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October 2021


7 Spooky Podcasts to Chill Your Blood

October 19, 2021
spooky podcasts scary halloween ghost stories

Gather around the fire, fetch a cup of something steaming to sip, and steel yourself for a fright—it’s time for ghost stories. Of course, these days you only need a pair of headphones and a phone or computer, but…let’s keep the mood, right? If you fancy sending a delicious chill up your spine and have made it through your scary movies watchlist, these spooky podcasts have you covered.


spooky gals podcasts scary ghost stories haunted

Spooky Gals

If you’re into gathering with friends to tell ghostly tales, Spooky Gals is for you. A bit goofy and a bit spine-tingling, this podcast from two British girls covers all things paranormal and generally creepy, from haunted locations to legends, curses, and folklore. There’s a great dynamic between the two hosts: one tells a haunting story in a suitably mystic, eerie voice (she has a perfect ghost story voice)—which her co-host frequently interrupts with irreverent comments that send them onto hilarious tangents. It’s a charming mix of well-researched haunted info, atmospheric chill, comedy, and a convivial mood that makes you feel like you’re cozied up with friends.

black tapes podcast scary ghost stories

The Black Tapes

I listened to this one while walking alone at night—which let me tell you, was a mistake. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like this show would be all that scary; the premise is journalist/host Alex Reagan launching a podcast about interesting jobs. The first subject: paranormal investigators. Then things get increasingly unsettling. Tumbling down a rabbit hole—and straight into a mystery—Alex launches into an investigation with enigmatic paranormal debunker Richard Strand into a series of chilling encounters. But it turns out Strand has a few secrets of his own. This docudrama from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale reads enough like a true documentary that you’ll be sucked into its world—and its alluring terror.

haunted places podcast ghost stories spooky

Haunted Places

Part haunted history, part ghost story, Haunted Places from the Parcast network tells the tales of real-life spooky places and legends. Each story is dramatized with imagined accounts of people and events linked to haunted places, so that you feel like you’re in the middle of the fright fest, and then the histories and facts (such as they are) are recounted. The result is both informative and enthralling—and quite chilling. (As a note: the sound effects in these stories are spot-on, but the descriptions and effects can get a bit graphic—it certainly sets the mood, but if you’re squeamish, you might want to be aware.)

scare you to sleep podcast ghost stories haunted

Scare You To Sleep

You might not expect spooky podcasts to be soothing, but that’s exactly the point of Scare You To Sleep. The episodes are eerie and unsettling, of course, but it’s impossible not to be lulled into a dreamy mood by host Shelby Scott’s smooth, dulcet voice. She covers a mix of all things spooky, from classic ghost tales to listener-submitted fiction, true horror and haunting accounts, “guided nightmares,” and even a bit of ASMR. Think of it as akin to the pleasantly cozy chill you get from curling up with a blanket on a blustery, rainy night to read ghostly tales and mysteries.

haunted places ghost stories podcast spooky

Haunted Places: Ghost Stories

For the ghost story purists out there, Haunted Places: Ghost Stories evokes the sense of sitting by a flickering fireplace for a little spooky storytelling with an old friend or relative. Simple, but haunting. The show covers eerie tales from around the world by terror icons such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and Algernon Blackwood as well as more obscure stories and legends woven over time. Many are from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, conjuring that Victorian spiritualism mood, though there’s quite a variety of other options to explore also. And let’s be realistic—ghost stories always sound better with a British accent.

haunted road podcast spooky scary ghost stories

Haunted Road

Ghost stories are perfect for sending a delicious tingle up your spine or cozying up on a chilly night. But they’re just stories…right? If you want to dig a little deeper than tales and legends, Haunted Road presents a mix of haunted history and paranormal investigation. Hosted by Kindred Spirits and Ghost Hunters star Amy Bruni, this spooky podcast investigates the backstories and legends of haunted locales, then speaks to people who have spent time there themselves. I’ve never been a watcher of paranormal shows, but the glimpse into the processes and experiences of these investigators was unexpectedly fascinating. Even if you don’t believe in the paranormal aspect, the extensive knowledge of haunted places and insightful interviews will keep you hooked. Though she clearly believes in ghosts, Bruni doesn’t try to make up your mind for you—she just presents the facts as she’s found them and leaves it up to you to decide if you believe.

light house podcast haunted ghost stories

Light House

There are things that lurk in the darkness, and woe betide anyone who disturbs their slumber. When eleven-year-old Tara Hollis and her family move into their recently inherited ancestral home in 1963, it seems like their fortunes are looking up. But Tara and her little sister soon start to sense a sinister presence in the house, watching them. Something is waiting, and it isn’t waiting to welcome them…This nine-part serialized drama jumps around in time, delving into the dark history of Light House from 1938 to 2001. As the story progresses, a creeping sense of dreads builds as you wait to find out what exactly prowls the dark corners of Light House—and whether anyone will make it out alive.


9 Gothic Horror Movies for Spooky Season

October 10, 2021
gothic horror movies scary spooky haunted house

It’s finally October, which means festive fall activities, cozy days, and of course, ghost stories. Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: I don’t do gore or slasher flicks. If that’s your thing — cool, but you’re not going to find that on this list. My brand of Halloween horror is of the gothic ilk: eerie tales, spooky haunted mansions, ghostly goings-on, fog and mystery and dark secrets. That might not be in keeping with current slasher trends, but there are plenty of delightfully gothic tales, classic and modern, to chill your blood. So without further ado, here are the gothic horror movies I’ll be watching to get into the spooky spirit.


