13 True Crime Podcasts for the Spooky Halloween Season

NARRATOR: We open on a seemingly picturesque view of a regular college campus. By all means, it appears to be normal. However, after months of journalistic digging, our team has uncovered the hidden mystery lurking beneath the faux surface of school pride and eagle memes.

STUDENT: Oh yeah, they try to hide it but this place is totally haunted. Did they tell you about the ghost Wanda who haunts Bruce Hall?

The top podcasts charts on iTunes and Spotify all contain more than one true crime podcast. It is a trend which fits this current holiday perfectly. True crime podcasts appeal to those who like the thrill of a mystery, the fear of a murder case, or the drama hidden behind the scenes. We’ve collected the top podcasts for this season, all popular in their unique storytelling manner. So whether you’re walking across campus to get to your building or trying to fill downtime between classes, here is the ultimate way to fill your time while getting into the spooky mood.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

One Story To Bring Them All, And May The Spookiness Bind Them

Sort of a podcast classic, this format is one story told over time–unraveling the mystery episode by episode. We have included the top podcasts following this style that will have you hooked from episode one.

Serial

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Now starting its third season, this is a true crime podcast hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig. The first season captivated listeners with its twists and turns. The case focuses on one aspect of humans that we never really think about until we need it: memory. Listen as Koenig sifts through thousands of documents and interview dozens of people to dig until she finds the truth in these cases.

Seasons: 3 (ongoing)

Episodes: 12 in season one, 11 in season two, and 4 so far in season three

Length: One hour or less

Crimetown

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Created by Gimlet media, Crimetown follows the crime of Providence, Rhode Island. Told in a Godfather-esque style with gangsters, guns, and drama–you won’t realize you hit chapter 18 until the seconds hit zero.

Seasons: 2 (ongoing)

Episodes: 18 in season one, and 3 so far in season two

Length: Less than one hour

Up and Vanished

This podcast, created by director and filmmaker Payne Lindsey, follows the disappearance of Tara Grinstead. Season one outlines the still-unsolved case of a missing high school teacher. This podcast follows an investigative journalist format as Payne interviews past witnesses to find answers to an 11-year-old case.

Seasons: 2 (ongoing)

Episodes: 24 in season one, and 7 so far in season two

Length: One hour

What’s A Casual Chat About Murder Among Friends?

Don’t you and your friends get together to discuss murder? Well, these guys do. If you’re looking for a casual-style storytelling with a humorous edge, these are the ones to listen to.

My Favorite Murder

Friends and comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark host this comedy podcast featuring researched murder cases. Each week the two girls, their cats, and Stephen, present cases they research themselves and read fan submissions of strange and spooky occurrences happening in their hometown. Sometimes wild, sometimes gruesome, this is the perfect podcast to get your murder fix with a dose of comedy. Just remember to live by their tagline: stay sexy and don’t get murdered!

Episodes: 141 (ongoing)

Length: Over one hour (full episodes), less than one hour (mini episodes)

The Last Podcast on the Left

This comedic recounting of historic and spooky events is hosted by comedians Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski. These lifelong friends research and present true crime stories in a way that is as humorous as it is terrifying. From stories ranging from the Donner Party, to Jonestown, to Aileen Wuornos. This podcast will have you laughing from beginning to end, so just ignore the side glances you may receive by randomly laughing on your walk to the GAB.

Episodes: 335 (ongoing)

Length: Two hours or less (full episodes), less than one hour (mini episodes)

Just The Facts, Jack. None of this Funny Business

You know those true crime TV recountings where 911 audio calls are played, witnesses are interviewed, and even though your mom had it on and you only planned on passing through you suddenly find yourself on the couch with two minutes left in the program? Yeah, imagine that but in podcast form! Similar to podcasts like Serial, expect these are different stories every time and all include a hefty amount of research.

Sword and Scale

This is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Mike Boudet that highlights true crime stories presented through many different audio mediums: trial audio, witness interviews, interrogation tapes, and sound effects. Find a story that interests you and strap in for a tale of intrigue (just make sure to leave the lights on, especially if you plan on binging).

Episodes: 123 (ongoing)

Length: Over one hour

Casefile True Crime

Casefile is a weekly true crime podcast hosted by an anonymous Australian man. Officially started in 2016, the podcast has grown a large audience as the host discusses everything from well-known serial killers to mysterious cold cases.

Episodes: 96 cases (ongoing)

Length: Over one hour

There’s Other Crime Besides Murder?

Aside from the trail of murder-junkies and the serial killer obsessed, we also bring you the heists, the intrigue, and the weird.

Criminal

Want to learn about crime straight-up but only have time for one podcast? This is it. Criminal is hosted by Pheobe Judge and is presented in a straightforward way that cuts to the point and gives you the facts as they are. The cases cover everything from murder, to heist, to airplane jacking, to missing persons.

Episodes: 100 (ongoing)

Length: Less than half an hour

Reveal

If you’re looking to get your creepy, journalistic-style fix then this is your podcast. Created by the Center for Investigative Reporting, this podcast is hosted by Al Leston and a group of journalists who unravel stories involving corruption, scandal, and the otherwise bad of the world. If you’re all about the investigative journalist cases, then this is your podcast.

Episodes: 200 (ongoing)

Length: Less than one hour

Who Done It, We Don’t Know!

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned cold case? Are you looking for Buzzfeed Unsolved but in podcast form–something that unravels a mystery but in the end, no matter how much digging, you know that the case remains unsolved? These podcasts are fresher than the corpse on an autopsy table!

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories

This true crime podcast is hosted by a collection of true crime junkies who explore the details of unsolved cases in an old-fashioned radio format. With scene recreation, drama, and the investigative process leading up to the nature of the case being unsolved, this is a podcast that will leave you researching on your own to find your own answers to the mystery.

Episodes: 117 (ongoing)

Length: Less than one hour

The Trail Went Cold

This is a standard true crime podcast hosted by screenwriter Robin Warder, and focuses exclusively on the unsolved. Warder goes in chronological order of a case, explaining the details leading up to the crime–even the ones that make you cringe.

Episodes: 93 (ongoing)

Length: Less than one hour

Keeping The Crime Local

Yeah, yeah you’re hearing about the national, the international, the hometown crimes of fans–but what about our own spooky state? There are crimes everywhere, and if you’re looking for the Texas murders and corruption, then these are for you. Who knows, some may even be from your hometown.

Dr. Death

This eight-part podcast chronicles the rise and fall of a Dallas neurosurgeon, Christopher Duntsch, who botched surgeries of 32 patients which resulted in paralysis, chronic pain, and even death. Dallas journalist Laura Beil explains how the system let this doctor continue to ruin the lives of his patients without any consequences.

Episodes: 8

Length: Less than an hour

All Crime No Cattle

This is a true crime podcast covering a variety of Texas crimes. Told in an episodic format with a different story every week, it is hosted by Texas natives Erin and Shea. Have you often wondered about the crimes that go on in our home state (aside from Texas Chainsaw Massacre)? Get ready to dive into the weird, the creepy, the murder–all in your own backyard.

Episodes: 34 (ongoing)

Length: Less than an hour

October is the perfect month to get invested in the true crime sphere without your friends thinking you’re secretly stocking up the knowledge to commit the perfect crime. There are hundreds of podcasts out there, and many different platforms to stream them–Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music, etc. Just beware listening to some of these if you have night classes, maybe that creek behind you wasn’t just a branch…Happy Halloween!