The 13th Floor

Why Everyone Should Listen to the Chilling NoSleep Podcast

Imagine the scariest piece of fiction you’ve read — perhaps a creepypasta on the r/nosleep subreddit — and let a group of talented voice actors bring the text to life. It’s like a modern day audiobook, but good, and without all that self-motivational crap. This is what the NoSleep Podcast is all about.

In 2010, the /nosleep subreddit was released, as “a place for people to post original scary stories about frightening experiences.” As it quickly gained popularity, member Matt Hansen proposed the idea of doing a NoSleep podcast. The stories were either taken from the NoSleep or Library of Shadows subreddits, and Redditors would have the opportunity to volunteer and help produce and/or record the stories. The idea was received extremely well and has been growing ever since.

Each piece is extremely well-written; the voice actors are spot-on. Christ, even the advertisements are good. I listened to one about Blue Apron about a week ago, and couldn’t believe it was even an ad. They incorporate horror into each commercial, making it seem genuine in content. Not even being a spokesperson or anything, I can honestly say I listened to the whole 3½-minute ad spot. Damn, they’re good.

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What makes this podcast so unique and genuinely great are the voice actors: David Cummings, the host and producer of the NoSleep Podcast, does an incredible job of evoking the most frightening emotions out of you while he speaks. His voice has a whispery, almost achy feel to it when he plays his characters… and it sends chills up and down my spine every time.

Erika Sanderson is probably the most diverse voice actor on the Podcast, performing everything “from young children (boys and girls) to ancient demons,” and has played “a variety of English, American, Irish, Scottish, Iraqi, Iranian, Russian and Australian characters,” among others. Her voice is strong and meaningful, and I think that helps to create the genuine feel of her very lifelike characters.

Aside from these very talented voice actors, the content itself is to die for — so to speak. Some of my favorite content involves a tampon recall that kills women by means of ants crawling and making their way to the surface of their skin; a boy trapped in a refrigerator and being attacked by earwigs; a bar maiden who experiences the paranormal at her tavern; a girl with an imaginary friend named “Magic Marty” who isn’t so imaginary after all; and a boy who is tricked by “Santa Claus” and gets sent to Christmasland… where he is to be burned alive in a mountain of moaning children and sacrificed to a giant god.

These stories are insanely good. Most of them are told from first-person present, which makes you feel as if you’re experiencing the horror firsthand. But I think what makes the Podcast so damn good is that it deprives you of your sense to see the story. You’re left to your own devices — and I think that’s what makes for the best stories, because they’re unique and genuine to your own imagination.

The NoSleep Podcast is the first of its kind, and continues to grow in great content and extreme popularity, now in its eighth season. You can download episodes directly from their website, or subscribe via iTunes, Podbay, Stitcher and many other services.

Oh, and make sure to keep the nightlight on…

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