Crimson Peak (2015)

In this Victorian-era dark romance from Guillermo Del Toro, a young American heiress and author (Mia Wasikowska) marries an English baronet (Tom Hiddleston) and moves into the ancestral home that he and his sister (Jessica Chastain) live in, a looming, decaying mansion (of course). Like any good gothic story, gruesome ghostly figures and dark secrets soon begin to seep out of the woodwork.

crimson peak gothic horror movies mia wasikowska

Image courtesy IMDb

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Nothing screams “Halloween” like the headless horseman (and Tim Burton), right? Based on Washington Irving’s classic ghost tale, Sleepy Hollow tells the story of a New York City constable (Johnny Depp) who travels to an odd little town to investigate the rampages of a ghostly headless horseman — and ends up with a lot more terror, murder, and secrecy than he bargained for. Yes, it’s a little campy, but the eerie mood and dramatic hauntings are perfect for a cozy October night.

The Woman in Black (2012)

A gloomy, remote village, an isolated manor house, and a vengeful ghost — it doesn’t get much more gothic than that. In Edwardian England, a young lawyer (Daniel Radcliffe) travels to a village on the marshes to deal with the estate of a recently deceased woman. Once there, however, he’s met with uncanny happenings in the old manor house and legends of a sinister figure preying on the children of the town. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, this dark tale is bound to send a chill up your spine.

The Awakening (2011)

In 1920s England, a writer (Rebecca Hall) who exposes fraudulent spiritualists is called to investigate a supposedly haunted boys’ boarding school. Intending to set to rest any idea of ghosts, she ends up questioning her skeptical beliefs — and uncovering deeply buried secrets. To be honest, this movie is part spooky ghost story and part dark mystery, but the eerie setting at an isolated boys’ school and the ghostly happenings give it a distinctly gothic mood (and there are a few heart-stopping moments, never fear).

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

Based on the novel by Shirley Jackson (a master of the horror tale), this is the quintessential haunted house story, infused with Jackson’s classic sense of dread and mystery. The Netflix limited series (one of many Haunting of Hill House remakes) follows five siblings, both as children exploring the creepy Hill House and as adults, returning years after tragedy forces them to flee the house. As they dig into the sinister mansion, it seems the family slowly begins to go mad — or is terrorized by the house itself and its dark history.

The Orphanage (2007)

Is there anything spookier than a former orphanage? In this Spanish film, a woman (Belén Rueda) returns to the orphanage where she grew up — an imposing seaside manor house — with her husband and young son, Simón. Simón soon makes a mysterious friend who wears a sack mask — and then he disappears. The search for Simón unearths the tragic story of the orphanage, a dark past that continues to haunt the house and its residents.

orphanage gothic horror movies scary

Image courtesy of IMDb

House of Usher (1960)

No one does horror quite like Edgar Allan Poe. Based on the 1839 short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” this eerie tale follows a young man venturing into the bleak, swamp-surrounded mansion of his fiancée’s family and features a possible cursed bloodline, likely madness, and certainly sinister plotting. The film is part of the so-called Corman-Poe cycle, a series of eight films created by director Roger Corman based off Poe stories (any of which are perfect for Halloween viewing), and features the master of old-time film horror, Vincent Price, as a deliciously deranged Roderick Usher. While modern viewers might find the dramatic acting a little over the top, there’s no denying the spine-tingling weirdness and macabre thrill of a good Poe story (and seriously, do yourself a favor and watch some Vincent Price).

The Haunted Palace (1963)

Ok, I just couldn’t resist including another Poe-Corman-Price one here (though The Haunted Palace is actually based more on an H.P. Lovecraft story and has a more supernatural/fantasy vibe). Plus, what’s Halloween without a witch story? In 1765, the residents of a Massachusetts town suspect the owner of the castle looming over their village of being a warlock and burn him at the stake — and he, of course, vows revenge. In 1875, the warlock’s descendant and his wife arrive in town, and strange things begin to happen. Has the warlock possessed his descendant to carry out his revenge?

The Changeling (1980)

In the time-honored tradition of haunted mansions and creepy ghost children, The Changeling tells the story of a widowed composer (George C. Scott) who moves into a Victorian mansion and is soon tormented by spooky happenings. Upon investigating, he uncovers a twisted past linked to the death of a little boy in the house nearly a century before. Like many movies from the ’80s, this one is a bit hokey, but it still creates a delightfully eerie web of dark secrets and things that go bump in the night — and apparently, it’s based on a true story from film writer Russell Hunter (make of that what you will).


And because part of the fun of Halloween is the nostalgia of childhood trick-or-treating and spooks, I would be remiss not to mention a few classic Halloween favorites, even if they’re not exactly gothic horror movies. We may not be ten years old anymore (at least, I’m not…usually), but you’re never too old to wait for the Great Pumpkin with Linus in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) or battle an evil witch curse (and see Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker at their zany best) with Hocus Pocus (1993). I also love to take a trip to the crazy charm of the 24/7, 365 Halloween world of Halloweentown (1998) and, of course, the deliciously macabre home of The Addams Family (1991).

Happy spooky season!