Hello out there! I hope you are somewhere cool and not melting like me here in Berlin, with plus 30c weather that has been going non-stop for weeks. Welcome back to the Women in Horror monthly blog, I took a break last month because my partner and I got married! Then we took a well needed vacation. Now I'm back to my regular work schedule and am happy to get back into my project with the well awaited 2nd edition of the #womeninhorror podcast edition. If you haven't read the first part you can check it out HERE! This month we have a great mix of podcasts from audio dramas, haunted stories, horror movie pods and a comedy approach to creepy lore, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Break out your fans/spritzie bottles and chill out with some truly entertaining and engaging podcasts!
Is an audio drama about a woman waking up to an empty world, void of people. She records her hours puzzling together what has happened. I love (like LOVE) the protagonists voice - Sunny Moraine the creator of the audio drama, she creates such an ambiance with her voice that pulls you in and keeps you there. I'm a person who needs a good narrator when it comes to audio dramas, podcasts, audiobooks etc so this hooked me from the first episode.
The story feels so personal, it hits me on a deeper level. I can put myself in the protagonists place and see how I would react to the current trauma of her world. Would I be brave? Would I curl up and die from anxiety? It's a story that I feel a lot of people can empathize with, many of us have this fear of being alone. So what happens when you are utterly alone? Devoid of all people, living things. It's a scary thought.
I am still in the beginning 10 episodes of the podcast, because I want to take it slow and absorb the story. I have a tendency to rush through things and with this I'd like to take my time, because it deserves my time. It's similar to reading a book you really connect with and not wanting it to be over.
There are full episodes every other Wednesday and others that are in between called interludes, which are these kind of poetic theatre breaks giving the story more background into the characters. All professionally produced with excellent music and tone. Did I also mention it has a queer protagonist? No? Well it does! It's the cherry on top of the creepy sundae for me and what makes it a current favorite.
Go listen to it here on Podbean or if you have itunes it's there too!
Books in the Freezer-
The two hosts Rachel and Stephanie, talk about which horror/macabre books they are into in connection with the topic of the podcast for the week. My fav ones so far are the Queer Horror and the audiobooks episodes. Sometimes I find book pods don't go over audiobooks, which is a shame because they don't consider them to be "reading", which is not the case especially for those who are vision impaired and for some people like one of the hosts of Books in the Freezer, it is easier to comprehend a book via listening because they do better with audio learning. Which ever way you read is valid and I am happy they covered so many great horror audiobooks. Some classics they recommended were The Exorcist, Nosferatu which I will definitely be putting on my to read list because they said the narrators did such an excellent job.
The Queer horror episode was great too! Both hosts and guest Chelsea, of Not right Now I'm Reading podcast talk about their favorite queer horror books. I found out so many new authors and heard a few familiar names like the anthology created by Nightmare Magazine "Queers Destroy Horror", which I recently downloaded on my iPad. With such authors like Chuck Palahniuk and Alyssa Wong attached I am excited to get into this, once I am done with my current reading: Her Body and Other Stories which is also a horror anthology with stories with a focus on queer and women narratives by Carmen Maria Machado. Oh and the whole conversation surrounding The Picture of Dorian Gray was eye opening, as I did not know there were scenes cut from the original because they displayed queer affection/love. Plus the author who got me into horror reading Anne Rice gets a mention with The Vampire Lestat. In her books it was one of the first times I read about queer love as a young person and it really helped me feel comfortable in the early stages of when I really started identifying as bi-/pansexual. Representation matters! I hope to see more podcasts do queer horror themes, because it is so important to uplift marginalized creators.
One other thing I love about this podcast is they have show notes! I'm often scrambling to find a pen and write things down so to be able to go and check everything out on their webpage is a gift! Oh shout out as well, thank you for recommending the Gone Podcast!
Go have a listen over HERE or find them on Itunes !
I love a good ghost story, I grew up with the sound of people in my house walking up and down hallways at night and when I looked out of my bedroom there was nothing there. I've seen green lit eyes open a door and look at me. I've felt something not flesh and blood grab my elbows in a loving way and comfort me at a low time in my teen years .
My life has been riddled with eerie events I can't explain by logic. When I was recommended to listen to the Unearthly podcast I was happily surprised to find the host retelling real life stories of people's experience with the paranormal. It lit a lantern in my heart and reminded me of all these encounters I've had. It also reminded me how alone I felt with these experiences. It is comforting to listen to other people's stories and also deeply creepy in some cases. I leave every time after I listen a little more haunted, a little more curious of the world we live in and always a question of what these spirits or creatures are?
I think my favorite episodes so far are Paranormal Pride and actually the first ever podcast she made called Nanny's Bear, which SUPER creeped me out. I really liked that the host started off the podcast with a personal experience of theirs as it brought a feeling of deeper connection to the narratives of hauntings. There's something so eerie when you listen to someone's tale of unexplained beings, abnormal silences, walking through a forest and having it go deathly still or waking up to the creeping feeling of something being in your house. The way she tells the story and describes her experience adds a layer of mystery and intrigue. I think about that story sometimes and ponder what could have been haunting her Grandparents house. I kinda want to make a painting of it actually, I will post about it on twitter when I'm done with it :)
Find and Enjoy Unearthly HERE !
Women in Caskets-
A horror movie podcast with two amazing hosts Jen and Dawn. I found out about their podcast by simply searching on twitter for #womeninhorror podcasts and they came up! So if you say you can't find any good pod featuring women in horror, just do what I did and search for it via the hash tag or simply google it!
