Sep 15, 2019: Monsters

I have recently discovered a new podcast.

For me, this is quite a big deal because while I know a lot of podcasts – a LOT of podcasts – exist, I don’t generally listen to podcasts. When people say “check us out where you usually find your podcasts” I don’t have a place. Well, I do. But that place is generally the website of the podcast themselves. I don’t gravitate towards iTunes or wherever else I should.

Because I’m some sort of podcast luddite, or something, who hunts them down individually.

I listen to – now, updated to include the new one – THREE whole podcasts. It could easily be more. It probably should be more. But it isn’t. It’s just three.

Do The Right Thing – a comedic panel show type affair which is hilarious, nearly killed me by choking at a recording in Edinburgh several years ago and answers many of life’s more pressing questions.

Victory Points – a board game podcast from the brain and attached mouth of Becca Scott, she of the red hair and loveliness from Geek and Sundry’s Game The Game. It’s a delve into boardgames, the way people play them and just stories from around the table.

And now, Death By Monsters, a podcast about monsters, mysteries and conspiracies.

Death By Monsters, or my awareness of it, was born from my love of Game The Game on G&S. One of the hosts of Death By Monsters is Paula Demming, who can be found playing games on Game The Game occasionally. And so through that, I discovered this podcast.

And it’s brilliant.

I basically listened to all of the back episodes – which is not that many in the greater scheme of things – in about a day. Basically binging a box set’s worth of stuff as quickly as possible into my ears. I’m halfway, if that, through the last one (until tomorrow) which is about Shakespeare and the did he or didn’t he authorship nonsense which is a departure from my normal fare but still great none-the-less.

The episodes on the monsters, ghosts and more “X-File”-y subjects are by far my favourites – which is pretty much all of them – because the dynamic of the three presenters is just brilliant. You’ve got Matthew who believes, wants to believe and is open to anything. You’ve got Paula who is a bit weird about ghosts/demons/daemons but is generally on the sceptic side of the fence. And then Nick who, almost without fail, declares everything as straight up bullshit.

You’ll have gleaned, from these pages, that I love shit like Finding Bigfoot, UFO Case Files and whatever else. And this podcast embodies my love of all that in so many ways. And they do actual research and everything. Look at things from all angles. Cover everything off. And then Nick says it’s all horse shit.0

The topics they’ve covered though – such as Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, DB Cooper, the Bell Witch, the Dyatlov Pass – are all handled superbly. And considering it’s a comedy podcast – it really is – there is surprising reverence, particularly in the case of the Dyatlov Pass incident in which nine people died under mysterious circumstances in the middle of the Ural mountains. So much so that it’s even a two-part episode to allow the set up and reveal of the story to be played out in an unrushed way.

The Bell Witch, meanwhile, comes with a disclaimer at the beginning that they will be discussing child abuse and if that’s not for you, to maybe skip this episode before launching into the story, discussing the head of the Bell house hold – the probably alleged but almost definite – abuser in this case with a very firm “You know what? Fuck him!” attitude whilst still covering the topic of the abuse (child bride, 12 year old punched in the face by a ghost, naming a child Zadoc) delicately.

It’s a brilliant podcast. It’s everything my cryptid, unexplained, bizarre, what the fuck brain needs.

I’m off to finish the Shakespeare one right now, in fact.