Okay, so I’m going to preface this referral by saying I had to quit listening after the first five episodes. Mind you, after living in a haunted house in Augusta, Georgia one summer I’m not as up for hearing about anything other wordly, and you’re talking to a woman who made her then boyfriend stay on the phone with her all night in college after seeing The Blair Witch Project (shocker he still married me after that).
All that aside, The Black Tapes is SCARY with a capital “S”. The biggest reason is that I can’t tell how much of it is legit or not. The verdict’s still out… Though it says is a docudrama, the way they put it together, with interviews, the description of eerie images, and the sound effects, makes it sound very, very real. That’s probably what makes it one of the better, if not the best, horror podcasts out there. No matter where you stand on the idea of the paranormal, it will make you at least put one foot over that line that jaggedly divides disbelief and belief.
The podcast takes us on a journey with Alex Reagan, a reporter, who is trying to find out if the paranormal world truly exists. She starts by interviewing one of most renown doctors of paranormal phenomena, Dr. Richard Strand. Though an expert in all things spooky, Dr. Strand’s determined to prove that ghosts are a figment of people’s imaginations. He and Reagan have very stifled and tense exchanges as her questions tend to lean more towards disproving his theories. It’s clear Strand, fully intends to squelch her ideas with scientific explanations yet when Reagan is left alone in his office and discovers a series of black tapes, Strand cannot hold back from revealing that there are in fact cases he has yet to solve. There are those bizarre claims of paranormal activity that he’s not been able to explain away.
We go with Reagan and Strand to investigate a few of these tapes. There is no lack of fear in their findings. One of them involves a song that is thought to make people kill themselves, another a macabre festival that originated with gruesome murders, and there’s also a so-called demon possessed boy who killed his parents. Throughout their digging, you’re also strung along through emerging secrets about Strand himself that cause you the listener and Reagan to piece together why he is so adamant about no other realm existing outside of our own. Alas, The Black Tapes is tantalizing, terrorizing and a damn good listen. If you are braver than I, and you never had to sleep in an actual ghost-ridden residence in the bowels of the south, well you might just be able to make it to episode 6 and beyond. Go ahead. I dare you to try…