Tag: Paranormal (Page 2 of 2)

Taking the normal out of paranormal

Occultaria Of Albion review

Rating –

The Occultaria Of Albion logo

I heard about this very recently on one of the many facebook pages I frequent. I duly subscribed, as I always do when a new podcast crosses my path. I’d planned to put it off for a while, I’ve got a few new series on the go and I’m trying to review those first. I’m also trying to avoid those pesky “queue jumpers” that inevitably appear from time to time. Every time I opened my list of podcasts though, I’d see this one calling out. This morning I finally gave in and took the plunge into the strange world of the Occultaria Of Albion.

So what’s it about?

The Occultaria Of Albion is a strange beast. At first glance (and indeed at the first episode), it appears to be one of the many folklore podcasts that are springing up like fairy rings. But scratch below the surface and you find something very interesting indeed.

The host and head archivist Richard Daniels investigates a different subject every episode, from ghosts to cryptids and UFO sightings. The episodes are split between retellings of traditional stories and interviews with eyewitnesses.

The first episode is a very low-fi release, recorded on what sounds like a mobile phone or cheap microphone. This isn’t a bad thing in this case however as I imagine him sitting in a shed that smells of creosote talking into a strange recording device. It reminds me a lot of the old Oliver Postgate animations, which were also created in a shed that no doubt smelled of creosote.

Is it any good?

After the first episode or two I wasn’t sure if I’d go the distance with this. This seems like a very low budget affair and as such the voice acting isn’t always up to scratch. There are a few occasions where you can almost see the person reading off a bit of paper. I can forgive that though because the mythology and the whole aesthetic is so good.

I’m glad I did stick with it though, because every episode gets better in terms of content.

There are a lot of genuinely funny moments and Richard Daniels is a very talented writer and host. His wit shines through any production shortcomings. Don’t think that this is just a purely comedic exercise though. There is a lot of folkloric and horror knowledge here that gets parodied very well. This is very much like Les Dawson playing the piano. You have to be very talented and knowledgeable to make something seem so “amateur”. (Please don’t take that the wrong way!)

This is also another one of those podcasts that has me wondering if it is entirely fictional or if some of the stuff presented is actually worth googling (at the risk of being caught out). As I have said previously, I don’t mind that at all. And I have to resist the urge to look up any film or book that gets mentioned.

Final thoughts

From the analogue bleeps of the little interludes, to the very 70s hauntological look of the OoA releases on their website (they look like releases by Ghost Box or The Belbury Poly) there is a lot to love here, especially if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s a lot to love even if you’re not. Another hauntological note here is the similarity of the yoga teacher character to the legend of the Radiophonic workshop Delia Derbyshire. I’m not sure if this was an intentional impression or not, but it made me smile.

This is well worth your time to listen to. Each episode is different enough to seem fresh. I assume this is because the release schedule is somewhat “sedate”. Although as I write this, I’m awaiting the imminent release of the new episode at the end of the week. I should also point out that I’ve listened to the whole back catalogue of episodes in a day, well about 4 hours truth be told.

As I said previously, Richard Daniels is a very talented writer and I can’t help but wonder if this series would be improved if it was just him retelling these stories. The excerpt from a talk that he gave on the Halloween episode was amazing, and I could really listen to that stuff all day. I’m prepared to overlook the poor voice talent, but I’m not sure if you would be.

You may wonder when then, after my seemingly relentless nitpicking of the acting, why I gave this a five brain rating. I think in this case it is deserved because it is so bloody good. That’s the only thing that there isn’t to like, and even then the actual script is very good. So there. It’s my blog and I’m in charge!

You can get The Occultaria Of Albion here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts.


This is possibly the only podcast I’ve found that doesn’t really have it’s own webpage. The official TOoA site just recommends you search for the podcast, and the link I provided above seems to have links for all possible podcatchers.

