The 17 Best Horror Podcasts Of 2018

Listen to these horror podcasts for a frightening good time

Listening to a horror podcast
Listening to a horror podcast.

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The best horror podcasts are like that scene in Kill Bill where "The Bride" is buried alive and the screen suddenly goes dark. We can see nothing, only hear, our sense of dread building, our mind filling in the blanks. All the possible outcomes we conjure up are equally horrifying.

There are a shocking number of horror podcasts out there. Here are our 17 favorite horror podcasts, spanning true crime, ghost tales and supernatural delights. But first, a note of caution: we chose podcasts suitable for most listeners, but many do discuss murder, violence, and explore our phobias. Some listeners may find the content disturbing. 

The Dark Verse podcast offers classic tales of horror and fright.

The Dark Verse offers up classic tales of horror and fright, splayed with musings on the occult. It's a great horror podcast to dive into, with stories of the demented and the ghostly. 

What We Like

  • They make it a point to limit foul language, despite the material covered.
  • The impressive range of spooky stories and dark topics covered.

What We Don't Like

  • The same people narrating and acting all the stories limits the scare quotient. 
A true crime horror podcast that's all too real. Getty Images 

The Apex & The Abyss focuses on "the true stories behind what keeps you awake at night and afraid of the dark." These aural bursts of murder and mayhem are pleasing though often frightfully short.

What We Like

  • It's the perfect horror podcast for binging, like when you're alone in a hotel with nothing on television except another HLN marathon of Forensic Files. 

What We Don't Like

  • A lack of dramatic pacing limits the impact of these grisly tales.
A horror podcast that takes place in the American South. Getty Images 

The Moonlit Road is a horror podcast that focuses on ghost stories and dark legends which emanate from the American South. Nostalgic tales of a time gone by, told with an earnestness that brings the spooky past to life. 

What We Like

  • The Southern twang and smart use of atmospheric sound effects give these tales a sense of realness. 

What We Don't Like

  • We wish there were more episodes. 
Another great horror podcast with a focus on true crime.

Generation Why finds two friends plus the occasional guest discussing unsolved murders, cruel calamities, and cult-like conspiracies.

The pacing of each episode is not like a typical horror drama, but rather an exploration of the crime, violence and gruesome happenstance surrounding us. 

What We Like

  • The stories are very well constructed.
  • The podcast uncovers many interesting and unforgotten horrible crimes. 

What We Don't Like

  • There's little sense of terror conveyed in the narrative delivery. Rather, the crime is discussed much like a contemporary news story.
A long-running horror podcast of short, scary stories.

The NoSleep Podcast compiles several short, scary stories inside each episode. They are well-crafted, with expert narration and accompanying music. 

What We Like

  • Short, sweet and terrifying make this podcast a treat to listen to at bedtime.
  • Each story is well-paced, with capable narrators, voice actors and sound effects.

What We Don't Like

  • Episodes are more like an audio book than a podcast, with no intimate bond formed between narrator and listener. 
The Magnus Archives is a horror anthology podcast that you should consider. Getty Images

The Magnus Archives podcast sounds like a radio confessional, where a skeptical host prompts the caller to reveal their deepest fear. It works. The timely use of sound effects heightens the dread, as does the slick production and professional voice acting.

What We Like

  • A great podcast if you love learning about what gives others the creepy-crawlies.  
  • You can count on there being a new episode every week. 

What We Don't Like

  • The quality of some episodes aren't up to snuff. 
Horror podcasts can be both grisly and funny. Getty Images 

My Favorite Murder is a popular horror comedy podcast, with an emphasis on true crime and gal pal hilarity. Those that like it, love it. 

Like the popular Prairie Home Companion radio show, there's a popular live show that complements the podcast. Be aware, tickets are hard to come by.

What We Like

  • There's a great rapport between the hosts and this fosters a strong connection with listeners. 
  • The hosts are wonderfully expressive. 

What We Don't Like

  • Much of the content isn't dark, scary, or horrifying and sometimes not even funny. Think of this podcast like a horror fun house, where most rooms aren't scary, just necessary to get to the climax. 
A short fictional horror podcast that's best listened to alone. Getty Images 

The Wrong Station is a sporadically produced horror podcast whose short, fictional episodes are perfect for listening to at night, alone, lights off, under the covers, the doors bolted shut. 

What We Like

  • The host-narrator is endearing. 
  • The stories are spooky and perfect for listening to alone. 

What We Don't Like

  • Episodes aren't uploaded on a regular schedule. 
  • The podcast would be better served by additional voice actors and sound effects. 
A classic horror podcast in the mode of Night Gallery or The Twilight Zone.

The Other Stories is like a horror podcast reincarnation of The Outer Limits, or The Twilight Zone, or those stories from early 20th-century pulp magazines. 

The stories are short, solid, and made better by excellent narration. If you like brief tales about zombies or vampires, give this a listen. 

