The Best Spooky Podcasts for Fall Road Trips

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From creepy-crawly creatures to ghost stories to spooky-lite stories, there’s a podcast episode to keep everyone at the edge of their seat as you wind your way across the country. It’s important to note that, due to the nature of the content, many of these podcasts are intended for adult audiences only.
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Keep entertained as you drive with the best creepy podcasts for fall road trips.
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Serialized fiction podcasts

When you have a long road trip, you’re going to need some quality entertainment. These multi-episode stories will keep you hooked for hours on the road, so save these shows for drives when you’re ready to hunker down and settle in for the long haul.


Why you’ll love it: It takes the formula of Serial and brings in the paranormal for a gripping thriller that will leave you wondering if the story is actually real.
Limetown is Serial meets the X-Files. The show follows investigative journalist Lia Haddock as she researches the disappearance of 300 people from Limetown—a small research facility and town in Tennessee.
Inspired to investigate the mystery by her uncle, Lia goes through FBI documents, searches for survivors, and interviews those close to the case to answer the question: What happened to the people of Limetown?
Over the course of two seasons, secrets are revealed that make this a gripping story for any fan of true crime and science fiction.
Where to start: Start with the pilot. Each chapter adds a new layer you won’t want to miss.

Welcome to Night Vale

Purple Welcome to Nightvale podcast logo.
Welcome to Night Vale
Why you’ll love it: If you ever listened to old-timey radio dramas or A Prairie Home Companion and thought they need a bit more macabre, you’ll love Welcome to Night Vale.
Just like the radio dramas of days past, Welcome to Night Vale presents news and announcements from a small town in the Southwest. Only, unlike the noir mysteries or romances of yesteryear, paranormal and supernatural occurrences are commonplace.
The long-form story develops slowly as new characters develop and plots emerge—so you can listen to standalone episodes, or start at the beginning to follow the larger plot.

Alice Isn’t Dead

Halloween-themed Alice Isn't Dead podcast logo.
Alice Isn’t Dead
Why you’ll love it: This one’s a fictionalized true crime pod from the producers of Welcome to Night Vale.
The producers of Welcome to Night Vale take their winning formula of realism and horror to create this effortlessly gripping tale. Alice Isn’t Dead follows a truck driver as she drives cross country in search of her wife—who she thought was dead. The podcast perfectly draws on the eeriness of serial killer stories, but combines it with the feelings of nostalgia, loneliness, and longing for home that permeate any solo journey.
Where to start: Start with the pilot to get the full story.

The Black Tapes

A graphic of The Black Tapes podcast logo with red font.
The Black Tapes
Why you’ll love it: It’s modeled after the nonfiction unsolved mysteries that keep us hooked—only with things that go bump in the night.
The producers of Pacific Northwest Stories were inspired by investigative journalism and the eerie setting of the Pacific Northwest when they created this serialized docudrama. The show follows podcaster Alex Reagan, who is doing a podcast on people with interesting jobs.
She soon gets sucked into the world of skeptic Dr. Richard Strand, who spends his time trying to debunk paranormal stories, and she shifts her focus to following him and his unsolved cases—the Black Tapes.
Where to start: The story will keep you guessing from the beginning. Start with episode one to catch all of the intrigue.

Video Palace

A spooky abandoned video store for the Video Palace podcast logo.
Video Palace
Why you’ll love it: If you have a treasure trove of VHS tapes on your shelves and love to be truly creeped out, this podcast is for you.
Video Palace routinely ranks high on lists of the best spooky podcasts because of how it manages to be truly frightening—even without video. The podcast follows Mark Cambria, a video collector who finds a strange, white VHS tape, and—like any good fan of movies does—he watches it.
Subsequently, he starts talking in tongues as he sleeps, and Mark and his girlfriend find themselves amidst a series of horror, conspiracy theories, and the occult.
Where to start: The beginning is the best place to start.
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Episodic fiction pods

If you’re on a shorter trip or are looking for variety as you drive, these podcast anthologies offer some of the best one-off horror stories in an audio format.

