On A Dark, Cold Night – Podcast Review

In this Episode I talk about my experience with fictional storytelling podcast On A Dark, Cold Night created by Kristen Zaza. The podcast had 52 full episodes at the time of review.

PodApplaud-On A Dark, Cold Night

Welcome to PodApplaud, the Monday through Friday podcast that aims to enable your Podcast habit. I’m your host Seb, and today we are going to talk about the Podcast: On A Dark, Cold Night.

On A Dark, Cold Night is a soft spoken horror story created by Kristen Zaza. There are currently 52 episodes  that are between roughly 20 minutes and a half hour long each, and you can look forward to a new episode every week. The language used is clean, there are some horror elements, but I think the show would be safe for even kids maybe 10 and up. I don’t know I’m not a kid expert. Viewer discretion and all that.

Here’s an excerpt from Kristen Zaza’s website: “On A Dark, Cold Night is the ideal podcast for horror-lovers with insomnia; a sinister friend to tell you bedtime/ghost stories. The Podcast involves your narrator telling you a spine-chilling yet soothing ghost story every week.”

Horror is a genre that has been well explored in the podcasting medium. There are podcasts that cater to every type of horror lover, from grotesque to atmospheric, to anthology, classic monsters, or body horror. The well runs deep and you can always find another horror podcast. So when I decide to try out a new one sometimes I can picky or skeptical about what to expect. I was doubly skeptical when I read that On A Dark, Cold Night claimed to be both horror and a sleep aid. Regardless I was intrigued and I saw that Kristen was a fellow Canadian so I hopped to find some national talent.

When we first start listening we are greeted with the voice of (finger quotes) “The Narrator” a woman who finds herself confined to a tiled purgatory of her own volition. As the Narrator goes on we come to find perhaps she is not quite human, or perhaps not a normal human at least. The Narrator wants us to like her, maybe a bit too much and shares her stories with us to  ensure we keep giving her our attention. She loves our attention. Each episode is divvied up between the narrator’s stream of consciousness and the story she chooses to tell us.

I’m a huge fan of the narrator character, I don’t want to give too much away, but she is complex and enigmatic. I feel actual sympathy for the Narrator at times, and at times, I’m fretting about how dangerous she might truly be. I feel like Kristen’s Narrator is just as strongly fleshed out and philosophical about her own nature as an Anne Rice character. The stories that follow the opening monologue derive their spookiness from the unknown, they don’t rely on graphic depictions or overly horrendous situations. Nor is there so much mystery in the tales that you will be wired in to hear the whole telling. It is a lot of classical horror type stuff that is never out rightly named or cheapened.

For me there is a clear line, I’m paying a lot of attention when The Narrator begins her monologue, and my attention relaxes when the story segment begins. I’m not sure if this is by design, but the effect is definitely noticeable. I think the Podcast delivers well upon its claims of being a horror/bedtime story, but honestly My favorite episode, and the Apple Podcast numbers would agree with me is episode 6, in which The Narrator’s story is one of her own past. This whole episode captivates me the way the intros do. There is no relaxing or dozing off to that episode. I would listen to a whole podcast built upon this character’s story. I have not personally fell asleep to this podcast, but I do suspect the outro music as short as it may be might undo the spell.

Ok so here on PodApplaud I rate shows on a 1-5 scale, 1 is silence, 2 is a slow clap, 3 is applause, 4 is a round of applause, and 5 of course is a standing ovation! I give On A Dark, Cold Night a ⅘, a round of applause!
I would recommend this cast to people who really get into the idea of sympathizing with a monster even if she can put you on edge at the same time. Also people who like classical horror that doesn’t lean too much on gore or abhorrence will dig the stories a lot.   

So that’s been the show for today I hope you found it valuable If you wish to reach out to me you can find me on twitter @podapplaud or send an email to podapplaud@gmail.com Thank you for listening, and please tune in again.