Podcasts / Top 10 List

Top 10 Horror Story Podcasts that Will Terrify You

top10horrorstorypcastthumbEver miss being told a bedtime story that ends up freaking you out so much that you have feverish dreams of monstrous creatures? I did. So I figured I would bring you my favorite podcasts that fill my scary stories need.

As a quick side note, I did a top 10 Horror Podcasts of 2014  and I’ve discovered so many more that I’ll be expanding that into a top 20 or 50 list for the end of this year.

On to the stories!

Top 10 Horror Story Podcasts

10: Campfire Radio Theater

crt1Keywords: Radio Theater, short horror stories

This podcast has some incredibly well produced shows, it’s old time radio horror style shows produced in the modern day.

I really enjoy the stories they produce, but why this podcast isn’t higher up on the list is because it posts very erratically. Sometimes three months go by in between each episode. But when a new one pops up in your feed? It’s like inta-horror-Christmas.

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9:THE HORROR!

Key Words: Old Time Radio, Horror, Audio-drama

cover170x170 (1)You’ll hear me compare a lot of things to classic radio theater because it has informed and inspired many creatives in the horror genre.

But what if you’ve never hear any of them before? Well, then you’re in for a treat because The Horror! podcast shares that with a little bit more.

I love this podcast because they don’t just re-air old (1960’s and earlier) horror radio shows, they tell you a little bit about the show and when it was originally aired. It’s horror stories mixed with history and has me hooked.

Also, unlike other old-time radio podcasts,  the quality of their audio says pretty consistent and easy to listen to. The pops, crackles and decay add character, rather than impede listening like other podcasts of this niche fall victim to.

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8: WE’RE ALIVE

Keywords: Continuous narrative, zombie, audio-drama

werealiveI recently discovered this one and I’m really enjoying the story so far. It’s well produced and feels a lot like the audio-theater version of the Walking Dead, but with it’s own unique flair.

This podcast had its finale episode a while ago, but they’re supposed to be releasing the mini-season “We’re Alive: Lockdown” sometime this year.

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7: Jim Harold’s Campfire – True Ghost Stories

Key Words: True Ghost Stories, Global

unnamedThis podcast, and the one below it pops up in pretty much any list I make. I love hearing people’s personal ghost stories and Jim (the host) has an easy way of bringing caller’s stories out through his conversational interview style.

If your beliefs fall more to the side of skeptic, the storytelling isn’t polished enough for you to distance yourself from it. So it may turn you off.

However, if you do believe in the paranormal, or get inspiration from it, you’ll love this podcast too.

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6: Anything Ghost

Key Words: True Ghost Stories, Urban Legends, Global

ag_itunes_may2015Yep, another true ghost stories favorite of mine. And for those of you who are too skeptical to enjoy Jim Harold’s Campfire, this is the podcast to listen to.

This podcast is a mix of callers with personal stories, readings of people’s personal experiences, and local legends from around the world. I particularly enjoy the atmospheric music that Lex (the host) composes for the show and I think it adds just the right amount of dramatic flair.

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5: Welcome to night vale

Key Words: Comedy, Lovecraftian, Radio Drama

nightvaleThis podcast got bounced around a bunch on this list because I absolutely love it  (I rarely miss an episode and even drove 7 hours to see the live performance.) But it’s kind of a unique duck. It’s not scary, but it does play with Lovecraftian horror elements.

Since it’s stories are more fun than terrifying (think Courage the Cowardly Dog or Invader Zim) I put it in the number 5 rank.

What is Welcome to Night Vale anyway?

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Basically a little town of Lovecraftian horror and amazing weather (music) updates. Your life will be a better place for listening to this podcast.

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4: The No Sleep Podcast

Key Words: Creepy pasta, short horror stories, fully produced audio drama

nosleep2If you like Creepy Pasta then this is right up your nightmare alley.

This podcast takes the top scary stories and personal experiences shared on the subreddit “NoSleep” and produces them audiobook style. Volunteer redditers voice the stories so it’s a really fun interactive podcast.

The stories vary in quality and performance, but overall it’s a lot of fun and there have been some genuinely disturbing stories shared there.

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3:TALES TO TERRIFY

Key Words: Short horror stories, readings

cover170x170This podcast is the beginning of the cut throat placement of the final three.