Be open to all to all possibilities

Dark Air with Terry Carnation review

Production company – Imperial Mammoth, Audioboom and Kelly&Kelly

Rating –

Dark Air logo

As you will have no doubt read in last week’s review. I’m a huge fan of Rainn Wilson’s curmudgeonly radio host Terry Carnation. When I discovered that he had his own show, I immediately subscribed. I wasn’t disappointed, and I don’t think you will be either (unless you don’t like the guy, but then I can’t help that).

So what’s it about?

Terry Carnation is a haunted man. An “expert” on the paranormal and the occult, he had his own late night radio talkshow that offered him some success. After the death of his wife, he had a breakdown and lost the only other thing he loved. The radio show. Now however, he’s back. He has a new intern, the puppy dog like uberfan Jeet, and he’s ready to answer any mysteries the callers can throw at him.

During his first show, he receives a strange call from someone who he believes is his dead wife. This sets him off on a mission to solve the mystery. Is she dead and calling from beyond the grave, or is she alive and being held hostage somewhere? He travels all over the country (within reason) desperately looking for clues.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. As I said in the Radio Rental review, Terry Carnation is a genius character. This show really expands on it though. In Radio Rental, he was just introducing each “tape” and passing judgement on some of the stories, my comparison to Crypt Keeper in Tales From The Crypt was justified I think. Here, he is a fully fleshed-out eccentric. The characters are brilliantly realised too, from the strange callers and the even stranger employees at the radio station. His nemesis (and ex-intern) Wes Popovitz now has his own radio show too. Wes is best described as Alex Jones turned up to 11 (if your brain could even fathom that). It’s a spot-on parody of right wing conspiracy shows so beloved of a certain section of society.

You will happily follow Terry as he upsets everyone he meets, tests the patience of his long suffering therapist, makes illegal adverts in exchange for out of date food, and generally acts like a tornado of profanity and bad habits. Despite this, there is (occasionally) a genuine pathos to him. He is a man adrift. He’s lost the only person he ever loved, and he’s lashing out at the world trying to stay relevant (and sane), despite the efforts of the world to knock him down continually.

Final thoughts

This is a show that I can’t recommend highly enough. It is laugh out loud funny (if you have a reasonably dark sense of humour) and it’s very well produced. As I said, the voice acting is top notch, as is the sound design.

As I had mentioned in my review of A Voice From Darkness, this is the opposite (and yet equally perfect) mix of darkness and humour. That is 90% humour, 10% darkness. It’s really a mirror image of that show, and also of Radio Rental. Very few podcasts have that ability to warrant more than one playthrough. This is one of those.

Just do yourself a favour and subscribe to this right now.

When I was looking for the logo image and some production company info, I visitied his website. I only mention it because it is such a perfect design for a man like Terry Carnation that it really deserves a mention (and a visit too). You can find it here.

You can get Dark Air With Terry Carnation here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts

Stranger than fiction

Radio Rental review

Production company: Tenderfoot TV


radio rental logo

This podcast was recommended to me by a work mate, so thanks Sam! To be honest it had been languishing in my “unplayed” list for a while now (as so many shows ultimately do). A few weeks ago I needed a change though. I decided to take the plunge into the strange and spooky tapes of the Radio Rental video store.

So what’s it about?

Radio Rental is a series of true stories sent in by listeners. Now don’t for one moment think that these are the same tired old ghost stories that get trotted out elsewhere. These are some very strange stories indeed. I think I had to get halfway through season 3 before I actually heard a “proper” ghost story. That said, there are stories that would be decidedly less scary if it was an actual ghost responsible! There are tales of odd timeslips, deja vu, close calls with murderers, and a few stories of a very particular fear of mine (but I’m not telling you what they are!)

Each episode is introduced by the brilliant Rainn Wilson as his character Terry Carnation. He is a delightful blend of Al Ridenour from Bone and Sickle (who isn’t a fictional character), and Dr. Malcolm Rider from Voice from Darkness (who is). His dulcet tones and curmudgeonly manner add some comic relief to the rather dark content of the episodes themselves.

