If you liked Netflix’s Stranger Things, here are some podcasts you might enjoy:
Welcome to Night Vale (the community news of a small city in the American Southwest where all conspiracy theories are true and a part of every day life; BONUS - canon interracial gay couple as the main couple)
The Message (70-year-old message from outer space, cryptology, things are not as they seem)
Limetown (everyone in small town disappears and no one knows what happened to them; follow an intrepid journalist as she investigates)
The Black Tapes (sister show to TANIS; demons, investigation into the unexplainable, asshole Alpha Skeptic, and the journalist who tries to sort this all out)
TANIS (sister show to The Black Tapes; conspiracy, truth, and the investigation of what Tanis really is, plus an “information specialist” named Meerkatnip)
Archive 81 (found footage audio series where nothing is quite as it seems and there’s a building that isn’t exactly right)
Alice Isn’t Dead (from the people behind WtNV, a truck driver tries to find her missing wife and she runs into a lot of conspiracies along the way)
Within the Wires (again, from the people who brought you WtNV, instructional audio guides that slowly reveal a personal story and the revelation that the world the podcast is set in is that great)
The Bright Session (imagine what it would be like if the X-Men went to therapy)
The Behemoth (a girl and her monster walk across America)
Wolf 359 (the absurd misadventures of a small band of eccentric characters on board the Hephaestus Station in orbit around the dwarf star, Wolf 359, where it’s all fun and games until it’s not and the Blessed Eternal just wants a night light)
Alba Salix, Royal Physician* - Follows trials and tribulations of Farloria’s head witch of the House of Healing, Alba Salix. It is a 6-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with no future episodes currently planned.
The Behemoth -
15-year-old Madyson tells the story of the Behemoth, a large, lumbering beast that has emerged from the waters off of Cape Cod. It will be a 20-part mini-series.
Hello From the Magic Tavern - An improv comedy podcast hosted by Arnie, a man who accidentally passed through a portal into the land of “Foon”. Every week Arnie interviews patrons of the Vermilion Minotaur tavern including monsters, wizard, and adventurers.
Audio drama (Horror)
Alice Isn’t Dead* -
A truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead, encountering not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman along the way.
This podcast is produced by the same people who brought you Welcome to Night Vale.
Archive 81 - These are the recovered tapes of missing archivist Daniel Powell, posted by a well-meaning friend hoping to locate him.
Help Me - Nicole investigates the mysterious death of her friend Olivia and possible link to a dangerous entity. It is a 15-part mini-series with no future episodes currently planned.
Limetown* - Radio host Lia Haddock investigates the sudden disappearance of the residents of Limetown. It is a 7-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with future seasons (and possibly a TV show) in the works.
Return Home - Jonathan Baker returns to his home town after being contacted by a mysterious entity. Episodes are broken up into multiple parts aired every week, with breaks between episodes.
Audio drama (Pseudo-radio show)
The Black Tapes* - (horror) A weekly radio show hosted by Alex Reagan that investigates unsolved paranormal phenomenon documented by the Strand Institute. They also produce TANIS.
The Message* - (sci-fi) Nicky Tomalin documents the work of a team of cryptologists as the attempt to decipher an alien message. It is an 8-part mini-series.
Good Morning Zakera Ward - (sci-fi, Mass Effect) A morning radio show set in the Mass Effect universe. It is an 11-part series that appears to have ended abruptly, but is still worth a listen if you’re a fan of the games.
King Falls AM - (sci-fi/fantasy) A late-night talk show from quaint town of King Falls that is frequently interrupted by peculiar happenings and paranormal events.
TANIS - (horror) A docu-drama series hosted by Nic Silver exploring the myth and conspiracy of Tanis. They also produce The Black Tapes.
Welcome to Night Vale - (cosmic horror) Community radio 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.
Audio drama (Sci-Fi)
ars PARADOXICA* - A journey through spacetime and the Cold War with Dr. Sally Grissom, a physicist send back in time when an experiment goes awry.
The Bright Sessions* - The recorded therapy sessions of Dr. Bright, who provides support for patients with unusual talents. ((It’s more of a paranormal drama that a true sci-fi)).
The Bunker - A breakfast radio show broadcast back in time to us from the post-apocalyptic year 2414. It’s a 12-part mini-series, and the developers are currently working on another sci-fi series that will be titled Mars Corp.
EOS 10* - The adventures of two maladjusted doctors, their medical team, and a hypochondriac ex-prince aboard an intergalactic travel hub.
