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16 Scary Story Podcasts That Will Keep You Up All Night

Halloween will be here before you know it, and what better way to get in the holiday spirit than with a podcast that will scare you silly? Here, 16 scary story podcasts that serve up a listening experience that’s sure to send chills down your spine…if you dare tune in.

1. The NoSleep Podcast

NoSleep started off as a Reddit forum where users spooked one another with original horror stories...until one member had the brilliant idea of turning the scarefest into a podcast. This one has been running for ten years, so there’s plenty of original content to choose from and, as the name suggests, it’s all terrifying enough to keep you up at night.

2. Knifepoint Horror

Supernatural events and creepy plot twists abound on this scary podcast. That said, it’s really the quality of the storytelling that sets Knifepoint Horror apart. The stories unfold with great detail and feature excellent character development—a combination that guarantees you’ll be fully engaged (read: on the edge of your seat) when things take a turn for the terrifying.

3. The Creeping Hour

If you’re looking for programming that will scare a kid without causing serious bedtime woes (or lasting trauma, for that matter), The Creeping Hour fits the bill. This family-friendly gem—a public radio podcast that features ghouls, monsters and the like—is recommended for tweenager audiences. It’s also plenty entertaining for adults, since the trio of narrators (known as “the Creeps”) do a darn good job of bringing the stories to life.

4. Night Vale Presents: Alice Isn’t Dead

This podcast doesn’t serve up a bunch of quick thrills, but rather tells one extended story by way of the audio diaries of a truck driver who travels across America in search of her missing wife and encounters a whole lot of spooky characters in the process. Fast-paced and full of mystery and suspense—this one is basically the audio version of a page-turner, complete with all the elements you’d expect from a top-notch thriller.

5. Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked

This one keeps it real with a diverse catalogue of stories devoted to all things supernatural, told by the genuinely spooked individuals who experienced them firsthand. You can expect to hear about evil spirits, shapeshifters and other paranormal events that will give you a taste of the dark side, and a case of goosebumps to boot.

6. My Favorite Murder

Most true crime fans already know about My Favorite Murder—but if you’re new to the genre, this podcast will surely make a fan out of you. This one has been around for a long time and follows a more conventional podcast format with the hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, engaging in nonchalant storytelling and lively (and highly entertaining) dialogue as they cover everything from infamous murder cases to small town crime stories. Bonus: There are both 30-minute mini episodes and longer (1.5 hours) listens available, so you can get your fix no matter what your schedule looks like.

7. Anything Ghost

The name says it all—this is the podcast to listen to if ghost stories are your jam. The content covers everything from firsthand accounts of ghostly encounters contributed by listeners to retellings of well-established legends about hauntings from places around the world. Best of all, there are nearly 300 episodes to tune into—so once you’re hooked, you’ll stay entertained for quite some time.

8. Lore

Lore is an award-winning podcast that brings to life macabre and truly scary stories from the past. Each episode dives into a different dark tale, and there are 176 of them, so it’s safe to say that history is rife with some seriously creepy stuff. Overall, the historical angle here makes for a particularly fascinating listening experience, and the content will have you shivering in your boots.

9. The Wicked Library

The Wicked Library boasts over 150 different horror stories—all of which are short works of fiction contributed by the original author. Basically, this audio experience showcases new, independent writing talent while reliably providing quite a scare in the process. Plus, the narration is on point and almost always enhanced by eerie musical scores. All the content is available for free, but you can pony up for a subscription if you prefer ad-free listening.

10. The Last Podcast On The Left

The content of The Last Podcast On the Left is particularly diverse, serving up everything from grizzly true crime stories (both the infamous and the under-the-radar variety) about murder and cult-life creepiness, to spine-tingling works of fiction about goblin realms. In other words, there’s a scare for everyone here—you’ll just have to commit some time, since each episode typically runs from one to two hours.

11. Real Ghost Stories Online

As you might’ve guessed, this audio library is brimming with retellings of real-life encounters with ghosts, haunted houses and such—and anyone who has had a run-in of the paranormal kind can contribute their story to the collection. Basically, this one is like The X-Files in the form of a “non-fiction” podcast.

12. Night Light

The horror fare available on Night Light runs the gamut—boasting stories that have a Twilight Zone-esque sci-fi thing going on, ones with a touch of romance in the narrative and others that are just straight-up scary. One thing all the content has in common is that it is original fiction authored and narrated by Black writers. You’ll have to pay for the listening experience, but plans start at only $1 per month—and since the 30-minute episodes are the perfect length for a morning or evening commute, it’s a pretty good investment.

13. Dr. Death

Host Laura Beil does a deep-dive into the terrifying tale of Christopher Duntsch, a charming Dallas doctor who intentionally botched 33 of his patients' surgeries, which ultimately led to serious injury or death. (BTW, the podcast actually inspired a Peacock original series of the same name, starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater.)

14. The Black Tapes

In this bi-weekly podcast, journalist Alex Reagan is on a quest for the truth as she investigates her subject's mysterious past—especially when it comes to the ghosts that haunt them. The episodes will have you thinking about spirits and the supernatural. But do you believe?

15. The Paranormal Podcast

Podcast pioneer Jim Harold first launched The Paranormal Podcast in 2005, which means he's been creeping listeners out with scary stories for a solid 17 years. (NBD.) The spooky tales, which span at least 700 episodes, range from ghosts and the occult to the afterlife and aliens.

16. Light House

Light House is a ten chapter podcast from iHeartRadio about a woman who moves into her family home and discovers a world of nightmares she would have never believed possible. It’s a haunted house narrative—and horror fiction at its finest. Imaginative and incredibly well-executed, this one does a bang-up job of creating an atmosphere that will spook you silly every time you tune in.

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