Unlike other similar (albeit fictional) series out there, there is no main story arc or even a Terry Carnation meta plot here. I mean, all the stories are from different people, and Carnation is simply a host. It’s a grab bag of stories, some that beggar belief.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. I LOVE THIS SHOW! Terry Carnation is a brilliant host, and has some real laugh out loud moments. So much so that as soon as I’d finished this series, I immediately subscribed to his other podcast Dark Air. This will also be getting reviewed here very soon indeed. Next week in fact.

The stories are all very diverse and it seems that the producers try not to have lots of similar stories cropping up in each episode, so they always feel fresh. The production quality is also high, and each tale gives the impression of one of those spotlit talking head type interviews so beloved of paranormal TV shows.

Having Terry Carnation present each story, and adding his own little skits between really helps too. He’s like a less cadaverous (though no less humourous) version of the Cryptkeeper from Tales From The Crypt.

A (very minor) criticism is that the concept of a video rental store is a weird one. Each story is a “video tape” played by Carnation, and these tapes are the “under the counter” type illicit tapes not shown the the general public. I wonder if there would have been a better way of doing it, especially as Terry Carnation is a radio host. I suspect that the only reason is to use the cockney rhyming slang of the title (radio rental = mental). I’m not even sure if there were “radio rental” stores in America like there were here in the UK.

Final thoughts

My only problem with this show is whether some of these stories are actually true or not. These people either get in touch with the podcast directly or are found on Reddit. Now I can believe that someone had a close call with a murderer, or met some creepy person, but my Skeptic-O-Meter® starts to beep when people have the stranger, matrix like glitches in reality. None of these particular stories can be proved one way or the other and so have to be taken on face value.

Don’t let this put you off though. I don’t think there’s a single story that hasn’t totally gripped me, and now I’m caught up I really can’t wait for the next episode to launch.

You can get Radio Rental here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts.

Speak up caller, you’re through

A Voice from darkness review

Rating –

A Voice From Darkness Logo

A Voice From Darkness was a bit of a new new discovery for me. It had been languishing in my podcast list for a while now, actually a long while. However, I’ve managed to blast through all the released episodes in about two days. So in the effort of striking while the iron’s hot, here is my review.

So what’s it about?

A Voice From Darkness is another horror anthology podcast that sits somewhere between The Storage Papers and The Magnus Archives. It’s told in the form of a radio phone-in, hosted by Dr. Malcolm Ryder. Ryder is a paranormal expert who listens to the caller’s stories and offers advice on how to cure all manner of ethereal problems.

It builds its own mythology almost from episode 1, although you won’t realise for a while. There are recurring characters that get mentioned, much like the characters in The Magnus Archives although without the cool names (you’ll see what I mean). When I heard the name of the main antagonist in this series I almost laughed out loud. It’s never going to be a spooky name, no matter how hard Dr. Ryder tries!

On top of the individual calls to the show that act as standalone stories, there is a larger story arc that comes into play too. One that concerns Ryder’s family history, and the skeletons that reside in the Ryder family closet. A lot of these are released piecemeal in separate episodes that take the form of answerphone messages and other correspondence outside of the radio station.

Is it any good?

It is. It’s a decent mix of darkness and humour (as in 90% darkness 10% humour), and I’m not counting the unintentional naming of the antagonists here. Ryder’s voice is perfect for the late night radio format of the series. Despite his occasional firmness, you get the impression that he really does care about the people who ring in.

Aside from Ryder, the voice acting is pretty good, and the drama is engaging and builds nicely as the series progresses. The episodes are well-written too. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of the writers losing steam or forgetting the motivations of the characters.

In much the same way as The Magnus Archives, the seemingly disparate calls build the mythology to a terrifying whole, where even the less extreme encounters hint at some real threat to life and sanity. Thankfully, Dr. Ryder is on hand to help of he can (although you’ll ignore his words at your peril).

