Three Podcasts I Love That You Should Be Listening To, Too

Okay, ‘should’ is a strong word, a word I’m frankly a little uncomfortable with.  This discomfort stems from a conversation I had with someone many years ago who emphatically told me that any time someone uses the word ‘should’ with you, they’re trying to control you.  Yeah, this person had some issues, as we all do, but it resonated with me.  I didn’t stop using the word, I just tried to be conscious of when I was using it.  So yes, I ‘should’ people.  But I do it from a place of love.  And control.  I try for a 50/50 split, but, well, yeah, sometimes it’s a 60/40, 70/30 thing.

So.  Podcasts.  You’re listening to them, I’m listening to them, we’re all listening together, yay! There are so many podcasts to cho-cho-choose from on almost any topic you can think of and that the level of choice can get overwhelming.  The ones I’ve enjoyed the most I’ve found by referral, so in the interest of paying it forward, here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite podcasts.  There’s a wide a cross section of topics here, I hope one of them resonates with you and you find a new gem to cram into your phone device.

The Black Tapes

The Black Tapes is a weekly podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, and is hosted by Alex Reagan. The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both. 

How do you feel about paranormal activity or the Supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?

Do you believe? 

– from the black tapes website

I said no particular order, but this is truly my all time favourite podcast.  I was late to the party and season one had been released in its entirety so I binged hard.  I was devastated when I’d finally caught up in mid-March only to discover they were on hiatus until early May.  Devastated, yes, that is a totally rational and appropriate emotional response.  Season two is up and running so you can catch up and avoid the gap.

You have to start with season one and you have to start with episode one because this is story told in chronological order with each episode building on the other.  The description above doesn’t give the whole story.  The Black Tapes is about a journalist, Alex, who worms her way into the research of Dr. Strand and the Strand Institute.

The Strand Institute has a standing offer of big cash to whoever can prove the existence of the paranormal.  In Dr. Strand’s office are a wall of white VHS cases.  Each one a claim of the paranormal that the good doctor has debunked.  On a long shelf near the bottom are a series of black cases.  The Black Tapes.  The cases that Dr. Strand hasn’t been able to explain.  Alex convinces the doctor to let her look at the cases and two begin explore the stories behind them.  And over time, shit gets real.

The production values on the this podcast are excellent.  Great voice acting, good sound design, and excellent writing.  This podcast listens like an excellent paranormal novel.

Limetown

Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again.

In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?” 

– from Limetown website

This description is right on the money.  They only thing they don’t mention is that this podcast is scary.  Well, it scared me multiple times.  I screamed a few times, you may have a different fear threshold.  My fear threshold fluctuates, this podcast scared the crap out of me, but I found the Poughkeepsie Tapes boring.  Really boring, and (spoiler alert) when she brought up that stump at the end, I laughed.  Out loud.  Hard.  But back to Limetown, this podcast gets creepy and dark very quickly.  The end of season one left me with so many questions and the wait for answers may be a long one.  The producers have released this letter to fans, here’s the link:

From the Producers of Lime Town

Awesome for them and in the long run awesome for us too.  So listen to season one and be ahead of the game when the tv show comes out.

Someone Knows Something  

In 1972, five-year-old Adrien McNaughton vanished while on a family fishing trip in Eastern Ontario. Despite an intensive search and investigation, no sign of Adrien was found, no clue as to where he might be. The case has hung over the area like a dark mass ever since, especially in the small town of Arnprior, where the McNaughton family lived.

In season one of the podcast Someone Knows Something, host David Ridgen, who grew up in Arnprior, goes back to investigate. Ridgen, a independent filmmaker with a proven record of solving cold cases, asks the questions that have been waiting for answers for over 40 years. He speaks to family, friends and other members of the community, discovering new leads and evidence, trying to put the ghosts of the past to rest. 

– from the Someone Knows Something website

This is a real life mystery.  I needed something real after the adventures of Limetown and watching all those Black Tapes.  This is a CBC production and the sensitivity with which David Ridgen handles the subject matter makes my Canadian heart proud.  Ridgen is so compassionate and sensitive with the family and never sacrifices their feelings in pursuit of the story.  If anything the story moves more slowly than the listener would expect.  The McNaughton’s are involved with every stage of the investigation and although they are by nature a quiet and reserved family, they push themselves outside their comfort zone and participate as much as they can.  Which is particularly chilling when they bring out the cadaver dogs.

I really felt like Adrien was present in every episode, you can feel him there on the edge of the lake and walking through the woods with Ridgen.  What happened to Adrien?  Did he fall into the water and drown?  Did he wander back to road and get picked up by someone?  Or, as the family believes and hopes, did a couple who couldn’t have children see him and make him a part of their family.

And, ultimately, will we ever know the truth?  As the title suggests, someone knows something.

I’m always looking for new podcasts, so let me know your favourites.