Scary Stories

Scary Stories

By Verity Clayton

Not your usual urban legends podcast. Scary Stories is an atmospheric exploration of the psychology of fear told through those classic stories that happened to a friend of a friend. Say a fond farewell to folklore because these are the stories we hope aren't true ...


We are Tigers

Women around the globe are still being killed today for the sheer fact that they are women. But such violence and abuses of power always have a price to pay, and one day, fear and grief and trauma may turn to ferocity. And that will be a very scary day indeed. *** Twitter Instagram Facebook group
08/03/2132m 18s

Love in the Time of Cholera

It's the Scary Stories Annual Valentine's Special!  At a time when we are so alone and cut off from each other, meaningful connection and affectionate love seems more important than ever and more elusive. But when we are living behind screens and keyboards, even love can become something we should be deeply afraid of.  *** Twitter Instagram ProgressHypnosis Facebook group  
14/02/2135m 9s

Et Maintenant Dors, Ma Mignonne

Hypnosis is a dark art. Under its spell, we become like puppets at the hands of the sinister Svengali. But sometimes, those things that we are scared of can be far more unsettling than even we first realised. *** More about Hypnosis Facebook group Twitter Instagram
28/01/2130m 57s

Glories of Christmases Long, Long Ago

Christmas is a time to rest and relax: to put the old year behind us and ring in the new. Or at least that's what we think. Because the festive period is a much darker affair than we like to believe. *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter
23/12/2027m 2s

The Final Frontier

Space often fills us with wonder and awe. We look to the stars for exploration and new human frontiers. But we should think again, because, quite simple, space is not made for us. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
16/09/2029m 36s

'Till Death Do Us Part

Marriage is a joyous ritual that we see as a celebration and union of love. But in reality there is a much darker side to matrimony and not one we should readily forget. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
02/09/2026m 45s

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

The abyss, something so unimaginably deep and shrouded in darkness, that it is used as a byword for those fears, those situations so worrying that facing them is like looking into that never-ending chasm. But in truth, the abyss is so much more than this, and perhaps even more terrifying than we think.
19/08/2026m 32s

Home Sweet Home

Our homes are meant to be a safe place of refuge. But despite all we do to protect them, houses are not always as secure as we like to think. And often they are haunted by more than just ghosts. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
05/08/2028m 28s

Malignant Enemies and Cheerful Company

Doppelgängers have long been a mainstay of folklore, manifesting as ghostly apparitions or demonic doubles. But we should take care, because it’s not as easy as we think to identify who exactly is the monster. h/t to Hope Clayton *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
09/07/2028m 26s

The World's Greatest Lie

It is a natural human tendency to search for control in an unpredictable world. But sometimes the desire for control can consume us until we become a slave to it, and even pay for it with our lives.  *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
24/06/2026m 4s

The Wellsprings of Human Violence

Cultures around the world often express emotions differently but they share core feelings nonetheless. They are important for processing our experiences of the world, and even the ones which we shy from, emotions like fear, might just save our lives. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
27/05/2030m 51s

Looking to Someone to Satisfy

In a world of social distancing and rolling lockdowns, loneliness has come to be the norm. But its been placing its mark on us and our society for far longer, and the effects have been terrifying. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter
13/05/2027m 58s

What is Out of Sight Disturbs

Since humans have begun communicating with one another, we have also sought ways to use that communication to hide our secrets. Some secrets are ours to keep private, but there are others, so dark and dangerous, we have no other choice but to try and decipher them. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
29/04/2033m 21s

Earth Day Session Revisit: Catastrophe!

Marking the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, revisit Scary Stories Session 22: Catastrophe! The Illusive Host offers a fresh introduction to this fear for our changing times. If you find yourself endlessly worried about the world and our natural environment, this is a seesion you will not want to miss. *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram  
22/04/2027m 24s

Behold, Thy Lord Will Come With Might

Belief in God seems to be a natural inclination, and it has marked human civilisation from its earliest days. But if we consider the horrors committed in the name of God, perhaps we should offer fear instead of reverence. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
15/04/2034m 11s

Escaping by the Steps of Unknown Staircases

The human face is said to be the key to our soul. We put stock in our ability not just to recognise faces but to read them. But what if no one was recognisable? What if everyone looked like a stranger? Who would we be able to trust? h/t to Scary Stories Listener, Cassandra Mogusar *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
01/04/2031m 13s

This is Not a Drill (Special Session)

Epidemics scare us, pandemics even moreso. But when the world is gripped by one and all we have at our disposal is a voice, perhaps, just this once, we should use it to spread beauty instead of fear *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
19/03/2028m 50s

Every Depth of Good and Ill

We all love a good mystery. Like puzzles, they get our brains working. But are they as much fun when real lives are at stake? *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
12/03/2029m 41s