Final thoughts 

When I first started this series, I was very close to giving up on it befire the first episode had even finished. I felt Ryder’s voice was cheesy and trying to be deliberately spooky. A few episodes later and I loved it though. I’m so glad I stuck at it (unlike certain other podcasts I’ve reviewed here).

I would recommend this series to fans of The Magnus Archives, SCP Archives, if you actually liked The Storage Papers, or indeed any other podcast with archives/papers/files in the title. This is how you do it right, and in a world where there is a dearth of similar themes, this one really stands out.

There are certainly worse shows out there to listen to. This is a solid four brain podcast that is well worth your time.

You can get A Voice From Darkness here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts.

Is anybody there?

In Another Room review

Production company – Violet Hour Media

Rating –

In Another Room logo

A quick review of a quick series this time. I actually listened to the whole thing in a day, and had time for a few episodes of other shows too. Something that a few podcasts out there would do well to try. Violet Hour Media are a production comapny that I’m very familiar with, having been behind such series as The Elmwood Strain, The Gloom and Between The Devil. So how does this series shape up? We shall see.

So without further ado, join me as I tread the empty hallways and deserted rooms of a notoriously haunted house.

So what’s it about?

In Another Room follows the experience of paranormal investigator Wendy Morrow. She manages to gain access to “The House”, a building of some reputation, and despite the warnings of people who have worked and lived there, she spends the night alone (as they always do).

Things start off fairly quietly, but as the night progresses, things get serious and Wendy realises she should have listened to the warnings. But of course, by then it is too late (as it always is).

Each episode in the series investigates the ghosts that reside in each different room of the house. As the series progresses and more of the terrible backstory of the house gets uncovered, you realise that things are more connected than they seemed at first. The ghosts are from all time periods since the construction of the house, and their stories are diverse, but all tragic in their own way. 

There is more than one side to this story though, and I really don’t want to tell you about it because it will definitely affect the plot twists early on, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. The main arc is rather well done as the historical threads weave themselves into the story of the present.

Is it any good?

Yes and no. You’ll find nothing new or surprising with this story. There are well trodden horror tropes galore, and some elements border on the cliché. Toward the end of the series, there are so many plot threads at some points that it can get quite confusing. The secrets of the house get uncovered and as Wendy realises what she must do, the pace picks up.

Having said all that, it is quite good and if you have the time to set aside, it does make for a rather entertaining day’s listening. Just don’t expect top notch voice acting or “keep you up at night” horror. This review may sound like I can’t make my mind up whether I like it or not, and that’s because I really can’t. It’s like a rehash of the first series of American Horror Story, but not as good.

The one thing that really did creep me out was the poem at the end of the last episode. I keep meaning to see if that’s a “real” poem, or one that was written for the show. Either way, it was the standout part of the whole thing for me.

Final thoughts

I rediscovered this in my podcast list and honestly couldn’t remember it. So I went through it all again and still hardly remembered it. That tells you all you need to know really. If you go back through my reviews you’ll find podcasts way more worthy of your time. I’m going to say something now that may upset some people. There are some podcast production companies that are immediate guarantees of quality. Rusty Quill, Bafflegab and PRA to name a few. Violet hour media is not one of those companies. Don’t get me wrong, their podcasts are not terrible, but they aren’t brilliant either. Make of that what you will.

You can get Another Room here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts

Quis est hic qui audit?

A Podcast To The Curious review

Rating –

A Podcast To The Curious Logo

I figured I’d do a belated review of this podcast because hosts Will Ross and Mike Taylor have just done a belated 10th anniversary episode. So in the spirit of late posting and life getting in the way, here is my (late) review of the excellent A Podcast To The Curious.

So what’s it all about?

Originally (as you may have guessed from the podcast title), this was a series dedicated to the works of the renowned teller of ghost stories M.R. James. I say originally, because originally they did one episode on each of his stories in chronological order. Now, much like the musical back catalogue of Robert Johnson, the James back catalogue only contains about 20 something tales of terror. Once they had exhausted these, they branched out into stories written by “The James Gang”, the group of contemporary writers who have a similar style (and also a penchant for two initials before their surnames).

