Five true crime and horror podcasts to listen to this Halloween

As many of us already know, Halloween is the annual occasion where you can express your creativity by dressing up in your most outrageous, provocative, or absurd costume.

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It’s the only event wherein you can justify eating boatloads of candies since you (or your kid) have worked hard trick-or-treating for them. And it’s quite possibly one of the only times you can enjoy a series of horror movies and television specials released in honor of this spooky celebration.

All of these things put together is what makes Halloween such a special event for kids and kids-at-heart. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of the things we look forward to on this holiday have been put on hold. 

For instance, the large costume gatherings we might’ve been planning to attend have likely been cancelled. Because of this, many of us would have to settle for video chat rooms to commemorate the “day of horror”–something that doesn’t feel quite like an actual party.  

Trick-or-treating has also been banned in certain areas of the metro–leaving many children candy-less on Halloween.

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Although these restrictions can put a damper on your plans, it doesn’t mean the end of the Halloween festivities. In fact, there are still a few things you can do in the comforts of your home to celebrate the scary occasion. And one of those things is listening to true crime and horror podcasts that will leave you either frightened or entertained by the stories told there. 

To help you get started on what could be an epic podcast listening party (at home), I’ve rounded up some of my favourite true crime and horror podcasts that you might want to check out. 

Crime Junkie Podcast 

If there’s one thing that can frighten a person, it’s the idea that someone can kidnap, kill, or murder another fellow human being. In the Crime Junkie podcast, hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat discuss at length the details of these true crime incidents. It is through their discussion that listeners can gain insight to the crime, understand the possible motives of the suspects, and elicit discussion amongst themselves about the reality of the situation. 

What is especially great about Crime Junkie is that it also discusses cases that have not had the same media attention as others. They even add links to their website and social media accounts so that listeners–who may have a lead on the case or could add something more to the investigation–can reach out to the proper authorities. 

Moreover, they share “Crime Junkie life rules” that help ordinary people, like us, spot danger when it approaches. Their “Be weird. Be rude. Stay safe” mantra has definitely reminded me to be more wary of my surroundings. 

You can listen to them on their website, Apple Podcast, or Spotify. 

Serial Killers Podcast by the Parcast Network 

Much like Crime Junkie, this podcast also discusses true crime cases. But the difference between the two is that this one focuses solely on the stories of serial killers, whereas Crime Junkie includes topics like missing persons, unsolved mysteries, and even conspiracies. 

The Serial Killers podcast typically devotes two episodes per killer. The first episode often looks back at the individual’s childhood–examining his or her past and how it inspired their modus operandi (MO) for killing in the future. The second episode then discusses the killers’ crimes and how they later got caught by authorities. 

Now, what makes Serial Killers so interesting is that it delves into the minds of these notorious people by offering psychological studies to explain their actions. It is through these well-researched explanations that listeners gain a better understanding of these killers’ minds. 

You can listen to them on Stitcher or on Spotify

Let’s Not Meet–A True Horror Podcast 

Let’s Not Meet gathers real-life stories from fans and retells them in a such a way that you feel like you’re witnessing the situation firsthand. And that’s thanks to host Andrew Tate’s charismatic reading of these stories.

Listeners will literally feel chills go down their spine as they hear stories of psycho exes, strange stalkers, and even crazy house burglaries. Honestly, this podcast may even turn out to be the perfect scare you need for the Halloween season! 

Additionally, Tate sometimes changes up his normal podcast scheme and invites guests to read some of the stories. This gives fans a somewhat different feel as the other hosts offer a new kind of listening experience.

You can listen to Let’s Not Meet on their website, Apple Podcast or Spotify

Radio Rental Podcast

Similar to Let’s Not Meet, Radio Rental also gets their scary stories from the real-life experiences of people. However, what makes this podcast unique is that it has a fictional character as its host. 

The podcast is hosted by video store owner Terry Carnation (voiced by The Office actor Rainn Wilson), who welcomes you into his store called Radio Rental. In each episode, you will be offered to listen to tapes from his exclusive collection, which features the actual audio recordings of people who have been through horrifying, real-life situations. Some of these stories include near-death experiences, possible paranormal sightings, and even an an actual encounter with a serial killer. These stories will leave you on the edge of your seats, anxiously waiting for what would happen next! 

