My top choices for 2019 (so far…) 10 Fiction/10 Nonfiction
More and more people are jumping on the podcast bandwagon. But… Is it even really a bandwagon anymore? It’s an entirely separate, individual media outlet. Much like TV, radio, blogs, books and magazines. So, let’s think of it as a media outlet instead. Nonetheless, podcasts are booming in popularity and listenership.
Three of the hottest and consistently growing podcast genres are, as the title states, paranormal, supernatural, and horror. Below, I’ll give you my top 20 favorites by giving you 10 in fiction and 10 in nonfiction. I’ll also let you know what they’re rated and my short take on each.
They are available on iTunes, Spotify, and other podcast sites. There will be links to all.
Top 10 Nonfiction:
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (31.8K ratings)
This is an enjoyable, short, historical podcast that tells the listeners where popular myths, legends, and folk tales originated. It’s the dark side of human nature and history. Things like vampires, werewolves, the wendigo and so many others. It was so well received that Amazon Prime Video adapted a series out of it. Lore podcast link.
2. Hillbilly Horror Stories
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (2K ratings)
A fun, informative paranormal discussion podcast hosted by the homely, friendly and funny husband and wife duo, Jerry and Tracey. Whom also happen to both be comedic and sweet with silly southern demeanors. These episodes run a little long (just over an hour), but contain full stories and goofy interactions. In every episode they show support to service members and military personnel, as well as those in need of help for depression and suicide. Hillbilly Horror Stories podcast link.
3. Bizarre States
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (1.3K ratings)
I question listing this one for two reasons: First, they’ve been on a hiatus since the holiday season with no idea whether or not they’ll be returning. Second, the two hosts have a tendency to place their personal political and social opinions in episodes that have nothing to do with those topics. Which is probably why they have nearly as many 1-star ratings as they do 4-star ratings. Nonetheless, this one is informative, bizarre, absurdly weird at times and filled with interesting guests. It’s fun to listen to. Bizarre States podcast link.
4. Sip Happens
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (21 ratings)
In defense of rating comparisons, this podcast is new. It just started in mid-March of 2019 and isn’t owned or managed by any media companies. The two hosts, Renin and Katie have a way about them where the listener feels like they’re sitting in the same room, listening to crazy experiences and spooky stories. It’s silly, entertaining and will definitely keep the sleepy listener awake. The episodes run about an hour and they’re regularly working on improving the show, so be patient and enjoy. Sip Happens podcast link.
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (9K ratings)
This is a good one and very informative! Yes, it’s about different cults around the world but it’s also teen acceptable. There’s no swearing or overly descriptive details. It seems to be factually accurate to me. It is owned by a larger media company that produces several other podcasts, so it has more of a commercial feel to it. The episodes run 20 – 80 minutes and are often times done in two or three parts each. Cults podcast link.
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (7.7K ratings)
If you’re into music, specifically rock & roll and classic rock you’ll love this. But, throw in an extra dose of true crime and tough love. Now you’ve got a good show. This podcast talks about the true stories behind famous bands and their members; their crazy lives, parties, drugs, homicide, suicide, and more. It’s a wild ride. Disgraceland podcast link.
7. Haunted Places
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (4.9K ratings)
Any given place with a long history can be a paranormal minefield. You’re neighbors colonial style home, the grocery store you used to work at, a mortuary turned thrift store… It doesn’t have to be a haunted mansion, cemetery, or battlefield to be haunted. This podcast takes you on an adventure of all the haunted places you’ve probably never heard of. You get to learn the scary history behind the places and whether they’re simply stories or not. Haunted Places podcast link.
8. Serial Killers
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (15.1K ratings)
This show is managed by the same media company as Cults and Haunted Places, but it’s professionally produces and aged down for a teenage audience if they have an interest in the subject. I guarantee you will learn about several serial killers you’ve never heard of. Oh, and don’t be mistaken, this isn’t only United States and United Kingdom killers. This is the whole globe. Yeah. Serial Killers podcast link.
9. Root of Evil
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (11.6K ratings)
The Black Dahlia, one of the greatest unsolved cases. Even more than seventy years later. This is a documentary series with interviews and discussions from descendants of Dr. George Hodel, who was believed to be the primary suspect. Listen to previously unheard audio and follow along for yourself as the producers and hosts work to put the pieces together. Root of Evil podcast link.