The Starting Point of All Achievements

Desire is an integral part of the human experience. Our wants not only shape our pursuits but define who we are as people. They also go hand in hand with jealousy and envy. But perhaps there’s something much worse to desire than the green-eyed monster? *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
27/02/2028m 52s

Let Me Count The Ways

Romantic love is at the heart of swathes of literature, drama and poetry. It is an ideal we hope to one day attain. But romance might not be as beautiful as we think after all. *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
13/02/2028m 12s

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Witches have been transformed into caricatures of the old crone or the beautiful seductress, but once upon a time the figure of the witch commanded huge fear. Are we right to have lost this fear, or are we laying ourselves open to something much worse?   h/t to Scary Stories listener, SK *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram
30/01/2031m 11s

Looking for Someone to Devour

While spirit possession can seem like a superstitious throwback to a bygone era, it is an ever increasing phenomenon in the modern world. If you believe in possession, it is a terrifying prospect. It shows that evil is alive and well and waging a war on humanity. But even more horrifying, is what it means if possession is not real.   h/t to Scary Stories listener, Greg Carcione *** Episode page Transcript Facebook group Twitter Instagram  
16/01/2031m 34s

Made-up Horrors (1 Year Anniversary Special)

Scary stories are as old as history. They have permeated every culture and to this day we happily regale each other with tales of torment and horror on darkened nights. But what if these stories are telling us something important? What if they are there to protect us? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
02/01/2037m 25s

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That holiday of good cheer and sweet kisses under mistletoe, when we should all be gloriously happy. So why aren’t we? Because Christmas is a lot darker than you think. *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram  
19/12/1925m 22s

The Gift of Prophecy

Though we live in the present, humans are preoccupied with their future. It is uncertain and we find that deeply unsettling, so we look for any means to try to control it. But if we could really see into our futures, would we really like what we saw? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
05/12/1928m 55s

A Continual Rustling

Arachnophobia and entomophobia are two of the most common fears out there. For even the most steeliest of us, arthropods tend to induce a rather unique response. But what is it about our miniature neighbours that we find so disconcerting, and are we sure they are of what we should be scared? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
21/11/1927m 14s

Holding a Glass of Kool-Aid

The fear of cults was particular to the 20th century. They were seen as dangerous groups that spirited away our youth and transformed them into murderous criminals. But we should take a moment and ask ourselves whether the threat of cults has really disappeared? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
07/11/1929m 1s

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Monsters are an intrinsic part of the human imagination. We fear them instinctively as children and then indulge in them as adults. They can both fascinate and horrify us and at the same time offer amusement. But when our Halloween costumes are put away for another year, are we sure we want to know who the real monsters are? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
31/10/1928m 42s

Dead and Buried

There was once a time when being buried alive was a cause of rather more serious concern. But with the advent of modern science and a better understanding of human anatomy, there is nothing for us to be scared about anymore, is there? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
23/10/1925m 59s


It seems like every year there is a new prediction about the impending apocalypse. We’ve lived through Y2K and the end of the Mayan Calendar, but humans have been predicting the end times for thousands of years. But there is something different to the current predictions of scientists. And maybe this time, we really will live to see the end of the world. *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram  
09/10/1925m 36s

Indistinguishable From Magic

We live in a futuristic world. Our workplaces, our houses and our lives are dominated by the appliances and gadgets with which we fill them. But maybe we should be more cautious about the technology we use, before it takes over completely? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
25/09/1928m 7s

Through the Keyhole

In a world of ever increasing digital data, our privacy is paramount to us. We know very clearly what parts of our lives are for public consumption and what parts are strictly private. But what happens when that line is crossed? What others find out about us? More importantly what will we find out about others? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
11/09/1925m 31s

The Call of the Void

What is it about heights that can have such a dizzying effect on us, and send us into a slow panic. Perhaps it is the fear of falling into a known end, the fear of the void just below our feet, or perhaps it is something more sinister. Perhaps it is the fear of being pushed into that end. *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
28/08/1924m 59s

Methinks I See Thee, Now

It is the root of all our fears. The heart of the human condition. The knowledge of our own death shapes us from our youngest ages. But is our mortality inescapable, or, like so many of our ills, can it one day be overcome? *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
14/08/1925m 57s

A Man of Wealth and Taste

Call him what you will, by any of his myriad names, the Devil still inspires fear in an increasingly secular world. And convince yourself as you might that he does not exist, part of you is not sure you really want to find out more ... *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
31/07/1924m 42s

The Glint of Light on Broken Glass

Since time immemorial, humans have marvelled at the moon in the night sky. We made it our mission to reach it, to step on it, and in doing so uncover its secrets. And yet the moon still has some mysteries left, but we might just want to leave them hidden.  *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
17/07/1924m 45s

The Big Blue

Water can be soothing and comforting. It is easy to drift away in it and leave the world above the surface behind. But in a flash it can turn from something that embraces you into something that drags you to your ultimate demise.    *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
03/07/1923m 56s

