Do tales of ghouls and spirits pique your interest? We don’t blame you, there’s a lot out there. If you’re an uber fan, then why not ingest the spookies while driving or doing the dishes? With the growing trend of podcasts becoming mainstream, listens to give you the creeps have made their mark. We had our work cut out for us, but we managed to find the best paranormal podcasts out there to get your freaky fix.
If it’s hard to admit that you believe in ghosts and the paranormal, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Half of Americans swear they’ve encountered a ghost from the great beyond, leading many to believe their homes are haunted too. According to a recent survey of 2,000 people 21 and over, 63 percent believe in the paranormal in some form. Respondents say the most common unexplained beings they believe exist include ghosts (57%), visitors from other planets (39%), and Bigfoot (27%). A third (35%) even say they’ve felt an unexplained presence in their homes, prompting them to worry that they’re being haunted by the paranormal. Some recalled specific encounters in their homes — including seeing previous residents appearing and suddenly disappearing, hearing doors randomly open and close, and seeing flickering lights and shadows with no discernible source.
As to what people did when they had the spooky encounter? Most admit they screamed and ran away. In fact, men were twice as likely as women to shriek and head for the hills, the survey showed, but women tended to scream much louder. Other respondents admit to crying, hiding, and even fainting when seeing a ghost. For some, the ghost may have simply been a product of the residence. One in three respondents said they’ve either lived or stayed in a haunted house. What would you do? Or better yet, what have you done?
Whether you have had your fair share of encounters with the beyond or are simply curious, we’ve got you covered. It was no easy fete, but StudyFinds researched the 10 best expert websites to find five of the best paranormal podcasts out there that will either scare the jeepers out of you or simply provide the spooky entertainment you desire. If you are a die-hard fan of one we haven’t listed, please let us know in the comments below.
The List: Best Paranormal Podcasts, According to Experts
1. “This Paranormal Life”
Co-hosts Rory Powers and Kit Grears give a frank, freaky, and surprisingly funny look at some of the weirdest stories around. “From psychic animals to rumors of hauntings at Disneyland, from cryptids to creatures from outer space, and from Hawaii to the Garden of Eden, every episode tackles a new and unusual story—and all of them are true. Or, at least, true-ish,” states The Line Up.
Do you like your horror mixed with humor? The hosts, Rory Powers and Kit Grier, are actually comedians and every Tuesday they investigate a different paranormal case. Podsauce elaborates, “Humor meets fright-fests in ‘This Paranormal Life.’ Comedians Kit Grier and Rory Powers host weekly episodes concerning mysteries. The hosts research the Japanese ghost legend, Jikininki, why people find staircases in the woods and find odd artifacts. Other episodes explore lore like dragons, leprechauns, and conspiracy theories.”
Most episodes are between 45 minutes to an hour. “This Paranormal Life” gushes with passion in its engaging narration and light-hearted nature. “Award-winning podcast This Paranormal Life dives right into each episode with a rapid-fire intro, posing provocative questions that float atop the show’s eerie theme. Is someone torturing a voodoo doll of me or do I just have back pain? Is ectoplasm good for you? Hosts Rory Powers and Kit Grier open episode #142, disclosing their comedic slant while maintaining their investigative approach to alleged paranormal cases,” states Discover Pods.
Host Aaron Mahnke covers an important and chilling side of horror in “Lore”. The podcast shines a light on the eerie side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. “Each Lore episode examines a new, dark historical tale, drawing listeners around a universal campfire experience. With the show’s more than 40,000 5-star reviews on Apple Podcasts, and over 390 million listens, there’s certainly more than a few of us who like to shiver by the flames peeking into the night,” says The Manual.
This bi-weekly podcast of dark historical tales is also now a TV show and a book series. “Each episode explores the mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places that fill the pages of history. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction,” adds FeedSpot.
If you were wondering, the spooky tales of “Lore” are intriguing to teens and adults alike. Mature themes and scary content may be too much for younger tweens and kids. “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,” states PureWow.
