Who knew all you needed to be convinced to sleep with the lights on was a pair of headphones?
The podcasting community has perfected the genre of the hair-raising and the unexplained, be it a true crime serial, stories of unexplained phenomenon, or fictional horrors read out by a group of actors like the radio shows of decades past. There is an entire genre of spooky podcasts dedicated to exploring these topics in both great – and occasionally comedic – detail and we can't get enough of it.
If we're honest, we spend at least as much time talking to our friends about podcasts as we do TV shows or movies. The only way to make a scary podcast better is to share it with your friends so you can talk about how the shocking twists and unexpected turns it takes. Also, so you have the option of not listening to it alone. You know, not because it's too scary, but because it's more fun that way.
We've put together a list of some of our favorite hair-raising podcasts for your listening enjoyment.
To Live And Die In LA
Most true crime podcasts recount stories years or decades after they happen, but that's where To Live and Die in LA is different. It takes you inside the multi-state investigation into the disappearance of an aspiring actress as it happens.
The No Sleep Podcast
If you've been looking for a podcast that reminds you of the scary stories you and your friends used to tell around a campfire – but better – look no further. The No Sleep Podcast was inspired by the r/nosleep page on Reddit. So if you love Reddit deep dives and spooky horror stories, this is your podcast.
Root of Evil
Seventy years later, and the Black Dahlia murder remains one of America's most infamous, unsolved crimes. After an investigation conducted by his very own son, many believe that Dr. George Hodel was the murderer. Root of Evil tells the story of the family of Hodel's family and the dark secrets that affected them over generations.
Man In The Window
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, Paige St. Johnson, uncovers never revealed before details about the man who would become the Golden State Killer. This LA Times podcast traces his early crimes through the stories of victims and law enforcement who were first put on the case.
This bi-weekly podcast covers stories that could easily be turned into Twilight Zone episodes. The only thing more unsettling than these strange and mysterious happenings is that they evade explanation. Unexplained tries to offer an explanation to these phenomenons.
Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad
What happens when you bring a retired cold case detective and an investigative journalist together? You get a deep dive into a myriad of unsolved cases. What makes this podcast different is that they aren't just relying on their own expertise to try and solve the cases, but they call on their listeners to send in tips and theories.
Someone Knows Something
So much of solving crimes is about tracking down the right people, because at the end of the day, someone knows something. That is exactly what Someone Knows Something host, David Ridgen, does. He joins victims' family members in tracking down leads and searching for answers.
The Ballad Of Billy Balls
The second season in the Crimetown anthology series that brought you The RFK Tapes, The Ballad of Billy Balls tells the tragic and mysterious murder of punk musician Billy Balls in New York City in 1982. It gets weirder. When his girlfriend, Rebecca Wright, went to plan his funeral, she discovered that he had already been buried in an anonymous common grave never to be found again.
This Podcast Will Kill You
If you've ever wondered about infectious diseases and the likelihood you might get them – because who hasn't? – listen on. This Podcast Will Kill You is hosted by ecologists and epidemiologists, Erin Welsh and Erin Allman Updyke, who take historic diseases and make them scintillating dinner party conversation.
"Sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction." Or so the Lore catchphrase goes. This iconic, hair-raising podcast prides itself on finding true stories that are scarier than anything you could dream up. This bi-weekly podcast has been turned into a TV show and a book series, so it's unlikely you will run out of binge-able content.