5 Binge-Worthy Podcasts About True Scary Stories

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5 Binge Worthy Podcasts about True Scary Stories

I am a sucker for “true” scary stories. Back when I was eleven I would find creepypastas on the internet and repeat them to my friends at recess. My particular favorites were Red Rum, the woman in the Keyhole, and the Russian Sleep Experiment. 

My favorite part about them was how true they felt. It was always a story that happened to a man I "supposedly” knew, a woman who lived down the street from me. As an avid reader, I relished in the possibility that the fantastical can be real: I became obsessed with cold spots, EMT readings, and phantom mania. 

I am also not going to lie, I also like how campy scary stories can get sometimes. They almost always seem to kill or haunt in an over-exaggeratedly grotesque and showy way. That is half the fun right? Horror stories are true enough for you to believe, but just performative enough for you to laugh and delight in it as you wash the dishes. Because at the end of the day, these stories are fake (right??).

True crime has of course overtaken the public at large: people love piecing the mystery together, hearing the grizzly details about a murder that happened two blocks from their house.

RELATED: 15 Best Mystery Podcasts For People Who Love A Good Thriller

True crime and true scary stories share a lot of similarities. A true crime can feel like a real scary story sometimes with how larger than life some of the murderers may seem. 

But there is a special kind of thrill that comes from “true” scary stories: stories about ghost sightings, alien invasions, and peculiar small towns. As opposed to true crime, true scary stories rely on the glimpses of things we know aren't true — we have to find them in blurry photos, second-hand accounts, and inhuman movement. 

So what do you do when you swear to your roommate that those dishes moved on their own?

Here are five, binge-worthy podcasts based on true scary stories, from carnival scaries to monster sightings. 

1. Snapped Judgement Presents: Spooked 

Produced by WNYC, Spooked features real supernatural stories, told firsthand by the people who experienced them. Spooked listeners can submit their stories online, through the podcast website, accompanied by any photos, audio, and witness accounts they need to prove their case. 

This podcast is a must-listen for any true horror fans out there — no spoilers, but season 1’s second episode “Lost in Time” kept me up for days.

Producer Eliza Smith also has a very compelling story about how the podcast itself has helped control her own disassociation terrors, which is a relatable read to anyone who’s used horror as a coping mechanism. 

Listen on Stitcher or download on Itunes

2. Let’s Not Meet

Most people are familiar with the origins of Lore, an incredibly popular horror podcast. The Lore podcast features stories taken straight from the original subreddit.

Let’s Not Meet is based on a similarly frightening subreddit thread, in which people tell their own “first-hand” accounts of true, creepy encounters with people or creatures they hope to “not meet again.” 

Andrew Tate, the narrator of the podcast, states the tale recounts “true horror stories about those who made it out alive.” The podcast covers anything from a creepy truck driver a person runs into at a toll booth, a mysterious man at a college party, or fake Uber Drivers that tried to lure girls into his car. 

Listen on Stitcher or download on Itunes

RELATED: 9 Best Podcasts To Listen To On Your Way To Work

3. Small Town Murder

Now, I know this is podcast is technically a comedy, but stick with me here. It is a pretty open secret at this point that most murders and paranormal sightings occur in small towns. There is just something about them: the too genial neighbors, the flatness, the repetition, and the isolation. 

Even though in real life we all know that a small-town just means a slower pace of life and more cows, there is something disquieting about the idea of a small town.

When you want to chase that adrenaline rush, but need to take a break from the gore, podcast hosts, and comedians James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman have got your back. Small Town Murder is about small towns, the weird things that happen in them, and the hilarious banter between the two hosts. 

Listen on Stitcher or download on Itunes

4. Monsters Among Us

On the Monsters Among Us website, there is an option to “report your sighting.” The show host Derek Hayes describes the podcast as “a show about cryptid creatures and those lucky enough to witness them.” The show is a platform for listeners to submit their stories, ranging from encounters with ghouls, doppelgangers, and of course, Sasquatch. 

Cryptids like Bigfoot and Mothman have largely been turned into a meme as of late, but there is still no denying that initial thrill when you see something somewhat inhuman looking at you from the dark. 

Listen on Stitcher or download on Itunes

5. Euphomet 

Unlike the other podcasts on this list, Euphomet is about human beings. Podcast host Jim Perry states that it is a show that focuses on the “human side” of esoteric hauntings. Through the stories of real strange encounters, he looks at what these ghosts and UFO sightings have to say about human being’s relationship with the unseen. 

He uses old radio diaries as well as atmospheric music to really capture the feel of listening to an old AM channel you just so happened to stumble upon late at night. He features anyone from filmmakers, to oracles, to paranormal investigators. 

Listen on Stitcher or download on Itunes

RELATED: 8 Best True Crime Podcasts For People Who Just Love Being Scared

Jessica Xing is a writer who covers media, culture, and how they impact relationships.