The season is upon us, the season of ghosts, haunts, haints, and the delightful chill of dark tales whispered at the dead of night. Over the last two weeks on Twitter (hint: follow me @WriterOdell) I've shared some of my favorite horror podcast stories to help set the mood and I wanted to add a few more to the list because, let's face it, you can't have enough scary stories. So, in no particular order:
- "The Great Old Pumpkin" (Drabblecast #136) by John Aegard, read by Norm Sherman, is a dark, funny mash-up of the Peanuts comic strip and H.P. Lovecraft. With the help of a strange pilot in a Spothwith Camel, an investigator searches for the Great Old One as it rises from the pumpkin patch. Giggly and creepy at once.
- "The Signalman" (Pseudopod #375) by Charles Dickens, read by Ian Stuart, is a classic ghost story. A visitor to a lonesome post outside a railway tunnel has a dread fear of a strange figure seen at night. A classic ghost story.
- "57 Reasons For The Slate Quarry Suicides" (Nightmare Magazine #15) by Sam J. Miller, read by Paul Boehmer, won the Shirley Jackson Award for its portrayal of a young man with a terrible power who discovers, too late, the cost. Heartbreaking and chilling at once.
- Double the fun with "Oil of Dog" by Ambrose Bierce, read by Ben Phillips, and "Horror of the Heights" by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Alasdair Stuart (Pseudopod #200). The first is gritty and creepy, the second a tale of adventure gone horribly wrong. Both worth it.
- "A Voice In The Night" (Tales To Terrify #29) by William Hope Hodgeson, read by Lawerence Santoro. A schooner hears a lonely voice in the night from a man begging food and warning them away from a nearby island. Slow, creeping horror here.
- "Returned" (Nightmare Magazine #28) by Kat Howard, read by Gabrielle de Cuir. Death, rebirth, abuse, and revenge, merge into a dark tale of leaving the land of the dead and what happens next. Wonderfully dark.
- "The Goat Cutter" (Drabblecast #321) by Jay Lake, read by Norm Sherman. The tale of a boy, his friend, and the devil in a backwoods trailer. Southern Gothic horror at its finest. Very creepy.
- "The Gateway of the Monster" (Podcastle #179) by William Hope Hodgeson, read by Paul Boehmer. This is the first story featuring Carnacki the Ghost Hunter. A strange haunted house, a terrified staff, and the mystery of slamming doors. Classic haunted house tale, and a fine one.
There you have it, a selection of horror stories new and old to tingle the spine and thrill the ears this Halloween. What are some of your favorite horror podcasts? Leave a comment and let me know, or listen to some of the great stories above and tell me what you think. If you like what you hear, as always I encourage you to donate a couple of dollars, or buy a subscription, to help keep these great podcasts going.
And until next time, gentle listeners, keep your ears open. Happy Halloween!