Welcome to Pseudopod!

You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. Pseudopod brings you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere.

WARNING: This is a podcast of horror fiction. The stories presented here are intended to disturb. They are likely to contain death, graphic violence, explicit sex (including sexual violence), hate crimes, blasphemy, or other themes and images that hook deep into your psyche. We do not provide ratings or content warnings. We assume by your listening that you wish to be disturbed for your entertainment. If there are any themes that you cannot deal with in fiction, that are too strongly personal to you, please do not listen.

Pseudopod is for mature audiences only. Hardly any story on Pseudopod is suitable for children. We mean this very seriously.

Pseudopod 382: Her Face All Sharp

by Sara Larner.

“Her Face All Sharp” has never been published before. “I began writing this story with the intention of justifying vengeance. I wanted it to take the sort of clear but twisted moral stance that defines a fable as a fable (to me, anyway)..

SARA LARNER is a young writer living in the Bay Area with her cat, her snake, and her books. When not writing she reads, paints, dances, and acts, in about that order. She posts her poetry at: Sara Larner.

Your reader – Marguerite Kenner – can be found working her magic at CAST OF WONDERS, more of which, anon….. because I can’t seem to find a link that works….

SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here.

Lance Roger Axt’s UTOPIATES Audio Drama can be found at the link.


“But he had read deeply about such a creature as she, in his uncle’s old library, and had been prepared for the unlikely contingency that everything went according to plan. He threw a leather hood soaked in semen, blood, and tears over her head. He could not hear her through it, which was how it must be.

He put his fingers around her neck. Onyx and sapphire, brilliant and beautiful, her neck feathers were soft and short. He ran his thumb along her inner throat, pushing gently, just to see how it felt. She twisted her head away, in the dumb manner of a hooded bird; unwilling to move but inclined away from pain. He readjusted his hand and pushed a little harder.

He couldn’t hear anything through the hood, but he knew she must have made some sound at that, some squawk or chirp. A plea.”


Pseudopod 381: Scarred

by Damien Angelica Walters.

“Scarred” originally appeared in Fireside Magazine Issue 2, released in August 2012.

DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS‘ short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her debut novel, INK, was released in December 2012 by Samhain Horror. As Damien Angelica Walters, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apex, Shimmer, Shock Totem, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Nightmare, Drabblecast, and the anthologies GLITTER & MAYHEM and WHAT FATES IMPOSE. A collection of her short fiction will be released later this year from Apex Publications. She lives in Maryland but you can find her online at Damien Walters.

Your reader – Becky Stinemetze – works in marketing in San Antonio, Texas. She is married and has two dogs that are practically her children. She loves to cook, go to concerts, and of course do voice over work. She hopes to to one day be a full time voice over artist. If you wish to contact Becky about any voice over work of any kind or if you just want to follow her antics; you can find her on Twitter at @Becky_J or read her blog at beckystinemetze.com.

SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here


“Violet carved her hate into her flesh one name at a time.

Her skin was riddled with scars, some barely visible, others dark and ruddy. The oldest, the first name, was on her right ankle, right above the knobby bone. It revealed a halting progress, with many gaps in between the lines and curves.

He suffered for a long time.”


Pseudopod 380: Abigail

by Hunter Gray.

“Abigail” has been performed at various readings in northern New Jersey and New York but is published now here.

Hunter Gray is a poet/short-storyist living in northern New Jersey where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in English Literature and her publication credits include Chavez magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and has recently completed her first book of poems, AMERICAN GROTESQUE.

Your reader – Alethea Kontis – is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and penned the ALPHAOOPS series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including THE WONDERLAND ALPHABET and DIARY OF A MAD SCIENTIST GARDEN GNOME. Her YA fairy tale novel, ENCHANTED, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012, was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both ENCHANTED and its sequel, HERO, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie. You can find Princess Alethea online at aletheakontis.com. If you’re a fan of Grimm and Andersen, be sure to watch Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants – there is a new episode on Alethea’s YouTube channel every Monday.


“The sun was dipping now, and I feared for myself. My hands grew cold, like ice. And then, I felt the popcorn pop in my belly. The jelly-baby was kicking. My jelly-baby was awake and real and moving. And then I feared for her too.

The pin-prickle of fear brushed itself against the small of my back even more when I saw what lay in the street ahead of me. A perfect mountain of frosting…a cake delicately decorated in pink icing. Maraschino cherries floated around the edges and crystal sugar sprinkles peppered the top. It was beautiful, but terrifying. Why was this in the middle of the road? Who left such a thing? Instinctually, I looked around me. And behind me. For the first time, in a long time, I felt like the prey, not the predator.

