hey! do you know of any mystery (fiction) podcasts i could listen to with my family? (i have some young teen siblings so it's got to be pretty family friendly)
So I’m not sure how young your teen siblings are but I’m going to assume they’re at least old enough to get into a PG-13 movie!
I’ll warn you that most mystery has an element of creepiness/horror. That being said, most of the “Journalists get into Trouble” podcasts would probably be fun to listen to!
1. The Lost Cat Podcast
I’ve just started listening to this myself so I can’t vouch for the later episodes, but so far it’s very promising! A guy loses his cat and gets into some very weird circumstances trying to find it. (The VA has a very soothing voice and there’s some nice music in it)
A new podcast by the makers of Tanis and The Black Tapes. A woman searches for her missing friend (who may, or may not, have disappeared after being caught up in a secret game.) It features secret societies and cults. There’s only 1 episode out so far and it’s mentioned that the friend is an escort - so I’d listen to it first to see if it’s suitable.
3. The Black Tapes
A journalist starts off with a slice of life documentary and quickly gets sucked into the world of paranormal investigations with a sceptic who may be part of some sort of demonic cult. (Don’t let this put you off though! It’s creepy, certainly, but in a slow way with nothing too horrifying.) This one is more fun if you pretend it’s real haha
From the same people as the previous two, some of the same characters investigate a mysterious place that moves around the world. This one is more a mystery wrapped in conspiracy wrapped in secret societies. Again, this one isn’t “creepy” or “horror” but it’s more fun when you pretend it’s real.
A lifeboat from a ship that sank centuries ago washes up at a small port town in the Pacific Northwest. A journalist travels to find out what the story is and ends up stumbling into a murder mystery, reincarnation, and historical small town intrigue.
6. The Bright Sessions
I debated putting this here because it’s not reeeaally a mystery podcast. It’s based around a psychologist called Joan Bright and her patients - people who have superpowers. There’s a secret shadowy organisation who wants to keep track of them all and they do some preeeetty shady stuff. I’m recommending it because it is VERY GOOD at portraying mental health issues and I wish I had it as a teenager because it would have helped so much with my self esteem haha. I honestly think everyone should listen to it. (And if they like any kind of comic superheroes then they’ll probably like this)
7. The Bridge
Again. Is it really a mystery podcast? Debatable. It’s set in an alternate universe of the present day where a bridge has been built across the ocean. The hey-day has come and gone and we’re left with the rag-tag group manning Watchtower 10, sending out radio broadcasts to an empty and dilapidated road. Oh, and there’s a sea monster locked away in the basement. The mystery is finding out what happened to the bridge, and the people on it, and why they’re still there.
8. Archive 81
The first season is your run of the mill - guy gets drafted into a secret government project listening to some increasingly weird tapes. The second season turns away from the mystery slightly and heads more into horror. I’d give the 1st season a shot definitely, but possibly vet the 2nd season before you show it to impressionable younger audiences
Not gonna lie I love this one. The only problem is that there’s a couple of episodes and they’re put out infrequently. Set in the future 2 guys (amateur radio presenters) find evidence of a government coverup and try and bring it to light. They get shut down at ever turn so decide to investigate on their own (which brings its own heap of problems)
10. Small Town Horror
This is…definitely more in the horror genre. Again, vet it before you let younger people listen to it, but it a good one. A guy goes back home after his dad dies and finds out that the creepy town game he played as a kid (and his subsequent kidnapping) may have more sinister connotations than he realised.
11. The Magnus Archives
Again, more horror mystery than anything else. The Magnus Archives are a collection of short creepy stories about paranormal goings on. There’s a whole larger story about the archivists and the possible murder of the previous head of the department. Definitely vet it, but give it a listen to.
Still on the horror side of mystery. A carer for an old lady starts leaving increasingly weird voicemail messages for the old woman’s living relative. The 2nd season is when the mystery really kicks in. Definitely vet it as it’s possibly not that family friendly.
A student production that has an interesting storyline (and stuff at the end from their student radio on dealing with school pressures). A teenager comes home one day to find her grandma is missing. She ends up moving in with a family while a hunt is started. There’s also an old mystery where a whole bunch of people (including Andy’s parents) went missing in some local caves - which also seem to be a portal to other worlds. I’m not explaining it very well but I would definitely recommend this one!
14. Return Home
It starts of as sort of horror, but it’s not really. It’s more lite-horror than anything. A guy returns back to his town to find it over-run with secret societies and strange goings on. You’ll find creepy dolls and faeries but also an arc on were-bunnies.
15. Alice isn’t Dead
A trucker tries to find her wife on the long American highways. This is more horror than mystery and there are some definitely creepy moments. I’d listen to it before you let younger members of the family listen, but it’s a good missing person story.
16. Within the Wire
This has some horror moments - like the nurse but at the end - but nothing graphic. It’s mostly creepy in the way everything is so normalised. If you’re a fan of Portal, you’ll most likely enjoy this. The narrator is the voice on some relaxation cassette tapes, speaking to the patient listening to them. The mystery is trying to figure out how and why they’re in this mess in the first place.
17. The Elysium Project
A bunch of kids get experimented on by a shady government agency and gain superpowers. They escape but are left trying to figure out why them, what makes them so special, and why the government is so adamant at hunting them down. This one has a slow release schedule but it is so worth it!
This one is a short little mystery podcast about the town of Augustine and what happened to it. It’s like a lite version of some of the others on this list and a good one to start off with.
19. The Tunnels
A journalist decides to do a podcast on a local feature. He accidentally stumbles on a conspiracy and possible monsters locked away in the tunnels that run underneath his city. It’s good and not any scarier than others on the list.
20. Help Me
This one is definitely more horror than anything else. I’m putting it down because it’s technically mystery but I don’t know if it’s suitable for the age group you’re wanting. Basically it follows a young girl as she investigates her friends suicide and discovers it may not have been a suicide after all, but the work of a demon that acts suspiciously like slenderman. It’s short but there are some moments that I don’t think would be suitable for anyone impressionable. Definitely vet this one before letting younger family members listen to it.
Year ago there was a secret government town. Years ago something went horribly wrong and everyone in that town disappeared. You follow one young woman as she journeys to find what exactly happened to the residents of Limetown, and why it was covered up so hard. There’s only one season but it’s a really good season.
22. The Message
This has been renamed LifeAfter, but it’s 2 separate stories and the first of definitely worn a listen. The message follows an intern as she chronicles the first message mankind receives from an alien race.