Hello fellow Revivalists and welcome to the Folk Horror Revival Spotlight. This week we kind of move in a different direction. Kind of. Depends… Anyway. Like many of us that follow the Folk Horror Revival we perhaps had our first taste of it through ghosts and tales of hauntings through books like The Usborne Book of Ghosts and if you were really unlucky, or lucky, that traumatizing show Ghostwatch. Things that go bump in the night. Ghostly apparitions that appear at the top of the stairs. Screaming skulls. Children talking like old men and animals that can speak. So with that in mind let me introduce you to Haunted.
Haunted is a podcast that collects real life stories of the paranormal from all of us average everyday people that come from all walks of life and from all over the world. Danny Robbins is a comedian and has lots of tv and radio show writing credits under his belt. How he has found himself investigating the paranormal I don’t know. Maybe we could interview him and find out. Each episode is an interview with the eye witness, or witnesses. As they recount the experience to Danny he explores the circumstances surrounding the event. He goes on site to where they happened, explores the social and political environments of the time (trust me, it’ll make sense when you listen) and speaks to skeptics, paranormal investigators, psychologists and other professionals about the rational explanations. There is part of me that wants to punch these people but another part just wants to curl up in a ball and hide from the reality of how fragile our minds are. Another thing I happened to notice is the wide range of people interviewed. A South African wealthy businessman tells his story in one episode in a very serious manner.
I actually listened to the whole series in a binge. I found every episode fascinating and just couldn’t stop. Actually I’m lying. I did stop. I was doing a sleepover at work and thought it best not to freak myself out when I was the only staff member in a residential unit. That’s exactly how these things start! They are all a must listen but the most recent two part episode ‘The Night Shift’ is really a stand out for that very reason! If you ever happen to have read the book Will Storr Vs The Supernatural I think you will enjoy this.
As an aside I should point out that Danny is currently recording a podcast for BBC Radio 4 called The Battersea Poltergeist. A case that he discovered while recording Haunted that was far too big and complex for just a couple of episodes. It is part investigation, dramatization (with Detectorist Toby Jones lending his voice) and interview and will definitely be covered in a future post.