Listening tips for the Halloween season

If you love a good spook and want to improve your listening skills, why not listen to some scary podcasts? They are readily available, free, you can listen to them whenever you want, and they are just perfect for the season! Here’s a list of the top 5 I’ve been enjoying throughout the past year.

BLACKWOOD

Molly, Bryan and Nathan try to solve the mystery of strange deaths occurring in the woods surrounding a small town. Local legends speak of a monster by the name of Blackwood Bugman. But who or what exactly hides deep in the forest?


LORE

At the time of writing, this podcast has over a hundred episodes with dark tales of unusual places, hauntings, and supernatural phenomena. As its author, Aaron Mahnke, says: “sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.”


THE BLACK TAPES

Dr. Richard Strand is a paranormal investigator and skeptic who debunks myths and superstitions. However, hidden in his office is a box filled with material on cases he hadn’t been able to solve. A journalist finds out about it and wants to learn more.


LIMETOWN

Three hundred people suddenly disappear from a secretive neuroscience research centre in Tennessee. What happened to them, and what kind of experiments were conducted there? Lia Haddock goes to investigate… (Note: this six-part podcast series is now also a TV series; find out more on their website.)


UNCANNY JAPAN

Not all of the tales and bits of folklore mentioned in this podcast are scary, but they are all extremely interesting, especially if you have some interest in the Japanese culture. Made by Thersa Matsuura, each episode focuses on a Japanese superstition, a folktale, or an element of lore preserved in the language.

All of the above podcasts require you to be at the intermediate level, at least. However, in addition I can warmly recommend the audio material produced specifically for English language learners by the Voice of America, available on their Learning English website. There’s a number of Halloween-related radio features and adaptations of classic Gothic stories by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe. They are all read at a slower pace, and come with transcripts, so you can turn this into a useful reading practice, as well. The easiest way to find them is by using the embedded search function (you’ll find it in the top right corner of the VOA Learning English website) and then search for podcasts / audio files by keywords, such as “Halloween”, “ghost”, “Poe”, or anything else you might be interested in.

Have loads of fun, and happy Halloween!

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