16 Aug July Podcast Round Up
Well, we’re more than half way through August now. I should perhaps have had my July Round Up posted a lil bit sooner than this but I had tonnes of things I wanted to write about what with being on my Mini Tour of England at the end of July.
I won’t bore you by ruminating over how fast the pace of 2017 is going. Rather, I’ll get straight to the reason you’re here: podcasts.
July mostly involved feeding my continuing (frankly unnerving) obsession with all things creepy, weird and strange. So, if that ain’t your thang then you mightn’t find anything here that will pique your interest. I’m taking a break from the ‘ol paranormal podcasts this month though, so stay tuned for the next podcast round up which will be focused more on some though provoking current affairs and news based podcasts I’ve been listening to and also a true crime podcast that I’m particularly taken with.
Whenever I stumbled upon Lore I got very excited. Finally, I’d found a podcast to replace the hole in my life that has developed since catching up on Unexplained.
The premise behind Lore is true scary stories and the idea that “Sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.” I’ve actually only listened to the first two episodes but I can tell just from skimming through all the episodes that this is a podcast I’m gonna get hella into.
The first episode “They Made a Tonic” is all about vampires and their history in superstitions across many cultures. While I didn’t really learn too much from it because this gal used to be obsessed with vampires and read voraciously about them as a teenager, I still enjoyed listening to it and am interested to see what else the episodes will contain.
Lore is a scripted podcast rather than one of those more chatty, laidback shows. Overall, it’s really well put together. It won’t be surpassing Unexplained as my fav podcast any time soon though.
2. Strange Podcast
A podcast that “explores the unusual, the unknown and just about everything that can be described as, strange!” is something we all know that I’m down with. However, there was something about Strange Podcast that just didn’t gel with me at first. I think that the opening music took something away from it for me. The opening has a carnival-esque, haunted fun fair thing going on but this just made it feel like the opening to a kids show. It didn’t have the same completely unnerving quality that Unexplained manages to do so well. There definitely is a fine line between scary and funny. Creating something genuinely unnerving is no easy task so I didn’t dwell on this much.
I actually ended up liking this podcast a lot despite my initial concerns. The episodes are short and sweet and what I liked about them was that they explored the topic just enough to leave lingering questions that will stick with you long after you’ve finished listening.
My favourite episode is the first episode “The Devil’s Footprints.” Producer, Chris Batchelor, looks into a strange incident that happened in South Devon in 1855. After a night of heavy snowfall, residents of a small town awoke to find cloven footprints in the snow, spanning over 100 miles, and even on the rooftop of one house. I don’t know how famous this story is but I’d never heard of it before. The episode was well researched, utilising the accounts of local residents at the time and the possible theories for what it could have been. Other than the devil walking around town looking for sinners. Of course many of the theories in one way or another just didn’t seem to fit.
Other episodes I enjoyed covered coincidences – whether they are random or exist as something bigger, something entwined with fate and an episode all about number 13 and why it is seen as an unlucky number. If you like Unexplained I would definitely give Strange podcast a listen. Episodes are usually around 15-20 minutes long. Perfect for staying entertained while commuting.
3. Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know
It’s already weird enough that I listen to podcasts about ghosts, demons, UFOs etc. So, do I really want to add conspiracy theories into the mix and potentially reach peak weirdo? Of course I do.
I find conspiracy theories super interesting. I’m not saying I subscribe to them but rather I like to at least look into them. And in a world where the truth is a contentious thing and Alternative Facts™ exist, I welcome anything that will open my mind and make me consider things in a different light. So, when I came across Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know I knew simply had to give it a listen.
Remember how I mentioned that I didn’t really like conversational podcasts? Well, STDWYTK, is one of those conversational podcasts. It’s essentially just two guys chatting about mental conspiracy theories. While most conversational podcasts I’ve listened to haven’t really done it for me, I think it does work for a theme like conspiracy theories. Because I mean, conspiracy theories are the sort of thing you chat about bemusedly with friends.
The first episode I listened to was about, naturally, the Illuminati. And I mean if you’re talking conspiracy theories, this is pretty much the chef d’œuvre, right? It was interesting listening to Ben and Matt chat about the idea that the whole world is run by A SECRET SOCIETY. Other episodes I have stacked to listen to include “What the heck is Stonehenge?” “Who runs the internet?” and “Big Pharma: Conspiracies and Cover-Ups.” There’s quite a back catalogue to work your way through if you’re that way inclined. I’m going to have plenty of weird shit to talk about at parties going forward.
One of the good things about this podcast is that the guys running it aren’t conspiracy theorists (OR ARE THEY?) they’re just two guys chatting about them. So there’s no secret underlying agenda (OR IS THERE?). It’s definitely super interesting stuff and a podcast I plan on continuing to listen to.
4. Stuff You Should Know – “Josh and Chuck’s List of Horror Movies that Changed the Genre”
Okay, so this one is an episode rather than an actual podcast on the whole. I didn’t really think that Stuff You Should Know needed recommending since it’s already super popular and if you’re into podcasts you probably already know about it. BUT since the theme of July has been strange/spooky/unnerving[insert appropriate adjective] podcasts it seemed fitting to give a shout out to this particular episode.
If there’s one thing I love it’s a horror movie – but, there’s so many bad ones out there. There’s a lot of crap to dig through before you find gold. This podcast list brings a bit of a history of horror movies and really just celebrates the genre through exploring its definitvie cornerstones and sub-genres. Not all the movies are necessarily great but they did form the basis of inspiration for some other great movies within the genre.
I won’t spoil the list but basically there was nothing really surprising – it was all mostly movies that, as a horror movie enthusiast, I’d already watched. I did pick up a few recommendations though. They also had some interesting trivia and relived some key scenes in the movies included. Particularly enjoyed recapping on how great Psycho is.
I kinda feel like the original 1973 Wicker Man needed a shout out though. Accidentally flicking on to this movie when I was about 15, is a horror movie moment I’ve never forgotten. It was right at that part where the freaky pagan rituals are well under way. All of Summerisle are dressed in their horrific animal costumes and are joyfully skipping ever closer to the wicker man in the distance. The contrast between Summerisle’s unnerving joy and Sergeant Howie’s absolute despair as he’s stuck inside the burning wicker man is unparalleled levels of disturbing. Basically, it’s superb and you should watch it.
Have you listened to any good podcasts lately? Let me know in the comments – I’m always looking for recommendations.