Podcast Genre: Horror Fiction
Episode Duration: ~1/2 hour
The Magnus Archives is a horror fiction anthology that follows the archivists at the Magnus Institute. Every episode includes the head archivist reading aloud a statement submitted to the institute about a strange or frightening event. Gradually, the stories begin to tie into each other, revealing an ominous bigger picture truth about the world. I’m paraphrasing their description a bit, click the photo for their official podcast description.
Firstly – Horror – yech. I cannot handle horror in movies. I don’t generally seek out horror in books. If you want deeply unsettling murder mysteries, look to the Scandinavians. My sister and mother love them, but brace yourself for the extra bad things happening to the adult or child who is missing/murdered. They spend too much time in the dark. If you want jump-scares, you’re on your own. Horror movies make me scared of bathrooms. What’s behind the door? What’s behind the shower curtain? Why does something bad always happen in the bathroom?
I’d define this podcast as Spooky, or Ominous. I realize that is not an actual category of fiction.
The Magnus Archive is not that jumpscare type of horror – it is more reminiscent of campfire stories. I think it helps that the Archivist reads the statements in a calm and occasionally dismissive tone of voice. He tells you about what happened to someone, read from their perspective, and it is an eerie thing, or an unusual thing, or even a frightening thing. And one that you know they survived, at least long enough to get to the Magnus Institute and write out a statement.
After the first few episodes you start getting to know what’s going on at the institute, including what’s going on with the other archivists. The statements are the anthology, but they’re tied together by the goings-on at the institute, and by the strange connections between them. If you enjoy the level of scary the stories are, I do recommend giving it a few episodes to decide if you like it or not – I found I enjoyed it more as it went along because of the storyline emerging around the statements.
I know nothing about how to make podcasts. That being said, the volume is all very even, they have subtle music and sound in the background of the episodes that really lets you get swept away in them, and the actors are all excellent. The first time I heard the actor Jonathan Sims (who plays the character Jonathan Sims) speak outside of his character voice I was NOT expecting Johnny Sims. The stories are the right amount of scary that I can listen to them while walking the dog alone at night, but still feel a bit of a thrill. Sometimes the sound does make me look around to find out where the rustling noise is coming from, or the echo-ey steps.
A nice, but also sad thing is that the story is coming to a close in the next few months – you won’t have to wait for a new episode every week. Or wait for the next season during the dreaded hiatus. On the down side, soon there will be no more episodes of the Magnus Archive.
If you’re looking for fandom, you’ll find an awful lot of artwork, embroidery, and fanfic, wherever you find your fandom.
They do give content warnings in their summaries, so if you’ve got anything that you’d call a no-go, read those, get warned, and make a decision.
Have you listened to the Magnus Archive? Let me know your thoughts! If you do try it out based on my post – maybe come back and let me know if that was a good life choice, or if I’m on your list of untrustworthy people now! What else should I be including in a review?