Oliver Stevens (he/him) // Staff Writer
I love podcasts, I love horror stories, and I love queer media. Luckily for me, there are a good number of queer horror podcasts out there. If you’re in the same boat as me and you’re constantly looking for more podcasts to listen to, or if you’ve never listened to horror podcasts before, here are some recommendations!
Spookiness level: Pretty Eerie
This is an indie podcast created by Becca De La Rose and Mabel Martin. The story begins as a series of voicemail messages left on the voicemail box of Mabel Martin (voiced by Mabel Martin, the real person) by Anna Limon (voiced by Becca De La Rose), a live-in caretaker for Mabel’s grandmother. Of course, the story morphs into something more. The tone of the podcast is beautiful and eerie. This is due in part to both the excellent writing and to the equally great sound design and music. “Mabel” is a slightly less well-known podcast, but everyone I’ve ever heard mention it has loved it, so go check it out and experience it for yourself!
The creators are lesbians (who are married to each other in real life!), as well as the two main characters.
There are currently 40 episodes of “Mabel,” with the next season in production. Each episode is on average around 20 minutes in length. As of this article being published, there isn’t a release date for the next season. That just means now’s the perfect time to get invested!
The Website: https://mabelpodcast.com/
Spookiness level: Unsettling*
*These stories are so rooted in queer expereinces that how scary or unsettling they are probably depends on your personal expereince. For example, the second story, which focuses pretty heavily on transphobia and dysphoria from the perspective of a trans man, hit close to home for me and was pretty upsetting (in a good way), but that might not be the case for you. Check the content warnings!
“Folxlore” is a podcast produced by In The Works, a spoken word theatre company out of Glasgow, Scotland, and Tin Can Audio, an audio collective also based in Glasgow. Each episode of “Folxlore” is a different, standalone horror story. These episodes feel to me like the kind of poetry that’s hard to summarize, so it’s probably best if you experience them yourself. I really loved the sound design in this podcast. It was super fun to listen to, although quite unsettling.
These stories are written by queer writers, performed by queer performers, and tell the stories of queer people. It’s pretty much only queer content! This is also the only podcast on this list that focuses on trans stories, which is really refreshing.
This ones a much shorter listen if you’re just looking for some bite-sized horror. There are three standalone episodes, with a total runtime of less than an hour to listen to all three of them.
The Website: https://www.intheworkstheatre.com/folxlore
Transcripts: In the episode descriptions on the website there’s a link you can copy and paste. However, the link for the third episode’s transcript didn’t work for me, so keep that in mind.
3. Alice Isn’t Dead
Spookiness level: Mild - Moderate
“Alice Isn’t Dead” is written by Joseph Fink (one of the people who writes “Welcome to Nightvale”), and narrated by Jasika Nicole. Alice Isn’t Dead follows the story of a woman who is a truck driver on her road trip across the United States in search of her wife, Alice. If you’ve listened to “Welcome to Night Vale” you might be familiar with the surreal tone the show has, but I have found “Alice Isn’t Dead” to be more intense and scary than “Night Vale” ever got. However, it’s a really well done horror podcast that will stand on its own whether or not you’re familiar with Joseph Fink and his writing.
As mentioned earlier, the podcast’s plot revolves around a queer woman’s search for her wife.
There are around 30 episodes, excluding some live shows. Each episode is around 22-25 minutes on average. The podcast is finished airing, so if you’re looking for something to binge all of at once this is a good choice!
The Website: https://www.nightvalepresents.com/aliceisntdead
Transcripts: https://alicescripts.tumblr.com/ (unofficial, but well done, fan-run blog)
4. The Magnus Archives
Spookiness level: Moderately Scary*
*How scary or disturbing you find each episode definitely depends on the episode and what personally scares you. I would recommend looking at the content warnings, especially in the later episodes. The official podcast only provides content warnings in the episode description starting around episode 91, but there are content warnings for episodes before this point on the episode transcripts on the blog listed below.
“The Magnus Archives” is directed by Alexander J Newall and written by Jonathan Sims, who also voices the main character, Jonathan Sims. (Yes, he named the main character after himself.) The podcast is released under the company Rusty Quill. The story begins as Jonathan Sims takes over as head archivist of the “Magnus Institute,” which is an institute dedicated to documenting and researching “supernatural” instances. Each episode is centered around a statement filed in the archives, which the narrator reads aloud. At the beginning, this format reads like an anthology, but eventually the pieces start to fall together into a wider plot.
Without giving too many spoilers, there are two queer relationships in canon between main/side characters, one that’s MLM and one that’s WLW. The main character of Jonathan Sims has been confirmed to be asexual.
This is a pretty lengthy listen. At the time of writing this article they have released 184 episodes and counting. The episode lengths vary, but each is usually between 20-30 minutes. However, this podcast is currently airing its final season and is nearing the end of its story, so now’s the perfect time to start listening.
The Website: http://rustyquill.com/the-magnus-archives/
Transcripts: https://snarp.github.io/magnus_archives_transcripts/ - (unofficial, but well done, fan-run blog)