Not done watching horror movies? Dreading the lack of skeletons and goblins decorating your neighborhood? Don’t worry, I feel you. Halloween withdrawals are real. Fear not faithful followers. We have some remedies.
It’s a crowded world for podcasters; which can be both a blessing and a curse for the listeners. With so much content knowing where to look can be a bit of a hassle.
Fort Awkward has two wonderful podcasts run by a husband and wife duo. Weesee, as the name implies, is a straightforward review show. The couple watch new releases or forgotten videos and give you the low down. Campfire has more of an audience participation aspect to it, which takes the engagement to another level.
Welcome to Night Vale – if you want some spooky fun without the guts and gore, Welcome to Night Vale might be for you. If you’ve never listened to it – shame on you – it is a mix between League of Gentlemen, NPR, and The X-Files. Night Vale takes the form of a radio show in a town brimming with strange occurrences. Ghosts, shadowy government agents, dragons, and cultists are among the more normal things that occur in the town of Night Vale. It is easily one of the funniest most original podcasts ever.
If you want some more traditional horror check out Limetown, The Black Tapes, or Lore.
And don’t forget our own Halloween Special flash fiction contest winner podcast.
I won’t shop at Wal-mart, I hate corporate culture, and yet …I love me some Audible. Like Walt Whitman said “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes” Audible has a fantastic collection. There are of course classics like Stephen King, Lovecraft, Poe, Ann Rice, Laura K Hamilton and many, many others. But here are some recommendations you may not have heard of…
The Fisherman By John Langan likes to take his time with a tale. So if you are looking for the quick and gory – he’s not your man. But The Fisherman is a brilliantly executed tale of drama and Lovecraftian horror. Langan spend much of his time talking about dramatic elements of human life, grief, loneliness, relationships, etc. But, he’s so good at it I wouldn’t have cared if the horror never arrived. Yet, once it came I was consumed with the rest of the book. He creates a
Also check out his short story collection: The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
Forget the 80’s movie, Whitley Strieber’s novel The Wolfen is one of the most unique twists on the werewolf myth out there. Instead of magical transformations the “werewolves” are creatures evolved from wolves. As smart as humans with unmatched natural strength and speed; they have for survived by passing as stray animals feeding only on those that won’t be missed. When two police officers are killed the creatures existence is threatens and they will do anything to protect their secret. Intelligent, engaging, and utterly terrifying. This is a can’t miss book. (You won’t find it on Audible but if you can track down the abridged version read by Roddy McDowell – do it!)
World War Z – By Max Brooks (movie tie in edition) – Max Brooks’s sprawling story chronicles a global zombie invasion that nearly wipes out humanity. Brooks takes a realistic look at how socio-political aspects of humanity impact our responses to the epidemic. The movie tie-in edition of WWZ is a the complete unabridged version of the text with a full cast. Not only is WWZ the greatest zombie novel, it is one of the greatest audio books of all time. WWZ (Movie Tie in edition) boasts a cast including Mark Hamil, Henry Rollins, Nathon FIllion, Alan Tudyk and many, many more.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – Katherine Mulgrew pulls out a stellar performance as the narrator for Joe Hill’s tale of a vampiric like monster who steals children and takes them to “Christmas Land.” (Its scarier than it sounds)
But also Audible isn’t the only one out there.
Last year we wrote an article about spooky stories on Spotify. There are loads of audio books on Spotify, not just horror either. But it is a great source for free fiction. But if you have a membership to a public library there are even more options. Many of the options on Audible will be found there. Hoopla, Overdrive, and RBDigital are excellent sources of free audio books.
If your not looking for the latest Stephen King and are willing to delve back into the dark arts of early modern horror or older your options grow even more. Librivox is an organization that does audio books from titles in the public domain. Narrators range from wonderfully talented small stage actors to people who should likely do something else in their free time. But its free to take a peak and you can find the works of Poe, Lovecraft, Bierce and others.
With Creepy Pastas and so many other amateur storytellers out there, YouTube is another great place; my personal favorite at the moment is Horror Babble which, like Librivox, focuses on older tales (but has better narration.)
Streaming services are nothing new. Quite the opposite, we have a plethora of content at our fingertips these days.
Too many choices can be a problem too. Where do we start?
Amazon has, by far, the largest selection. That doesn’t always mean the best selection. Amazon has lots of crap. Some very old tiles that were never good to begin with and haven’t gotten better with age. There are lots of indie films (a form of horror which is near and dear to me) which weren’t financed by larger studios (or even small ones) for good reason.
Hulu is the middle of the road. Its content isn’t gigantic but it is strong. There is a solid mix of various sub-genres, indie films, classic titles, TV shows, and original content.
Netflix has a history of being iffy on horror. And, 2019 has not been a great year in terms of horror for the streaming giant. Netflix’s movement to creating more original content has hampered that even further. 2019 was something of a dismal year for Netflix horror movies. However, the original content is yielding some interesting results that are well worth checking out.
By far though, Shudder is the best bang for your buck. For around $5 a month you get original content, unique indies, classic titles, and a growing number of series. You can check out our further thoughts here.
Also much like audiobooks, if you have access to Hoopla, Kanopy, and others have great titles in there as well.
And if your looking for books check out the latest Paul Picks here.