But there was no one, nothing. No cars or birds or tiny children or good Samaritans trying to feed some hungry knocked-up college kid.

And then, I saw it. The most beautiful house I had ever seen.”


Pseudopod 379: The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number

by Gertrude Atherton.

“The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number” first appeared in her collection THE BELL IN THE FOG AND OTHER STORIES (1905).

GERTRUDE ATHERTON (1857-1948), a protege of Ambrose Bierce, was an American novelist, primarily of social romances, who also wrote popular histories, biographies and the occasional supernatural or dark fiction tale. Her first publication was “The Randolphs of Redwood: A Romance,” serialized in The Argonaut in March 1882 under the pseudonym Asmodeus. When she revealed to her family that she was the author, it caused her to be ostracized. She had a satirical (and sometimes harshly acerbic) wit and was an advocate for social reform and women’s rights. Her novels often feature strong heroines who pursue independent lives and she is best remembered for her California Series, several novels and short stories dealing with the social history of California. Her few contributions to the weird genre – which include “The Striding Place” (rejected by The Yellow Book as “too gruesome”) and “The Bell In The Fog” – are invariably well crafted and display a strong sense of the dramatic and a debt to Henry James. She also composed tales of psychological horror, of which this episode is one.

Your reader – George Hrab – has an astounding SEVEN albums available on iTunes AND can also be heard regularly on The Geologic Podcast, an astounding aural phenomena with not a trace of silica!


“‘How long can I keep it from them?’ he asked bitterly. ‘What an atmosphere for children–my children!–to grow up in!’

‘If you would do as I wish, and send her where she belongs–’

‘I shall not. She is my wife. Moreover, concealment would then be impossible.’

They had reached the third floor. He inserted a key in a door, hesitated a moment, then said abruptly: ‘I saw in a paper that she had returned. Can it be possible?’

‘I saw her on the Avenue a few moments ago.’

Was it the doctor’s imagination, or did the goaded man at his side flash him a glance of appeal?

They entered a room whose doors and windows were muffled. The furniture was solid, too solid to be moved except by muscular arms. There were no mirrors nor breakable articles of any sort.

On the bed lay a woman with ragged hair and sunken yellow face, but even in her ruin indefinably elegant. Her parted lips were black and blistered within; her shapely skinny hands clutched the quilt with the tenacious suggestion of the eagle–that long-lived defiant bird. At the bedside sat a vigorous woman, the pallor of fatigue on her face.

The creature on the bed opened her eyes. They had once been what are vaguely known as fine eyes; now they looked like blots of ink on parchment.”


Pseudopod 378: The Haunted Spinney

by Elliott O’Donnell.

“The Haunted Spinney” First appeared in the November issue of THE IDLER in 1904.

ELLIOTT O’DONNELL (1872-1965) preceded, in the popular consciousness, the more familiar Harry Price as one of the most widely read figures purporting to be a ghost-hunter and investigator into the unknown. Born in Bristol, O’Donnell claimed an encounter at age 5 with an “elemental spirit”, as well as his family line being cursed by a Banshee, as prerequisites for his lifelong interest in the paranormal. On graduating The Queen’s Service Academy (where he claimed to have wrestled a spectral strangler), he went to America, where he lived as a rancher in Oregon, worked as a policeman in Chicago during the great railroad strikes and also claimed to have been a journalist in San Francisco and New York, all while collecting tales of ghosts in the New World, finally returning to England in 1900 to work as a schoolmaster and traveling actor. His first occult novel, FOR SATAN’S SAKE, made no impact in 1905 so he reinvented himself as a raconteur and ghost hunter – penning dozens of popular books in which he collected folklore about spirits and bogeys and told of his visits to famous haunted sites. He possibly originated the concept of hauntings as localized “recordings” (one of a number of classifications he posited), as later seen in Nigel Kneale’s THE STONE TAPE. Luckily for us, he also wrote many novels and pieces of short fiction designated as such. He never claimed to be a psychic investigator and his writings, when presented as true, still have a highly dramatic and atmospheric style that makes them dubious as true records but very enjoyable as entertainment. “Let me state plainly that I lay no claim to being what is termed a scientific psychical researcher. I am not a member of any august society that conducts its investigations of the other world, or worlds, with the test tube and weighing apparatus; neither do I pretend to be a medium or clairvoyant — I have never undertaken to ‘raise’ ghosts at will for the sensation-seeker or the tourist. I am merely a ghost hunter. One who lays stake by his own eyes and senses; one who honestly believes he inherits in some the degree the faculty of psychic perceptiveness from a long line of Celtic ancestry; and who is, and always has been, deeply and genuinely interested in all questions relative to phantasms and a continuance of individual life after physical dissolution.”

