This Halloween, discover a new, free-to-access genre: Analog horror


Emily Girard, Features Editor

It’s that time of year again, where everyone is recommending the best things to watch around Halloween.

New horror media comes out every year, and as a horror fan myself, I’ve been mostly aware of these new releases. However, recently I’ve become obsessed with a genre I haven’t seen many people talk about: analog horror.

Analog horror refers to horror media that is conveyed in analog-like formats, such as VHS recordings, found footage or old TV broadcasts. Think “The Blair Witch Project,” but shown on public access television in the 1970s.

Most series in this genre are created independently and posted on YouTube, making them free to access. Thus, I highly recommend this genre to any horror fans.

For those not completely ready to commit to a full show, the series BLUE_CHANNEL may be a good start. BLUE_CHANNEL, featured on the YouTube channel Gooseworx, currently has three videos, the most notable of which being a commercial for a fictional medicine called Thalasin.

It has the same atmosphere of a strange medication commercial you’d see as a child at 1 a.m., or perhaps 1 p.m. when you’re staying home from school and watching daytime television. Horrifying side effects and all.

Once Thalasin has won you over, why not keep the television turned on with another broadcast-centered series: Local58?

If you’re already a fan of internet horror, then you may recognize its creator, Kris Straub, as the creator of Broodhollow, Ichor Falls and Candle Cove. Here, Straub subverts the close-knit, trustworthy feel of a local news station by using it to broadcast cosmic horror and government conspiracy. From Skywatching to Weather Service, Local58’s episodes will make you second guess keeping your blinds open at night.

Those of you who read the previous paragraph and thought, “Hmm, that’s interesting, but I don’t know if it has enough government conspiracy for my taste,” should check out The Monument Mythos by Alex Kister. YouTuber Wendigoon described the series as more conspiracy thriller than horror, and the premise backs him up.

Worldwide monuments like the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty and the Great Pyramids are hiding interdimensional monsters. Through news reports, home movies, and individual testimonies, the viewer slowly learns what these entities do to people and what — or who — they are.

Also, thanks to the alternate reality the series is set in, viewers are treated to a look into what it would have been like if 1950s movie star James Dean became U.S. president.

If you’re a fan of Five Nights at Freddy’s, then The Walten Files is the series for you. Created by Martin Walls, this series tells the story of Bon’s Burgers, a once-successful restaurant that closed for good when one of its founders, Jack Walten, went missing.

Through company tapes, recorded testimonies and video game commentary, the viewer discovers what happened to Jack and his family, as well as the sinister secret the other founder, Felix Kranken, is hiding.

Have you ever gotten the feeling that your loved ones are not who you know them to be, but instead have been secretly replaced with sinister doppelgängers? After talking to someone about the severe derealization you’re likely experiencing, check out the Mandela Catalogue.

Created by Alex Kister, the main antagonists of this series are creatures called Alternates, who take over the bodies of humans and manipulate other victims into taking their own lives so they can further dominate the human race. Angels, demons and twisted religious symbolism all play a role here, so if you’re looking for some existential questions — or just some good-old-fashioned entity hunting — give it a watch.

Lastly, if you put all these series into a blender and smashed all their key themes together, the result would probably look a lot like Remy Abode’s series Gemini Home Entertainment.

This time, our Big Bad is a sentient planet called the Iris, which has moved into our solar system, eaten Neptune for some reason and sent aliens to Earth. These aliens are now haunting the woods of Minnesota and making life at the Moonlight Acres wilderness camp particularly troublesome.

For one thing, they infect people with diseases that basically turn them into living plants, afterward stealing their bodies and impersonating the people they just horribly disfigured. Fun times for your next bonfire.

The analog horror genre contains many other series besides these, so why not support some independent creators and check out a new genre of horror?

Just don’t look at the moon.