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Murderers, Vampires, Demons, Oh My

Aaron Mahnke brings folklore to life in podcast

Alexandra Martin | Entertainment Editor

October is nearly upon us and what better way to get in the spirit of Halloween than brushing up on those spooky tales that have helped shape this holiday into what it is. Most of us grew up with some experience hearing campfire legends, folk tales and ghost stories, or things of the like.

Whether these venues for inspiring fear are the design of an active imagination or a tool to encourage youngsters to avoid the darkest part of the woods on the edge of the park, they have deeper origins than most begin to consider.

Hollywood has banked millions on the fear of things unknown, many of these being cinema blockbusters, late-night television shows or book series’ such as, “Goosebumps,” “The Changeling” starring Angelina Jolie or the classic Nickelodeon series “Are You Afraid of The Dark?” While these examples may incite some nostalgia for a simpler time, when Hollywood Video was still the place to go for newly released movies and the public library was a frequent haunt, a new form of media is on the rise providing a grander scare than ever before.

“Lore,” a podcast dictated by Aaron Mahnke explores the deepest, darkest depths of history, exposing the origins of cinema’s and television’s beautifully haunting entertainment.

Beginning in 2015, Aaron Mahnke, the producer, host and creative mind behind the award-winning podcast, delved into the campfire stories that, for some, have haunted us into our adulthood; the stories that raise the hairs on the nape of your neck when venturing for a late-night glass of water and instigating a personal conversation like, “Hey there demons, it’s me, your boy. Please don’t chase me up the stairs like last time.”

Mahnke covers those age-old tales that had you convinced in childhood that the boogie man lived in your closet, vampires were a certainty and the old lady next door was most definitely possessed by something other than the Christmas spirit.

There is a unique element of Mahnke’s storytelling that sets it apart from those blockbuster hits and spooky campfire legends. Mahnke works with a team of people to research each and every subject of the podcasts, unearthing folklore from around the world; providing not only a bone-chilling, blood-curdling tale, but a petite history lesson as well. Mahnke covers such infamous celebrities such as: H.H. Holmes, Lycaon the son of Zeus and The Elephant Man. Who says learning can’t be fun? Did I mention that it’s free?

Through the success of “Lore,” having won Best of iTunes 2015 & 2016, Mahnke has also written a book which is due to come out this October entitled “The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures.” To further augment his ever-growing brand, Mahnke is also collaborating with Amazon Prime to produce an exclusive mini-series that will premiere on—yep, you guessed it— Friday, Oct. 13.

“Lore” is broadcasted every two weeks on Mondays through Apple podcasts. Personally, I am waiting with bated breath for the mini series to come out. October and Halloween are positively my favorite times of the year and there is nothing I enjoy more than a good scare, but you can be the judge. “Lore” is worth giving a listen, watch or read; if not for the stories, then for the soothing, evocative voice of Aaron Mahnke to lull you into a slumberous, nightmarish sleep.

Contact the author at journalentertainment@wou.edu