‘Tis the season for thrills and chills! Just as we listen to festive music when the holidays roll around, there is no better time to listen to a creepy podcast than around Spooky Season. If you’re looking for a chilling podcast to listen to on your daily commute, or something hair-raising to wind down with at the end of the evening, we’ve rounded up 13 of the most thrilling podcasts. From creepypasta to true crime, there’s something for every horror lover on this list.
This award-winning podcast explores the dark side of common folklore. Created in 2015 by Aaron Mahnke, Lore has covered a variety of well-known cryptids, such as the Jersey Devil. It’s also delved into lesser-known tragedies such as the perils of building the Hoosac Tunnel—and why it’s now known as the Bloody Pit. With over 180 half-hour-long episodes, it’s perfectly bingeable. It’s also spawned a book series and two seasons of an anthology show on Amazon Prime.
Created in 2017 by Jon Griz, this podcast is a vast anthology of creepypastas and urban legends from across the internet. They've covered such topics as The Sandman, La Bruja, and the Russian Sleep Experiment. They’re currently running a 31 Days of Horror Series, so if you choose to simply start there, you’ve already got a dozen episodes to catch up on—and that’s not even counting the extensive back catalogue.
The Last Podcast on the Left
With a wide range of true crime and fiction, the Last Podcast on the Left covers a variety of terrifying material. The hosts' crackling banter can make horrifying topics approachable to the scaredy-cats (like me!) who enjoy listening to true crime and horror. They discuss murderers, the occult, cryptids, and unsolved mysteries.
The Minds of Madness
The Minds of Madness delves into the marks left by ordinary people who do the most horrifying things. This true crime podcast revolves primarily around the effect violent crimes have on people who survive them. The Minds of Madness focuses particularly on victims of homicide. Many of the murders are based in the United States, though some deal with international tragedies—such as in Canada, Australia, and Mexico, to name a few.
Lunatics Radio Hour
This is a facet of The Lunatics Project, which also produces the semi-annual Lunatics Magazine and short horror films. This podcast reads ghost stories and explores the history and craft of horror. They've discussed the works of Hitchcock and Edgar Allen Poe and the ways in which they've influenced our perceptions of horror today. Lunatics Radio Hour has also delved into the history of zombies, werewolves, clowns, vampires, and other classically horrifying figures.
Related: 12 Revealing Lizzie Borden Books, from True Crime to Fiction
Small Town Murder
This is another podcast that deals with horrifying murders—perfect for a scaredy-cat like me. Small Town Murders looks at murders which are perpetrated in—you guessed it: Small towns! The hosts, James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman, are two comedians who sit back and shout, “Shut up and give me murder!” They discuss not only the murder, but the town’s location, demographics, crime rate, and a number of other statistics to paint a clearer picture of the circumstances surrounding the murder.
Someone Knows Something
David Ridgen speaks with the families of victims whose cases have gone cold. Ridgen is a filmmaker and writer, known for his character driven work, such as Memento, Mississippi Cold Case, and Confession to a Murder. This podcast has been running for six seasons. The first season traces the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a five-year-old during a family fishing trip in 1972.
Parcast is known for its true crime repertoire, and Serial Killers is a well-researched and chilling show found in its catalogue. This podcast drops episodes every Monday and Thursday, offering listeners a window into the particular methods and mania of serial killers. The podcast has covered the likes of Charles Cullen: the “Angel of Death”, Jack the Ripper, “Jolly Jane” Toppan, Jeffrey Dahmer, and many more.
Real Ghost Stories
This daily paranormal podcast brings listener stories a fresh dose of the disturbing every day. The subjects range from demonic to the supernatural; there are tales of ghostly possession, haunted houses, life beyond the veil—and things that simply can’t be explained. Listeners can submit their own ghost stories, and may even wind up on the podcast. With a year’s worth of podcasts to listen to, there are over 300 ghastly stories to keep you up tonight.
Another Parcast offering, this podcast examines cold cases and unsolved murders. These murders mostly range from the 1800s to the late 1900s. Some special episodes examine famous royal murders and deaths, such as that of Cleopatra VII’s, as well as a suspicious death in the court of Queen Elizabeth I.
This fictional podcast is the audio equivalent of a found-footage film, similar to The Blair Witch Project. It begins with Daniel Powell, a temporary archivist working for the Housing Historical Committee of New York State. His job is to “log tapes, organize...clean up...digitize...and create a new metadata taxonomy” for Archive 81. Daniel puts the first tape on, and finds himself listening to a recording from 1994. Archive 81 is in its third season, and is being adapted into a Netflix series.
We put our lives in doctors’ hands. So what happens when doctors take advantage of that trust? This series has three seasons, examining deadly cases of malpractice. The first season examines Christopher Duntsch, a surgeon who botched 33 procedures with life-threatening and fatal consequences.
This fictional podcast revolves around the story of three hundred people who disappear from a small town in Tennessee. It follows Lia Haddock, a reporter for American Public Radio, who’s chasing the answer to the question: “What happened to the people of Limetown?” The podcast was adapted to a show by NBC.