I love the stories they pick and the voice actors they bring in to read the stories. This podcast also has some killer artwork for their covers and often load multiple short stories into each of their episodes.

TTTcover.2013Oct-500x647The only thing that detracts from this podcast is that they front load each episode with about 3 minutes of sponsor spots. I’m an impatient person. Sell me things after I enjoy at least some of your content and then I might actually have the attention span to go check out the sponsors.  #justsaying

Otherwise, stellar podcast.

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2: pseudopod

Keywords: Short horror stories, readings

PseudopodLogoThis podcast will always hold a place close to my heart. It was the first modern horror storytelling podcast I stumbled upon and it lead me to their sister podcasts, Escape Pod (Science Fiction) and PodCastle (Fantasy). Between the three of them I am entertained for days.

This one picks a variety of horror flavored stories to share and produces them with very professional audio. I am never disappointed by an episode.

This one is right up near the top because of their audience interaction. They have incredibly active Facebook groups and forums and will respond to and share comments from the audience in the episodes.

One little thing that they do that I find incredibly helpful is they start of the show with a “trigger warning section.” That way you get a head’s up on what type of horror is about to come on. Murder, abuse, monsters? It’s a nice buffer for when you’re listening in the open air. Somethings co-workers shouldn’t hear you listening to. lol

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1: The Wicked Library

Keywords: Short Horror Stories, reading, indie, author interviews

38393Ok, I know you’re going to think this is an entirely biased opinion. But it’s only partially biased. (Anyone who lavishes me with compliments about my artwork is amazing as far as I’m concerned.) But I can back-up this decision.

This podcast performs short horror stories, primarily from indie authors, and then interviews the authors afterwards. And I love the atmospheric additions of music they layer into (the otherwise) simple storytelling.

Why this podcast stands at the top of my list comes down to one particular detail.

It emphasizes the work of indie horror authors.

TWL-Cover-BS4-1-1200x1200That is something I care deeply about. The more notable authors you can discover with a quick tap tap on google, but it’s finding the new and hidden creators that thrills me.

It’s why I spend so much time sharing awesome artwork and stories on my various social media streams, and what I hope to offer the world. A little attention for my indie brethren, by-the-boot-strap horror creators who have amazing ideas and just need a little help getting out there. That’s what this podcast does best.

It brings you amazing stories with a great narrator and couples that with author interviews. I love seeing “behind the scenes” of each story and I’m always left feeling inspired and driven after listening to this podcast.

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top10horrorstorypodcastsinfographic1Whew! That was a labor-intensive post. I’ve been working on that one for a couple weeks now.

But I’m curious. What horror story podcasts do you listen to that you think should have gotten a mention?

And if you’re looking for some audio fiction that takes horror to the stars, I recommend checking out my Where to Find Stellar free audio Sci-Fi post.

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50 thoughts on “Top 10 Horror Story Podcasts that Will Terrify You

  1. Pingback: Tanis and other horror mystery podcasts like it | Horror Made

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  3. Great stuff, love the list and the added bonuses in the comments. Some of my favs are, #1. KnifePoint Horror-Soren Narnia is brilliant. he has a Youtube channel titled ‘Winterthurn’ where he narrates hour to two hour audiobook style narrations and hes coming out with some additions to KP.
    #2. Anything Ghost as a special place in my heart as it was my first intro to podcasts and has a unique twist whereby Lex WAhl does a great job with his 10 year old podcasts.
    #3. No Sleep Podcast will always remain in my top 5 and Ive been a premium member for 5 seasons now, im addicted.
    #4. The Magnus Archives is a recent discovery and im still binge listening and enjoying it…
    Plus,
    The Black Tapes, Tanis, We’re Alive are also in my Podcast Addict subscriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Have you listened to “The Terror Train Anthology Podcast,” on YouTube?
    The second season is about to begin!
    Give a listen! Especially, episode 105 and the Finale for season one!
    We’d love to hear your impressions! It’s quite popular.

    Like

  8. I enjoyed The Byron Chronicles, Were Alive, and Wormwood. Unfortunately with those series concluded Ive run out of horror podcasts that have a continuing storyline.