I think at the point I started listening to them in 2017 I was in a rough place and not happy with the representation or narratives of women in the macabre and horror genre. Also my favorite T.V. series Penny Dreadful ended horribly and I was furious about how a strong female protagonist was decimated by outdated cultural standards. They blamed the budget, but it doesn't take money to write a better story, it takes a different perspective. I was thrilled when I heard Jen and Dawn talking about the issues they had with Penny Dreadful on their podcast. The episode is called Horrific Agency, they discuss the agency of the female identifying characters of series Penny Dreadful and also West World, compare the positive and problematic narratives of the characters. I highly suggest you listen to it and then follow it up with brilliant episodes called Hysterical Women 1&2 - so damn good!
A fav from this year's episodes is January's recap of 2017 of all their favorite horror films. There are so many in their top ten list that I absolutely love! Plus them talking about the good things that happened last year gives me hope, because the garbage fire that has been the political landscape of both my passport countries, US/UK has been A LOT to deal with. So yay for good things!
Anyhow, I agree with them about the issues with the It movie and Bev's character and the unfortunate damseling/saviour technique made me super aggravated. Though I did love the horror imagery in the movie It, which was just top notch unsettling. My own personal favorite RAW made it to the top three amongst other favs, but you're going to have to go listen to know the rest of this amazing top ten list. Trust me, there are some true greats on there.
You can find them here at their personal site HERE or if you're hooked into The Bloody Disgusting network they are on there too! Unfortunately with new EU rules I can no longer access Bloody Disgusting, so I am thankful they kept their work on their own site. Go have a listen if you love your horror movie podcasts with heart and a social conscious.
The last two podcasts are very new to me, but I still want to give them a shout-out because they are awesome!
Nightlight: Black Horror Podcast
Created by Tonia Thompson is an amazing podcast that uplifts Black authors.
I have been properly creeped out by their podcast episodes. I seriously had a nightmare from the story I listened to 'Basque of the Red Death' by Eden Royce. A chilling story about corsets, objectification of women, racism and classicism. I love this story; it blends magic, horror and social issues so seamlessly it left me with a deep chill. I think about the young girl of the story and the lengths to which girls & women go to be a part of these outdated beauty standards. In addition to the story, a particular treat is the fact that they interview the author of the stories afterwards, which gives you such great insights into their work, as it's fresh on your mind.
The second story I listened to was the Stiffening by Nicole Sconiers and narrated by Cherrae Stuart. I must say at first it was hard for me to listen to this because of the style of narration, it creates the kind of desperate tension where you're gasping for air. I unfortunately have a panic disorder, so this was difficult to get through as it mimics the sounds of me having a panic attack, so fair warning if you suffer from anxiety. It is however an excellent way to build tension. It added this level of inescapable panic and fear. Really well done to the narrator Cherrae Stuart. This is a story connected to generational trauma, things that are passed down through genetics, which we have no way of controlling. It is a very real fear for me. Something I think a lot of and relate to. For the character it is escalated so by the condition she is watching her mother go through life with, the horrors of being bound to your feet never being able to rest.
Nicole’s work has been published in the horror anthology Sycorax’s Daughters, which was edited by Linda Addison, Susana Morris, and Kinitra Brooks. Which I mentioned in a previous blog from this year which I was gushing about then, so if you want to check out more info, read my previous blog HERE and buy the book where and when you can, or ask your local bookshop to order it, because support you local book shops!!
Find the amazing Nightlight podcast HERE and/or support them on Patreon!
The Cryptid Keeper-
Is a podcast with hosts Addison Peacock and
Alex Finnigan where they research folklore and creepy critters with a wonderful comedic backbone.
I started this podcast with a pretty recent one The Hoop Snake, the name alone sounded fun. I love lore with a good sense of humor as much as I love it when it's seriously scary. Just depends on my mood I guess. This episode was supremely funny, the rapport between the two hosts is like listening to two friends geek out. The whole podcast has a friendly vibe to it, which is light and airy. A lot of my podcasts tend to land on the heavy side, so it has been a welcome reprieve to tune in and listen to them discuss the many odd creatures and beings of lore. I also love that they check in with this Lumberjack book Fearsome Critters of the Lumberwoods, which has the most hilarious descriptions of the creatures. The image to right is an image from the book itself of the Hoop Snake. I've been flipping through this book, the meticulous descriptions and illustrations are fantastic. Highly suggest giving it a read.
There were so many good quotes from the Hoop Snake episode, but this was a fav: "Have you ever wanted to weaponize an ouroboros?" had me rolling (no pun intended :P). Seriously thank you for this podcast, it feels great to laugh with our world being so dark sometimes. It's a blessing to find a source of levity. I'm debating on whether to play The Hodag or Shadow People next either way I'm happy to get into more episodes. (Update: The Hodag is my new favorite grumpy beastie.)
Find the podcast here-> The Cryptid Keeper and find them on Twitter!
Well, that wraps up the 2nd edition of the podcasts. I am in awe of all the amazing women in horror podcasts out there and I'm sure I'll come back to this blog to add possibly a 3rd edition at some point. I hope you have found some new podcasts to enjoy. I can't believe the sheer amount of talented, amazing, hard working women creating such brilliant horror podcasts. Go listen, share and tell them about how much you appreciate their work. And please let me know if I got into any new ones, I would love to hear from you!
Have any recommendations for women in horror podcasts? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @JessFonk
Thanks to my patrons over at Patreon for the support! If you would like to support my art and writing please have a look at my page for tier rewards and more info! Jessica F Holt Patreon
** The digital paintings featured next to Nightlight, Unearthly and Books in the Freezer podcasts in this blog were created by me in Procreate in my IPad Pro. I thought it would be fun to add some art :) If you like them you can find some of them in my online shop!**