There's no denying the thrill of a good ghost story. And when it comes to learning about the specters and spooks that haunt our mortal realm, there's something extra special—and extra spine-tingling—about the spoken word. From campfire tales to creepy radio shows, the spoken word has long served as a medium to share spooky tales and revel in the thrill of being scared. That tradition is alive and well today, thanks in no small part to the thriving world of ghost story podcasts.
And with the days growing darker and a biting chill in the air, now's the perfect time to settle in for a spooky audio journey to the other side. Below are the best ghost story podcasts you can listen to right now. Whether you're a committed skeptic or diehard believer with your own ghost stories to share, we're sure you'll find a scary good listen in the selections below. Some of these ghost story podcasts are fiction while others relate real-life encounters with the paranormal. All of them have one thing in common: ghosts!
The name says it all: Anything Ghost is a podcast dedicated to all things ghostly. Since 2006, the Anything Ghost crew has been sharing stories of ghostly encounters. You don't need to be worried about them running out of ideas, either, because none of these stories are fictional. Each terrifying tale Anything Ghost presents centers on a real-life account, a historical haunting, or a ghostly mystery.
Ghost stories have at least one thing in common with real estate agents: an emphasis on location, location, location. From iconic haunted houses to more unusual haunted locales, a sense of place is critical to a good ghost story. That’s certainly true of the tales told in Haunted Places, a podcast dedicated to the scary spots from around the world that seem to cast some kind of spectral spell. The creepiest part: All of the places discussed on this weekly podcast are real. Whether the hauntings are, too, is for you to decide—if you dare!
Jim Harold's Campfire
Since 2005, "Paranormal Podcast Guy" Jim Harold has been delighting listeners with tales of the strange and unexplained. Jim Harold's Campfire is dedicated to nonfiction tales of all kinds of creepy phenomena. Ghosts are just one part of the paranormal equation; with around 400 episodes available, you'll have your pick of the best episodes focused on ghosts.
Listen with the Lights On
The northeastern United States is full of strange history and spooky stories. In Listen with the Lights On, NPR station WAMC Northeast shares real-life stories and creepy histories set against the backdrop of New England and Upstate New York. You don't have to live in Albany to listen to Listen with the Lights On, though—the radio show is available as a podcast, too.
The Black Tapes
The Black Tapes is a horror fiction serial for the podcasting age. It employs the style of nonfiction podcast hits like Serial, presenting a fictional story as if it were a real-life narrative. At the center of the story are the records of Dr. Richard Strand, a paranormal investigator and “evangelical skeptic” who made a life's work out of debunking paranormal reports. He didn't finish, though, and his unsolved cases—the so-called "Black Tapes"—become a source of obsession for the podcast's host Alex Reagan. As Alex searches for the truth, she transforms into a character in what turns out to be a very spooky series of ghost stories.
Last Podcast on the Left
Some of the podcasts on this list feature horror fiction, while others examine real-life mysteries and paranormal phenomena. Last Podcast on the Left does both. This is a podcast for people who are obsessed with ghosts and the paranormal, and who enjoy a good ghost story as much as they enjoy a report of a real-life haunting or ghost-hunting expedition.
Lore needs no introduction. Aaron Mahnke's spooky podcast is a fan favorite, and for good reason: It's a seemingly inexhaustible source of spooky folklore, creepy urban legends, and unsettling accounts of real-life run-ins with the paranormal. Mahnke's delivery and in-depth research really make each story memorable. The chills come with a nice serving of folklore and culture, too, which means that you can count on these episodes to edify as well as terrify!
The Moonlit Road
The Moonlit Road takes its name from a short story by acclaimed American writer Ambrose Bierce. This is a podcast where Gothic horror meets Southern Gothic (and so much more): The Moonlit Road is obsessed with spooky Southern stories, including short fiction, folktales, urban legends, regional myths, and more. Though not limited to ghosts, this podcast has more than enough ghost stories to satisfy your cravings.
Real Ghost Stories Online
If you just can't get enough ghost stories, then you should subscribe to Real Ghost Stories Online. Like the other ghost story podcasts on this list, Real Ghost Stories Online is full of spooky tales—but unlike many of our other picks, you'll never have to wait a long time between episodes of Real Ghost Stories Online. This ongoing podcast updates daily, so there's always something new to listen to. For the voracious consumer of ghost stories, this inexhaustible podcast is a must.
Created by New York City NPR station WNYC, Spooked is a spin-off of the show Snap Judgment that focuses entirely on scary stories and encounters with the paranormal. As just like Snap Judgment, these stories are all true—with an emphasis placed on first-hand accounts. The featured stories in Spooked are told by the people who experienced them. Many of Spooked's contributors, according to NPR's description of the show, "can barely believe" the otherworldly episode that happened to them.
As the name suggests, Unexplained is all about strange occurrences that have yet to be explained—and those that may never be explained. Mysterious real-life events are the oft-frightening focus of this podcast, so you can expect to hear plenty of ghost stories in the show's bi-weekly installments.
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