[Autumn is coming, and that means pumpkin carving, graveyard walks, and binging scary podcasts. If you’ve gone through the classics more than a few times, however (and said goodbye to some old favorites, like The Magnus Archives), then you’re in luck … Haint n Holler, a new podcast about scary happenings in the American South, is just a short step away from being born!
We sat down for a quick interview with them to find out what the podcast will be about and what got them started.]
ev0ke: Can you tell us a bit about the podcast and how you got started on it?
Haint n Holler: Sure. In short, Haint n Holler is a folklore podcast focused specifically on the South-East region of the United States.
The podcast has been a long time coming, I just didn’t know what medium to share it on until recently. I am a family genealogist and part of what I love to collect for family history is weird stories. Yeah, I get the birthdays and death dates and marriages and lineages …but to me, that’s the bones of a family and a person. The meat is the personal accounts, journals, pictures, etc. but the spirit is the stories, especially stories that share their beliefs — so spiritual ideas, ghost stories and paranormal encounters, and superstitions. I’ve always had an interest in that sort of thing as has my husband, Damon. I collect them here and there, not just in our families, but in general.
The podcast idea came recently when I became obsessed with storytelling and folklore podcasts. I listen to them while I crochet, and my kiddo is doing his homeschooling. The less grown-up ones I let kiddo listen to and he will ask me questions about them which is fun. It’s like family sitting by the old-time radio shows in a way and it allows us to not get too sucked in from our work like the tv can do.
I commented one day to Damon (my husband) that I wish there was a southern-specific folklore podcast. I love the Old Gods of Appalachia podcast with its fictional alternative history of the region that draws on real folklore, places, and events. I said I wished there was something like that but … real.
Damon, being a very practical and supportive guy who often sees more in me and my abilities than I do said “Well, make one.” I made excuses of course. I’m fairly tech-illiterate, and doesn’t that cost a lot of money to start? And I’m not exactly an expert (a lot of the podcasts I listen to have experts with degrees and books to back them up). He batted all my excuses away like Babe Ruth and pointed out he knew how to run the tech, we have all the equipment because he loves to fiddle with tech and music, we could see what the cheapest way to run a podcast was with just a simple search, and since when do I let not being an expert or having an expensive piece of paper (a degree) stop me from doing anything? Well, he was right, and Haint n Holler was born.
ev0ke: What content do you have lined up for your first season?
H&H: Well, I want to do a mix of stories, interviews, and sharing about folk practices. I am starting locally for the most part as my goal is to go to the places I’m discussing and make sure I have the information I need. Also, I want to get a feel for where those stories were born. I think you get a lot out of seeing where someone comes from and it’s the same for a story. It explains a lot to stand where it started and see why it is the way that it is. So, I’m covering a few urban legends and hauntings in the upper middle Tennessee and lower middle Kentucky area.
I’m also interviewing a few folks in my life who have some interesting tales to tell, like Damon’s 86-year-old Granny who I visit with often. I’m also going over some folk practices that we have carried on — mostly Appalachian folk beliefs from both sides of our family.
ev0ke: How long do you anticipate the episodes being? Will we get to learn a bit about the places you visit, too? Like some local culture/places to visit?
H&H: So with each story and urban legend my goal is to share where it began when I am able. If it’s a haunted school, I’ll share as much of the information about it I can find, as well as the town it is in and the vibe I get from the area and folks when I visit. If it’s an urban legend, I’ll do my best to figure out where it sprang from or areas that might be most affected by it and about them. The podcast will be how they relate to the story at hand, of course. However, I do share beyond the story on my Patreon — documents, history, people I talk to, places we go into more detail, etc.
[There’s always room for one more podcast, and ev0ke is excited to get started with this one! If you have a taste for southern spookables, you can support Haint n Holler on Patreon, listen to them on YouTube and find them online.]