I adore a good podcast. I first discovered them when I was having trouble sleeping - I’m your classic overthinker - and over the last few years, rather than lie in bed and panic at the state of the world/my inbox/that appointment I forgot to rearrange last Tuesday, I distract myself with stories of horror and dread. They provide a perfect bit of escapism when I’m driving to work, walking the dog, cleaning…and they’ve also provided many little nuggets of inspiration for my writing. In fact, the initial seed for my debut novel, LAST ONE TO DIE, was planted when I was binge-listening the first podcast on this list. So, if you’re looking for a new way to avoid the world at large, these are some of my favourites..

Last One To Die

Last One To Die

‘Lore’ with Aaron Mahnke

The first podcast I clicked with, Lore is unsettling, beautifully produced and covers everything from OG serial killer HH Holmes to the game-changing Fox sisters (fake it ‘til you make it could’ve been invented for those women). I was particularly taken with episode 22, ‘Over the Top’, and, after a little more research, it provided the real-life Victorian history behind my villain. Featuring music by the exceptionally talented Chad Lawson, Lore will lull you to sleep…and then give you nightmares.

‘My Favorite Murder’ with Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark.

Imagine two real, warm, funny women who talk about awful things to help manage their own anxiety…yes, it really is as good as it sounds. I look forward to Monday and Thursday’s commutes every week, as when I listen, I don’t only get my true crime fix, but also the feeling I’ve just had a catch up with good friends. And if it wasn’t already perfect, episode 186 ‘Sprankers’ and the story of the vile Carl Tanzler gave me the ending I needed for my novel…SSDGM!

‘Teen Creeps’ with Kelly Nugent & Lindsay Katai

If you remember Point Horror books, this one is for you. Kelly & Katai read and er, critique, pulp YA fiction. They investigate evergreen tropes such as old people in their thirties, gaslighting best friends and always absent parents. They reminisce about the good stuff, like The Forbidden Game trilogy, and pick apart the problematic, like boys who think it’s funny to put eggs on their eyes. Their live prom episode, which they wrote and performed themselves, is a real highlight and not to be missed!

‘Spooked’ with Glynn Washington

A recent discovery for me, Spooked is truly chilling. Another beautifully produced podcast, Glynn Washington gives major Candyman vibes in his introductions and that’s even before you get to the meat of the episode. Mostly told first-hand, listeners from around the world share their experiences of ghostly goings-on and supernatural situations. I listened to the zombie clown episode in full daylight and was still looking over my shoulder on the way to work…in fact, I’d better check under the bed tonight.

‘S-Town’ with Brian Reed

A bit of a curveball compared to the rest, but this has really stuck with me. Produced by Wondery, the team behind Dirty John, this is as slick as podcasts get and a real masterclass in podcast documentary making. Starting as a true crime investigation, S-Town tells the story of larger-than-life John B Macklemore and his rambling, run-down estate and cryptic maze. The people you have the privilege of meeting along the way, combined with devasting and hard-hitting twists, make this a must listen.

So there you have it, my must listens in a nutshell. I hope you find one that piques your interest and doesn’t disturb you too much…though sometimes anything is better than the real world, right?

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