I heard the sound floating down the hallway and into the study where I was watching my family’s secondary TV.
‘Doo doo doo doo doo… ni ni ni ni ni…’
It was the opening credits of The X files coming from the family room TV. I jumped up and slammed the door so I couldn’t hear it. Even just the sound of the music terrified me. I dashed back to the couch and turned up the VHS taped episode of Friends I was watching to drown out the awful sound. I wouldn’t even think about watching the credits. There was smorgasbord of scary ass shit on those title credits and there was no way I was risking the next few months of sleep by catching a glimpse of it.
When I was a kid, I was terrified of scary things. Seriously terrified. I accidentally read a scary book when I was ten years old (I’d read literally anything so it was bound to happen) and then I had to sleep with the light on for the next year. We had a taped off the TV copy of Silence of The Lambs that I promised my best friend we’d watch but when she came over I chickened out and cried because I didn’t want to watch it.
Slowly but surely, over the years, I stopped being scared of creepy things and quite randomly started seeking them out. I worked in a newsagent in my later teenage years and back in those days, there were magazine collections on all sorts of things. Two of my favourites were one about serial killers and another about unusual happenings like alien sightings and exorcisms. I always thought I didn’t like scary movies but a mate of mine invited me to see Jeepers Creepers in 2001 and it was a bloody hoot. I loved every second. Driving home alone along the dark empty road I lived on wasn’t fun but that evening set in motion a whole new appreciation for really creepy, scary stuff.
One of my favourite genres of podcast is a genre I invented called Messed Up Shit. I like true crime, anything with serial killers, psychopaths. All that jazz. I’m very discerning though – if I don’t like a creepy podcast, I won’t stick with it.
Here are few of my favourite creepy podcasts… if you like that kind of thing.
I’ve also included some favourite episodes for some of them. Enjoy!
To be fair, Criminal isn’t always creepy but when it is, it’s really creepy. It’s produced by Lauren Spohrer and Eric Mennel and presented by Phoebe Judge, who has this very melodic, juicy voice that makes you feel like you’re in a warm bath. This podcast covers big crimes, small crimes, horrific crimes and even some funny ones. Most episodes are totally safe but there’s a few you might want to listen to in broad daylight.
Favourite Episode – #48 Eight Years
Speaking of broad daylight never listen to any Lore ever when you’re alone. Almost every episode is terrifying. It’s produced and presented by Aaron Mahnke who has a suitably chilling, emotionless voice that is the true genius behind Lore. Honestly, the more recent episodes haven’t been as amazing as the first ten but still definitely worth a listen.
Favourite Episode – #7 In The Woods
3. 48 Hours
This is simply the TV show 48 Hours played as a podcast and it’s so much better than it sounds. I was dubious at first but I adore the TV show so I thought I’d give it a go and it translates beautifully. If you didn’t know it was a TV show to begin with, you’d never guess. It covers small crimes, unsolved murders and unusual court cases. Some episodes have playbacks of real people so that adds an extra element of terror.
This one is hosted by a crime analyst and former police officer and I’m a sucker for people who know their shit about law and crime. Honestly, I don’t love unsolved cases because I like everything wrapped up in a neat little package but this show isn’t annoying at all.
5. Liar City
This is a very cool podcast that again, isn’t always creepy but then sometimes they totally blindside you. It’s more interesting than scary though and definitely worth a listen.
6. True Murder
I only just got into this one and the guy who produces it keeps talking about how low frills it is but I love it. He basically talks about unresolved crimes and mysteries. There was an episode I listened to the other day that started with a phone call and it was seriously freaky. Listen to it with caution if you don’t like being scared.
This one isn’t always creepy, in fact, it’s usually funny and weird but occasionally you’ll hit on an episode where you kind of wish you weren’t walking alone down a dark street.
I go in and out of listening to Sword and Scale but one of my favourite things about this podcast is how the host manages to get audio recordings of many of the criminal’s confessions. I’m not sure how he gets them but they’re fascinating.
Favourite episode – #84 Dark Net
I can’t do a creepy podcast post without including Karen and Georgia. I just love them. They’re my favourite podcast I listen to every week. If you haven’t listened to them, give them a whirl. One of the least creepy ways to listen to scary stuff.
10. NoSleep Podcast
This is a relatively new find for me but it’s bloody good. One episode I was listening to had me standing against a wall with the vacuum in my hand frozen mid-way cleaning because right at the scariest part, a bloody possum ran across the roof and nearly gave me a heart attack. This one is done in a story telling style which isn’t usually my favourite but I’m really digging it. It’s like walking around with someone’s older sister telling you a scary story at a slumber party in your ears.
These are classic campfire style, scary stories. Really good fun.
12. The Unexplained
This is a bi-weekly podcast where the host discusses unexplained events and weird happenings. Well worth a listen.
13. The Black Tapes
This is actually fictional but it’s really good fun because it’s set in a Blair Witch Project kind of way. I guess you’d say it’s like a mockumentary but not funny. Is there a word for fake serious documentaries? If there isn’t, there should be.