Good afternoon Grots and Goblins! A bit of a late to the party post here today but no worries. A good podcast is a good podcast right?
I was listening to what i thought would be the latest episode of Old Gods of Appalachia the other week and rather than an episode i was given an announcement that in respect of The Magnus Archives airing its very last episode they would be holding back the release date to let them have its final moment in the sun without any distractions. I had never heard of it before so i jumped over to find the first episode.
The Magnus Archives is/was a production of Rusty Quill. A London based production company that first began its life with the Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast. A show about role playing games so that wins points with me! The Magnus Archives was their second project that began production in 2016 and has been going strong since. It now has more than 160 episodes under its belt. Perfect for this endless grind known as a worldwide pandemic!
So what is The Magnus Archives about? The Magnus Institute has recently promoted staff member Jonathan Sims to the vacant spot of Head Archivist and we join him in the mammoth task of organizing the place after the chaos the previous person in his position left it in. Each episode is Jonathan finding a case in the archives and narrating it. The Institute itself researches paranormal, supernatural and unexplained phenomena so each account is an unlucky person’s account of their brush with something quite unpleasant and creepy. Ghosts, fish men, spooky trees, people vanishing in hospitals and possessed priests are a few of the subjects. Each episode is a stand alone story but from what i gather a bigger picture starts to reveal itself as the series progresses. I have not got that far myself yet but I am noticing things here and there that could possibly be relevant as I continue on. Every episode also has a moody score that accompanies the stories well. Sometimes i didn’t even notice there was any until it was too late and my anxiety had gone through the roof.
They may have finally called the show a wrap but it doesn’t matter. There is plenty of material to get through and from as far as i have got it seems well worth it.
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.
Do you hear it? It’s on the wind. It is echoing across the empty valleys. The sound of screaming and despair. The Banshee has come for us all… Nope. I was wrong. That will be the sound of me and many many other parents screaming in frustration as we try to home school our kids. Pass me the whiskey…
Anyway! Welcome to the Folk Horror Revival Podcast Spotlight. Where I help ye get your fix of ghosts, pixies, goblins,strange customs and whatever else fellow Revivalists might find yourself into. The podcast world is a massive black hole so sit back and let us do the work for you.
This week we have Loremen. An odd podcast from two comedians Alasdair Beckett King and James Shakeshaft. The about me describes them both as two tall white men (You can get a picture of how this podcast is going to be already) and with their podcast they ‘investigate’ local legends and folklore along with other guest comedians. Looking through the subjects of episodes we find a wide range of topics such as sheep murders, dusty places, monsters, mass hysteria, prophets and lots of other less well covered phenomena. But if the obscure doesn’t appeal to you they also discuss the more well known like The Lambton Worm, Sawney Bean, The Mabinogian, Geff the talking Mongoose and lots of others. They have you covered basically.
This is an extremely entertaining podcast. A nice break from the usual more academic discussions and serials that we have had so far. Each episode clocks in at just under an hour and they fit in quite a good bit saying that they have a tendency to go off on unrelated tangents for minutes at a time. The episode ‘Everything happens for the best and the pickled parson’ with guest Sindhu Vee is a great example of this as we are told all kinds of anecdotes and stories that may or not have anything to do with why everything happens for a reason. I don’t mind though as it is always funny.
So when you have no hair left to pull out from trying to solve your kids maths assignments take a break and tune in to this for a bit for a nice bit of stress relief.
Good evening my fish god obsessed cultists and welcome back to the Folk Horror Revival podcast spotlight. Firstly, I must apologize for being away so long. Christmas gluttony, frontline worker levels of tiredness and a weird case of podcast rabbit holes has kept me away. I’m back now so let’s see what we have this week: Bone and Sickle.
I believe that this particular podcast will be quite familiar with a lot of us already but for those of you who don’t know here’s a little background. Presented by folklorist Al Ridenour with his co-host Sarah Chavez, Bone and Sickle tackles stories of folklore and horror that pulls information from a wide variety of sources to give you a unique look at topics from multiple perspectives. Al covers historical, mythological, cultural and contemporary angles as he explores subjects of ghosts, devils, fairies, possessed nuns and other phenomena. I listened to a few episodes but the once concerning Banshee’s is a great example as I also covered The Irish Folklore Podcasts episode about her as well. Whereas the Folklore podcast was a fantastic academic discussion of the Banshee with lots of discussion on its history and theories on its evolution we have something totally different here. Al discusses the mythology surrounding her and Sarah does some great readings of some interesting stories and legends involving her. The episode wraps up with The Banshee on film, which to be honest I’d never given much thought to but it was great to hear especially with the audio clips included. I must watch that old Disney film one day.
On a side note I must comment on how good the presentation of this show is! You can tell that a lot of work goes into each episode. Not only through all the research and audio clips but the sound and production quality is great.
