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There’s something inherently compelling about a mystery. As humans, we love being strung along, having small parts of a story revealed to us slowly. Which is why mystery novels sell so well. And now there are mystery podcasts to enjoy as well.
In this article we list the best mystery podcasts you can listen to today.
If you enjoy mystery fiction, give Limetown a try. After its initial release in mid-2015, it took less than two months to shoot to the top of the US podcast charts.
The plot revolves around fictional reporter, Lia Haddock. She tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of more than 300 people from a neuroscience research facility.
The first season has six episodes; the second season has five episodes. The story has reached its conclusion, and the creators are not planning any further episodes.
There is also now a prequel novel, written by Cote Smith.
2. The Lost
The Lost is a five-part mini-series from New Zealand that explores some of the country’s missing person cases.
Led by reporter Paloma Migone, each episode features witness interviews, interviews with family members, and conversations with other people close to the cases. The aim is to uncover new evidence that might be able to shed some light on the truth behind the stories.
Unexplained is a British mystery podcast. It looks at some of the world’s weird goings-on that can’t be explained with simple science.
It covers everything from murder mysteries to purported meetings with the Devil. Through each of the episodes, the blurred line between reality and the paranormal is pondered by the host.
At the time of writing, there are four seasons available.
One of our favorite history mystery podcasts is Thinking Sideways. It is approaching its 300th episode.
A typical episode focuses on a particular historical mystery, folk tale, or urban legend, which the hosts then discuss in more detail.
To give you an idea of what to expect, recent shows have discussed everything from the Tunguska Event in 1908 to ghost ships on the high seas during the age of pirates.
SPINES is another one of the best mystery podcasts. The story’s central character is Wren Jones. He wakes up in the aftermath of an occult ritual without any idea of how it got there—and immediately embarks on a quest for answers.
If you like mysterious creatures, occult organizations, amnesia, and strange disappearances, SPINES is worth listening to. The series concluded in 2018 after an impressive 308 episodes.
Due to the length of the story, the publisher has now made the entire series available as a single podcast, turning it into something like an audiobook.
Death in Ice Valley is a BBC production that aired in 2018. It tells the story of the “Isdal Woman.” Two kids found her body in the remote Isdalen Valley outside the Norwegian city of Bergen in the 1970s.
Her corpse was badly burned and surrounded by bottles of water, a rubber boot, and burnt paper. Both her identity and the reason for her supposed murder have remained a mystery ever since.
The show is hosted by Norwegian investigative journalist, Marit Higraff, and British BBC radio documentary maker, Neil McCarthy.
7. Empty Frames
Empty Frames explores the famous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft. In March 1990, 13 works of art worth $500 million were stolen from the museum. It remains the largest-value theft of private property in history.
The heist included pieces by Rembrandt, Degas, and Vermeer, though the more valuable works in the building were left untouched.
No one has ever been charged over the incident, and the paintings are still missing.
This mystery podcast series isn’t what it sounds like—it’s nothing to do with the Milky Way, the Solar System, or space in general.
Mysterious Universe is a news podcast for anyone interested in supernatural happenings. The show is now up to season 21 and showing no signs of slowing down.
Recent episodes have discussed poltergeist invasions, strange beings in the English countryside, and a controversial theory about obsessive-compulsive disorder.
If you liked the popular Serial podcast, you will love The Black Tapes—it uses the same docudrama format, though the subject matter is a bit darker. Disappearances, hauntings, shadowy figures, and rituals are commonplace in episodes.
The Black Tapes begins with a series of seemingly unconnected paranormal cases, but the series’ main protagonist, Alex Reagan, quickly realizes everything isn’t as it seems.
The Bowraville murders in Australia happened over a five-month period starting in September 1990. In total, three aboriginal children were killed; they all lived on the same street, and all three disappeared after community parties.
The prime suspect—name unknown—has been tried twice for the murders, in 1994 and 2006. On both occasions, the court acquitted him. The case is still unsolved.
Bowraville is one of the best mystery podcasts if you love stories that are tied up in race relations, law enforcement attitudes, and dodgy legal systems.
The same team who is responsible for The Black Tapes has created Tanis. When the series kicks off, listeners aren’t even sure what Tanis is. A place? A person? Is it biblical? Or historical?
However, with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bermuda Triangle, the Super-Sargasso Sea, William Blake, the Freemasons, Xanu, and numbers stations all getting mentions within the first few episodes, there’s a whole lot to dig into and enjoy.
Finally, no list of the best mystery podcasts would complete without a mention of The Last Podcast on the Left.
Three comedians host the show. In each episode, they explore a horror, mystery, unexplained phenomena, or another supernatural event.
It’s light-hearted, so if you’re looking for serious mystery podcasts, try the other recommendations instead. However, if you want an easy-to-digest show, you should check it out.
Beyond Mystery Podcasts
After you’ve worked your way through these shows, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll be looking for a different genre of podcast to listen to. After all, there’s only so much mystery that one person can handle.
Don’t worry, as MakeUseOf has you covered. Here are the most popular Plex podcasts and the best podcasts on Spotify. To find even more podcast content worth a listen, try these podcast recommendation apps.