Ellen’s Four Favorites for October

Greetings, minions! Long time no read, right? Apologies- I’ve been a bit busy running around with Evening and penning an ode to my pet hamster.

But like a two-week-old burrito you thought was okay to eat but isn’t, I’ve come back to haunt you with some truly terrifying stuff. Here are my four favorites- a podcast, a TV show, a book and a movie- for October!

Knifepoint Horror

I had a feeling Knifepoint Horror was going to be good when I saw this freaky picture as its icon.

Maybe it’s her, maybe it’s Hieronymus Bosch!

You know that feeling you get when you sense someone is behind you, but when you turn around, no one is there? Imagine that in podcast form. The show is, in layman’s terms, atmospheric and creepy AF.

Produced and written by Soren Narnia, this podcast employs a single narrator and very little use of music or sound to create a pure, untapped source of horror. Whether a strange neighbor or an ominous tract of land, Narnia explores a variety of stories that all have one thing in common- giving Ellen the heebie-jeebies.

The lack of sound effects and the presence of a singular voice feels like a confession, a friend or a colleague revealing a terrifying story to you, and you alone. My favorite episode so far is staircase.

You can listen to Knifepoint Horror pretty much wherever you find your podcasts- I listen on Spotify.

Over the Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall is like a warm hug, a strange dream and a walk through the autumn woods, all at once. This limited animated series on Cartoon Network tells the story of two brothers lost in a strange forest. Along the way, they meet a suspicious woodsman, a very flippant bird, and vaguely threatening creatures with pumpkins for heads.

Yes. Vaguely threatening creatures with pumpkins for heads. Sign. Me. UP.

But, besides those good old creepy feelings- inject them directly into my veins, please- this is a beautiful work of animation. There are so many gorgeous scenes, and with an equally gorgeous story, it’s a true favorite of mine. It gets a re-watch every year and fills me with autumnal joy. You can watch Over the Garden Wall on Hulu.

Dread Nation

The zombie apocalypse + historical fiction + an amazing protagonist = Dread Nation

The sudden appearance of zombies has interrupted the Civil War, changing the nation forever. We follow Jane McKeene as she studies to become an Attendant, who are young Black women trained in combat and etiquette to protect wealthy white women. Of course, Jane wants more than this. When people start disappearing in the supposedly safe area of Baltimore County, Jane is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy.

Man oh man, is this a fantastic book by Justina Ireland. I blazed through it, and am ready to drop some cash on the second half of the duology, Deathless Divide. It effortlessly mixes action and terror with compelling characters, and digs deep into the racism and white supremacy of the United States.

You can buy Dread Nation wherever you buy your books, although might I recommend your favorite local bookstore or Bookshop.org?

The Witch

Y’all, you know me. I’m all about living deliciously. Experiencing the good life. Sampling Seattle’s fine cuisines. Buying pumpkin spice scented candles. And on every single one of my social media profiles, I ask the question- wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

Well, that question comes from one of my favorite horror films, the atmospheric and eerie The Witch. In short, a Puritan family is banished from their town and forced to live at the edge of a very creepy forest. Which may or may not have a witch living in it. Also, there’s a cute lil’ goat named Black Phillip. Chaos ensues.

And this movie has, dare I say, a happy ending? I mean, at least I believe it does. And it’s fine if you think otherwise. You’re entitled to your wrong opinions.

You can watch The Witch on YouTube.

Now, go forth and enjoy this strange, spooky season! Stuff your face with candy! Carve a pumpkin! Call forth an eldritch god! And after you have said god under your control, tell him to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Happy haunting!

5 Spooky Podcasts To Get You Ready for Halloween

Happy October, ghosts and ghouls! When I’m not writing about my life as a journalist, or tracking down a creepy caller, I love listening to podcasts.

And, I love all things Halloween and horror. Whether it’s paranormal pondering or true crime terror, I’m there. For my contribution to this spectacular month, I’m bringing you my five favorite petrifying podcasts.


icon_549547848-07dc738ba003fbb91d35f0b9dfddd8508a55a8a1-s300-c85Gather ’round the campfire. Hug that blanket tighter around your neck. It’s time for some scary stories…and with Spooked, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home!

Dingy bars, lost in time. Mysterious creatures on the US border. A forlorn ghost holed up in a house. Spooked features people from around the world, recounting their ghostly encounters and paranormal experiences. The storytelling is fantastic, the audio quality is crisp, and narrator Glynn Washington is perhaps my favorite narrator I’ve ever encountered in a podcast.

What really seals the deal for me? I’m pretty tough to scare- but this podcast had me checking under the bed before I went to sleep…

My Favorite Murder

600x600bbImagine you and your two best friends, sitting in your apartment, talking about social issues, true crime, and the drama of your lives. That’s My Favorite Murder in a nutshell!

It’s described as a “true crime comedy podcast” and hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, two witty women obsessed with crime and mystery. Each week, the ladies discuss their…favorite murders, and the stories behind them. Choice quotes include, “Stay sexy. Don’t get murdered”, and “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again!”.

Special props to Karen and Georgia’s openness about their mental health, and encouraging the destigmatization of mental illness.

Dirty John

DJ-300-300x300Dirty John is a lot of things- a terrifying look inside domestic abuse, a cautionary tale of who you can trust, a deep-dive into local journalism. But at the heart of it, it’s a story that makes the listener well-aware that monsters can take human form.

LA Times Christopher Goffard introduces you to the dramatic story of Debra Newell and John Meehan. Newell thought she met the man of her dreams- it turns out, John was more of a nightmare.

Dirty John features six articles you can read after or before you listen to each episode. They’re not required reading, but they enhance the story even further.

Last Podcast On The Left


What do a six foot seven politician, an obsessive radio-man and a lunatic actor all have in common? A love for all things criminal, paranormal and generally odd.

Last Podcast on the Left is both incredibly informative and hilarious. Each episode, the boys of LPOTL tackle a different topic in the world of the bizarre. From the Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton, to Scientology, to Norwegian Black Metal- each episode is chock-full of information meticulously collected by the three hosts; Ben, Marcus, and Henry.

This podcast is extremely NSFW. Save your listening for in the home, on your earbuds, or in the car. And don’t go through any drive thrus if you choose the last option.

The NoSleep Podcast

logoNosleep is a website where horror writers share their short stories of the macabre and maladjusted. Many of the stories are ripe for narration- and thus, the existence of the NoSleep Podcast.

David Cummings and his merry band of talented narrators aurally illustrate stories that scare, disturb, and, once in awhile, delight. Tales of disappeared cross-continental flights, evil spirits summoned from beyond, a man desperately in need of a plumber.

This is a priced podcast- $20 for a season and hours of content. There are lots of free episodes, but I would recommend taking the plunge and buying a full season.

And hey, if you listen back far enough- you might hear a story written by yours truly

Plenty of creepy content to get you through Halloween, and beyond- because I think a little scare does a body good anytime of the year. Happy haunting, and enjoy listening!

Did I miss any of your favorite podcasts? Let me know. Comment below or contact me on my Facebook Page. You can follow me on Twitter, too.