You can listen to them on their website or on Spotify

Full Body Chills 

Now, unlike the previous two horror podcasts mentioned, Full Body Chills features only fictional paranormal stories. 

Narrated by Crime Junkie host Ashley Flowers, the stories in this podcast are creepy to say the least. And couple that with Flowers’s emotional reading and the sound effects, you’ve got a scary audio to listen to in the company of your family or friends. 

Lastly, since it’s going to be Halloween, the Audio Chuck team–which is the group behind this podcast–recently released more episodes for your listening pleasure this season. 

You can listen to Full Body Chills on Stitcher or Spotify

*NOTE: This article is not sponsored by Spotify, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or by any of the podcasts or audio platforms mentioned here. This was written purely from the perspective of the writer as a fan of these podcasts.

Three ‘perfectly splendid’ reasons why you should watch ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Netflix series. 

When Netflix first released The Haunting of Hill House back in 2018, it garnered rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. So, it’s not surprising that a lot of people were eager to see what the creators can come up with for the television series’s succeeding season. And after two years of waiting, the streaming website finally answered the fans’ prayers and released The Haunting of Bly Manor on their platform.

As many fans already know, the much-awaited second season is not a direct sequel to Hill House, as it follows a different set of characters and features a new plot. And this time around, the cast face another set of menacing ghostly threats in Bly Manor.

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Its nine-episode run will leave you in a flurry of emotions–from being startled by the spirits lurking in the shadows to being in tears by the time you reach the last scene. It’s definitely a must-watch series for anyone who appreciates a well-written and well-crafted horror story. 

To further convince you of this, I’ve listed down three–as Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) would say– “perfectly splendid” reasons why you would want to watch The Haunting of Bly Manor.    

The show doesn’t sacrifice good storytelling for obvious jump scares  

Through the years, there have been countless horror movies and television shows that heavily relied on the “scary aspect” of the plot rather than its storytelling. Because of this, a lot of the films in this genre end up having unnecessary jump scares that distract the viewer from actually appreciating the tale behind it. 

But Bly Manor differs from these movies and shows in the way that it doesn’t sacrifice its story just for the scare factor. In fact, it frightens its audience by using ghosts as background elements–making the story the focal point of the whole series. 

And with regards to the show’s storytelling, it was seamless and intriguing enough to keep viewers, like me, glued to the screens of their devices. I particularly liked how the series contained a lot of foreshadowing elements that would elicit speculation and discussion from viewers as to what would happen next. This was evident in the fifth episode, wherein we come to understand why Hannah Grose (T’Nia Miller) continues to see cracks on random places in the house. 

Moreover, every character was well-written and given a backstory that could very well explain their complexities. From Viola’s (Kate Siegel) violent past to Peter Quint’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) traumatic childhood, their histories have been thoroughly narrated so you would understand why the characters were driven by their actions.  

The ghosts are more than just spiritual entities

In an interview with EW, show creator Mike Flanagan shared that he wanted to present the “ghosts as an expression of emotional wounds that we carry around.” This brings a deeper meaning to the ghosts shown in the series as they have evolved into manifestations of the characters’ emotional well-beings. And this can be seen through Dani (Victoria Pedretti) whose guilt resulted in the creation of her ex fiance Eddie’s (Roby Atal) ghost.

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At the heart of the show is a story about love  

While watching the whole series, you’ll be met with different love stories which includes Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif) and Peter Quint’s (Jackson-Cohen) tumultuous relationship, Hannah Grose (Miller) and Owen’s (Rahul Kohli) friendship-turned-romance, and Dani Clayton (Pedretti) and Jamie’s (Amelia Eve) endearing union. However, it is Dani and Jamie’s love story that will make your hearts melt by the end of the series.

Because it is through their love that Dani chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice–to become the lady of the lake so that Viola (Siegel) can never kill another human being again. This selfless act of love on Dani’s part leads to the series’s ultimate conclusion that shows the storyteller (Carla Gugino) being the older version of Jamie. 

Although the show is primarily classified as horror, this tragic romance is the one thing that made the story worth telling and one that has left many viewers in a puddle of their own tears.

*NOTE: This review is not sponsored by Netflix or any other streaming platform or program. This was written purely from the perspective of the writer as a fan of the show.