The No Sleep Podcast

The No Sleep Podcast logo with a full moon.
The No Sleep Podcast
Why you’ll love it: It’s user-created and it spans a number of horror genres for a democratic approach to spooky storytelling.
The No Sleep Podcast started as a popular subreddit. In the spring of 2011, contributor Matt Hansen saw the popularity of the forum and proposed that they use the stories shared to create a new podcast—a form of media that was still in its infancy.
Since then, the show has created over 16 seasons of content, featuring a new story each week. It’s an anthology show, meaning it mixes different genres and styles. It’s still as democratic as the original forum as users submit the stories they think should be heard on-air—the only requirements are that the stories are told in the first person and could be plausible.


Green tentacles on the Pseudopod podcast logo.
Why you’ll love it: As one of the longest-running horror podcasts, Pseudopod has nearly perfected the art of spooky storytelling.
Having been on the air since 2006, many people consider Pseudopod the gold standard for horror audio. Top-notch narrators read short stories from some of the world’s most highly-acclaimed horror authors.
Many of the stories told are original, and the Pod sources submissions through its website. Like many of the other podcasts listed, Pseudopod deals with some graphic content, so listener discretion is advised.

Nightlight: A Horror Fiction Podcast

Dark podcast logo with "Nightlight" written in orange.
Why you’ll love it: A horror podcast platform that features Black authors with a Black production team.
Created by horror writer Tonia Ransom as a platform to showcase Black authors, Nightlight tells some really creepy tales. Each episode tells its own story, covering everything from haunted houses to murderous mermaids to intergenerational trauma.
With more than 400 episodes. Nightlight has some truly scary content—scary enough that you’ll want to leave your nightlight on.

Ghosts in the Burbs

Black and white image of a woman pretending to scream.
Ghosts in the Burbs by Liz Sower
Why you’ll love it: It takes the oral tradition of small-town storytelling and brings it to a podcast.
Schoolteacher Liz Sower was on a search for stories in her town of Wellesley, MA. She began asking her neighbors to tell her stories, and she recorded them. After collecting multiple terrifying tales—like the kind told around a campfire—Sower decided to create a podcast.
Ghost in the Burbs is a podcast dedicated to the people in the town of Wellesley and the ghost (and monsters) who haunt them. Sower uses tapes of the original storytellers and adds her own commentary.
The podcast covers well-known tales, such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and lesser-known stories as well.
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Serialized nonfiction pods

Creepy storytelling isn’t just a thing of fiction. Some of the scariest tales in existence happened in real life. These multi-part podcasts recount true-crime stories that are often stranger and creepier than the fiction they inspire.
Like the fiction podcasts, these serialized stories are best for long drives when you can listen to the whole tale in one trip.

Dr. Death

Black and white image of a hand wearing a white latex glove.
Dr. Death
Why you’ll love it: Dr. Death features the high-quality production value for which Wondery is known and adds charismatic villains, gripping storytelling, and just a dash of Grey’s Anatomy.
Podcast network Wondery has long been known for its top-notch production value and its ability to keep listeners engaged. Dr. Death, now in its third season, continues to live up to those expectations.
Each season of Dr. Death focuses on a different murderous M.D.–telling tales of spinal injuries, poison, and seduction. With excellent reporting from Laura Bell, it’s hard to believe that these are true tales and not works of fiction.
Where to start: Dr. Duntsch was the season that put this podcast on the map.


A foggy window and the Unobscured podcast logo.
Why you’ll love it: A great pod for fans of history and horror. The producers of the highly-rated anthology podcast Lore wanted a chance to explore one subject in a longer, in-depth fashion—and this was the result.
Unobscured looks at some of the darkest and spookiest moments in history and frames them in a new perspective. It pairs narrative storytelling with historian interviews, examining the social circumstances that shaped these dark periods in history.
Where to start: Begin with the inaugural season—a gripping look at the Salem Witch Trials and the forces that propelled the events that happened there.

Paper Ghosts

Silhouette of a person walks towards an abandoned farm.
Paper Ghosts
Why you’ll love it: If you love true crime, cold cases, and sociological analysis, this is the podcast for you.
Paper Ghosts tells the story of four girls who went missing from neighboring New England towns in the 1970s. Their cases went cold, but their communities were rocked by the events and the tragedy.
Despite being almost 50 years old, investigative reporter M. Williams Phelps has spent decades researching the cases, interviewing people, and digging through case files to unearth new details and evidence into their disappearances and probable murders.
Given how prevalent these types of cases still tend to be, this podcast is particularly chilling because it examines how much—and how little—has changed.
Where to start: Begin with episode 1.
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Episodic nonfiction

Like their fiction counterparts, these shows are best for shorter drives or a bit of variety on your trip. Most shows have a new story each week, though some have multi-part episodes.