In the Eye of the Beholder

Beauty is not something we typically associate with being scared. It is alluring and aesthetically pleasing, but in many ways it can also be dangerous. And perhaps the scariest thing of all, is that beauty leads us willingly into peril and we will never know something is amiss until it is too late.    *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
19/06/1926m 44s

Unlucky for Some

Numerology has long been part of our every day superstitions. And while we think of numbers as objective, in actuality we often attach to them special meaning. Perhaps we use our lucky number for the lottery, or maybe we avoid sitting at an unlucky seat number. Although, deep down we probably know such things are absurd. But when numbers really have unlocked some of the deepest mysteries of our world, maybe it is wise to be hesitant when you see you have reached your 13th session.   *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
05/06/1928m 18s

The Killing Joke

We have all become accustomed to the grim visage of the distorted and subverted clowns of our childhood. Films and books have long traded on our fear of that painted face, and have spawned one of the most common phobias. But clowns are also a throwback to our childhoods, a time of youthful imagination, when we could innocently laugh at their playful antics. And we weren’t scared then, were we?   *** Episode page Facebook group Twitter Instagram
22/05/1924m 49s

Forms of Fright

Ghosts can seem like a relic to a quaint past, a past where folklore was more than mere tales and hauntings were all too commonplace. And yet in a world where secularisation and atheism are ever increasing, curiously so is our belief in ghosts. But are such apparitions really the things that should be keeping us awake at night?   *** Episode page
08/05/1924m 52s

If I Die Before I Wake

Every night we lay down our heads, close our eyes and allow ourselves to slip into unconsciousness. And in doing so, every night we are unthinkingly putting ourselves at the mercy of our surroundings. Because monsters, both real and imagined, are too often lying in wait, and what better time to strike than when we are asleep?   *** Episode page
24/04/1924m 58s

Based on a True Story

We live in, what can often seem to be, a relentlessly frightening world, where we are inundated with the worst crimes in our society by a 24 hour news cycle. And so, it would be natural to think that we would seek refuge from these daily horrors. Why is it then, that we feel a frisson of excitement when something scary opens with those five little words … based on a true story.   *** Episode page
10/04/1924m 23s

Like a Deer in Headlights

We have long needed our fight or flight instinct for survival. But in a world where survival has never been easier, this internal mechanism is somewhat unnecessary. And, instead, it simply paralyses us with anxiety, where we neither run nor battle, but simply freeze.    *** Episode page  
28/03/1921m 35s

A Luxury the Wealthy Can Afford

It is a popular adage that trust takes a lifetime to build and only a moment to break. But if we are being honest, we often give our trust willingly at a moment’s notice. Every time we step onto a bus, eat out, order a drink, get into that taxi, we are trusting strangers with our lives. But what happens if we get it wrong?   *** Episode page
14/03/1921m 53s

Behind Every Great Man

When we think of the traditional roles that women have inhabited, we think of them as mothers and caregivers or as ingenues or temptresses. And while we may try to steady our nerves as we walk past a large group of men late at night, the same is generally not felt if that group is entirely female. Because we almost never see women as the person to be feared, the stranger who could do us harm. But are we right to make such an assumption? *** Episode page
28/02/1921m 47s

The Look of Love

Love has been celebrated throughout human culture. From poetry and literature to heartfelt ballads and romantic comedies, we are obsessed with that first flush of romance. But at its core, the only difference between being in love and being scared beyond reason is who or what is standing in front of you. *** Episode page
14/02/1925m 17s

Afraid of the Dark

Humans have an instinctive fear of the dark. For good reason too, because the world quite literally looks and feels like a different place with the lights out. But the dark hides our own secrets as much as it does the monsters. You might want to keep your nightlight on for this …  *** Episode page
31/01/1923m 0s

When in the World

The experience of time passing is integral to our understanding of the world around us. So when something appears to defy our ability to locate it in a particular time and place, humans will often feel a deep sense of unease. When this fuses with unnerving cultural memories, the result can often be something quite terrifying. *** Episode page
16/01/1922m 8s

The Devil You Know

We have all been taught from our youngest days that strangers equal danger. From the people living in our apartment blocks to the ones we share a subway home with, most of us are constantly surrounded by strangers. So how are we to ever know who we can and can not trust? *** Episode page
03/01/1923m 0s

What Doesn't Kill You

Looking for the sinister in the absence of knowledge has long been an integral part of the human experience. That urge created much of our folklore, and urban legends are proof that we still do this today – even about the seemingly innocuous. But, you know what they say, just because we’re paranoid, doesn’t mean we’re not right. *** Episode page
03/01/1921m 2s

Trailer: Do you like scary stories?

Do you like scary stories? Take a sneak peak at this new bi-weekly podcast all about the classic urban legends we all remember from growing up. From why we find these tales disquieting to sinister retellings, these are the stories we hope aren't true. *** Episode notes
18/12/187m 54s
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