It’s a little past midnight in the middle of winter. I’m working third shift at a local store, bored out of my skull. By then I’ve listened to every podcast I normally would, heard a few audiobooks at least 3 times each, and I’m realizing that a motivation playlist probably needs more than a dozen songs on it. Silence isn’t an option either, with the same 80’s to mid-00’s music blasting over the PA system every night. It’s kind of annoying getting Rick Rolled at work most nights, let me tell you.
One of the last books I’d listened to, being focused on hauntings and sarcasm, piqued my interest as a jumping off point. The stories the author told of his paranormal interactions sparked something, and I wanted to hear more. So after a quick search on YouTube, I pick a video, pop in my earbuds, and get to listening.
“Come one, come all,” a voice whispers, “to our matinee of madness, and partake in this theatre of the mind.” Thus was my introduction to The Simply Scary Podcast, and the Chilling Tales for Dark Nights series of stories.
Come, settle down, turn down the lights, and turn up the dark.
Think back to the last time you saw a scary movie. Eyes glued to the screen, knees weak, arms forgetting how to function. The end of the movie arrives and…
…resolution. The protagonists win. Whoopie-kai-yay.
You walk out of the theatre knowing it was all a fantasy dreamt up for a screenplay. Maybe it’s an intentional cliffhanger for a sequel. Maybe it’s trying to give the viewer the sense that what they saw actually happened. But at the end of it all, it’s a movie. It’s something that costs too much to see outside the house, ties up everything, and draws the viewer in with potential sequel bait. Jumpscares and Dutch angles abound, gore and exposition splatter the screen. But again, it’s all a movie. Easily dismissed in the days of special effects and editing.
Now think back to the last scary story you heard; I mean really scary. The one that kept you awake for weeks after hearing it. Nightmares of Death’s Heads at the foot of your bed, eldritch horrors at your windows. The story that made you not want to fall asleep in case they might’ve been true. Even when you knew they were nothing more than stories, the idea of a wendigo or zombie was infectious. A great horror story sticks in the mind and haunts the imagination.
Take for example “The Box Born Wraith” or “Pass It On”. When listening it may not seem like much of anything. A cheesy story meant to pass time, nothing more. “A Knock at the Window” is harmless, somewhat spooky nonsense. But when the sun goes down, these stories have you climbing the stairs two at a time. Your doors are triple locked, and you toss and turn in bed.
The best stories, accompanied by a stellar performance, can and will rob you of sleep. They’ll haunt you the day after and keep you looking over your shoulder.
The Chilling Tales podcast tells you stories that make your heart race and set your imagination on fire. It’s just the treat for horror fans.
Preferred Tales of Terror
To get a new listener started on their journey, a map often proves useful. A guide through the slippery swamps and unfamiliar landscapes of unsettling novelty. In order to guide new listeners towards what they should expect, here are a few favorite spine-tinglers.
- “What Hurricane Sandy Uncovered” — A Connecticut bartender meets a patron who exceeds first impressions.
- “When Gods Blink” — For when one wants to question the place of humanity in the cold, unforgiving universe.
- “The Call of Cthulhu’’ — A classic Lovecraft tale to lull the listener into an uneasy sleep.
- “Fleshgait” — Bigfoot and Nessie aren’t the only creatures lurking in the unexplored wilderness.
- “The Distillery Incident” — Sometimes it’s best to obey the warning signs on an abandoned building. Curiosity kills more than cats, I’m afraid.
- “Windows to the Soul” — The human spirit is alive, and often unforgiving.
Feel free to share your favorite scary stories in the comments below. Tell us what’s kept you awake at night. What tales chill your very soul?
As always, this has been Crab.