When I moved to Raleigh, all I knew about the area was where I would be working. When it came to apartment hunting, it was Google Maps to the rescue! I just found one I liked that was reasonably close and called it a day. Needless to say, when I moved to the house and my daily commute went from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, it was a bit of a change. Podcasts became essential. Here are some of my favorite currently-running podcasts that help my drive speed by.
- Weird fiction or fact?
Welcome to Night Vale is one of my original favorites, long before I had my current daily commute. I can remember trying to explain what it was to people before podcasts were a Thing.
Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide.
From WTNV, I heard about another storytelling podcast, Lore. Where Night Vale is completely fiction however, Lore is completely based in historical fact.
Lore is a podcast about the frightening history behind common folklore.
If you enjoy the X-Files or Twin Peaks, I think either of these would interest you.
- Supernatural conspiracy
While looking for more storytelling podcasts, I came across these two, both produced by Pacific Northwest Stories.
The Black Tapes
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.
Tanis is a serialized docudrama about a fascinating and surprising mystery: the myth of Tanis.
Then, of course, there’s Serial. This one probably doesn’t need any introduction to most folks.
A podcast from the creators of This American Life. One story. Told week by week. Hosted by Sarah Koenig.
In season 1, Sarah told the story of Adnan Syed, and the most recent season told the story of Bowe Berghdal.
From Serial, I wanted more. More about the stories, and more true crime. I first discovered Undisclosed, which pleased my detail-oriented mind to no end.
…Reframes, enhances or otherwise shifts everything you’ve come to know about the State of Maryland’s case against Adnan Syed.
Towards the end of season 1, I also discovered Crime Writers On…, which started out discussing Serial, but has since branched out to other true crime podcasts, TV shows and more. I find the banter between the regular contributors hilarious.
Podcast and blog about Serial, true crime, writing, pop culture, and more.
- Yet more true crime
As I delved more into true crime, I found Someone Knows Something, which reopens the cold missing persons case of at-the-time five-year-old Adrien McNaughton, who vanished in 1972 while on a family fishing trip in Eastern Ontario. It’s a bit heartbreaking to listen to, because the story weighs so much, not only on his parents’, but also on the rest of the small town’s minds.
Criminal is a bit of a crossover between storytelling and true crime. It takes a new person each week
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the “if it bleeds, it leads,” kind of crime, but something a little more complex. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
An added bonus for me is: this podcast is produced in Durham, NC (I pass the studio every day on my way into work!) Often the stories take place in North Carolina, and sometimes very close by, which adds an interest factor for me.
I know I am always looking for new recommendations of things to listen to, so I hope that there’s at least one thing on this list that piqued your interest. Feel free to leave your favorites & recommendations in the comments!