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 458: Stabilimentum

by Livia Llewellyn

“Stabilimentum” was published in the 2013 anthology Shadow’s Edge, which was edited by Simon Strantzas for Gray Friar Press.

“The story was written as a reaction to the massive and rapid development of the Jersey City waterfront, which is so out of character with the rest of the city – in particular my tenement-lined neighborhood – that it seems altogether alien and intrusive.”

Livia Llewellyn is a writer of dark fantasy, horror and erotica. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Subterranean, Nightmare Magazine, and Postscripts; and her short story collection Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. Her website is at www.liviallewellyn.com, where she list all her current works-in-progress and upcoming publications.

Your narrator – Tatiana Gomberg is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

Preorder your copy of She Walks in Shadows here: http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/blog/books/she-walks-in-shadows/

Buy a copy of Hexed by Anders Manga here: https://andersmanga.bandcamp.com/


Thalia woke up with a small moan, a gasp of air escaping her mouth as her eyes opened to dim morning light. She stood before the open door of her bathroom, the small room as black and empty as an elevator shaft. Did she sleepwalk? No, that couldn’t be it. She was only still so tired that she didn’t remember getting out of bed. Just like the day before, and the day before–three months of this now, starting the day she moved in. Leaning against the doorframe, Thalia flipped on the bathroom light, peering up at the ceiling as she waited for the vertigo to dissipate. Thirty floors above her, a small city pressing down. She felt it the most in this tight, windowless space, the gurgles of water and pinging of pipes, the crush of so many people above and around her, doing the exact same thing. She had wanted to live high above everyone, far away from the crowds. It never occurred to her that with so many tenants pressed together, she would never feel truly alone, never feel far away from anything at all. Everyone bleeding into each other’s space–city living, get used to it. Thalia pushed the unease away, and reached for the toothpaste.

She only noticed it later, as she was getting ready to leave for work–looking up as she struggled with her hair, she spied a large brown spider trembling on invisible strands, high up in the far corner over her bathtub. Thalia stared, momentarily slack-jawed, as the creature seemingly floated through thick circles and curves of a white spiral pattern within the invisible rest of the web, its pace furious in tempo and intent. That was going to be one big damn web when it was finished. Which would be never.

“Do not have time for this,” Thalia mumbled, half-tiptoeing, half-clomping through the living room in an attempt to keep the neighbors below from waking up and complaining yet again about high heels and noise. A single shake to the bright yellow canister from under the kitchen sink told her all she needed to know. Barely enough to kill it, but it was enough. She tip-clomped back into the bathroom, and rose the can high into the air. Another small gasp escaped her lips, and she leaned back against the door frame. Again, vertigo–always the sensation that she was rising, rushing upward into the clouds. She just needed more protein, that’s all, maybe eggs for breakfast tomorrow instead of coffee and toast. Thalia aimed the can, and pressed her finger down. The first shot sent the spider spiraling down into the tub, and the second, weaker blast slowed its tremulous death throes just enough to assure her there would be no sudden revivals. Thalia felt the prickle of wet mist against her skin, and a second later, an ugly floral scent stung her throat and eyes. She backed quickly out of the bathroom, leaving the frail crumple of body and legs on the bathtub mat, a dot waving eight farewells. She’d deal with it when she got home tonight.


Flash Fiction Contest 4 is Lurking on Your Doorstep

The stars are right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do, a band of innocent authors has accomplished. After vigintillions of years the Flash Fiction Contest is loose again, and ravening for delight. Each week, batches of stories will be released into gladiatorial pits to fight for supremacy. The floor will be churned to mud with the blood of the fallen until the mightiest stories remain for your delight and dread. Head over to the forums, take up your stone, and join us in the harvest festivals of the October Country.

It’s easy to be become a member. Sign up for a forum account and make a single post so we know you’re not a bot. This is a good thread to start with. From there, head over to “The Arcade” as the contest thread will not be visible until after you have made at least one post. Authors, encourage friends and families to come over and participate – you just can’t tell them which stories are yours. Visit our forums for rules and details.

Pseudopod 453: The Toyol

by Joel Arnold

“The Toyol” originally appeared in Black Static magazine in March, 2014. It has also been reprinted in Joel’s collection of horror, BEDTIME STORIES FOR THE APOCALYPSE III, which can be found in most ebook stores.

JOEL ARNOLD lives in Minnesota. His writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Weird Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, SHIVERS VII.

