Podcasts that will scare your pants off

Sure, the One Design team appears to be a pretty wholesome group, but ask us what podcasts we’re listening to and discover our dark side.

As it turns out, we subscribe to some pretty disturbing podcasts. We listen to our share that are lighthearted and inspirational, but nestled in between Mark Marin and Ira Glass are tales of the paranormal, true crime, and vile legends of yore. With Halloween just around the corner, we compiled a list of our favorites that are sure to keep you up at night.

And before you write these off as fiction, we’ll have you know that every single damn one of these are true accounts of unexplained phenomena or criminal activity. The world is a scary place.

Podcast: Unexplained

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: At best, poltergeists will mess with your dishes. At worst, they will drive your car off a cliff.

Unexplained’s host, Richard Maclean Smith profiles unexplained, mysterious phenomena and attempts to bring logical explanation to the stories. Most of the time, however, the listener is left more terrified than satisfied with Maclean Smith’s explanations. Great for scaring the daylights out of your nieces and nephews at Thanksgiving!

Where to start
Resurrected Dreams
Where Darkness Plays

Podcast: Criminal

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: You might think you’re helping a nice man with his car but you could be very, very wrong.

Criminal is a classic true crime podcast. Sometimes the team attempts to explain a cold case. Other times they interview major witnesses to crimes or key players in criminal cases. Criminal’s focus is on telling hair raising stories that could happen to anyone, if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Where to start:
The Tale of Jolly Jane
The Portrait

Podcast: Lore

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: The 18th century was full of serial killers and witch hunts and their ghosts are haunting us to this very day.

Aaron Mahnke tells the story of the most chilling legends in history with the help of modern day fact finding and detail. From the history of vampires to serial killers, this is a podcast you’ll want to listen to in the daylight.

Where to start
The Castle
Rope and Railing

Podcast: Astonishing Legends

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: UFOs are real and coming for us all.

Astonishing Legends has it all, from Bigfoot to aliens to unexplained phenomena, there’s something in here for everyone. The two co-hosts, Scott and Forrest dive into legendary, strange, or unusual events from history and interview people who’ve had encounters with the unexplained. What usually starts as a quest to bring explanation to phenomena often leads them down a rabbit hole of even more mystery.

Where to start
Skinwalker Ranch pts 1, 2, and 3
Shadow People

Podcast: Sword and Scale

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: The judicial process can be just as terrifying as the crime

Ghosts and unexplained phenomena generate fear about what lies in shadow or the great beyond. Stories told by Sword and Scale recount harrowing true crime stories committed by real people, and the sometimes equally scary judicial process.

Where to start
The Gainesville Ripper
Charles Cullen, The Good Nurse

Podcast: Mysterious Universe

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: No one is going to have a job when the robots take over.

Don’t let the jovial Australian hosts of Mysterious Universe fool you, they get into some creepy stuff. Although their more recent podcasts are futurist in nature, when they come across a good ghost story, UFO phenomena, near death experience, or terrifying monster sighting, their listeners know about it. Think of these two as modern day Moulders from down under. They also play messages from listeners every week that are always hilarious before they turn terrifying.

Where to start
Joy Lin's Unexpected Mediumship
The Oppenheimer UFO Conspiracy

Podcast: Snap Judgment

Why this podcast keeps us up at night: Real people submit stories and narrate their unexplained occurrences. Dolls coming to life and trying to kill you? Check. Shadow people? Check. Ghosts making you levitate? Got that too.

We love Snap Judgment because this podcast mixes true life stories submitted by listeners into a narrative style with musical integration. The podcast offers a nice mix of tales (A lot of them dark, not all of them spooky), but their Halloween episodes stand out as the truly terrifying.

Where to start
Welcome to the Dollhouse
Campfire Tales

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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