Your reader – Alasdair Stuart – may or may not exist – until someone opens the box and a deathly hand emerges….


“It was a cold night. Rain had been falling steadily not only for hours but days, the ground was saturated. As I walked along the country lane the slush splashed over my boots and trousers. To my left was a huge stone wall, behind which I could see the nodding heads of firs, and through them the wind was rushing, making a curious whistling sound, now loud, now soft, roaring and gently murmuring. The sound fascinated me. I fancied it might be the angry voice of a man and the plaintive pleading of a woman, and then a weird chorus of unearthly beings, of grotesque things that stalked along the moors, and crept from behind huge boulders.

Nothing but the wind was to be heard. I stood and listened to it. I could have listened for hours. for I felt in harmony with my surroundings, lonely. The moon showed itself at intervals from behind the scudding clouds, and lighted up the open landscape to my left.

A gaunt hill covered with rocks, some piled up pyramidically, others strewn here and there; a few trees with naked arms tossing about and looking distress-fully slim beside the more stalwart boulders; a sloping field or two, a couple of level ones, crossed by a tiny path, and the lane where I stood. The scenery was desolate, not actually wild, but sad and forlorn, and the spinney by my side lent an additional weird aspect to the place, which was pleasing to me.

Suddenly I heard a sound, a familiar sound enough at other times, but at this hour and in this place everything seemed different. A woman was coming along the road, a woman in a dark cloak with a basket under her arm, and the wind was blowing her skirts about her legs. I looked at the trees. One singularly gaunt and fantastic one appalled me. It had long, gnarled arms, and two of them ended in bunches of twigs like hands – huge, murderous-looking hands, with bony fingers. The moonlight played over and around me. I had no business to be on the earth; my poor place was in the moon; I no longer thought it. I knew it. The woman was close at hand. She stopped at a little wicket gate leading into the lane skirting the north walls of the spinney. I felt angry; what right had she to be there, interrupting my musings with the moon? The tree with the human hands appeared to agree. I saw anger in the movements of its branches, anger which soon blazed into fury, as they gave a mighty bend towards her as if longing to rend her to pieces.”


Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector

by Ron Jon.

“Barking Mad”
“From The Deep”
“Quite Mad”
“Christ, I Think It’s Death”

RON JON has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature.
You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.


Essay features short clips from Disney’s Thrilling Chilling Sounds From The Haunted House (1964), Terror Tales By The Old Sea Hag (1959 – date dubious), Scary Spooky Stories (1973), A Coven Of Witches’ Tales (1973), Nightmare!! (1962), Alfred Hitchcock’s Music To Be Murdered By (1958) and Silica Gel: 50) Noisy Children Party.


Pseudopod 376: Quieta Non Movere

by Reggie Oliver.

“Quieta Non Movere” first appeared in THE EIGHTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR (Mortbury Press 2011) , then in his award-winning collection MRS. MIDNIGHT (2011), then MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 23 (ed. Stephen Jones, Constable & Robinson 2012). “This story is one of a number I have written set in the fictional English cathedral city of Morchester. I have based it loosely on the lovely old city of Salisbury.”

REGGIE OLIVER is an actor playwright and theater director, as well as being the author of two novels, a biography and six volumes of “strange” stories, of which the latest is FLOWERS OF THE SEA. His fifth collection, MRS. MIDNIGHT, won the Children of the Night Award 2012 for “best work of supernatural fiction”. Four of Reggie’s collections, all illustrated by the him, are available from Tartarus Press.

Your reader – David Moore – has read for the DARK FICTION Magazine and last appeared here giving an excellent take on M.R. James’ “Wailing Well” (his delivery of the line “they hadn’t much to call faces… but I could seem to see as they had teeth…” is one of your editor’s personal favorites in the entire back catalog) and yet, he remains an enigma!


