I know I’ve mentioned it in passing, but recently I’ve been super into podcasts. I used to find them incredibly boring, but I was also listening primarily to This American Life and Savage Lovecast, which are good, but after a while get a little redundant. I mean, how many times can you listen to Dan Savage tell some poor girl to DTMFA?
Anyway, the one I’ve been listening to a lot (read: obsessively) recently is called Ghosts in the Burbs. One of the best things (to me) about this podcast is that the host also has a blog, so if I don’t feel like listening I can read the same stories. That hasn’t actually happened yet because I love her voice, but I like having the option.
So, the host: Liz Sower.
Former children’s librarian. Mother of three. Surburbanite. Writer. Animal lover. I love her and seriously wish we could be best friends. Her timing is impeccable and she’s an excellent storyteller. I’d listen to her read a grocery list.
The premise of the podcast is that she’s collecting ghost stories from her town, Wellesley, Massachusetts. She put up a flyer in the library seeking ghost stories, and interviews people about their paranormal experiences. It sounds like the whole place is full of stuffy rich people, but Liz seems extremely down to earth. She swears. She loves eating. Sometimes she hates her children. Occasionally she thinks the people she’s interviewing are batshit. To me, these seem like perfectly normal reactions, and I like that she doesn’t hide or gloss over them. She also doesn’t pretend to not be afraid of the stories she’s being told or the things that happen to her, like so many other paranormal/scary story hosts.
Most importantly, the stories she’s telling are totally terrifying. So terrifying that I’ll only listen to them during the day while Dan is in the house. The sound of his snoring is oddly comforting, and, even though I know that if we ever encountered anything paranormal he’d likely pee himself, there’s safety in numbers.
To be clear, she’s not just talking about ghosts; she’s talking about demons, aliens, creatures, possession, Ouija boards, seances, basically everything covered under the “supernatural” umbrella. There are also some conspiracies and general weirdness that’s discussed. At first, I was looking at the episode names and wondering how in the hell this could possibly be a cohesive story, but she does an excellent job tying it all together.
If you like creepy shit, definitely check it out. Oh, and start at the beginning. It’s worth it.