How do you feel about paranormal activity or the Supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?
Do you believe?
The Black Tapes is a serialized fictional docudrama podcast about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.
I discovered The Black Tapes a few months back when I became the Fiction Category Director of Podcast Magazine. Even though there haven’t been any new episodes for a couple of years, it’s still appears to be pretty popular and often comes up in conversation about audio dramas.
The Black Tapes messes with your head on a couple of levels. The first is the creators did a fabulous job of making it sound like an actual documentary. While you’re listening, it’s really easy to start to believe you’re following a real-life story.
The website continues the illusion by highlighting Alex (the journalist) and Nick (the producer) as actual people when, in fact, they’re fictional characters. There’s even a website for the Strand Institute, which is the organization Alex is investigating.
I found that I had to keep reminding myself this is NOT real.
Why? Because if you start to think it IS real, it is truly terrifying.
(And, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself believing in demons and the occult more than you might like.)
On the flip side, it took a little bit to get into. (At least it did for me.) The documentary style is so different than what I was used to that it took a couple of episodes to get into the flow.
But, once I did, I found it extremely addicting.
If you liked The Exorcist, and other possession/demon stories, The Black Tapes would be right up your alley.
However, if you find those stories uncomfortable, I think I’d pass on this.
One other issue is how it the series ends. Now, full disclosure, I only listened to the first two seasons. (Quite honestly, the way the second series ended freaked me out and I haven’t felt brave enough to start season 3.)
Season 3 is the last season and there’s only 6 episodes. If you look online, you’ll see many listeners weren’t thrilled with how it ended, so the creators have said they’re going to record more to finish the story arc better. I don’t know where that’s at right now.
But, regardless, even if you only listen to two seasons like I did, it’s worth it.
Check out The Black Tapes anywhere you listen to podcasts.