What We Like

  • Episodes are short but complete, making them perfect for listening during work commutes. 
  • The many different narrators are all capable of heightening the listener's sense of dread. 

What We Don't Like

  • Advertisements are really long. 
A fun horror podcast to listen around the campfire. Getty Images 

Knifepoint Horror uses professional voice actors to tell tales that explore the supernatural. Each episode is a bracing dive into the many horrors our brain conjures out from beneath the shadows. 

What We Like

  • The emphasis on the supernatural is a great respite from the daily news.

What We Don't Like

  • There is a good bit of repetition of themes across episodes. 
  • The podcast isn't as dark and scary as we like. 
This engaging horror podcast takes you inside a haunted castle. Getty Images 

Each week, Haunted Places takes listeners on a tour of a haunted house, cemetery, even a haunted island. It's fun and macabre and well-produced. 

The top-notch writing and high-quality sound effects add to the show's foggy feel, though cloying sponsorship appeals and the obvious sense of pretend limit the fright factor.

What We Like

  • The idea that some places are forever haunted. Maybe it's because of a curse, or maybe a long-forgotten murder, but the darkness of a place can never go away. 

What We Don't Like

  • Overly long and intrusive sponsorship appeals are off-putting, though this may be the current price for slickly produced podcasts. 
  • If scary places aren't your thing, this podcast isn't for you.
  • The podcast would work better if each episode, which explores a new scary place, had a different narrator. 
Karina Longworth's horror podcast about old Hollywood.

You Must Remember This is the work of film journalist Karina Longworth. Her podcast explores the twisted side of Hollywood, where young dreams are dashed and murder is most foul. 

If you love old Hollywood, and death, this is the podcast for you. 

What We Like

  • The deep explorations into bygone Hollywood are perfect. 
  • Host Karina Longworth knows the material and cares about these stories. 

What We Don't Like

  • Just like with any Hollywood show, guest stars in this podcast don't always work within the context of an episode.
  • We wish it was darker and more gruesome. The recent multi-episode arc about Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff are what earned this podcast a place on our list. Otherwise, it works best as an "old Hollywood" podcast. 
Listen to a horror podcast where every place is haunted. Getty Images 

Return Home is constructed like a fun, old-time radio serial, but with a modern sensibility. It tells the story of Jonathan Barker, "who returns to his home of Melancholy Falls, NJ, after five years away," only to discover his town filled with alien body snatchers and mysterious happenings.

It's a fun podcast to get trapped inside. 

What We Like

  • The voice acting is very good. 
  • Each episode is part of a larger story arc. 

What We Don't Like

  • The scare quotient varies widely across episodes. 
Lore is a very popular horror podcast that you can't miss.

Lore is the extremely popular podcast about "true life scary stories." Each episode of Lore offers up a dark, historic tale or forgotten tragedy, brewed for modern sensibilities. If PRI or NPR weekend edition staff were invaded by tellers of spooky tales, it would sound like Lore.  

Of note, Amazon Prime Video now offers an animated version of this podcast.

What We Like

  • The uncanny ability to uncover stories that we never knew but which we now think everyone must know as soon as we hear them. 

What We Don't Like

  • Each episode follows the same structure and this can become as tiresome. 
The Point Mystic horror podcast reveals the horror and magic surrounding us.

Point Mystic is the work of writer Christopher Reynaga, and explores the "stories behind the magic." Ghosts in the machine, children possessed, haunted rooms, oh my!

The eerie NPR-like interview style of this horror podcast shrewdly serves to heighten our tingling sense and quell our inclination for disbelief.

What We Like

  • Great pacing and great voice work. 
  • Podcast episodes convey an other-worldly feel that builds suspense. 

What We Don't Like

  • The same place, the same narrator, and the same themes breed familiarity, not horror. Sometimes, you just want to hear about a axe-wielding murderer from a place you never knew existed. And he's standing right behind you!
A podcast about horror movies gets two thumbs up.

The Horror Movie Podcast is not a horror podcast but a horror movie podcast, not surprisingly, and with deep, dark dives into pig-head horror, slasher films, and the many zombie apocalypses.

What We Like

  • The show hosts' abiding love of horror movies definitely seeps through. 
  • This podcast regularly introduces its listeners to horror films that few even knew existed. 

What We Don't Like

  • Episodes often go on way too long. 
A horror writer's podcast because we all possess tales that must be told. Getty Images 

The Horror Writers Podcast is a (now defunct) video podcast where two horror writers and the occasional guest review horror film, novels, even video games. Great for breaking down how horror is used, or for tips on creating your own horror tales.

What We Like

  • The love and rage the hosts express over various horror films and stories is great for sparking ideas and discussion.

What We Don't Like

  • They are not making any new episodes. 
  • Episodes aren't professionally produced. 

An Unquenchable Thirst

If you're craving still more, podcast app PlayerFM also maintains a list of popular horror podcasts, from the campy to the macabre.