With just a week left until Halloween, you may be looking for some new spooky content to keep your kids and/or yourself properly creeped out in the days leading up to The Best Day of the Year. The kids’ horror podcast The Creeping Hour is here to help. Hosted by Axe, Weta, and Toro – “Creeps” who used to be normal human teenagers but turned into terrifying monsters when they listened to one too many scary stories – The Creeping Hour is an anthology series that tells a new spooky story each Thursday in October. Written by Elie Lichtschein and co-produced by Lichtschein and WGBH, each episode serves as a dark cautionary tale about the dangers of things like bullying, picking up strange objects in nature, ignoring leash laws, and eating unidentified sushi. The episodes run about 15 minutes long, which is ideal for listening in the car. (And I must say, the theme music is a bop.)
Above and beyond my excitement over the existence of a kids’ horror podcast, I appreciate how much The Creeping Hour embraces darkness. The endings can be delightfully ambiguous, and the Creeps revel in the possibility of victims not getting their happily-ever-afters. Don’t get too worried, though: the tone and content are just right for the target age range of 8-12 years. There is a definite ick factor (especially in Episode 2: Out of the Wind, which features the aforementioned mystery sushi), but with goofy details like the Creeps’ newfound diet of cockroaches and slime sludge, the show is more likely to have kids giggling than feeling queasy.
The Creeps consistently warn that if you keep listening, you’ll turn into a Creep like them. It’s an effective hook perfect for this time of year – “beware…turn back before it’s too late…you’ve been warned” – but it also helps build a sense of belonging. Young listeners will think of the Creeps as their friends, especially young horror fanatics who understand what it feels like to be drawn to the dark and sinister parts of the world. The Creeping Hour allows kids to celebrate the darkness and explore their own creepy nature in fun, bite-sized stories that leave you excited for the next spooky installment.
You can listen to The Creeping Hour on any podcast app or on the website. The next episode drops tomorrow, with a final installment scheduled for Halloween.
Note: The original version of this post credited Elie Lichtschein as the producer of The Creeping Hour. The post has been corrected to include co-producer WGBH. I apologize for the error.