Horror has long been one of the most popular podcast genres. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine the podcast landscape without such enduring classics as No Sleep, Pseudopod, Tales to Terrify, Welcome to Night Vale, and Alice Isn’t Dead.
Despite the prevalence of well-known narrative horror and horror-adjacent podcasts, some excellent shows continue to fly under the radar. Here are some lesser-known horror podcasts that will keep you awake at night this Halloween.
This podcast is now in its third season, but it consistently receives less attention than it deserves. Tonia Ransom, the show’s curator, intended Nightlight to highlight Black authors telling Black stories, and in doing so, the show has released some of the best horror stories available.
Some stories lean toward romance, others toward science fiction, and still others toward standard horror fare, but each is haunting and unforgettable. Genre staples such as reluctant werewolves and murderous mermaids embrace tropes while subverting them to create something entirely new. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes long, making it an ideal lunchtime listen.
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Campfire Radio Theater
While new episodes of Campfire Radio Theater are only released a few times a year, they are always well worth the wait. The show features incredible audio engineering and is painstakingly edited to create the illusion that the audience is present in the room during all of these terrifying events.
In these modern radio plays, classic horror tropes like zombies and stalkers are given a terrifying new life. CRT is one of the best in the business for those who enjoy horror that raises the pulse and provides plenty of jump scares.
Scare You to Sleep
Shelby Scott, Scare You To Sleep’s host, began Scare You To Sleep as a platform for her own horror stories, but quickly expanded to include works by a variety of authors.
The podcast has a distinct tone in that it frequently tells character studies, but it also has no qualms about plunging you into a slasher story complete with dismemberment and gore. Surprisingly brutal for its low-key tone, SYTS is one of the more entertaining horror shows because each episode is truly unpredictable.
Knifepoint Horror has been around for a long time and is frequently included on other horror podcast lists, but its insistence on understated horror is truly admirable. Often, these stories read more like character studies than horror, which makes the “scary part” all the more effective because it comes as a complete surprise.
For example, the episode “Twelve Tiny Cabins” begins as a story about overcoming hidden trauma, and it is only halfway through that you realize it is also about terrifying killer dolls. The fact that Soren Narnia writes all of the episodes lends the series a consistent creative vision. KPH is one of the most consistently unsettling horror podcasts.
As many horror fans are aware, Nightmare is one of the best and most well-known contemporary anthologies. This series, which is approaching its one-hundredth issue, has been running since 2012 and has featured work by some of the genre’s biggest names.
Many of their back issues are available online for free, and you can still purchase hard copies in many cases. Nightmare’s status as an institution is unquestionable, and we’re fortunate that they’ve brought some of their best stories to the realm of audio horror. Their archive is brimming with contemporary classics, so do yourself a favor and give them a listen.
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Light House is a single-story horror podcast written and directed by Jeff Heimbuch that follows Tara Hollis through her troubled childhood and her attempts to flee familial abuse caused by the evil entities that inhabited the property long before her family moved in.
The combination of old tapes and first-person narrative creates a chilling story, and the show is one of the strongest fiction offerings on iHeartRadio to date.
If you enjoy horror podcasts in the classic radio-style format, this series is for you. Not only does Wrong Station feature audio engineering that transports you into the story as it unfolds, but it also features several episodes that take wildly divergent paths, ensuring that there is something for every horror fan.
Taking direct inspiration from classic television series such as Suspense and Lights Out (which has been remastered and re-released via The Horror! podcast), but also incorporating elements of the Twilight Zone and even some ’80s camp horror, this is a podcast that manages to feel both new and familiar at the same time.
This is another episodic podcast in the vein of Light House, Alice Isn’t Dead, and The Black Tapes. Lillian Harper returns to her Midwestern hometown to care for her ailing mother in this story.
Unfortunately, while it is possible to return home, Lillian discovers that the thinly veiled mysteries and horrors of her youth have been given terrifying new context in her adulthood. Unwell will captivate those who enjoy a well-paced journey through the darkest recesses of childhood within the first few minutes. A perfect binge-listening experience.
Ghosts in the Burbs
Ghosts in the Burbs is set in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and is based on stories told to schoolteacher Liz Sower by residents of this relatively unassuming suburban town. Some of these tales are amusing, while others are frightening, but they are all ostensibly true…or true in the urban legend sense, where enough people believe them that they have become part of our common lexicon.
Out of all the podcasts on this list, Ghosts in the Burbs is perhaps the most endearing due to Liz’s genuine concern for her friends and neighbors, but that is not to diminish the show’s scariness — the show’s tales of hauntings and mysterious figures in the night are certain to get your pulse racing.
Filipino Horror Podcasts You Should Tune In this Halloween
If you’re a sucker for ghost stories and urban legends, you might want to explore the world of podcasts for additional horror chills. Apart from binge-watching scary movies, podcasts featuring creepy university stories, unsolved mysteries, and terrifying myths are just as entertaining.
To get you started on your spine-chilling audio adventure, we’ve compiled a list of Pinoy horror story podcasts on Spotify.
Gideon Mendoza and Glenn Tabarejos host the podcast Creepsilog. It covers a wide variety of subjects, from the creepy and strange to the disturbing and frightening. Paranormal events, strange phenomena, and true crime are all explored through the lens of light and twisted Filipino humor.
Inspired by the once-popular local show Gabi ng Lagim, Hilakbot TV uses radio drama to narrate both real and fictional stories. Every night at 9:00 PM, Hilakbot TV on Spotify will provide your daily dose of spine-tingling stories.
Wag Kang Lilingon
Join Grace Marcellana and Mimai Cabugnason as they dive, learn, and laugh their way through hair-raising, spine-tingling, and insomnia-inducing tales of horror, mystery, true crime, and suspense.
Stories After Dark
“Stories After Dark,” an independent Philippine podcast, features true crime and mystery stories that are ingrained in our country’s horror storytelling culture. It contains detailed accounts of haunted Philippine highways such as Balete Drive and Baguio’s Diplomat Hotel. Additionally, Stories After Dark retells kidnappings and massacres, such as 2013’s The Abduction and Murder of Kae Davantes.
Stories Philippines Podcast: Pinoy Tagalog Horror
Since 2017, Stories Philippines Podcast has featured fiction and non-fiction stories that will pique your imagination. Discover strange, strange, and creepy but unforgettable creatures, legends, facts, history, and culture from the Philippines and around the world.
Listen to a Horror Podcast this Halloween
If you’re looking to be scared during a time when new horror films may be scarce, grab your earphones and subscribe to Spotify. These horror podcasts will keep you spooked in the safety of your own home during these lockdowns.
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