It’s Friday the 13th. Let’s get spooky.
I chug podcasts. I’ve listened to more than 30 in their entirety. I also have a bit of a tendency to delight in the macabre. Luckily, I’m not alone as America seems to be having a true crime renaissance. So here are some of the true crime, supernatural, and just downright weird podcasts that I have vetted and deemed appropriate for getting you in the Halloween spirit. And 5 more that I just couldn’t get into.
WARNING: Almost all of these podcasts contain adult themes, language, and lots of potential triggers (violence, sexual violence, etc.). These are really not for kids and not for anyone squeamish.
In this exceptional piece of investigative journalism, a skilled reporter digs deep into the infamous Jacob Wetterling case.
For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers. Reporter Madeleine Baran reveals how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raise questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.
If you’re a fan of Snap Judgement (and you should be if you’re not yet), then you know that their annual Halloween episode is always bananas. They turned it into a dedicated podcast.
“Spooked features true-life supernatural stories, told firsthand by people who can barely believe it happened themselves. Be afraid. Created in the dark of night, by Snap Judgment and WNYC Studios.”
This is a comedy podcast. About murder.
It is not for everyone. But the fans are diehard and the hosts have traveled the globe taking this show live on stage after it made a rocket rise to the top of the podcast charts last year. If you love true crime but also get really bummed out by crappy reenactments and/or get emotionally bogged down in the sadness of the human condition… this might be the show for you.
This podcast is about crime. The episodes are brief portraits of crime in some capacity. Could be theft, could be murder, could be a general injustice…
“Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.”
This is a cool episode about an LAPD dive officer who had to search the La Brea Tar Pits.
Here’s my disclaimer: this one is weird and I find it a little hit or miss. But when the episodes are good, they’re really riveting. The intro is cheesy, I keep hoping they’ll do away with it.
“Here Be Monsters is a podcast created by and for people interested in pursuing their fears and facing the unknown.”
Some good episodes include:
- This one about Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate Cult
- This one about McNeil Island in Washington State where America once isolated pedophiles
Same genre, but not my favorites:
- Sword and Scale- This dude is overly salacious, cheesy, and biased. I dislike his lack of reverence for the subjects.
- Last Podcast on the Left– I want to like it… but I dunno, I just can’t get into it. Feels like morning shock jocks talking about true crime.
- True Crime Garage– These guys argue with each other too much. They also play 911 calls, which are often really upsetting.
- Up and Vanished– This guy talks way too fast and there’s a weird effect on his voice… Though I should probably give him another chance because lots of people love this one.
- Mysteries Abound– Couldn’t get past the intro music. But I’ve heard from people who like it.