Halloween may be a few weeks away – but it is never too early to get in the mood.
And how should one get in the mood? How about with a classic ghost story? Only this time the ghost stories aren’t being told around the campfire. They’re coming to you via the medium of podcasting.
So I’ve rounded up my fave spooky history podcasts to get you in the mood – all designed to give you the chills and leave you looking over your shoulder!
As featured in my International Podcast Month feature, Things In Jars is a spooky history podcast about oddities, curiosities, and all the weird and wonderful stuff that dwells in museum stores! Join curators Melissa and Poppy as they discover extraordinary artefacts from collections across the world.
Subjects of previous episodes include poisonous museum items, collections with criminal links and haunted paraphernalia. And last October they really pulled things out of the proverbial hat! Every Saturday they released an extra special bonus episode, with an amazing line-up of spooky guests including THE Salem Witch Museum and the iconic Jamaica Inn. Check out the first episode with the Weird Norfolk podcast here.
In terms of spooky history podcasts, Dark Histories is my day one. Dark Histories tells the stories of our darkest moments, deepest mysteries and strangest happenings. From large cultural events to smaller, localised legends host Ben is a natural born story teller that leaves you entranced.
The podcast explores famous mysteries in an interesting and entertaining way. All the while its as accurate as possible and rooting the mysteries in the available evidence. That’s why I think I like this podcast so much – it explores spooky topics that could easily veer into speculation and fabrications but with an historian’s analytic eye.
Join host Mark Rees for a curious journey through the weird and wonderful history of Wales and the world. From ‘most haunted’ castles to fairy-filled forests, discover long-lost cases of real-life Welsh ghost stories, sea-faring folk tales of mermaids and water horses, and ancient tales from the Mabinogion and King Arthur.
Given the subject of the podcast, its no surprise Ghosts and Folklore of Wales is pulling out all the stops for Halloween, with five special episodes to celebrate this ancient festival. Check out their first ever Halloween episode all about the history of Halloween and the origin of the Welsh Nos Calan Gaeaf here.
In terms of spooky history podcasts, Cabinet of Curiosities is the granddaddy of them all. Twice a week, you’ll get a guided tour through some of the most bizarre corners of history, from unexplainable moments and coincidences, to people and objects that come with unusual backstories.
One of the advantages about this particular podcast is the length – they only tend to be about ten minutes long, which is sometimes more convenient. There is no compromise with the quality of the spooky content though!
Now, don’t let the title of this spooky history podcast mislead you. Macabre London does cover London’s gruesome history, but there are also so many stories from all around the world! My fave recent episode was all about the Marie Celeste, and it really uncovered the truth behind the legend.
As well as great topics, I really enjoy this podcast because of the host Nikki. She is a natural born storyteller and presenter, and you can tell she is genuinely enthusiastic and amazed by the topics she talks about. If you enjoy it as much as I do, you can also check out the YouTube channel and Patreon options.
Most people know Amy Bruni from the hit paranormal investigation TV shows Kindred Spirits and Ghost Hunters. In Haunted Road, her first ever podcast series, she takes fans of the paranormal on an audio journey—first through the history of a prominent haunted location in America, and then into a conversation with real investigators who have actually been there.
This is a relatively new spooky history podcast which has only recently completed its first series, but I am already hooked! I think its because host Amy places so much emphasis on the importance of history and the role of historical research in paranormal investigations.
The Battersea Poltergeist podcast – a thrilling blend of drama and documentary about a paranormal cold case – has been one of the big podcast hits of 2021. It tells the story of a 12-year-long haunting that resulted in poltergeist victim teen Shirley Hitchings fleeing to Bognor Regis.
This podcast has everything. There’s interviews with Shirley herself and a panel of experts, and a final bonus episode is dedicated to answering questions submitted by listeners. I spent the whole of this series going back and forth between thinking I believed Shirley and then thinking it was all a hoax. I still don’t know who I believed in the end, but I know this is probably my top podcast pick of 2021.
This selection of spooky history podcasts is guaranteed to leave your spine tingling. Do you have any fave spooky history podcasts which I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments below – I’m always looking for new podcasts!
Like this post? Then don’t forget to check out my guide to the best period horror films to watch this Halloween.