This week, it’s Lore—just in time for Halloween!
Lore, as its name suggests, is a podcast about folklore. Each episode retells a spooky tale from deep within history.
It’s an excellently written and produced show. Aaron Mahnke, Lore‘s writer, host and producer, is an expert at the “setup, pause, spooky-line-delivery” tool. Seriously, there’s probably at least two of those in each episode, and they still give me chills almost every time. Give the show a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
But Lore isn’t just special for its quality alone; it’s also noteworthy because it’s an excellent example of the growth and power of podcasts as a medium.
Lore is one of the most prolific podcasts, particularly when we’re talking about podcasts that were born as podcasts. What I mean is that, sure, podcasts like This American Life and The Joe Rogan Experience usually hold down the top podcast charts, and they should be recognized for their popularity.
But I’ve seen Lore consistently float around in the top 50 for the last few years, and it didn’t have any of the the pre-existing radio/TV/newspaper-born audience that these other shows had. Mahnke made it all happen on his own, and now it even has its own TV show on Amazon and its own book series.
I have yet to check out the show or the books, but I can certainly recommend some episodes from the podcast. It’s hard to chose, since there are so many good ones (especially in the series’ early days). But here’s a few that really stand out:
“Dinner At The Afterglow” centers around an unusual, supposedly-haunted grave/monument. This one’s more interesting than anything, but that’s a big attraction of the show, too—the historical basis makes it just as informative as it is unnerving.
“Covered Mirrors” tells a seriously chilling story of a serial killer roaming through the Southern U.S. I’ll warn you: it’s real disturbing. It’s the kind of episode that’ll make you rethink your own safety.
And my all-time favorite episode is “A Stranger Among Us.” It tells of the roots behind the classic Pied Piper folktale, and the truth behind the legend turns out to be even spookier than the legend itself, as well as fascinating in its own right.
But seriously, check the show out for yourself. There are so many good episodes. My recommendation? Snuggle up on Halloween and binge some Lore!
I’ll be back next week with another podcast spotlight. Thanks, as always, for reading.