For Your Listening Pleasure: Haunting Exaggerations

Welcome to our “For Your Listening Pleasure” series, where we highlight and showcase podcasts and radio dramas that we enjoy. Admittedly, I, Modoc, lean heavily toward radio dramas, but I hope you won’t hold that against me. So, sit back, stay awhile, and maybe you’ll find something new for your listening pleasure.

In this installment, I revisit one of my favorite radio dramas, Campfire Radio Theater, and highlight two new recently produced short radio dramas, Children of the Stones and The New Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Campfire Radio Theater – Previously highlighted in this series’ first installment. It is still a favorite of mine, and it continues to hold up well. In the late summer (2020), John Ballentine, the show’s creator and producer, released a new multipart story. The first in nearly a year. In my earlier write-up, I stated, “Campfire Radio Theater brings to life some amazingly creepy tales. The likes of which I have not encountered in other podcasts. The series was inspired by radio dramas broadcasted in the 80s on National Public Radio (NPR). Each episode features a unique story that’s well written, immersive, and may make your skin crawl. “Whispers from Hell,” in particular, stood out for it truly made my skin crawl.”

My thoughts remain the same. John Ballentine’s creativity is not only original but also creepy in all the right ways. If you’re a fan of eerie and spooky audio dramas reminiscent of old campfire stories, this is a podcast for you.

Children of the Stones – A brand new (Oct 2020) audio drama by BBC Radio 4 is a modern adaptation of the cult 1977 television series of the same name. Mia Brake and her archaeometrist father Adam move to Milbury, a village framed by an ancient stone circle. The stones seem to emit a strange power, and the residents all seem to be enthralled and forever happy. From Mia’s arrival in Milbury through to its demise, listeners take a narrative journey, interspersed with flashbacks of traumatic experiences.

The story is hauntingly creepy, and the high production value adds immensely to its immersive feel. The episodes are short, ranging from 12 to 20 minutes; with only ten episodes in the series, you owe it to yourself to have a listen.

The New Adventures of Baron Munchausen – A descendant of the original 18th century Baron Munchausen, whose tall tales inspired a book that would forever link the family name with fibs and exaggeration, aims to set the record straight. The current Baron tells listeners the unvarnished truth about his own exploits—in the same vein as his ancestor, mind you. This five-part audio series is fantastic and over the top, much like the previous Baron. If you enjoyed the original Terry Gilliam movie, perhaps the roleplaying game, or if you’re just a fan of great storytelling, you’re going to want to listen to this.

~ Modoc

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