Tag: Podcasts

Week of Geek: Month of the Macabre, Part 5 – The Final Chapter

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Hi again Geeklings!  Happy Halloween 2018!  Hope you’ve got a lot of awesome plans for tonight and some killer (not literally) costumes.

All this month we’ve been discussing scary media to indulge in, and we’ve covered books, comics, movies and TV shows.  What else is there?  How about an experience not just for the eyes, but for the ears?  There’s lots to listen to that perfectly encapsulates the feel of the season, so let’s throw some tunes on, fire up some podcasts and close our eyes while we listen, hoping that nothing scary creeps up on us while we do so.

First, some Music

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson – No list of creepy, Halloween-ready music would be complete without this song.  Not only has it been a staple of Halloween parties (and regular parties) for almost 40 years now, it’s music video is still one of the most iconic and influential out there, from the dance moves to the fashion to the make-up to the cinematic feel to the inclusion of Vincent Price.  There are a ton of videos out there of people mass-dancing to this song.  It’s huge, is what I’m saying.

“Disturbia” by Rihanna – This dance number has a beat I think any zombie could get down to.

“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. – Really, what needs to be said?  If you haven’t seen the movie, put a hold on it right now!

“Grim Grinning Ghosts” – If you’ve ever been to the Haunted Mansion ride in various Disney parks, this is the song that plays as you ride through the graveyard.  It’s upbeat, despite the subject manner, and lets you know that though the ghosts are spooky, they only pretend to terrorize,  so you’re all good.  The band Creature Feature released a cover of it this fall.

“This is Halloween” by The Nightmare Before Christmas cast – Is it a Halloween movie?  Is it a Christmas movie?  The debate rages on, but one thing we can all agree on is that this opening number captures Halloween perfectly.  My favorite line?  “I am the who when you call ‘Who’s there?’; I am the wind blowing through your hair.”

Podcasts – These can be a little tricky to recommend because, like horror movies, they can get a little gruesome.  But the following options should be pretty safe for younger ears.

Lore – Created by author Aaron Mahnke back in 2015, Lore has gone from a part time job to a full time job for Mahnke over the years.  Our world, it’s history and it’s folklore is full of scary stories, and Mahnke wants to shine a light on where our best known freaky tales come from.  He discusses real-life events, legends and myths and how they all come together in a macabre collage to reveal what we are truly afraid of.  If you like history and spooks, this is a great place to start.  Plus, there’s a TV series on Amazon Prime and there are books from the podcast as well.  Check the first book out here.

Unobscured – Another one by Mahnke, in partnership with How Stuff Works.  This one just debuted this last October, and we’re a few episodes in so far.  What Unobscured hopes to accomplish is to visit a historical event each season and give it a deep dive, and this first season is all about the Salem Witch Trials.  I’ve been listening in, and it seems the whole thing was a bit more complicated than just ‘mass hysteria’.  Check it out!

Unexplained – Kind of like Lore, but British.  Richard MacLean Smith tries to freak you with spooky real-life tales and legends, told with a delightful accent.

Welcome to Night Vale – Admittedly I am way behind on this one, but when I first discovered it I fell in love hard.  Like, hard.  The fictional town of Night Vale is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, where the strange and terrifying are pretty mundane to it’s citizens.  The podcast is told as a radio show hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale, as he discusses the current events, any major developments and his own personal life (especially a certain scientist named Carlos).  I’ve listened to the first few seasons and it is freaky, gripping, funny, heartbreaking, smart, romantic, deep and just so many other things.  You definitely want to tune in.

Bonus: War of the Worlds 1938 Radio broadcast – Some of you may have heard of this already.  A famous actor, Orson Welles, puts on a radio broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds that sounds a little too real to 1930s audiences and everyone promptly freaks out, thinking aliens are literally invading earth.  Well, that happened (though the panic was not quite as widespread as some of the tales would have you believe), and this year is the 80th anniversary of that event.  80 years!  Some might be wondering ‘Why would I care about an 80 year old radio show?  Who listens to radio anymore?’  And while radio has kind of been pushed to the back burner by TV and the internet, for a long time it was the main way to communicate with big audiences, which is what TV and the internet do for us now.  And radio was not always trusted as a reliable and factual form of communication (sound familiar? cough*internet*cough), and this broadcast certainly didn’t help matters.  But it’s worth a listen just for how brilliant it was at the time.  It was found footage before found footage was a thing.  It was also fake news before fake news was a thing.  It was ahead of its time.

So there we go.  Between these and our previous posts you’ll have a busy Halloween.  Anything I’ve left out that deserves a shout out?  Post in the comments below.

Happy Halloween Everybody!  Have fun, be safe, and until next time, End of Line.