Acast, Apple, Spotify, thewarren.ie
Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify
There are countless spooky podcasts out there, such is our penchant for a good scare. Many have a true-crime bent, to feed our morbid fascination with real-life monsters, while others combine folklore, first-person anecdotes and creepy fictionalised tales of the unexpected.
Here are three tricks and treats to send shivers down your spine this Halloween.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the glossy Hearst magazine House Beautiful would have a podcast celebrating interior design, architecture and artisans. But no: the American heritage title, which launched in 1896, recently released Dark House, an intriguing audio series “at the crossroads of true crime, interior design and the paranormal”. It’s co-hosted by the magazine’s editors Alyssa Fiorentino and Hadley Mendelsohn who shine a light on America’s apparently haunted houses via their gruesome or otherworldly backstories.
Glitzy and grisly in equal measure is their episode on the 1930s Craftsman Los Angeles home in which film producer Paul Bern – husband of starlet Jean Harlow – committed suicide, and whose next owner was killed at the hands of the Charles Manson ‘Family’. Fiorentino throws in a compelling conspiracy theory about Bern having been murdered in a blockbuster plot crafted by Hollywood studios. Guest interviewees throughout the series include writers, set designers, psychics and paranormal investigators, making for veritable pot-boilers and spine-tinglers.
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If you’re into bitesized frights, check out the slick, half-hour yarns of Petrified, part of The Warren’s eclectic portfolio of Irish podcasts. In ‘Little Cakes’, a fly buzzes ominously while an elderly woman talks cookies and fairy princesses with the youngster next door – and before a hapless makeup saleswoman gets caught in the older lady’s web. Episodes are written by Peter Dunne and co-produced with Liam Geraghty, and while there are only seven instalments since launching in December 2018, they’re well worth dusting off.
‘Found footage’ as a concept peaked in 1999 with The Blair Witch Project – and arguably created a monster with the likes of Open Water 3, and Bigfoot abomination Exists, scraping the barrel. The genre is far more convincing as audio: Archive 81 is a case in point – a whodunnit launched in 2016 of club kids and drug dealers going missing in a New York high-rise, their disappearance pieced together from archive tapes. There have been many different series since and it is – of course – being developed into a Netflix series.