When it comes to horror, no C.G.I. monstrosity is quite as terrifying as what your mind can conjure. We’ve collected some of the most delightful frights and spooky scintillations in audio drama and non-fiction podcasting.
In this anthology podcast, the mountains of central Appalachia are haunted by the sort of sanity-draining eldritch monsters found in a Stephen King novel, or in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” While the anthology format means each episode’s story is ostensibly stand-alone, taking them in from the beginning is like watching a beautiful and twisted landscape slowly get painted in. The co-creator and narrator Steve Shell’s gruff twang lulls the listener into a false comfort: In each episode, he unspools nightmarish tales of the folks living in the hills and hollers, surviving on the land and disturbing the earth below in the mines. It’s when their folly meets a dark spirit of the land that utter horror befalls them. Set against haunting music, these stories, made by cast and crew mostly based in Appalachia, deliver the listener to an uncanny place, imbuing wonder for the endless magic within an untamable wilderness.
This is the story of a scientist so preoccupied with whether she can excavate an extinct ancient extraterrestrial civilization that she never stops to think if she should. Chel, a xenoarchaeologist (someone who studies extraterrestrial civilizations) leads her mission partner Peter beneath a long-abandoned planet’s surface, right into the clutches of the thing that wiped the alien civilization out. Chel is in space to discover new worlds; Peter is in space because that’s where Chel is. Episodes switch between their two perspectives as the pair recount this mission gone wrong. But the narrative structure flips something else too: time. The podcast starts with Chel at the beginning
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