I love Halloween, but this year I am living abroad and completely missed out on the holiday. I spent the night of October 31st on a 4-hour bus ride through rural Israel suffering from debilitating motion sickness with nothing but pitch black out the windows. The only thing that saved my Halloween and my sanity on that bus was the Lore podcast that I had loaded on my iPod a few days before. Lore – produced, researched, recorded, basically everything by writer Aaron Mahnke – explores the true stories behind the urban legends, creepy stories, myths, and the unexplained. Each episode is 20-30 minutes long. I easily breezed through 6 or 7 of them that night and finished catching up on the rest the following week. I am totally hooked.
Lore has 21 episodes out right now – available on iTunes or the Lore website. The storytelling is superb and the topics so far offer a good variety of topics. Some of the episodes may be things you already know about; for example, if you’ve read Devil in the White City, you can probably skip episode 8, “The Castle.” Other episodes are pretty obscure, like episode 4, “Dinner at the Afterglow.” The one that stuck with me the most was episode 7, “In the Woods,” both because it takes place in Massachusetts where I live most of the time (Aaron lives there too so several of the episodes are based in the Northeast) and because there is one creepy story about a guy and his dog getting beckoned into the woods by some kind of creature and it just really got to me. The episode about the doll – “Unboxed” – was also quite good, and I’ve seen the story of Robert the doll show up on other websites recently after listening to the episode.
Aaron has a form on the Lore website where you can suggest topics for future shows. If any of you horror buffs out there want to find out what is behind your favorite legends, drop him a line.
Weird U.S. series by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman (they also have a website)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz, terrifyingly illustrated by Stephen Gammell