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3 True Crime Podcasts to Fall Asleep (or Stay Awake!) To

3 True Crime Podcasts to Fall Asleep (or Stay Awake!) To

True crime is generally the stuff nightmares are made of–not pleasant dreams. But that doesn’t mean true crime podcasts can’t make a good bedtime story. With beautiful soundscapes and meditative voices, our picks for the best true-crime podcasts for bedtime will lull you to sleep so well you might forget their stories are based on real events.

Faint of heart? Don’t worry, we’ve included a true crime podcast that won’t give you nightmares.

So brush your teeth, climb into bed, pull up your covers, and relish in the safety of your bed as we count down the best 3 true crime podcasts to listen to when you hit the sack.


A pillar of the podcast genre, Aaron Mahnke’s Lore keeps listeners hooked with its stories that unfold almost like a well-scripted movie. Original scoring by Chad Lawson adds to the podcast’s ethereal beauty (it even has its own Spotify playlist!). Covering creatures in folklore, legendary places, and other peculiar histories of the world, Lore doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a true-crime podcast, but don’t be fooled–true crime is at the core of many of its episodes. From famous murders, to grifters, to wives killing their husbands in a style that would fit perfectly into a Disneyland “Haunted Mansion” tableau, the podcast pulls the most peculiar true crime stories from history and unfolds them in a way that truly transports you. Far from clinical, you’ll feel like you are listening to a fairy-tale, so well indeed, that you might forget the stories are real.


If you aren’t already familiar with Casefile, you are in for a treat. One intriguing aspect of this popular true crime podcast is its anonymous host, whose haunting voice is made more hypnotic because of his Australian accent–matched perfectly against the podcast’s ambient soundscape. The podcast is scripted and covers everything from abductions to unsolved true crime mysteries. Anonymous seems less interested in digging into the nitty-gritty details of the stories he covers–you won’t find a dizzying array of newspaper notes, dossiers, and other minutiae. He simply tells the story just as if he was, in fact, sitting beside you in the cozy confines of your bedroom. A true crime bedtime story indeed.


If murder isn’t your idea of good bedtime material, Swindled might be the true crime podcast for you. Similar to Casefile, it is a scripted podcast hosted by “Anonymous” and because of that, it has a similar hypnotic feel to it (albeit without the Australian accent). Covering a breadth of crimes in the business sector, you might learn more about the kinds of headlines you have perhaps only glanced at in the Wall Street Journal, making this podcast not only perfect for bedtime but for business education. If you wake up in the morning inexplicably knowing the story behind the Flint Water Crisis or the mathematics behind lottery fraud, you can thank this true crime podcast for educating your subconscious with a rich amount of knowledge while you slept. Always a plus for conversation around the water cooler.

Haunted Places


Haunted Places focuses on ghosts and specters more than true crime, but it deserves its place as a bonus podcast on this list for a rather compelling reason: the places it explores are rife with terrifying histories steeped in some of the finest true-crime stories history has to offer. Skip the Urban Legend episodes and stick to the traditional travelogue episodes. In one episode you might feel as if you are imbibing ale from Lafitte’s, the New Orleans’ bar where pirates one planned their plunders; another episode might take you to the Tower of London, or Glamis Castle, or Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel, where several serial killers (including Richard Ramirez) lived while they committed their famous murders. From the gruesome to the tragic to the twisted, the most haunted places in the world usually go hand-in-hand with a true-crime for a reason. For the bravest of true crime souls, Haunted Places covers them all.

We hope these true crime podcasts give you a good bedtime scare.

Sweet dreams!

Looking for a true crime podcast to help you survive a long commute? We have a list for that too!

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