When the Navy recruiters came to my high school to give us our aptitude test results and explain the benefits of joining the military, no one mentioned that there would be a good bit of reading time in the Navy. I may have signed up if they had, but I had no idea about this perk until I interviewed Mike Brown about his show, The Pleasing Terrors Podcast. How did joining the military lead to a podcast that dives into all the creepiest parts of history through masterful storytelling? Allow me to enlighten you.
Mike went into the Navy with a growing love of history and, after getting to read more and more on the subject during his time in the military, became a tour guide in order to talk more about his passion. After a bit of time working in Charleston, South Carolina as a historical tour guide, Mike explained that he “got interested in ghost stories and folklore, which to [him] was just sort of a different type of history: a history with suspense and mystery and creepiness thrown in, which [he] really liked.” Mike switched to running ghost tours as an outlet for this new interest. Now, The Pleasing Terrors Podcast combines all of Mike’s storytelling experience and knowledge with the freedom to dig as deep into a story as he wants, as well make something entirely original.
With so many podcasts covering these kinds of topics, I wondered what set The Pleasing Terrors Podcast apart. “What I enjoy most about my [podcast] and what I don’t think many people do is, I like to mix things together that don’t seem like they would go together.” For example, the first episode of the show featured the famous Elisa Lam case and melded it with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, showing comparisons and drawing on the organic connections to blend the stories together. Mike doesn’t get to do that blending with every episode, but the ones where he does are his favorite for sure.
Partially because it is the place where he has the most control over which stories he covers and how he goes over them, podcasting is Mike’s favorite medium for storytelling but not the only one he’s dabbled in. Mike has been featured as an expert on television and radio platforms including ETV, HGTV, the BBC, Voice of America Radio, and Destination America’s Ghost Asylum. But, while the exposure is neat, Mike was quick to tell me “I hate doing tv.” Mike explained that “the thing [he] always hated about television was just having to do the same thing over and over and over again to make sure you get it right.” While he told me that he will have to occasionally do that for his podcast, “it’s different when it’s yours and you have control.”
When I asked Mike what he was excited about in the future of his show, he explained that he was reorienting his focus away from obsessing over download numbers and back to the real point: storytelling. “I’m excited about finding more stories I want to tell and getting to share them with people.” Of course, that doesn’t mean the downloads don’t matter, mainly because they represent the listeners Mike loves to hear from. “If any of your readers are ever in Charleston, tell them to look me up and come on a ghost tour,” he told me, explaining that he loves the overlap between his day job and his hobby as guests on tours become listeners and listeners visit him on tour.
So, if you love a creepy story, want to catch up on some mysteries, or have been craving a good ghost tour, be sure to listen to The Pleasing Terrors Podcast and leave a rating and review to let Mike know what you think!
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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