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Podcast Review: Lore

Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. The host of the podcast is Aaron Mahnke. The episodes that I listened to are about the notorious Clinton Road in New Jersey, rumors and accusations of witchcraft, and "dark watchers" (mysterious shapes and shadows seen in mountains). The episodes contain a mixture between dark folklores and true crime stories. The dark stories told make it a perfect podcast to listen to around Halloween.

The first episode of this podcast that I listened to is “Clinton Road”, which is about an infamous road in New Jersey. At the start of the episode, Mahnke talks about how it was the location of a true crime- the remains of  a victim of The Iceman was found there. Besides being the location of a murder, Mahnke talks about the dark myths and legends associated with Clinton Road. One of them is a legend about the ghost of an angry farmer who terrorizes teenage visitors to his farm. These stories explain the reason Clinton Road has become known as one of the most haunted locations in New Jersey.   

“Rumors” is about how rumors lead to people being accused as witches and demons throughout history. The first example that Mahnke talks about is King Louis XV being accused of using children’s blood to cure leprosy. This caused riots to break out throughout France. He also gives examples in American history other than the notorious Salem Witch Trials. Two men who were given the death penalty for poisoning people, which was misinterperted later in history as an act of sorcery. Even Theodore Roosevelt falsely cited this case as being an example of it. Interestingly, in Illinois there is a law that outlaws witchcraft to this day. It is fascinating to how rumors lead to accusations of witchcraft throughout U.S. history.

In “Dark Watchers", Mahnke describes mysterious shadows and shapes people saw that they believed to be demons or monsters. In New Jersey, people saw a mysterious shape with red glowing eyes that was sneaking around their property. In the Saint Lucia Mountains, there is believed to be “dark watchers” that live in the mountains. Mahnke describes how these apparitions are created from the combinations of sunlight and shadows of mountains. The true story of a “dark watcher” is talked about at the end of the episode. A man named Theodore Edward Coneys squatted in the attic of home without the owner knowing about it. When Coneys was discovered, he murdered the homeowner. This story in particular is fascinating!

Lore explores the stories of boogeymen told to you by your parents when you were a child. Mahnke provides historical context beyond these myths and where in the world there are similar legends. He also describes true crime stories that perhaps perpetuate these dark tales. For those interested in these types of stories, Lore is a must listen to podcast for them.

You can listen to Lore online or through podcast apps such as Apple Podcast or Spotify.


 Michael Walsh is an Adult Services Librarian at the Will Library. He is currently reading Holly by Stephen King.


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