Our understanding of the world and ourselves is grossly limited, much to our detriment. There are some events which our breadth of knowledge plainly fails to explain. The supernatural and the paranormal are dismissed by most as conjurings of a fanciful mind, but there are incidents that even the most rational-minded would find hard to dispute.
What if there was a podcast made to compile these incidents – would it be spooky, or would it be a glimpse into a world we have not yet seen?
In the case of Unexplained, a podcast hosted by Richard MacLean Smith, it’s both. It’s been hailed as the world’s spookiest podcast, and yet it effortlessly weaves in philosophical concepts like free will and the nature of the self. Of course, there are other spine-chilling fictional accounts of paranormal and supernatural activities, but this unsettling podcast takes the cake because all of the stories are true.
Each episode begins with a short narrative about how we are sometimes left with no other option than to accept an incident as true, however fantastical it might seem. This serves as a clever priming to prepare the listener to accept the narrative with an open mind.
One of the most interesting episodes we found was the one around Tutankhamun’s tomb. We listened in awe, goosebumps and all, as Richard described the “curse” of the pharaohs which followed the men who discovered and opened Tutankhamun’s tomb – Howard Carter, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, and other associates. And how the mysterious series of affairs has remained unsolved till date.
Another story is of a baby girl, Shanti Devi who claimed to have been reincarnated. This led to a string of events, eventually involving Mahatma Gandhi himself. There was a significant uproar over this, and till date, there is no real conclusion. All of these incidents point to different aspects of human existence.
Maclean Smith has done an impressive job in unearthing incidents that have never been explained or debunked. He does not try to convince the listener that the incidents are true. Instead, he leaves it to the listener to decide. No complaints about the production as well. The only negative is the consistent background music throughout the episodes, which sometimes becomes annoying. But it’s very subjective, and you may like it depending on your taste.
The popularity of the show has resulted in a spin-off as well. The book, Unexplained: Real-Life Supernatural Stories for Uncertain Times features stories from the show with additional material.
If you are anything like us, then you’d have a hard time putting this podcast down. In fact, you may just find yourself sleepless for the rest of the week. Listen