In honor of Halloween, today's Best of Podcasts list is dedicated to true crime and other similarly terrifying subjects like hauntings and cults. COOL.
I don't know what's wrong with me, but lately when I need a break from the horror story that is America RN, I've been turning to true crime. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
Welp, regardless of what's wrong with me, I'm not stopping any time soon, because this is what I'm hooked on:
ABC is the latest to jump on the "Serial"-style bandwagon and investigate an unsolved murder that took place in NYC in 2003 (AWWW, the very same year I moved there as a naive college freshman <3). These are short episodes, but I'm enjoying the gritty New Yorkyness of the cops, if not the impossibly preppy names of the main players (Burke, Rory, Forrest...honestly you would think these people were made up, but they're not).
I heard about "Cults" from "Fictional," and decided to give it a go, since I've always been intrigued by cults. It's new, so I was able to listen to them all up to now. The hosts Vanessa and Greg first discuss the psychology around the cult leaders and followers and then get into the stories behind cult phenomena, which I can't wrap my head around but never ceases to fascinate me.
And "Cults" led me to discover "Haunted Places," a new podcast hosted by Greg of "Cults." I'm not really a horror movie type of person, but I do love getting creeped out by ghost stories, and I've been thoroughly enjoying this one, also relatively new.
Vanessa and Greg ALSO co-host "Serial Killers," which is formatted pretty much the same as "Cults." It's actually probably the most disturbing one because, surprise surprise, serial killers tend to have some SERIOUSLY fucked up childhoods, but I still can't help but listen and learn about their stories.
From the L.A. Times, "Dirty John" is a six-part series similar in format to "S-Town," in that it just tells a compelling real-life story. I found it simply because it was at the top of the podcast charts, and for good reason. The title character is basically just a giant douche lord, and you pretty much know exactly where the story is going to go from the first episode on, but the question, as always, is how will they get there?
I gave "Lore" a go a while back, before I actually used the podcast app on my phone when I was still listening to podcasts primarily from my laptop. I kind of forgot about it until I noticed Amazon launched a "Lore" miniseries for Halloween. Host Aaron Mahnke explores the true history behind scary stories and myths, and both the TV version and the podcast are super compelling. Scott and I recently watched the second episode, which is about lobotomies, prompting him to offer to give me a lobotomy so I won't worry about Trump so much. Aww, love!
OK I am SO PISSED I didn't discover this one until a couple weeks ago, AKA, several weeks after hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark HAD A LIVE SHOW IN BALTIMORE GODDAMMIT. They told the story of Joseph Palczynski. REMEMBER THAT GUY? The guy who shot a bunch of people around Dundalk and Bowley's Quarters? I vaguely remember the dumb police chief being on the local news. Anyway, I love love love this podcast. Seriously, cannot get enough of these two. They are hilarious comedians who recount, welp, their favorite murders. People send in their hometown stories and other creepy stories, and it's just great. Spooky and fucking hilarious.
HAHAHAHA, GET IT?! TRUE CRIME? SPOOKY? SCARY?
Happy Halloween, and even happier birthday to my partner in (fake) crime, Jen!