Loving and Listening to LORE Podcast

I am an unabashed lover of podcasts (I think I’m not alone in this sentiment). Although, I am very picky. I only listen to a few and I think I’ve boiled down what makes me automatically lose interest in so many: 1) bad recording equipment, 2) the host’s voice, and 3) lack of storytelling abilities or the simple but crucial talent of being able to keep a conversation going.

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For a few months, I’ve had the newish Lore queued up and ready to go, but because of my aforementioned hesitance to new listening options, I sadly let it sit.

But as I was trying to de-stress yesterday, I slipped into a warm bath and began to listen.

Aaron Mahnke, a writer himself of the supernatural, produces and hosts this really excellent endeavor. Besides avoiding the above mentioned technical curmudgeony, Mahnke clearly does research for each episode’s topic. They last roughly 15-20 minutes and are released every two weeks (I will be impatient once I’ve caught up and realize I have to wait… impatient child, I can be). The lore which the podcast is titled from is both clearly documented events and the peripheral monsters that we don’t quiet see clearly.

What had me first going was that I found out that Mahnke covered the 19th Century New England vampire panic I had just recently read about, along with the lycanthropic tendencies of a wealthy German farmer. He investigates what goes bump and glows in the forest or the persistent infatuation we have with mental asylum (one episodes covers the institution that HP Lovecraft was influenced by).

The podcast creates a mood. The stories are told without glorifying the macabre and squeezing out bloody details like a tabloid (although, there is plenty of unpleasant and gory happenings).

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As of this typing, I’ve breezed through about eight episodes so far. I just did some internet sleuthing on Aaron Mahnke and he has a few novels published (As a lover of the strange and scary things forests can hold, I am particularly curious about his 2014 book Consumed).

Has anyone else listened to Lore? Any other suggestions? I also am keen on Bookfight, Serial, The Bugle, How Did This Get Made, and the occasional This American Life. I’ve tried giving Welcome to Night Vale a chance, but more often than not, I find it tedious which definitely outweighs the fewer amusing bits. I have also sadly given up on This is Horror, because of the host’s voice; I know, I’m awful but I just can’t do it.

post script I use Podcruncher on my phone, but Lore is also available to listen to straight on the website.

post post script For those interested in the podcast but are deaf or hard of hearing, Aaron Mahnke does the brilliant thing of posting transcripts. (I had a acquaintance in grad school who was deaf and I remember her lamenting the fact that she often couldn’t access certain podcasts because of the lack of transcripts).

post post post script I have never once cared about the music played on a podcast and couldn’t care less when the hosts gives this info, but the music here is truly wonderful and he offers the list for every episode.

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12 comments

    1. Yes, I definitely think you (and Nina from Multo Ghost) would really enjoy this.

      I haven’t heard of that Ouija board one, but it definitely sounds like my kind of listening. I also have tottered around with The Allusionist podcast, which is about language, but I haven’t had a chance or impulse to catch up. In case you are interested: http://www.theallusionist.org/

      1. 99% invisible is fun. I loved his podcast (and TED talk) about city flags.

        My cousin just told me about LORE, I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but it’s definitely something up my alley.

      2. I checked out Episode #2 last night (“The Bloody Pit”, the one about the Hoosac Tunnel). Really well done! The last line was terrific. I’ll definitely be listening more.

      3. I’m glad you like. They’re totally addicting. I was particularly fond of the changeling episode. I read the first few pages on one of the host’s novels (you can get a digital sample on amazon Amazon) and the language seems pretty gripping from the get go.

  1. Oh, have you listened to the Black Tapes Podcast? It’s a lot of fun. Renay from Lady Business recommended it to me, and I’ve been enjoying it a lot. The creators are 100% committed to pretending that it’s real, which is wonderful, and it’s just a lot of fun.

  2. If you liked Serial and true crime, you might give Undisclosed a try. However, the first few episodes do suffer from technical problems, and the point of the podcast is to give a fairly exhaustive background of the case. As it moves into its fifth or so episode, it gets really compelling and professional. Likewise, the first few episodes of Night Vale were a bit slow paced. I usually recommend that people start around episode 20 because that’s really when they hit their stride. But thanks for the rec!

    1. Thank you for the rec. I haven’t heard of Undisclosed. Thanks also for letting me know about the few glitches; I’ll try and power through them!

      I’ve listened to some other true crime podcasts, which are usually really good. The storytelling is excellent (I just usually get a bit full of all of the violence and misery). There’s a good one from Canada (name escapes me) and the host is a true crime writer. Dan something…

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