Happy Christmas all you Goblins and Wraiths out there in internet land. I hope you are all keeping well and not letting the Christmas cheer turn you into piles of ash. We have a special treat for you this week as we were given the opportunity to hear a new podcast that is due to be released soon. It’s name is Folklore and is from Tamsin Wheatley……Or is it?
I’ll be honest. Much like the structure of the podcast itself the way this has come about is just as mysterious. We get a message informing us of this new podcast and were offered a chance to hear it before it’s unleashed upon the public. Who is this Tamsin? Why does she want us to hear it? (If another review doesn’t get posted next week you’ll know it didn’t end well.) Anyway… Tamsin is a radio presenter and an avid fan of crisps. (Whether she is a harbinger of doom for blogger ups remains to be seen.) This is her first foray into the world of podcasts and by what I heard it’ll be a grand one too.
Or is she any of this at all? I honestly don’t know what’s real and what’s fictional about this. But you know what? That plays in its favour. Go on to Tamsin’s Twitter account and you’ll see requests for ghost stories and weird tales you have to be submitted and a countdown of excitement for it’s release. And then you sit down and listen to it…..
From the description on its website I was expecting to hear a discussion on local Wiltshire based folklore and hauntings but instead of that I was surprised to find I was listening to an audio drama about a mysterious set of tapes and the impending investigation that goes on around them. I don’t want to give the plot away too much but we follow the narrator retracing the footsteps of her old college professor and the locations of incidentshe documented on the tapes. If you are a fan of The Lovecraft Investigations, The Black Tapes and The White Vault you are going to like this and it easily holds up to the production levels of those as well.
Folklore is released on 26/12/2020 so keep your eyes and ears peeled and definitely give it a subscribe.
Boglins and Boggarts! Fire breathing dogs and hairy hands in the fog! Welcome all to this week’s Folk Horror Revival podcast spotlight. This week we head into the mountains of Wales where Journalist and writer Mark Rees presents his very own podcast about its haunted landscape.
Mark is a journalist that has been covering the Welsh arts for many years now. His work appears in many publications and he has even had his own work adapted to the stage in the form of a play called Phantoms that was based on his writing. He has also written a few books. A few of which should be of particular interest to us here and they are Ghosts of Wales: Accounts from the Victorian archives, The A-Z of Curious Wales and Paranormal Wales. His next book will be about Welsh folklore and is titled Illustrated Tales of Wales and will be available in 2021. As if that isn’t enough though he also hosts Ghosts of Wales- Live! An evening of all things paranormal and Welsh. Sounds good to me!
The podcast itself is a great lighthearted look at everything that goes bump in the night, or day, in Wales. I am only nine episodes in but so far we have two headed phantoms, ghostly dogs, a strange and possibly paranormal statue, abusive ghosts and an entertaining episode about hoaxes. There is lots of information packed into each episode as Mark clearly does a lot of research and has a lot of extra background information to expand on the subjects. He dedicated the whole of October to Welsh Halloween related tales and he looks to be doing the same for December. I saw an episode dedicated to the Folk Horror Revival’s favorite horse; the Mari Lwyd and another on the tradition that everyone could do with more of. The ghost story for Christmas Eve.
Well there isn’t much more to add except for saying that I enjoyed it. I look forward to listening to more and I recommend giving it a listen.
Good evening Ghouls and Goblins and welcome again to The Folk Horror Podcast Spotlight. Put the fire on, get a glass of hot whiskey, light a candle and switch off the lights because this week we have a spooky storytelling from The Widdershins.
Widdershins is composed of narrator Ashley Nunez and musician Joe Saburin. Ashley is the owner of Old Growth Alchemy and describes herself as ‘purveyor of botanical libations and sensual ephemera.’ Her shop sells all kinds of potions and concoctions for your local occultists, witches and anyone interested in the old ways. Joe teaches music and musician in his own right with an album called Dead Leaves. He can also be heard on lots of different musical projects.
Each episode they pick a tale of folklore, legends, fairies, monsters and ghosts and compose their own telling of the stories. With a wonderful added touch Joe composes a soundtrack with his guitar for each episode. At the end of the episode they get together to discuss the story and the development of the presentation. I am always interested to hear hot takes on what the meaning of a story could be (blame Blindboy!) and it is also cool to hear Joe talking about the composition he performed. If you want to hear a great example of this then tune into the Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti. As a narrative poem you get to hear Ashley performing quite an animated retelling as she keeps up with the prose while Joe creates a song to keep up. The discussion afterwards is another episode in itself!
Looking through the episode list they have so far chosen tales from the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, M.R. James, The Brothers Grimm, Amelia Edwards, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Shelley. With only twenty one episodes so far there is lots more to come too.
