done pretty well. A great bunch is promised as the follow-up, so there is really no shortage of material. If you are a horror fan, then you have already seen them all. While waiting for the others to premiere, what should you do to satisfy your craving for horror? Revisit old collection or discover something new? ‘Horror 101 Podcast’ is your answer to this. In every episode, the hosts dig up the best movies in horror history and review it. Look out, there might be titles you haven’t seen yet. You can listen to all the episodes here.
7. Hellbent for Horror (2016- present)
There is no particular way to induce horror. It can be through written words, through hushed whispers or chilling scenes. Similarly, there is no particular genre that can be separated from it, not even comedy. Psychological, gothic, silent, serial killer, supernatural, urban legends – as long as it makes you feel cold to the bones, any story can serve as horror. ‘Hellbent for Horror’ aims to explore all these options. From indulging in conversations with experts on the matter to introducing you to new sources of scary stories, this podcast is everything you needed to keep you scared for life. You can catch all its episodes here.
6. Anything Ghost Show (2006- present)
What makes a horror story scarier? When it is real. When someone tells you that they have had an encounter with the paranormal, no matter how minor it might be, it unsettles you more than any fictional horror would. If you like hearing such stories, listen to ‘Anything Ghost Show’. The host, Lex Wahl, has been receiving stories from people who share their encounters with him via letters. In this podcast, he shares those stories with us. You can listen to all its episodes here.
5. Unspookable (2018- present)
There is a history behind everything, a source to every story. Have you ever wondered how the tales of yore survived all these years to find their way in the modern world? What gave rise to the legend of mythical monsters and how real could they actually be? Who was Mary and how bloody did things get with her? What’s the deal with Ouija boards? All your questions find an answer here. Listen to ‘Unspookable’, hosted by Elise Parisian, here.
4. Chilling Tales for Dark Nights (2016- present)
In ‘Chilling Tales for Dark Nights’, the audience gets to witness the myriad of stories written by all sorts of people. Every episode brings you the best of the stories performed by a talented cast that paints a vivid picture in your brain. Your imagination does the rest. The stories also strike a chord by touching on some very common misgivings. Why don’t you remember certain things from your childhood in detail? Could you have missed the signs to your house being haunted? How well do you know your neighbours? Questions like this pop up in your mind after every episode. You can listen to the podcast here.
Read More: Best Female Centric Podcasts
3. The Mortuary (2018- present)
The world is a strange place. We still haven’t found explanations about a lot of things, not in scientific terms. From black magic, occult rituals and satanic cults to conspiracy theories about the paranormal and aliens, ‘The Mortuary’ indulges you in the stories that will make you wonder about the world you inhabit. What’s scarier is that some of these stories blend true crime into the mix. After a while, it becomes impossible to differentiate between what’s real and what’s fiction. You can listen to all the episodes here.
Read More: Best Mystery Podcasts
2. Nocturnal Transmissions (2017- present)
I love novels, but honestly, I find short stories more impactful. The more you condense the matter, the harder it hits. This is also true for horror. Long stories and full-length books are slow burns that eat away at you, staying with you longer than you would prefer. But short stories are the quick attacks that bleed you dry even before you fully understand what happened. If looking for such tales, then you should head over to ‘Nocturnal Transmissions’. From stories by famous writers like Poe and Lovecraft to contemporary writers, this podcast will make sleep a stranger to you. Listen to all its stories here.
Read More: Best Kids Podcasts
1. The NoSleep Podcast (2011- present)
One of the most popular horror podcasts, ‘NoSleep’ started with people sharing horror stories over a Reddit forum. People from all over the world shared their most horrifying experiences and one day, they realised that these stories should not be contained anymore. With public funding, the podcast kick-started and gained huge popularity over the years. If you don’t follow the subreddit, then you are missing some King-style tales. No worries though. You can catch the best of them in ‘The NoSleep Podcast’. Listen to all its episodes here.
Read More: Best Sports Podcasts