    Like

  9. Okay, let me throw in three more for you to check out…Lore is a wonderfully produced podcast that covers a wide variety of creepy topics. From local legends, to infamous murders, to historical monsters and haunts. It’s not prose fiction, but it’s compiled well and presented brilliantly. The next two are related, sister productions that are designed to emulate the well-know NPR podcast Serial, but with a paranormal twist. The first is The Black Tapes Podcast and the second is called Tanis. These two are fantastic,with compelling ongoing narratives. I only wish some of the voice acting was a little stronger. Sometimes that pulls me out of the experience. Anyway, check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know somebody already mentioned it but Knifepoint Horror has to be on this list. Unfortunately it’s not as popular as it should be. One thing that I love about it is that there is no host in the beginning and so the podcast never breaks the fourth wall. It just takes you right into the story and leaves you wondering if the story could be real. The scariest one in my opinion is one that is called Possession. Listen to that one if any. By the way I listen to all the podcasts on this list except Wicked Library. But now I’m gonna try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Found this post through Pseudopod on Facebook. Every few months I scour the podcast world for scary stories, I’m so glad you posted this! There are a few I haven’t heard of and can’t wait to try out. Knifepoint Horror is my absolute favorite. It’s like… you’re left alone with a friend-of-a-friend at a bar and he starts telling you about the scariest thing that ever happened to him. http://knifepointhorror.libsyn.com

    For old time radio, I love the Canadian series from the 80s – Nightfall.

    Now I need to check out the rest of your site…!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome! And thank you so much for letting me know about Knifepoint Horror and Nightfall, I’ll definitely be checking those out! Also, your description of Knifepoint horror was fantastic, made me laugh and then go find it. 🙂

      Like

  12. We’re gonna whore ourselves out here in the comments section.

    Want another one? If you like horror anthologies such as Tales From The Crypt or Creepshow, then may we recommend giving Manor House: The Podcast a listen on iTunes? It’s fairly new and is a cross between old time radio drama and audiobook with voice acting, sound effects, and even a “supernatural” host. Almost all original stories by indie authors. Give it a try and see if you like it.

    Now we look like that guy trying to sell his rap demo in the YouTube comments section. Yes, we have no shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m subscribed to almost all of these, so seeing as we share a similar horror sensibility I can’t believe you haven’t heard Knifepoint Horror! It’s written and performed by Soren Narnia, and it’s quiet approach of just one man’s voice telling a story without music or sound effects really really ups the creepiness and believability factors. This one will get to you and genuinely frighten and disturb you more than any episode of any other podcast on a regular basis. Just ask John Peters! (you know, the farmer)

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL 😄 If John Peters (you know, the farmer) says so then it must be true! but seriously, I actually listen to an episode today and I think you’re totally right. It really is quite freaky! I’ll be adding it to my next horror podcasts list. Thank you sharing 🙂

      Like

  14. Thanks for the list. Some of these i already listen to and some i can’t wait to check out. Another high quality horror podcast is Knifepoint Horror. It features stories all told from the first person perspective so it feels very intimate & all the more horrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is an awesome topic. I love audio theater as much as I love horror, and when the two join together effectively, it’s pure magic. Sadly, I wasn’t aware of several of these. But the ones I do know are excellent choices. Campfire Radio Theater is consistently excellent, and I’d say that the “Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse” episode is one of my overall favorite horror audio dramas. And Pseudopod is a wonderful audiobook version of some serious horror fiction.

    People who like like this stuff would be well served to also look back to a time when “podcasts” were done on things called “radios.” There was a lot of fine horror on Old Time Radio, including Lights Out! and The Inner Sanctum, which may have invented the concept of the quirky horror host. Quiet, Please produced arguably some of the best speculative fiction on radio and the episode titled “The Thing on the Fourbile Board” is on every OTR fan’s list of best horror recordings.

    There’s also some great stuff from after the Golden Age of Radio but still before the era of podcasting. For instance, the BBC’s Fear on Four and the weird and comedic Chet Chetter’s Tales from the Morgue. Get listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Incidentally, I realize that each of the shows I mention has probably been aired and discussed on The Horror! podcast, but I mean to emphasize that you don’t need to wait for the to come up in their rotation. A lot of the best old stuff is available for download at Archive.org or various OTR websites. Use Google and discover entire series on your own.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s actually a website dedicated to Quiet, Please where you can download all of the episodes that are known to exist: http://www.quietplease.org

        And when checking on Archive, look for series that have been certified by the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. Their volunteers do a fantastic job of assembling collections that are as complete and as accurately ordered as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

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