Kakos Industries - Corporate announcements for Kakos Industries, a corporation dedicated to helping you ‘do evil better’.
Liberty - Tales from Atrius, a colony cut off from humanity and racked by civil war, and the surrounding lawless expanse known as the Fringe. It consists of multiple mini-series.
Sayer - Acclimate to life on Earth’s man-made second moon, Typhon, with the assistance of the self-aware AI SAYER.
Thrilling Adventure Hour - A podcast in the style of an old-timey radio show consisting of the regular sub-series ‘Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars’ and ‘Beyond Belief’ as well as other segments.
Wolf 359*** - Follows the crew of the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station as they orbit around the red dwarf Wolf 359. This is my all-time favourite series - you should be downloading it right now… unless you’ve already heard it in which case you should definitely treat yourself and listen to it again.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History - As the title implies, this is really hardcore history. Episodes are exceedingly well-researched and is surprisingly easy to listen to considering the density of the subject matter.
Lore - A podcast examining myths and folktales alongside the true dark stories that either inspired or arose from them. A chilling listen that also has a TV show in the works.
Myths and Legends - Re-tellings of both popular and obscure legends that make them very accessible to a modern audience (i.e. people like me who DON’T read Beowulf in it’s original Old English for fun in their free time).
Sleep With Me* - Honestly, I have no idea what this podcast is actually about because Ackerman’s ramblings are so soothing I’m usually asleep shortly after turning it on. If you have insomnia and problems falling asleep to silence (like myself), this is a must-download - it’s more engaging that rain/wave/whale noises but you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
Escape Pod - Every episode consists of a sci-fi short story from a variety of sub-genres, and they are generally 30-60 minutes in length. If you enjoy Escape Pod, also check out their fantasy (PodCastle) and horror (PseudoPod) podcasts.
The NoSleep Podcast - Narrations of short horror stories posted to the NoSleep reddit board. It’s featured horror stories for every squick and trigger imaginable so be careful with this one if you aren’t into hardcore horror, and definitely heed the warnings at the beginnings of episodes.
Serial - I don’t think it’s possible to be a podcast fan and not have (at the very least) heard about Serial. If you haven’t listened to it yet, definitely give it a go - there’s a reason it was at the top of the (Canadian) iTunes store for close to a year. It’s produced by ‘This American Life’, which is another professionally-produced podcast worthy of downloading.
Someone Knows Something - A series produced by CBC that examines unsolved cases of missing or murdered individuals.
Thin Air Podcast - Two English majors investigate cold cases by examining evidence and interviewing people involved with the original investigation.
Pending - I either haven’t started these or haven’t listened to enough to categorize them, but most have been rec’d by multiple sources so check them out!
A New Winter - A first-hand account of the unsolved murders and disappearances of 25 people in a small UK village.
The Cleansed: A Post-Apocalyptic Saga - (audio drama - sci-fi) An epic post-apocalyptic saga set in a world ravaged by fossil fuel scarcity.
Greater Boston - An audio drama set in Boston that blends the real and the unreal, the historical and the fantastical.
Hadron Gospel Hour - (audio drama - sci-fi)A sci-fi comedy/adventure following a duo of scientists stranded ouside of spacetime in the Hadron Bunker.
Jim Robbie and the Wanderers - (audio drama - sci-fi) Follows two female musicians travelling surreal America with their robot companion, Jim Robbie.
Monster Talk - (informational) Examines the science behind cryptozoological and legendary monsters.
The Night Blogger - (audio drama - paranormal) It appears to follow blogger Brian Foster’s encounters with the paranormal.
Our Fair City - (audio drama - sci-fi) A campy (their words), post-apocalyptic audio drama.
Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles - (audio drama) In 1996, Pete Schwartz began work on a documentary series called Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles, but his sanity began to unravel during the production of the program and he became completely immersed in a nationwide conspiracy.
The Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness - A podcast chronicling the decline and fall of radio veteran Greg Willis. It is a 6-part mini-series.
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe - (audio drama) Ruby is a hip, tough-talking detective hired to track down the malefactors who are manipulating the media on the planet Summa Nulla (the “high point of nothing”).
Unexplained - (informational) A podcast about strange and mysterious real-life events that continue to evade explanation.
As always, if there’s a podcast you like that’s missing from this list, please drop me a line (message, ask, fan mail, raven, etc. etc.) and I’ll check it out! I’ll also be adding a podcast link to my blog featuring this list with updates. Enjoy~