Hey Folks. Sorry for the lack of post last week but life, mainly work, chose to wear me down and put me through a spot of being under the weather. The joys of being a Social Care Worker! No matter though as this week we have a real gem of a podcast to share with you all.
Bluiríní Béaloidis is the podcast from The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. As they put it themselves ‘It explores Irish and wider European folk tradition across an array of subject areas and topics. Host Jonny Dillon hopes this tour through the folklore furrow will appeal to those who wish to learn about the richness and depth of their traditional cultural inheritance; that a knowledge and understanding of our past might inform our present and guide our future.’
As a blow in to Ireland I have a special interest in the lands folklore and traditions. Drive a few minutes out of the urban developments and you can soon find yourself feeling like they are alive and well. Many people still believe in fairies, or at least if they don’t quite believe they think it’s probably best if you don’t do anything that could irritate them anyway. Just to be safe you know?
Back to the podcast though. The presentation of Folklore Fragments is quite academic with all the guests being specialists in their chosen field. Each episode casts a critical look at the chosen subject and explores the origins and explanations for why things are the way they were and still are. What is really fantastic is that the episodes are all interspersed with audio clips from the Folklore Archive of people recounting memories of events and traditions.
There are so many episodes to choose from as well. Eddie Linehan joins Jonny for one episode to talk about the otherworld of Ireland (Episode 22. Invisible Worlds.) In another we have Professor Patricia Lysaght taking an in depth look at The Banshee (Episode 27. The Banshee.) And then other episodes we see traditions take centre stage such as Episode 9. Christmas customs and traditions and Episode 4. The Luck of the House.
I cannot recommend this podcast enough. It is fascinating. Go and have a listen.
Good evening ghouls and goblins! Welcome to the second installment of the Goat Lords podcast spotlight. This week we are showcasing a podcast that comes from all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and into Pennsylvania USA. It is The Strange Familiars podcast.
Strange Familiars is a podcast focused on the paranormal, unexplained and folklore and consists of interviews, discussions and on location recordings.There seems to be a particular focus on Bigfoot but that may be down to it being the host Timothy’s special area of interest. I must say that I enjoy the on location recordings. One of the first I listened to was of the hosts walking about a location having a relaxed conversation about the area and its history. Timothy is the main presenter and each episode he has a rotating set of co hosts. Chad, Jon, James and Alison the resident skeptic. Timothy is an illustrator, author, paranormal investigator and a folk musician. His band Stone Breath have released over a dozen albums and the music plays a big part in the show. His art often accompanies the albums and Strange Familiars logos and merchandise.
The episode I chose to listen to was episode 137: The Tunkall. In this a lady from Norway recounts her experiences with these Gnome like spirits called the Tunkall. I had never heard of them before so it was really interesting to hear the folklore behind these odd little creatures. Or are they ghosts? You will have to listen to find out more. Much like last week’s highlight we again had the relaxed interview format with no leading questions and instead a genuine curiosity to hear about this person’s experience. What was also great was being given some historic background to the story. A theme that crops up a lot in their episodes. The history of areas, sightings, people and so on are discussed and give good backdrops. There wasn’t as much music in this episode as I am used to hearing but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment. If you listen to earlier episodes you will hear segments being broken up with tracks and songs that are written specifically about the tales being told. That has to be quite an undertaking to do every episode so I can’t criticize them for not keeping it up as time went on. I haven’t listened to all their episodes though so I could be wrong.
Give them a subscribe, start from episode one and get lost in some strangely calming tales of strange events. .
Since March of 2020 the whole world suddenly changed overnight and a great many of us all of a sudden found we had a lot more spare time than we ever had before. Podcasts have really filled that void for me and I’m sure for a lot of others too. Think of a subject and there is one out there (too many if you are into serial killers!) and Folk Horror is no different. It’s easy to get lost so we have decided to help all our loyal followers out by putting a spotlight on some we find ourselves and sharing them with you all.
In our first installment we have The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast hosted by Jo Hickey Hall. Jo is a folklorist, researcher and social historian who is fascinated with the paranormal, the landscape and the oral tradition. She has a masters in History, is a member of the Folklore Society and runs a research project called Modern Fairy Sightings. Her podcast is an extension of this project where she interviews people who have had encounters with possible fairies. In the first episode we hear from a man who bumped into something while walking home one evening in Scotland.
As a storm closes in on the seaside village where I live in Ireland I wish I had waited to listen to this now. Even though it is quite a direct account and analysis of an incident it still cant help but have that atmosphere of strangeness to it due to the subject matter. It might just have a little to do with the eerie but pleasant soundtrack too. Both the guest and Jo keep the discussion grounded (well, as much as you can when the subject is the unknown) and I appreciated it all the more for that. No wild theories, questionable descriptions and leading questions. If this is a hint at the content and layout of future episodes then it is definitely worth subscribing too and I look forward to hearing more.