Scary’s Voices – Sound Bites
Week Ending 23rd October 2020
Sometimes, when shadows stretch and the house is quiet, I hear voices. They tell me about ghosts and creatures of the night. They whisper sinister tales making my skin crawl. Sometimes they even tell me to do things, like watch certain movies or read specific books. Where do these strange voices come from? Podcasters, of course. But I like to call them Scary’s Voices.
Welcome to Sound Bites, where I highlight the best podcasts I’ve heard through the week. Here’s a quick breakdown of my rating system:
Scream of the Week – only one podcast can take this spot each week, and it represents the best of what’s haunted my earbuds, like a 5-Star rating.
Shivers – these shows are great, and not only do I recommend you give them a listen, but I’ve marked them down to listen to again in the future.
Goosebumps – podcasts I liked and will probably try again, but they didn’t quite knock my socks off.
If I listen to something that didn’t make me scream, give me shivers or even goosebumps, they won’t be listed here.
Now let’s get to it!
My Scream of the Week goes to:
It’s Haunted…What Now?
With Halloween fast approaching, I was in the mood for some frightening true ghost stories and, thanks to the suggestion of Augie Peterson, I found some excellent ones on It’s Haunted…What Now? Host Lanie Hobbs delivers dramatic narration of true paranormal encounters submitted by listeners. This week I listened to “S2: E33 – My Bed Was Covered w/Slithering, Hissing Black Snakes,” which includes 5 different stories sure to get you in a spooky mood. Tales of strange dreams while growing up on a U.S. Army Base in Germany, a couple of different haunted houses, kids being creepy, and visits by deceased relatives (or were they?).
Having listened to and read many ghostly tales through the years, these stories can become predictable, but the variety and unique twists of the first-hand accounts in this podcast kept me on my toes and even jumpy at times. As an experienced audiobook narrator, Lanie has fantastic pacing to tell these tales and knows exactly how to dial up the creep factor. Most episodes run approximately half an hour, and new content is uploaded on the 15th and end of each month. Go get your spooky on with It’s Haunted…What Now?
Now for the Shivers!
Another suggestion I received was from Delia Ross (aka Poe Eternal), who sent me to check out something quite different, Christ & Cthulhu. In this podcast, host C. L. Fuqua discusses the works of H. P. Lovecraft and relates the stories to his personal journey of finding Orthodox Christianity. I listened to Episodes 11 through 15, which examined “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” Each of the five parts is a hybrid of summary and narration of the Lovecraft novella, which works well for listeners unfamiliar to this story as well as its fans. At the end of each episode is a brief reflection on the commonalities between the journeys of both the main character being drawn into the unfamiliar and Fuqua’s own path into faith. Even as an atheist I found the theological parallels interesting, but if you’re only interested in the tales of cosmic horror it’s easy to just listen to the story and skip the religious elements since they are presented at the end of the episodes. Fuqua did state at the conclusion of Episode 15 that he will be releasing one more episode before taking a brief break from podcasting, but you can listen to the backlog of Christ & Cthulhu content HERE
And lastly, the Goosebumps.
If you love strange horror films, you’ll want to check out Night of the Horrorphile, where horror fan host Leigh Evans discusses weird movies with his wife Brittany, an admitted horror virgin. All October long the couple is celebrating the works of actor Tom Atkins, and this week I listened to “Episode 72: Night of the Creeps (1986).” As well as reviewing the films, Leigh also interjects interesting tidbits of information and trivia surrounding the actors, crew, and the process of filmmaking. The titles reviewed aren’t exactly my cup of tea, so I’m not sure I’ll be revisiting this podcast, but if you’re a fan of Lloyd Kaufman and Troma productions, I think you’ll quite enjoy Night of the Horrorphile. New episodes are available every Friday, with most running approximately 1.5 hours long. Also, if you’re a filmmaker, Leigh and Brittany accept review requests, and they present discussions on new films in a segment called “Fresh Popcorn.” Find out more on their blog: www.nightofthehorrorphile.com
The next best thing to true paranormal stories to get the spooky juices flowing are CreepyPastas, and Palaver: Unraveling Weird Lit covers some great ones in “Episode 16: CreepyPastas Part 1.” In it, hosts Jess and Kendra discuss some of their favourite CreepyPasta stories, including “The Russian Sleep Experiment,” and two stories which inspired seasons of Channel Zero, “NoEnd House” and “Candle Cove,” as well as some others. Parts of these tales are recited, while others are summarized, but all of them are creepy. If the word “palaver” didn’t already tip you off, these hosts are Stephen King fans and some of their past episodes have centred on Night Shift and Cujo. But they do cover other horror works as well, such as The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, and some episodes compare books with their movie adaptations. While the episodes sound great, I did find myself wishing they dug a little deeper into reviewing the works instead of focusing on only the plot points. Since Palaver: Unraveling Weird Lit only began in July 2020, I think they’re still finding their way, but I’m excited to check back in with them. New episodes are released on Wednesdays and range in length from 1 to 1.5 hours. Find them wherever you listen to podcasts via linktree: www.linktr.ee/PalaverPodcast
That’s a wrap for this week’s Sound Bites!
Thanks so much to the awesome podcast listeners and creators who have been sending me terrific recommendations. Keep them coming via the comments section below, or direct messaging on Twitter or Instagram (links below). I can’t promise I’ll enjoy every podcast you throw my way, but I’ll give everyone a fair shot.
Remember, I’m all about scary things and spooky podcasts are what I’m after. Content focused on reviewing horror movies and horror books, true paranormal encounters, facts about cryptids, true crimes, and original scary stories are exactly what I want to hear. Can’t wait to listen to all the dark podcasts you fine fiends suggest.
Next Friday on Scary’s Voices I’ll be reviewing a couple of fantastic audio dramas perfect for Halloween, including an interview with a special guest, so be sure to join me then!
J. A. Sullivan is a horror writer and paranormal enthusiast, based in Brantford, ON, Canada. Attracted to everything non-horror folks consider strange, she’s spent years as a paranormal investigator, has an insatiable appetite for serial killer information, and would live inside a library if she could.
Her latest short story can be found in Don’t Open the Door: A Horror Anthology (out July 26, 2019), and other spooky tales can be found on her blog. She’s currently writing more short stories, a novel, and reading as many dark works as she can find.
You can follow J. A. on Twitter @ScaryJASullivan
Check out her blog https://writingscaredblog.wordpress.com
Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/j.a_sullivan