By Lynn Spahr / Staff Writer
Horror, as a genre, is something that can have a lot of depth.
It can portray abstract fears in a physical way. Though I appreciate this quality, I don’t typically enjoy horror. I dislike jump scares and the constant tension.
I saw “The Quiet Place” with my friends and could barely watch. So imagine my surprise when I decided to try listening to “The Magnus Archives,” a horror podcast on Spotify, and was instantly hooked. Spoiler warning for seasons one and two.
At first, “The Magnus Archives” seems like a series of disconnected stories of people that encounter supernatural, often deadly, entities. The connections between statements start to become clear as names and locations reoccur, though the reasoning behind these connections remains unclear, just vague suggestions that something bigger is happening. More subtly, there are themes, and fears, that begin to reoccur. In episode two, “Do Not Open,” the statement giver talks about a coffin he kept in his apartment for a stranger, and the odd occurrences in the year he had it. This coffin isn’t mentioned again for nearly sixty episodes. By the time it’s brought up again, listeners may have forgotten the original mention.
The writing in “The Magnus Archives” is incredible. Most of the time, the statements are read by the same person, but each statement feels different, like different people wrote them. Though the general tone remains constant, this keeps the podcast engaging, as you never know what’s coming next. The descriptions are effective, evoking a sense of tension and fear while capturing the sheer strangeness of the supernatural. For example, in episode twenty-one, titled “Freefall,” a skydiver vanishes in front of his mother, and she says “…the sky ate him.” Later, she talks about how the sky shifted around her son. This description of the sky moving sent shivers down my spine when I listened.
While I don’t find every episode terrifying, every single one keeps me intrigued, wanting to know more. “The Magnus Archives” has had me hooked since episode one as it paints a picture of different fears and what people do when desperate.
Lynn Spahr is a freshman in general studies.