As we all know, October is the month for spooky stories. I don’t actually believe in ghosts so I listen to all of these podcasts as pure entertainment, the same way I enjoy Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters on TV. It’s obvious, though, that most of the people writing and calling in to these podcasts absolutely believe the stories that they’re telling. Who am I to say they’re wrong?
Real Ghost Stories Online
Real Ghost Stories Online is my favorite of the ghost/paranormal podcasts. One reason is that there’s a new episode daily! That means there’s almost always plenty of new material. Plus, I only started listening in August so I still have back episodes that I’m catching up on. It was a weekly podcast at first and I’m not sure yet when it switched to daily, but it seems like it might be around the time Tony’s wife Jenny joined the podcast. The TV podcasts I listen to all have two or more hosts, but some of these paranormal ones only seem to have one host. Different topic, different format, I guess, but I do prefer the podcasts with at least two hosts. It’s more of a conversation than the host just reading from his notes or talking to himself. Tony’s pretty good even when he’s alone, though, because he has a background in radio. He knows how to avoid the awkward silences.
The bulk of each episode is spent on playing recorded calls from listeners who have ghost stories to tell. Occasionally there are interviews (including those with the real people involved in the hauntings depicted in The Amityville Horror and The Conjuring), and there are also stories, read by Tony, that listeners have written in instead of calling. It seems to be more calls than written stories now that Jenny’s joined the podcast and I’ve seen some grumbling on their forums, but I prefer the calls…except when the caller rambles on and on. In general, though, it’s nice to hear the story told by the person who experienced it or who heard it firsthand from a friend or family member.
There’s one ongoing story from Richard in Chattanooga who claims to live in a haunted house. Tony and Jenny are building it up to the level of Amityville or The Conjuring. Like I said, I don’t believe in ghosts, but there is one moment in one of his calls in the episode titled Too Dark for Demonologists where you can hear something. Even I noticed that, and before Tony and Jenny pointed it out. Richard claims he was lying on the couch talking on the phone at the time and no one else was home. Who knows, but that’s the one thing I have EVER heard that made me doubt my disbelief. Hoax? Maybe. Or maybe not.
RGSO is free daily but there’s also a subscription option where you can pay $5 a month and receive an extra podcast a week. I haven’t done that yet, but I plan to when I catch up on the back episodes. I’m also coveting some of the swag they sell in their store, especially the “Wanna Hear a Story?” hoodie.
Jim Harold’s Campfire
Campfire is one of two paranormal podcasts by Jim Harold, who has been doing his Paranormal Podcast since 2005. I haven’t listened to that one yet, but I’ll probably get to it eventually. I’ve only heard a few of the Campfire episodes because I’ve been so busy with RGSO! The Campfire podcast is similar to RGSO in that Jim takes calls from people with ghost stories to share. Rather than having a cohost, he interacts with his callers, which is something that RGSO doesn’t do except for during their occasional interview segments.
Most of the backlog of the Campfire podcasts are locked to the Paranormal Plus Club listeners. Only the episodes from the past 90 days are free, and at roughly two episodes a month, that’s about six episodes. I’ve been downloading new episodes as they show up on iTunes and saving them so I don’t miss out on any going forward.
Anything Ghost host Lex Wahl adds spooky music and sound effects as he reads ghost story tales sent in by his listeners. He also takes calls, but it seems like there are more letters than calls. Lex has a very soothing voice. I’ve only heard a couple of his episodes, but I’m definitely going to be listening to more once I catch up with RGSO.