There are countless podcasts and collections of audio books that just do straight readings and adaptations of famous stories, but this one is more scholarly. Each episode certainly contains excerpts and readings, but this is more of a deep dive into the mechanics and inspirations of the story. Their research uncovers if the fictional settings have real life counterparts, and if certain notable historical figures ever existed at all. They uncover hidden Easter eggs and in-jokes in the stories, and essentially add a whole new dimension to what were already great stories.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. The guys are witty and engaging, and make what could easily become boring, entertaining. The occasional guests they have on are also witty and engaging, and extremely knowledgeable on the subject of all things Jamesian. A standout example was their interbew with Robert Lloyd Parry, a man who has quite literally stepped into James’ shoes and hosts evening readings of his stories by candlelight.

It was also interesting to hear their “premonition” of a better ending for “The Mezzotint”. That actually got included in the recent Mark Gatiss adaptation. Maybe he’s a fan of the show! (I should think he is. Tut tut Mark)

Final thoughts

You’ll love this podcast if you’re a fan of M.R. James, or traditional ghost stories in general. There is so much to discover in each episode it really is worth your time. Don’t expect an audiobook or straight reading of the stories though. This is more scholarly than that. Don’t let that put you off though (unless you really want an audiobook).

I appreciate that this review is somewhat shorter than my usual posts, but that can’t really be helped. There is no voice acting to critique, or sound effects to enjoy. It’s just a deep dive into some classic horror stories. 

You can get A Podcast To The Curious here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts.

Like She, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread…

Haunted Road review

Production company – Grim And Mild

Rating –

Haunted Road Logo

Another spooky one this week, and one that I feel follows nicely from last week’s foray to the other side. This week though we’ll be travelling to the other side of the pond to review an American paranormal podcast.

Paranormal tv shows have been something of a guilty pleasure for over twenty years now. From videotaping episodes of Most Haunted every week, to the demonic hyperbole of Ghost Adventures, I’ll watch (almost) any ghost show out there. I know it’s all put on, I’m not an idiot, but I enjoy watching draughty windows and motes of dust get misconstrued.

When I saw that Amy Bruni, of Ghost Hunters and Kindred Spirits fame was releasing a podcast, I knew I had to listen. So is it worth you listening? Well read on and find out.

So what’s it about?

In each episode of Haunted Road, Amy Bruni discusses a well known paranormal hotspot in the USA. She starts out with a history of the location, then recalls some of her experiences there. The second half of the episode is an interview with someone (usually) connected to the place. Here, they take more of a deep dive into the ghostly goings on. They also debunk some of the more popular myths that get retold by lazy researchers.

These locations can vary wildly. From the usual haunted hotels, prisons and asylums to ships and even entire towns. I mean, it’s probably harder to find somewhere in Gettysburg PA that isn’t haunted.

Her research is well done and thorough. It’s also nice to hear someone who will call out and disregard the more far fetched stories that can be the bread and butter of lesser podcasts. The Alcatraz episode springs to mind here, as almost every story that people know about the place is shot down. Having said that, the actual true stories of the place are even more unbelievable than the fictional ones.

Is it any good?

On the whole, yes. There is one thing I don’t like though. I almost feel like a bastard for saying it, but here we go. In the first half of the episode when Amy is recounting the history of the location, she’s obviously written everything out first, which is fine. The thing is is that she has that sing song way of reading out loud that is so cliché of Americans. Imagine the way that people say the “30 days hath September” rhyme, and you’ll be close. As I said, I feel bad for criticising this as the habit can’t be helped. Much like Australians ending sentences as though they are asking a question and people starting answers with “so”. It does start to grate a bit when you listen to three or four episodes in one go, like I do. There we are , I said it. Sorry Amy!

Honestly though, this really is the only thing I can fault here, and it’s not even a big deal. Especially if you’re an American I guess. It’s surely a show of appreciation that the only fault I can find is something so nitpicky as that.

