It's July, and you've still got a few months of Summer left, and you're working on checking off those checkboxes. First watermelon? Check! Off bug spay? Of course. Enjoying sitting on your truck or hatch back tailgate at the beach with just enough of a breeze to make the heat bearable? You betcha.
I always find the longer days of Summer lend themselves well to ghost stories, true crime and paranormal podcasts. They often can be enjoyed as solo episodes without missing context, can be shared with friends, and don't give as much of a chill when only chill you're dealing with is the ice-cold lake or your car's A/C.
A newly released podcast, Haunted Road takes on a narrative interview format where the host (Amy Bruni) asks someone with a connection to the haunted location questions about their experiences. Amy was a producer of the TV shows Kindred Spirits and Ghost Hunters and can often share personal experience with the locations in question.
Actual Innocence is an older podcast that began in the excited wake of the success of Serial, starting in 2016 and ending in 2018 it has many episodes you can listen to without waiting. Each podcast or short multi-part episode follows a case of an innocent person who was convicted and later exonerated. It's about as feel-good as I find the genre can get.
Swindled is a podcast that focuses on white-collar crime and is told from a narrative story style by a host that only called himself a "Concerned Citizen". Production quality is very high, and each episode often includes immersive audio and media clips from the white-collar crime in question. Each episode begins with a short, related story which leads into the show's title music and the larger story of the episode. There's already a lot of episodes in the feed to catch up on, and the series continues.
Cautionary Tales episodes are self-contained, and each tells the story of an accident in history through the perspective of the psychology and data that led that to the failure. Part history and part post-action debriefing, Cautionary Tales can add an extra layer of fascinating detail to a story you may already know, and pair that with a story you'd never heard before to re-enforce the concept. Now in its second season, there's lots of back catalog to enjoy.
Hopefully one of these will be a fun new discovery for you! I've been working behind the scenes on a couple more of my Lessons I Learned from my First Product series and will be releasing more in a few weeks.