The Best Mystery Podcasts of 2022

Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes for these podcasts

Are you fascinated by the unknown, the unknowable, or the unbelievable? Considering the number of true crime podcasts and murder-mystery shows on the internet, a lot of people are. Here are the best mystery podcasts you should listen to.

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Best Fictional Mystery Podcast: Limetown

Limetown home page
What We Like
  • Thanks to the talented narrator, Limetown sounds like an authentic radio broadcast, giving this fictional tale a realistic tone.

  • Has a tie-in prequel novel and a TV adaptation.

What We Don't Like
  • Only 19 episodes.

  • You may not want to go through a bunch of other media to get the whole story.

Limetown is like a adio drama from a bygone era. Fictional reporter Lia Haddock, voiced by Annie-Sage Whitehurst, tells the story of a mass disappearance of people from a Tennessee neuroscience research facility. Both seasons are now available to download and listen to, and you can also check out the prequel novel for more of the story. Limetown also has a TV adaptation, which is available exclusively on NBC's Peacock streaming service.

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Funniest Mystery Podcast: ParaPod

Parapod home page
What We Like
  • Some episodes are recorded on-location in supposedly haunted places, and the movie follows the hosts' cross-country trip to various mysterious locales.

What We Don't Like
  • The banter between the hosts may become a bit grating for some listeners.

This award-winning show is dedicated to debunking the supernatural and implausible with a touch of humor. Comedic duo Ian and Barry investigate haunted houses, mythical creatures like the Chupacabra, and conspiracy theories like the JFK assassination. Listen for free on iTunes or SoundCloud. A film version of the show, The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, came out in 2020.

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Best Heist Mystery Podcast: Empty Frames

Empty Frames home page
What We Like
  • The hosts are truly committed to solving the mystery and have done some thorough investigative reporting.

What We Don't Like
  • The entire show is about a singular topic, so if you're not hooked by the second episode, you should try another podcast.

  • No longer making new episodes.

On March 18, 1990, two men in police uniforms visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and left with 13 paintings worth a total of $500 million. What happened after that? Hosts Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna examine the facts, theories, and historical significance behind America's greatest unsolved heist. 

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Best British Mystery Podcast: Unexplained

Unexplained podcast home page
What We Like
  • Episodes with graphic content include warnings in their descriptions.

  • Hundreds of episodes are available.

  • The official website is poorly designed, so you're better off listening on a podcast service.

Unexplained is a show about strange cases that science can't explain. Along with run-of-the-mill murder mysteries, stories about supposed demonic possessions, and near-death experiences, Unexplained explores the line between the paranormal and the plausible. In 2018, host Richard MacLean Smith released a book based on his podcast, Unexplained: Supernatural Stories for Uncertain Times.

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Strangest Mystery Podcast: Strange Matters

Strange Matters home page
What We Like
  • The website has episodes categorized by topic, so it's easy to find ones that interest you.

  • Sometimes the hosts offer more speculation than original research, but they're still entertaining to listen to.

  • There haven't been any new episodes since 2019.

Cold cases, urban legends, and historical oddities are rather tame topics for the hosts of Strange Matters. The more exciting episodes tackle bizarre subjects like cynocephaly, mothmen, and the grey goo theory. The hosts also like to engage in speculative fiction; for example, what would happen if artificial intelligence suddenly became sentient?

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Most Spine Tingling Mystery Podcast: Mirrors

The Mirrors podcast cover art

The Wellcome Library

What We Like
  • You can read transcripts for each episode.

  • Provides another story for people who loved "Spines."

  • Interesting combination of sci-fi, mystery, and haunting.

What We Don't Like
  • Only 24 episodes and no new ones being produced.

Writer Jamie Killen created something special with Spines, a limited-series radio drama about an amnesiac uncovering a deep mystery involving a mysterious cult, superpowers, and a very nice frog. Mirrors is Killen's followup, which tells a new story about three women in different centuries facing the same menacing creatures. Just like Spines, Mirrors is over with, and you can listen to the entire thing without having to wait.

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Best Canadian Mystery Podcast: The Next Call

Cover art for The Next Call with David Ridgen
What We Like
  • The website contains tons of additional content that expands upon each case, so there's a lot to delve into if a story fascinates you.

  • Each case gets several episodes.

What We Don't Like
  • Not many episodes are currently available.