3. “The No Sleep Podcast”
Our only fiction paranormal podcast is an award-winning anthology of original short horror stories. It features episodes in different genres, including psychological horror, fantasy, and science fiction. “The No Sleep Podcast is excellent for people who want to listen to horror stories engagingly and thrillingly. The podcast provides a better way for listeners to escape from reality. It takes you on a journey of mystery and suspense. Its stories come along nicely and are engaging because of its immersive music and sound effects,” explains TUKO.
Wicked Wednesday is upon us again…
Which story this season has left you shaken and afraid?
Bonus points if you tag the #writer
— The NoSleep Podcast (@NosleepPodcast) May 24, 2023
Varying narrators, spooky music, and theater form are used to set the mood. “The No Sleep Podcast” aims to frighten and keep you up and night. “Stories are curated from volunteer writers on Reddit, and the voice actors do a great job bringing the chills of the written word to life, and death. Each episode contains stories focused on a specific topic. The NoSleep Podcast is a must-listen for fans of horror audio fiction,” informs Discover Pods.
This podcast is perfect to listen to around the Halloween season and will certainly send a shiver down your spine. “It started as a subreddit for exchanging frightening stories and experiences and grew into a multi-award-winning podcast. Now in its 16th series, The NoSleep Podcast sets original horror stories to fantastically eerie music to really set things on edge. Who needs sleep anyway?” asks BBC.
“Unexplained” is a story-driven nonfiction podcast that explores the spooky thought that truth can be stranger than fiction and that we may not know the difference. “Sampling tales from throughout history and around the world, host Richard Maclean conjures an atmospheric and eerie story scape to take listeners on a journey to the edge of the known—and the borders of the unknown,” says The Line Up.
In 1991, journalist Linda Godfrey recorded a series of peculiar sightings of a terrifying humanoid dog-like creature, seen skulking around Bray Road, near Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
She called it, The Beast of Bray Road
— UNEXPLAINED (@unexplainedpod) May 5, 2023
Expect a haunting and unsettling bi-weekly podcast about strange and mysterious real-life events again, evading explanation. “A story-based show mixing spoken-word narrative, history, and ideas – often to terrifying effect – that explores the space between what we think of as real and what is not; where sometimes belief can be as concrete as ‘reality,’ whatever that is…” states Podurama.
What is unsettling about “Unexplained” is that it forces you to realize that you think you know what is true but begs you to question if you are entirely sure. “With each episode, MacLean Smith leads the listener on an atmospheric journey through the strange and eerie, taking in everything from bizarre tales of supposed time-slips, vanishings, and UFOs to chilling unexplained deaths and dabblings in the occult,” explains Feed Spot.
5. “The Last Podcast on the Left”
The three hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski bring a dose of horror mixed with black humor. The podcast isn’t solely ghostly stories, but true crime, haunted destinations, and more. The Manual sheds some light on this dark theme: “If you like your terrifying audio treats served with a serious dose of black comedy and profanity-laced stoner humor, The Last Podcast on the Left is a great digital destination. The trio of Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski bring equal parts joy and dread to accounts of serial killers, alien visits, haunted lands, horror films, werewolves, war crimes, and more.”
In addition to covering many horror-related topics including true horror crimes, conspiracy theories, fiction, and paranormal activities, “The Last Podcast on the Left” features interviews with experts and guests who discuss the latest in the horror genre. “The Last Podcast On The Left is the best to listen to because of its creepy stories, from cults, serial killers, and dark topics. Also, the hosts research their topics carefully and discuss each subject at length. Finally, although it has many horror stories, the hosts use humor to make the listener hooked and engaged,” says TUKO.
With over 500 episodes of content, if there is something spooky to discuss, the team has probably dug deep into it. Episodes come out weekly and cover one to two hours of content. Discover Pods elaborates, “The hosts are heavy on the dark humor and wax inappropriate with their back-and-forth dialogue. If you dialed in this show on a radio, you might think you were listening to an uncensored sports commentary. While the hosts don’t hold back from offensive jokes, subjects are well-researched, like their study of Heaven’s Gate founder Marshall Applewhite in Episode 397, or their departure from humor with a serious take on the Columbine story.”
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.