Podcast Spotlight: The Black Tapes

Today’s Cast Away features the supernatural…cults…math…you know, all the scary stuff!

Hello everybody! Turn on all the lights in your house because we’re about to get creepy. We are discussing The Black Tapes. We are about to take a journey into a dark world full of secrets, lies, misdirections, and crazy revelations.

My history with this podcast is kind of funny. I started The Black Tapes shortly after finishing season one of Serial. For the longest time, I thought that it was a true story. I mentioned this in my last post. The show is so well produced that it will fool you. It is actually fiction, really good fiction.

About the Show

The Black Tapes debuted in 2015 from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale. Presently, the show is in its third season. Like the AAU Murders, The Black Tapes is styled like a documentary.

The podcast follows Alex Reagan, a journalist investigating The Strand Institute. It’s founder, Richard Strand, dedicates his life to finding real supernatural phenomenon. Richard’s weird. He’s kind of like Mulder and Scully combined. He’s debunked a lot of supernatural occurrences but still looks for the real deal. He’s even put up a million-dollar reward if someone manages to have concrete proof that something supernatural exists.

Once Alex becomes acquainted with Richard, he introduces her to a set of VHS tapes. These tapes contain things he cannot just explain away. They lead Alex and Richard down the mother of all rabbit holes. They learn that people that are supposed to be dead are alive, there are terrifying mathematical cults looking to bring about…something, and that people in Richard’s life are somehow connected. It’s a whole mess, honey!

Favorite Episodes

Some of the earlier episodes really stand out from the rest. My favorite episode from season one is called The Unsound. One of the tapes centers around the suicide of a musician. This guy was experimenting with something called the “unsound”. Anyone that listens to the sound will die within a year.

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to this episode. I was on my way to work one evening. Alex talks about the unsound. Then she says “do you want to hear the unsound?”. Keep in mind that I thought the show was real. So I thought to myself, “Do I want to hear this?”. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I listened. This was years ago, so…there you go. But what a spooky moment!

Another creepy episode is the third episode in season 2 titled “Hush Little Baby”. A mother keeps hearing weird noises over her baby monitor. Underneath the baby’s crib are strange markings. It turns out that the baby’s housekeeper is involved in the supernatural goings-on.

When Alex and her producer Nic go to confront the housekeeper at her apartment…well, let’s just say they walk into something that can only be described as horror. The imagery is just frightening!

So Much Math

My only issue with The Black Tapes is that when it comes to the mathematical aspects of the show, we get a bit lost in the weeds. Understand that math, particularly Pythagerous, is feathered heavily in the podcast. That’s totally fine, considering the world the show builds. But, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when Alex talks to “experts” on math and ratios and such. But, I manage to power through it because it often leads to new discoveries.

Wrapping It Up

In season 3, we get more questions than answers. We learn that more things are connected than coincidence. I’m going to follow Alex as she learns more and more about the black tapes and all the craziness the surrounds them, and Strand.

Well, that’s it for my thoughts on The Black Tapes. You can find it on all your streaming platforms. You can also visit their website here. Next week, I’m going to some true crime, but not murder, and discussing Gangster Capitalism.

Over on Couch and Chill, I give you my final thoughts on Tower of God. I will see you later!

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