The 13th Floor

Five Podcasts That Will Haunt Your Psyche

It is said that what goes around comes around, and the success of podcasts is definitely proof of the saying. Before film and television, radio plays haunted the airwaves and provided entertainment for the masses. Video may have killed the radio star, but podcasts are a certifiable force to be reckoned with. Blumhouse staff writer, Gregory Burkart did a list of “Ten Horror Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Right Now,” but I wanted to focus on something a bit more… haunting.

One of the strongest reasons so many of us flock to horror is the way a film can impact us. We crave the sensation of needing to keep the lights on before bed and it’s euphoric when a scare slowly creeps upon us, rushing adrenaline throughout our bodies. Some of the podcasts mentioned in this article are fictional radio plays, scaring us out of our skin through the use of storytelling, but some of these podcasts will haunt you for days simply because…they’re real.


Deep within the roots of every horror story, a small amount of truth exists. A major contributor to the effectiveness of horror is a direct correlation to our acceptance of the situation as real. As fact-checking and the accessibility 0f information increases, skepticism of humanity is at an all-time high, but our desire to know more about the unexplainable continues to grow.  Aaron Mahnke’s LORE podcast aims to explore the terrifying folklore that existed long before any of us walked the earth, and how these stories continue to influence us today. LORE is well researched, calmly delivered, and a perfect addition to your podcast obsession.


The Black Tapes
Only in its second season, THE BLACK TAPES is proving to be one of the most addictive horror-fiction podcasts on the air. Public radio reporter Alex Reagan intended to do a one-time interview with skeptical paranormal investigator Dr. Richard Strand, but has now immersed herself into learning the truth behind his unsolved cases. THE BLACK TAPES is presented in a way that could easily be mistaken as factual, much like the 1938 broadcast of “The War of the Worlds.” Audio files that kill its listeners, demon boards, killer kids, satanic geometry, and a ghost with an upside down face all involve themselves into Reagan’s life, and hypnotize her listeners.


True crime, urban legends, hauntings, and conspiracy theories sit at the forefront of Aaron and Justin’s conversations on THE GENERATION WHY. The two take an unbiased look at some of the most well known topics. The duo bring in experts and heavily research each episode to create a show that’s both educational and entertaining. What differentiates this podcast from many others is how natural it feels. For the most part, we’re listening to two highly educated individuals dissect and analyze a topic, but its natural feel allows the message to sink deep into our brains long after we’ve ended the episode.


Many of us have never heard of Limetown, Tennessee, and that’s because hundreds of men, women, and children all disappeared ten years ago and were never seen again. From the minds of Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, LIMETOWN is a fictional investigation podcast (a la SERIAL) that feels more like TWIN PEAKS or X-FILES than it does true crime. LIMETOWN plays each week as a riveting episode of public radio, but beats with the heart of a thrilling horror film. There are only 11 episodes available in Season 1 and there are currently rumblings and rumors about a LIMETOWN television series, but until the television deals are dropped or finalized, we will be waiting anxiously for season 2.


Sword and Scale
No exaggeration, no click-bait quote– SWORD & SCALE might be the most horrifying and addictive podcast of all time. Educational, captivating, and downright nightmare inducing, SWORD & SCALE is a podcast that reveals that the worst monsters.. are real. All of the stories featured on this podcast are entirely true and include 911 calls, interrogation interviews, news reports, eye-witness interviews, and other fascinating modes of storytelling. This is a podcast that I’ve genuinely had to shut off and return to days later to ensure that I could compose myself enough to listen to the episode in its entirety. Hosted by Mike Boudet, SWORD & SCALE is the single most stomach-churning and horrifying thing I’ve ever listened to. Don’t believe me? Check out episode 33, the story of Luka Magnotta. I won’t tell you what happens, but if you remember a little shock video called “One Lunatic, One Ice Pick,” you’ll already know…