Each week brings us hours of terrific TV, each weekend brings a new movie, and each cultural event brings a barrage of thinkpieces. We’re all absolutely overloaded with stories.
When I started listening to the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead, I felt connected to an ancient, intimate kind of storytelling. In each episode, a woman reaches through the airwaves and narrates another spooky stop on her road trip through small town America to find her missing wife.
There are no special effects or stunning visuals or 3D capabilities. Rather, Alice Isn’t Dead is more like a campfire story for grown-ups. Each episode pulls you deeper into a creepy world composed only of a woman’s voice and your imagination.
Like Alice Isn’t Dead, all of thee podcasts are perfect for people hungry for stories that skim the supernatural. When the torrent of news and pop culture starts to be too much, turn to one of these podcasts carved straight from the mold of Twin Peaks. You’ll enter another dimension, as The Twilight Zone begins — not of sight and sound, but of mind.
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Alice Isn’t Dead
In this serial story, a truck driver treks across small-town America in search of her wife, Alice, who suddenly disappeared. During her journey past Midwestern plains and Floridian rest stops, she encounters towns frozen in time, factories in which aging is accelerated, and a serial murderer who preys on drivers criss-crossing American roads. As she drives, our unnamed narrator tells her story to Alice.
Be warned: In addition to being a compelling portrait of grief, Alice Isn’t Dead(and all its gory descriptions) can be downright terrifying.
Welcome to Night Vale
If Twin Peaks had a sister town, it would be Night Vale. Each episode in this famous podcast takes the form of a community update — but Night Vale isn’t your usual community. A droll announcer gives updates on unexplained lights in the sky, alien invasions, and the doings of the secret police.
For a taste, here’s an excerpt from the pilot episode. The announcer reads, “Traffic time, listeners. Now, police are issuing warnings about ghost cars out on the highways, those cars only visible in the distance, reaching unimaginable speeds, leaving destinations unknown for destinations more unknown. They would like to remind you that you should not set your speed by these aberrations, and doing so will not be considered following the flow of traffic.”
Unlike Alice Isn’t Dead, which tells a story, Welcome to Night Vale’s strangeness can be consumed in any order, at any pace.
If you didn’t know any better, you might think Limetown, which investigates the incident of the disappearance of an entire Tennessee town, was a show on NPR. Intermixing history, interviews, and that classic NPR narration, Limetown could almost pass for truth.
But like the other podcasts on this list, this seven-part story is totally spooky, and totally …