Scary Podcast Stories for the Season

That most Hallowed-Eve time of year is upon us again, when everything is doused in pumpkin flavors and the general popular spends a month acting like cosplayers do year round (that is to say, approaching every strange and discarded garment as a potentially useful tool and trying to out-obscure friends and loved ones). It is also the time of year when horror lovers like myself – and I suspect you too, dear reader, if you’ve stuck around long – get to spend a few week walking through a wonderland of horror-focused cable picks, Netflix suggestions, promoted creepypastas, and DVD shelves. But there’s a medium most overlook in seeking out their scares – podcasts.

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Please also enjoy this COMPLETELY ADORABLE skeleton and spoon combo

One of the most important qualities of a good spooky story (the subtle ones, not that I don’t love the occasional gorefest) is creating an intimacy between audience and fiction, lulling them into an almost hypnotic state of wonder where anything is possible while you pick away, unnoticed, at their psychological defenses. To that end, a medium that can literally whisper in your ear, unheard by anyone else, has a distinct hand up on the competition. And folks, there is some gold out there. Take these recommendations, a proffered candle to light your dark nights – the better to make the shadows grow teeth.

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The Black Tapes’ Clever Apophenia: How the Internet Tells Stories

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If you’ve spent the last few months missing Serial, I feel it’s my duty to point you toward the impeccable in-progress podcast The Black Tapes. It too has a curious journalist with a soothing voice (Alex Reagen) and a fascination for unresolved stories – in this case, stories about unexplained supernatural sightings and the people who believe in them. Alex’s main resource in accessing these events turns out to be Dr. Richard Strand, a famed “ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghost.”

His collection of unsolved reports (not yet debunked, as he would put it) provides the name for the podcast. The stories of lives that unfold in each episode are fascinating, and if the description I’ve given strikes any interest in your heart I advise you to stop here and listen to the series. It’s a very special thing to experience without any foreknowledge.

Go on, then.

Right.

Still here? Well, then let me add one more fact.

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MAKE THIS HAPPEN – Sayo Yamamoto’s Mad Max

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Remember when the news broke out that we very nearly had an anime prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road? And then remember that other time we all deeply regretted clamoring for supplemental material about Furiosa and the wives, because there was that eye-gougingly horrendous comic that came out? And we were all left feeling simultaneously angry and sad, but then we watched one of the best action films of the past several decades and felt better again? It’s amazing how such a spectacular film can have such difficulty when it comes to other people trying to throw in their interpretation.

Now, one can argue that Fury Road’s success is largely down to the decades George Miller had to think about it, meaning he only returned to his series when he felt he truly had something to say and thus poured all of his energy into presenting a deeply realized world with minimal exposition and a mountain of unremarked upon worldbuilding. And the fact that it’s so deeply felt and personal a project might mean that we’re forever doomed to have lousy Mad Max material (by which I sort of mean Furiosa, much as I loved Tom Hardy’s performance) if it comes from anyone other than Miller’s hand. But just for the sake of argument, consider with me: a Mad Max miniseries as made by Sayo Yamamoto.

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Wander Over Yonder is a Gift to Your Inner 90s Kid

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Imagine: Kenneth Parcell as an adorable, fuzzy lollipop alien, traveling the galaxy to help people alongside his grumbly best friend (think Amethyst with a side of Marceline); never visiting the same planet twice, and constantly thwarting the fairly inept galactic conquest of a hulking, bratty skeleton overlord and his halfway-between-Spongebob-and-Ice-King right hand eyeball; all imagined through the lens of the guy behind The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. With Disney’s animation budget behind it as a trade-off for the equally Disney diabolical airing schedule. That’s Wander Over Yonder, an absolute treat for any longtime fan of animation.

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