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (3.94K ratings)
Unexplainable real-life events that evade what we thought was real. Mysteries that should have an easily or justifiably realistic explanation. Eerie, strange, terrifying, and disturbing. Words that describe this show. This is another podcast that tells you an interesting history that you’ve probably never heard of. Unexplained podcast link.
Top 10 Fiction:
- Alice isn’t Dead
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (3.9K ratings)
I’ll be honest with you, this one was a bit harder for me to get into, but I gave it a chance and it pulled me in soon after. It’s strange, unusual, and bizarre, but it’s a good story. In my opinion, this is one of the better know audio dramas in the supernatural/horror genre. Follow the main character as she searches for her wife that went missing. She drives a semi truck around the country, running into killer monster-men. Alice isn’t Dead podcast link.
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (2.3K ratings)
A creepy pasta is an internet horror story that gets passed around between forums, blogs, and social media. That’s what this podcast is all about. Horror stories posted and found online. It’s similar to fishing, but digital, and your bait is a story that might scare the shit out of you and leave you wondering if it’s actually only fiction. There are some real nail-biters and a few let downs, but it’s great fun to listen along. Creepy podcast link.
3. Knifepoint Horror
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (1.5K ratings)
This one is possibly my favorite in the fiction list. Soren Narnia, the creator and narrator, has a talent at creating a haunting tale with believable characters. Almost as if it was somebody we once knew who is down on luck with no way out. I’ve listened to ever single episode and enjoyed just about all of them. Horrors that could, somehow, someway, exist in our world. Knifepoint Horror podcast link.
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (6.7K ratings)
I just recently got caught up on this one. It is owned by an umbrella media company that manages several other successful fictional supernatural podcasts. The company sometimes allows crossovers between each show. In this one we follow the main character, who is a journalist, as he learns about a strange “thing” happening in the world called Tanis. Is it a cult, a government conspiracy, an ancient curse? We don’t know yet, but it’s very powerful in the Pacific Northwest. Tanis podcast link.
5. The NoSleep Podcast
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (7.7K ratings)
A horror story subreddit turned podcast, this is a good one. Similar to Creepy, but every story is professionally narrated and each individual story is typically written by a different author. Followers of the subreddit would write their own scary short story and then post it. After stories piled up for a while, the narrators decided to create a professional audio form of every one. The stories are usually unique and pull at the listeners attention. The NoSleep Podcast link.
6. Wrong Station
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (105 ratings)
Short horror stories with top-notch voice acting and eerie music. This story anthology podcast shares creepy stories told through a radio station like platform. Many stories are original, some seem more known but with a unique twist. The hosts and narrators know how to turn creepy words into a creepy production. Wrong Station podcast.
7. We’re Alive (Gold Rush)
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (6.62K ratings)
A classic style radio drama, updated for today with a full sound design and a large cast of actors. The quality and skill of the narrators is high quality, even if some of the writing falls short. It does get better with each consecutive season. This one is on par with The Walking Dead, but for your ears only. You can actually connect with the characters and commit to their feelings and emotions. We’re Alive podcast.
8. The Cult Classic Horror Show
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (220 ratings)
It’s fun and games and all things horror in this podcast. Interviews, current events and behind the scenes of your favorite horror shows. The hosts will interview actors, directors, horror nerds and anyone else they can get their hands on. They also do weekly contests for their listeners where they can win horror gear. Old movies, new movies, cult classics, b-movies and this low-budget forgettable horror films. The Cult Classic Horror Show podcast.
9. Nocturnal Transmissions
iTunes rating: 5/5 stars (173 ratings)
A voice actor, Kristin Holland, performs dark horror short stories both modern and classic. You get to hear the stories from renowned writers like Lovecraft, Poe and Shakespeare as well as more contemporary writers. Kristin appears on other major horror productions such as Simply Scary podcast, Creepypasta and Chilling Tales of Dread. This one is another “short story turned voice narrated” podcast, but it’s of the high quality sort. Nocturnal Transmissions podcast.
10. The Dark Verse
iTunes rating: 4.5/5 stars (268 ratings)
A show that falls within the Lovecraftian-type of horror, written and narrated by M. Amanuensis Sharkchild. This podcast shares short stories of the occult, metaphysical and fantastical horror that may just give you nightmares. Some of the prose are overblown, but the stories, for the most part, fall within the same top quality as the above mentioned podcasts. These spooky stories will follow you into your dreams. The Dark Verse podcast.
That’s it! Those are my top 20 picks for 2019. I hope you give some or all of them a try. And, if you do, remember to leave them a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or whichever program you use to listen.