“An architect was engaged and there needed only a decision to be made over the location of the chapel. The obvious place was an area closest to the crossing and facing east. This would’ entail the partial destruction of the eastern wall of the north transept, an exercise which would require the relocation of a number of funereal plaques and stones, the most significant of which was a sixteenth century memorial to a Canon of Morchester Cathedral, one Jeremiah Staveley. It was quite an elaborate affair in polished black basalt about seven foot in height overall, set into the wall some three feet above the ground. It consisted in a slab topped with scrollwork, crudely classical in feel with a niche in which was set a printed alabaster image of the Canon, standing upright in his clerical robes with his arms crossed over his chest. The figure was tall and narrow, the bearded face gaunt: a somewhat disconcerting image which looked as if it portrayed the corpse rather than the living being. Beneath this on the polished slab an inscription had been incised, the lettering picked out in white. It read:

Canonus Morcastriensis, obiit anno 1595 aetat 52

It was followed by these verses in bold capital letters:






The implication of these lines, that the body of Canon Staveley was actually entombed behind the slab, was borne out by the cathedral records and one of the old vergers whose family had been connected with the cathedral since time immemorial. Dean Coombe was disposed to be rather benevolent towards this worthy whose name was Wilby. The man was a repository of cathedral history and lore and the Dean was content to listen politely to Wilby’s ramblings, but he did not expect his condescension to be rewarded by opposition to his plans.

‘Mr Dean,’ said Wilby one afternoon, as they stood before the memorial in the north transept. ‘You don’t want to go a moving of that there stone, begging your pardon, sir.’

‘My dear man, why ever not?’

‘Don’t it say so plain as brass on that there ‘scription? ‘Tis ill luck to move the bones of the wicked. So said my granfer, and his before him.’ “


Pseudopod 375: The Signalman

by Charles Dickens.

“The Signal-Man” was first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. It is The Doctor’s favorite Dickens story and has been adapted many times in many formats, including a radio drama version by Ye Olde Editor when he was in college.

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) surely needs no introduction so let’s talk a little bit about his relationship to the horror genre. Nearly everything Dickens wrote contains elements of the grotesque – exaggeration (used for both comic and chilling effects) was one of the devices most natural to him. He had a steady interest in the supernatural, albeit with reservations. Several of his stories make fun of spiritualism (“The Lawyer & The Ghost”, “The Haunted House”, “Well-Authenticated Rappings”) but Dickens thought ghost stories were especially appropriate for the Christmas season and encouraged other writers to produce ghost stories for the holidays including Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. Dickens first and best ghost story was “A Christmas Carol” (1843), which was an enormous success, and later tales include “The Haunted Man & The Ghost’s Bargain” (1848) (an allegory) and “The Trial For Murder” (1865), along with this one. In THE UNCOMMERCIAL TRAVELER (1860) he wrote that the horror stories told to him in childhood by his nurse had had a lasting effect – “If we all knew our own minds (in a more enlarged sense than the popular acceptation of that phrase), I suspect we should find our nurses responsible for most of the dark corners we are forced to go back to against our will.”

Your reader – Ian Stuart – is a writer/performer living in York. He has done work for the BBC and Manx Radio, as well as audiobooks, historical guides and promotional videos. He is also a storyteller/guide for The Ghost Trail of York, taking tourists round the city and telling them some of its darker secrets. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana. If you wish to contact Ian about v/o work of any kind , you can get in touch with him on Twitter at @yorkwriter99. His greatest boast is that he is the father of a famous son.


This was a lonesome post to occupy (I said), and it had riveted my attention when I looked down from up yonder. A visitor was a rarity, I should suppose; not an unwelcome rarity, I hoped? In me, he merely saw a man who had been shut up within narrow limits all his life, and who, being at last set free, had a newly-awakened interest in these great works. To such purpose I spoke to him; but I am far from sure of the terms I used, for, besides that I am not happy in opening any conversation, there was something in the man that daunted me.

He directed a most curious look towards the red light near the tunnel’s mouth, and looked all about it, as if something were missing from it, and then looked at me.

That light was part of his charge? Was it not?

He answered in a low voice: “Don’t you know it is?”

The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man. I have speculated since, whether there may have been infection in his mind.

In my turn, I stepped back. But in making the action, I detected in his eyes some latent fear of me. This put the monstrous thought to flight.

“You look at me,” I said, forcing a smile, “as if you had a dread of me.”

“I was doubtful,” he returned, “whether I had seen you before.”


He pointed to the red light he had looked at.

“There?” I said.

Intently watchful of me, he replied (but without sound), Yes.


Pseudopod 374: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XIX: Blood On The Tracks – Departure, Transit, Arrival

Going nowhere… faster….

“Midnight Express” by Alfred Noyes.

“Midnight Express” first appeared in This Week, November 3, 1935.
ALFRED NOYES (1880-1958) is primarily remembered as a poet, especially for his ballads “The Highwayman” and “The Barrel-Organ”. Aside from his poetry he wrote a large number of short stories intended to boost the national morale and small number of uncanny stories including this, “The Lusitania Waits” and “The Log of the Evening Star”. He published many novels including the post-apocalyptic THE LAST MAN (1940) and his famed trilogy THE TORCH BEARERS (1922-1930).