The Morbid podcast logo with an image of a path leading into a foggy forest.
Why you’ll love it: The hosts have a great rapport—and a general fascination with all things spooky.
As the self-proclaimed “Fresh Air for Dead People,” Morbid covers a wider array of true-crime tales—including stories of serial killers, paranormal activity, spooky history, and unsolved mysteries.
As an aunt-niece duo (though they call themselves sisters), hosts Ash and Alaina have great banter, which provides some much-needed comic relief. The podcast features mostly stand-alone episodes, but there are some multi-part episodes for juicier tales.


The gray Lore podcast logo with a design made of branches.
Why you’ll love it: Lore provides an in-depth look at the inspiration behind some of the most frightening legends.
From the same storytellers as Unobscured, this anthology show tells the history behind frightening folklore. Host Aaron Mahnke spins a yarn like a first-rate campfire raconteur, diving into the sometimes unbelievable roots of well-known legends.
As the tagline of the show states, “sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.”
Best episodes: Covered Mirrors, The Bloody Pit, and Echoes.

And That’s Why We Drink

Podcast logo in the style of a Ouija board with blood spatterings.
And That’s Why We Drink
Why you’ll love it: A perfect mix of true-crime, paranormal speculation, and boxed wine recommendations.
In 2017, hosts Em and Christine bonded over a mutual love of true crime and boxed wine and decided to create a podcast. And That’s Why We Drink explores spooky tales with a sense of humor, blending true stories and paranormal happenings (though, they could be true stories).
The podcast won a Webby for Best Comedy Podcast in 2019, recognizing the hosts’ terrific banter—even if the stories they’re telling are no laughing matter.
Note: If you’re driving and listening to this pod, do not drink.

My Favorite Murder

The two women hosts of My Favorite Murder podcast.
My Favorite Murder
Why you’ll love it: You’re obsessed with true crime, and you don’t care who knows it.
My Favorite Murder is nothing short of a cult-classic phenomenon. Hosts Karen Kilgraf and Georgia Hardstock are unabashed in their obsession with real-life murder stories, and they recount the details in a way that makes listeners love them too.
The podcast explores the true stories of famous (and not famous) murders in a humorous, but respectful manner—and each episode reminds listeners to “stay sexy and don’t get murdered.”
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Bonus: spooky episodes of other podcasts

These shows are not known for their scary storytelling, but every once in a while they have an episode that’s perfect for spooky season.

The Moth: Matt Mercier, Brian Brown, and Joe Charnitski

A man stands on a darkened stage on the The Moth podcast logo.
The Moth
The long-running storytelling podcast hosts live Story Slams with a monthly theme. Often, those live performances end up as parts of podcast episodes.
This episode captures stories from three of the program’s most popular storytellers, recounting stories just in time for Halloween.

You Must Remember This: Charles Manson’s Hollywood

Black and white image of a satin sheet for the You Must Remember This podcast logo.
You Must Remember This: Charles Manson’s Hollywood
You Must Remember This is one of the most well-regarded podcasts about classic Hollywood because of its excellent research and storytelling. Host and creator Karina Longworth explores film with a sense of reverence and respect as she tells often forgotten stories of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
In this special series of episodes, Longworth looks at the chilling impact that Charles Manson had on Hollywood with her signature raw and captivating delivery.

Ologies: Demonology (EVIL SPIRITS)

Black and white illustrations of spooks objects on the Ologies podcast logo.
Ologies: Demonology
Comedian and podcaster Alie Ward blends her passion for both comedy and science through this highly-acclaimed podcast. Each episode looks at a different field within science (or pseudoscience) as she brings on an expert to discuss the topic.
This episode explores evil spirits with Dr. Alyssa Beale, examining the history, lore, and explanations behind paranormal activities.

This American Life: And the Call Was Coming From the Basement

Carved pumpkins on a dark black background.
This American Life: And the Call Was Coming From the Basement
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include an episode of the radio-storytelling gold-standard, This American Life. In this episode, Ira Glass and crew recount stories of kidnappings, zombie raccoons, and haunted houses.
Plus, master storyteller David Sedaris shares his experiences walking among the dead.

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