David Ridgen's followup to the also excellent Someone Knows Something comes this investigative series. Ridgen dedicates multiple episodes to a particular case, each of which includes interviews with family members, investigators, and even suspects to provide a comprehensive picture of some mysterious, unsolved cases. Canadian listeners might catch it on CBC Radio, but anyone can listen online.

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Weirdest Mystery Podcast: Missing Richard Simmons

Missing Richard Simmons home page
What We Like
  • After listening to some of the other podcasts on this list, Missing Richard Simmons offers a nice change of pace.

What We Don't Like
  • This short-but-sweet series has already concluded, but it's still worth checking out for a laugh.

Not all mystery shows are dark and disturbing. Missing Richard Simmons follows host Dan Taberski on his journey to answer the question that's on nobody's mind: Whatever happened to the flamboyant star of "Sweatin' to the Oldies?" Friends and fans speak out about a man who hasn't been seen in public since 2014.

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Best Mystery News Podcast: Mysterious Universe

Mysterious Universe home page
What We Like
  • The Mysterious Universe website has dozens of contributors who post new stories every day, so there's plenty to keep you occupied between episodes.

What We Don't Like
  • While the hosts typically interview real experts, some guests indulge in wild theories and paranormal beliefs.

From U.F.O. sightings to psychic cats, The topics you'll learn about on Mysterious Universe, which include UFO sightings, psychic cats, and "ancestral mind lasers," may sound about as newsworthy as The X-Files, but the reporters are dedicated to separating fact from fiction. Listen to recent episodes with ads for free, or upgrade to a premium membership to enjoy an ad-free experience and exclusive content.

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Best Classic Mystery Podcast: CBS Radio Mystery Theater

CBS Radio Mystery Theater home page
What We Like
  • Dozens of notable radio and TV actors lent their talents to this classic series.

What We Don't Like
  • The stories vary in quality, but if you don't like one episode, you have more than a thousand others to choose from.

This radio drama hosted by Himan Brown originally aired from 1974 to 1982. Thanks to the internet, you can now listen to all 1,399 episodes for free. Fans of Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe, and Rod Serling will undoubtedly enjoy the mix of suspense, horror, and fantasy in every episode.

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Serial podcast home page
What We Like
  • Stellar storytelling and investigative reporting have made this one of the most downloaded podcasts in history.

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly limited in topics.

  • No new episodes.

If you're reading this list, there's a good chance you've already heard of Serial. From the creators of This American Life, this Peabody Award-winning podcast sat atop the iTunes charts for several months. Although the first two seasons each focused on a single true crime story, the third season covers multiple crimes that have taken place in Cleveland, Ohio. The creators also have a second show, The Improvement Association, in case you want more after you finish this one.

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Best Cold Case Podcast: Unsolved Murders

Unsolved Murders podcast home page
What We Like
  • What could easily be a cheesy docudrama is emotionally impactful thanks to the extraordinary cast.

  • Regularly showcases other, similar podcasts, so you might end up with some more favorites.

What We Don't Like
  • Stories are often told over the course of multiple episodes, so getting into this show requires a hefty time investment.

  • Only available on Spotify.

Unsolved Murders boasts high production values and the unparalleled talents of Carter Roy, Wenndy Mackenzie, and a cast of other voice actors. Episodes offer dramatic reenactments of cold cases such as the Axeman of New Orleans and the mysterious death of musician Bobby Fuller.

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Best Podcast About Mystery Podcasts: Crime Writers On...

Crime Writers On... home page
What We Like
  • It's a great way to learn about other mystery shows you haven't heard.

  • Covers a wide array of topics, media, and series.

What We Don't Like
  • While the hosts offer interesting perspectives, this show is only entertaining for dedicated mystery podcast listeners.

  • Might only be interesting if you have a passing familiarity with the subject.

A team of true crime authors discuss shows like Serial and related topics in this podcast about other podcasts, TV shows, and movies. The panel gives their expert literary opinions on your favorite fictional and factual mystery shows. If you're a connoisseur of true crime and cold case stories, this show was created for you. 

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Best Missing Persons Mystery Podcast: Unfound

Unfound podcast home page
What We Like
  • The show has already succeeded in finding new leads in the cases they've covered.

What We Don't Like
  • Be ready for some heavy content.

Unfound features interviews with friends and family members of individuals who have gone missing under mysterious circumstances. The hosts engage in real investigative journalism to develop new theories and lead in cold cases.

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