The interviews themselves are very interesting. On the TV shows, these are often pruned down to a few juicy soundbites before the team uncover “demonic entities” or some such Hollywood influenced nonsense. Here though, the people are given more room to discuss the location and the phenomena in more detail, and this is where Amy comes into her own. She is charming and her genuine interest in the subject really comes across.

Final thoughts

If you have even a passing interest in the paranormal or ghosts in general, then you’ll love this show. Even if you’ve seen all the visits by all the TV shows to all the locations, Amy will unearth some interesting snippets of knowledge to whet your appetite.

I’ll be perfectly honest here, I don’t actually listen to that many paranormal podcasts. Therefore my opinions here might be somewhat ill informed. Once my list of podcasts to review starts getting a little lean though, I think I’ll have to start delving into this genre. All it usually takes is one or two good shows to set me down the path, as it did with true crime podcasts.

After listening to this show, I feel bad for not giving her new TV show a chance. I think I’ll have to change that very soon.

You can get Haunted Road here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts

I know what I saw

Uncanny review

Production company – BBC Sounds/Bafflegab

Rating –

Uncanny logo

Originally, the title of this review was going to be called “Bloody hell ken”, but then it turns out the last episode was called that so I had to change it last minute to the rather less inspired one you can see a few hundred pixels above this paragraph.

This is the first of what will be a few reviews of paranormal podcasts (not all at once though, I’ve got other half written blatherings to publish first!). I know I’ve reviewed podcasts with similar themes in the past, but this is a true, all out paranormal series. It’s also very creepy.

So what’s it about?

This is the latest podcast presented by Danny Robins. He’s also known for the brilliant “Battersea Poltergeist” (which I will be reviewing here soon). Rather than focusing on one case, this is more freeform, with each episode examining a different case sent in by listeners. These range from a bizarre UFO tale, to very creepy true stories of hauntings. Each episode is usually an interview with the person concerned. As the story progresses it gets examined by parapsychologists and skeptics, (including the legendary Ciarán O’Keeffe), who weigh in on various aspects and discuss possible causes for the phenomena. Listeners also get to write in to the show with any relevant information they might have about previous cases.

Is it any good?

Yes. If there’s one thing the BBC does well, it’s podcasts. As I said, I heard about Danny Robins when the Battersea Poltergeist was released and after that finished, I couldn’t wait for his new project. As soon as the first episode dropped I subscribed and looked forward to each new case.

You can tell that Danny’s really interested in the subject and in almost every episode his mind is blown by the claims of the people he’s interviewing (hence the title of the final episode). He also seems to get creeped out very easily during the interviews. I can understand this, as two in particular are perfect horror film material in themselves.

The production quality is good, but not overly polished. This is great because it gives the episodes an air of spontaneity. It’s not poor enough to be unlistenable or amateurish, nor is it super audiophile studio production. It really does sound like Danny is just recording things as they happen, or as he thinks of them. This was especially true in the Battersea Poltergeist which had an almost “Ghostwatch” feel in places (and quite understandably so).

I honestly can’t wait for series two (hopefully they’ll make one), because this show is a real refreshing change to the usual ghost story podcasts, but more of that in future reviews. This is the benchmark for paranormal podcasts.

Final thoughts

There are an awful lot of “true ghost story” podcasts out there of varying degrees of quality. Both this one, and Battersea Poltergeist are well worth your time. Danny Robins is a great presenter, and the skeptics and believers who appear on the show are also very engaging.

I think the thing that sets this apart from other series’ is that these won’t be stories you’ve heard before. Most paranormal podcasts will focus on the famous locations around Britain, analysed and investigated for decades. Maybe this is why it’s so good. I defy anyone to still get a shudder from Leap Castle, the Tower of London or Berkeley Square etc. Poltergeist activity in a remote Scottish bothy however is fresh. And scary.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not is not for me to discuss here. But nevertheless, this show is undeniably a five brain podcast and very binge worthy indeed. Even if you listen to it, just scoff and say “yeah yeah, whatever Danny, these guys are having you on” I think you’ll still enjoy the creepy tales. I mean, a scary story is a scary story, whether it’s true or not.

