Scary’s Voices – Sound Bites
Week Ending 27th November 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:
Shadows at the Door: The Podcast
Few tales get under my skin more than a good ghost story. The thick atmospheric dread and creeping fears slowly rattle my rational thoughts and before I know it, I’m peeking around corners and making mad dashes for light switches. So, I was delighted to find the stories included on Shadows at the Door: The Podcast created that exact experience for me.
Episodes include adaptations of stories by authors such as M. R. James, Charles Dickens, and Washington Irving, as well as original tales from the likes of Gemma Amor, Pete Alex Harris, and M. Regan. My personal favourite so far has been the Professor Troughton series of stories, written by executive producer Mark Nixon. Season 2 of the podcast concludes with one such story called “Settle Thy Studies,” and thankfully, all previous Troughton tales have been compiled into one episode titled “Convinced Disbeliever – The Troughton Stories” so it’s easy to catch up if you’re new to this character’s ghostly encounters.
The stories are great, as is the voice talent which includes senior producer and lead actor David Ault. But what really sets Shadows at the Door: The Podcast apart is the fascinating follow up conversations at the end of each episode. They discuss crafting the short stories, how the actors develop the characters, and anything else that comes to mind. There are even episodes dedicated to getting to know this talented duo such as “Q&A Season 2 Special” where Mark and David field questions posed by fans.
While Shadows at the Door: The Podcast is now on a break after wrapping up season 2, I highly recommend perusing their back catalogue. Most episodes run about 1.5 hours, and you can find them all on their website: www.shadowsatthedoor.com
Now for the Shivers!
People like us, horror fans, sometimes need something a little different to fall asleep. Counting fluffy sheep probably doesn’t work, unless you imagine them as black goats, perhaps, and that’s exactly where Scare You to Sleep comes in. Host Shelby Scott narrates nightmare-inducing bedtime stories in a calm soft voice, sure to send you off into the dangers of dreamland.
This week I listened to “Gravely Mistaken” written by Velma Kelly, about a young woman who finds something inhuman residing in her home. I really enjoyed the slow build of terror through the story as unexplained occurrences go from strange to horrifying.
Other episodes include classic works, like “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe, as well as original frightful tales written by a variety of authors. One truly unique set of episodes is called “Guided Nightmare,” sort of like a guided meditation, but instead of finding yourself in beautiful meadows near babbling brooks, you might be in a haunted library, a strange carnival, or travelling by train. These episodes are recorded in an ASMR style with whispering voices and soft background sounds, and to get the most out of them I highly recommend wearing headphones for a fully immersive experience.
Another nicety of this podcast is that trigger warnings are detailed in the show notes, so you can find out before listening if an episode is suitable for you. The “Guided Nightmare” segments typically run 15 to 20 minutes, while the other fiction episodes range from half an hour to an hour. Scare You to Sleep is found exclusively on Spotify, and is open to story submissions with guidelines available on their website: www.scareyoutosleep.com
That’s a wrap for this week’s Sound Bites!
I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready to start the holiday season! As a special treat I’ll be switching my regular weekly Sound Bites to celebrate Yuletide YouTubers all December long. So, if there’s a spooky channel you’re addicted to, or if you make creepy videos, let me know.
Specifically, I would really love to see some holiday-themed content including horror shorts, reviews of seasonal horror movies, frightening folk tales from around the globe, or reviews of books perfect for this time of year.
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.
As curator of “Scary’s Voices” on Kendall Reviews, an article series reviewing horror podcasts, Sullivan loves listening to all things spooky. If you have a horror podcast recommendation, let her know.
On top of contributing short stories to Kendall Reviews, her fiction has appeared in Don’t Open the Door (2019), It Came From The Darkness (2020), and she acted as an assistant editor for Black Dogs, Black Tales (2020). Other spooky tales and updates on her writing journey can be found on her blog.
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
Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/j.a_sullivan