Read by Paul Jenkins, who has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

“It was a battered old book, bound in read buckram. He found it, when he was twelve years old, on an upper shelf in his father’s library; and, against all the rules, he took it to his bedroom to read by candlelight, when the rest of the rambling old Elizabethan house was flooded with darkness. That was how young Mortimer always thought of it.”


“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” by Mark Samuels.

“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” had its first appearance in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #20 edited by Stephen Jones. MARK SAMUELS (born 1967) is the author of four short story collections THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (Tartarus Press 2003), BLACK ALTARS (Rainfall Books 2003), GLYPHOTECH & OTHER MACABRE PROCESSES (PS Publishing 2008) and THE MAN WHO COLLECTED MACHEN & OTHER STORIES (Ex Occidente 2010 and Chomu Press 2011) as well as the short novel THE FACE OF TWILIGHT (PS Publishing 2006). His tales have appeared in both THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR and THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR. He has a new collection forthcoming from Egaeus Press in 2014 and has been described by Ramsey Campbell as “the British Thomas Ligotti”: A description he is at odds with, since he shares few, if any, of Ligotti’s aims either as a contemporary philosopher or writer of weird fiction. He is also literary executor for the late Edmund Bertrand. “How I came to be Bertrand’s literary executor is a convoluted affair and too long to go into here,” explains Samuels. “In any case, it’s certainly ironic, given that Bertrand (an American citizen, but of French ancestry, as his name suggests) was a staunch Anglophobe. Bertrand was born in Memphis, sometime during 1957, and died in a mysterious hotel fire whilst attending a convention in England in 2007. His stories chart the far reaches of madness, and were never collected together in a single volume. His main influences were European authors such as Stefan Grabinski, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Dino Buzzati and Jean Lorrain.”

Read by Jorn Meyer – who is new to PSEUDOPOD with this story and who is available for narration or voice work and can be reached at mail-at-joern-meyer.net

“There was no question now of keeping panic in check. Grey loped off along the aisle of the car in search of the conductor, or of the first person he encountered. A few rows further down he saw a man slouched in his seat, dressed in a rain mac and a wide-brimmed floppy hat that obscured his face. Grey hesitated before addressing the stranger, because he feared the face concealed in shadow. Would it be like that of the conductor? If it were, then he feared he would have reached a tipping point and might scream himself to death.”


“The Terminus” by Kim Newman.

A slightly different version of “The Terminus” appeared in the fanzine Sheep Worrying in 1981; this version appeared in Fantasy Tales in 1985. “It’s pretty much the earliest story I sold professionally.” KIM NEWMAN is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes THE QUORUM, LIFE’S LOTTERY and PROFESSOR MORIARTY: THE HOUND OF THE D’URBERVILLES; his non-fiction includes NIGHTMARE MOVIES and BFI Classics studies of CAT PEOPLE and DOCTOR WHO. He has written plays for the theatre (The Hallowe’en Sessions) and radio (Cry-Babies), is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines and reviews in Video Watchdog. His official web-site can be found here. He is also on Twitter as @AnnoDracula and his latest novel is ANNO DRACULA: JOHNNY ALUCARD, fourth in the successful ANNO DRACULA series. His next novel, AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY, will be out in late 2014.

Your reader, Siobhan Gallichan, is a voice-over artist available for work at macfadyan-at-gmail.com. Listen to Siobhan’s podcast at The Flashing Blade or watch the show on YouTube.

“‘Oh yes,’ Verdon told me, ‘disappearances from the underground are not uncommon. Every once in a while some unfortunate wanders off where he shouldn’t and meets with an accident. Sometimes our staff doesn’t come across the remains for years. Some people never do turn up. Those are the most interesting, I think. This pile.’

It was an impressive stack of manila folders. On the night of 9 October 1872 (which I like to think of as appropriately foggy) Mr Julian Selwyn-Pitt, a landscape painter, walked into Oxford Street station and was never seen again. Since 1872, fifteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four people had followed Mr Selwyn-Pitt into Verdon’s files. The figure was exclusive of all those whose disappearance was not reported and those, like Robert Webb, whose folders had not yet drifted down to settle in Verdon’s office.

‘So there are nearly sixteen thousand people lying around the tube somewhere?’”


Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, available from Music Alley.

Train sounds are from SoundJay.com.

Cave drips are from FreeSound.org.