You can get Uncanny here


Or wherever you get your podcasts

I want to believe…

Monster Talk review

Rating –

Monster Talk Logo

The Monster Talk podcast was actually recommended to me by my first proper subscriber, and the first guy to reach out and message me, so thanks for that Mr. Vincent!

Truth be told, I don’t really listen to any science podcasts. I know that people go on about the Infinite Monkey Cage and shows like that, but for some reason I always gravitate towards audio drama. This isn’t because I’m some science denying luddite, I just like some bang for my buck during work hours. Monster Talk has plenty of bang for your buck thankfully.

What’s it all about then?

Monster Talk is a bi-monthly podcast that promotes critical thinking and skepticism in the field of cryptozoology and the paranormal in general, which sounds kind of stuffy and long-winded but is surprisingly good. Every week, the hosts Blake Smith and Dr. Karen Stollznow examine a different topic and interview people in the relevant fields.

This is like the anti-Coast To Coast AM. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of love for the late Art Bell. In fact I spent an inordinate amount of time in the early 2000’s downloading mp3’s of his show from P2P sites. My point here is that while Mr Bell would have pretty much anyone on his show that had a good story to tell (Mel’s Hole or the legendary phone call from Area 51 spring immediately to mind), there were a few occasions where he must have felt like Peter Venkman hosting “World Of The Psychic”.

Monster Talk isn’t like that. All of the guests are experts in their fields, and (so far) they are charming and witty. The conversation bounces back and forth with ease and is very entertaining to listen to. As I said in my review of Mark Rees’ show, I believe that you are more likely to retain facts if they are presented in an engaging manner. Hopefully if more people listened to this show then more people would question pseudoscience despite the buzzword of “cognitive dissonance” (yes it does work both ways all you conspiracy theorists).

Is it any good though?

I’d have to say yes, it is very good. I’ve started from the beginning, as I always do, and there are a few niggles. You have to remember that the first episode was 12 years ago, so the audio quality here is pretty low. This isn’t so bad though, and gives these early episodes a cosy feeling that takes me back to those halcyon days of illegally downloading the aforementioned Art Bell shows over a dial up connection (ask your parents, kids). There’s only been one episode so far that’s been close to unlistenable, but that was due to the phone connection with the guest rather than the overall audio quality. 

Blake is very funny, as are the other hosts, but knowledgeable enough not to fill each episode with inanities and pointless jokes just for the sake of it. The questions they ask are also just at the right level for me. I’ve had an interest in a lot of this stuff for many years, but I’m by no means an expert. I certainly learn something new in every episode without having to resort to googling strange jargon and esoteric terminology so beloved of experts in niche fields.

Final thoughts

This has instantly become one of my all time favourite podcasts, easily in my top 5. Seriously, I’d give it an 8 or 9 brain rating if I could. Like Hypnogoria, I’ll be listening to this all day every day for a while yet, and loving every minute.

At the time of writing, there are 242 episodes! I’m on episode 27, so I’ve got some catching up to do. Thankfully this is a totally binge-worthy podcast and I can really see myself having to make an effort to listen to other shows just to keep this blog going.

The paranormal seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance in the last decade or so that it hasn’t had since the 1970s. Unfortunately the modern shows seem to lack any sense of balance. They will always side with extraterrestrials or demons rather than more mundane explanations. I understand that, I mean if you don’t get the ratings, you don’t have a show. And we all know nothing will get ratings than saying “it was aliens”, you’ve seen the memes.

This is a refreshing change to all the crazy haircuts, shaky cameras and huge leaps of imagination. It’ll be a real shame when I eventually catch up and have to wait 2 weeks for a new episode.

You can get Monster Talk here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts.

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