9 Mystery Podcasts To Listen To (If You Want To Have Nightmares, That Is)

While most people are walking down the street listening to their favorite tunes, I'm plugged into a mystery podcast that's exploring some dark and gruesome crime that has a graphic content warning and suggests you don't listen to it on an empty stomach. I don't know why, but crime-themed mystery podcasts relax me. They take my mind away from the worries and stresses of my own life, and suck my attention into a strangely delightful vacuum where all I care about is something that happened to someone else. It's like historical gossip, only juicier.

Some of the podcasts are true accounts, and others are fiction. All are fascinating and peculiar and gut-wrenching and nail-biting. And judging by the extreme success of Serial, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's listening. If you're tired of your playlists, you might want to check out some of these ace mystery podcasts. Listening to one is like watching a great TV show, without having to sit on the couch. You can listen at the gym, on the train, at the grocery store, while cleaning the kitchen, or walking your dog. If you're really bold, you can listen to them while you're trying to fall asleep at night. Just don't blame me if you have nightmares, you've been warned of the dark nature!

Welcome To Night Vale

This bi-monthly podcast is a faux radio show for a fictitious town that's undergoing strange changes. It's quirky, it's bizarre, it's spooky, it's unlike anything else. You'll find yourself both looking behind you for strange shadows and laughing out loud at the absurdity.

Thinking Sideways

This show is a weekly look into different unsolved mysteries, through a different lens. It gets into missing person cases, unsolved crimes and other cases that have not been closed, and analyzes at them in a different light than they've been seen in before.

Sword and Scale

This weekly show gets into the dark and dirty. It explores the minds and intentions of people who have carried out the worst of crimes. There's some legal talk, there's some villain talk, it's a well-rounded mix of information on both sides.

Here Be Monsters

This weekly show is a look into the behaviors of people — all kinds of people. Scam artists, sex offenders, hitchhikers, you name it. It's not a mystery solving show that provides answers as to why people do things, as much as it is an illuminating show that helps you come to your own conclusions.

Something Knows Something

This weekly show looks into one cold case per season. It's got a serious, true crime focus and really takes its time teaching you about a case without skimping on any of the available details.

Criminal

This show is a bi-monthly storytelling event. It takes a deep look into both the criminal and the victim and the people who fall somewhere in the middle, and talks about the repercussions of their crimes.

The Line-Up

This bi-monthly show is an investigative mystery-busting storytelling event. It looks into cases from all around the world, and the best part is, it's told by people who are actually mystery fiction professionals.

48 Hours

If you're already a fan of the TV show 48 Hours on CBS, you're going to love this podcast. It's a more in-depth look at the types of crimes they cover on the show, plus a lot of behind-the-scenes information as shared by crime scene authorities.

Already Gone

This is a weekly show that looks into the cases of individual people, be it missing, murdered, lost, and mysterious. It feels like someone is reading you a bedtime book — except it's a horrifying and unsettling mystery. Fun, right?!

Images: Bustle//Instagram, iTunes