Your narrator – Misty Dawn – describes herself as part warrior and part pacifist, owing to her Comanche and Cherokee heritage. She credits her mother with encouraging her two greatest loves: music and horror, and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King with teaching her to embrace the darkest corners of her imagination, and to coax those things living within to come out and play. She hopes to create a YouTube channel and is working on redesigning her blog, Deadtime Musings, from Dusk to Misty Dawn, to include short stories of horror, both real and imagined as well as poetry and lyrics, also of a dark nature. A Navy brat who grew up abroad, she settled in San Francisco, attending UC Berkeley, where she received a BA in Drama/Communications.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. However, trafficking is also something occurring much closer to home. Estimates indicate between 100,000 and 300,000 children are trafficked for sex in the US each year, with the average victim being just 14 years of age. Also, 27% of trafficked victims are held for purposes of domestic servitude and 10% for work in agriculture. There is no single profile for trafficking victims; trafficking occurs to adults and minors in rural, suburban, or urban communities across the country. Victims of human trafficking have diverse socio-economic backgrounds, varied levels of education, and may be documented or undocumented. Traffickers target victims using tailored methods of recruitment and control they find to be effective in compelling that individual into forced labor or commercial sex. 

Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:
Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
Has a child stopped attending school?
Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Warning Signs for Child Sex Trafficking
Chronic runaway/homeless youth.
Excess amount of cash in their possession (may be reluctant to explain its source).
Hotel keys and key cards.
Lying about age/false ID.
Inconsistencies when describing and recounting events.
Unable or unwilling to give local address or information about parent(s)/guardian.
Presence or fear of another person (often an older male or boyfriend who seems controlling).
High number of reported sexual partners at a young age.
Sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.
Injuries/signs of physical abuse (that they may be reluctant to explain).
Inability or fear of social interaction.
Demeanor exhibiting fear, anxiety, depression, submissiveness, tenseness, nervousness.
Is not enrolled in school or repeated absence from school.
Does not consider self a victim.
Loyalty to positive feelings toward pimp/trafficker.
May try to protect pimp/trafficker from authorities.
Prepaid cell phone.

How can you help?
Organizations combating human trafficking in your area: NGO’s in your area

20 ways you can help fight human trafficking: Help

Avoid products that facilitate human trafficking:
According to research by the Polaris Project, human trafficking often operates alongside legitimate businesses. From chocolate companies to electronics producers, a number of corporations use human trafficking and forced labor as a means to making the most profit on their product. You can find out which companies still use slave labor in the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Do your research to make sure your investments are socially responsible and benefit companies that don’t take advantage of modern day slaves.

What is human trafficking?
Victims of HT
7 Ways To Join The Fight


“The man from the limousine stops, takes off his sunglasses and squints. He removes the handkerchief from his face and smiles. “How old are you?” he asks Zeya.

“Sixteen,” says Zeya.

“Are you hungry?”

“Yes. And my grandfather.” She nods toward U-Po. “We’re all hungry here.”

The man studies her for a moment. “I have work for you if you want it,” he says. “In Kuala Lampur. The hotels are looking for help. The pay is good.” He nods at U-Po. “You can send money to your family and still have enough left for yourself.”

Zeya looks at U-Po, who continues to mumble to his dead wife. He is the only family she has left. “What kind of work?” she asks.

“Housekeeping, restaurant work, laundry. Very good honest work and the pay is excellent.”

“But my grandfather – ”

The man looks at his watch. “I’ll give you fifteen minutes to decide. Then I must go.” He raises the handkerchief to his face and walks away to talk to one of the other girls nearby.”


Pseudopod 457: Escape From Kroo Bay

by Byron Barton

“Escape From Kroo Bay” is original to PSEUDOPOD.

BYRON BARTON received a PhD from the University of Vermont and currently lives and works in Aruba. His serialized novel, “Heat,” can be read at 31 Shots.com

Your narrator — Elan Ressel, last read “Set Down This” for us in 2010!  Elan’s company offers a corporate education tool, SPICE (Self-Paced Interactive Corporate Education). Take a look at this demonstration.


“Kossi glanced at the dead body sprawled across the bus stop floor. One ragged leg was draped over a weathered wooden bench while the torso was splayed in a half-twist over pitted concrete. Old newspapers and candy wrappers partially covered the corpse like a loose patchwork quilt. If not for the slack in the man’s jaws and dark goo pooling in his worn denim shirt, the corpse might simply be a passed out drunk.

Dead bodies on the street weren’t common in Freetown, but they weren’t particularly unusual, either. Kossi shuttered, thinking back to the civil war, when the RUF had temporarily taken the city and left behind enough stiffs and severed limbs to fill a dozen mass graves. Ebola hadn’t left nearly as many bodies behind, but the panic was the same. At least they could see the rebels. At least they could hide or beg or buy their way out of trouble. Ebola was invisible, and as indiscriminate as a child soldier jacked up on brown-brown.”