If you're like me, Halloween is just another reason to listen to your fave spooky songs and watch your fave scary movies. Rather than dig out "Twitches" and "GhostBusters," I decided this year to look into true crime and paranormal podcasts. While there are many reasons to listen to podcasts, I want to offer reasons why "My Favorite Murder" (MFM) is a spooktacular choice to get you into the Halloween spirit.
1. You'll die from laughter.
Comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff are the hosts of the show. They manage to make murder seem not so dark with their sense of humor. Many of the laughs come from mistakes, like saying 'addict' instead of 'attic.'
2. Karen and Georgia are best friend goals.
Their love for murder stories brought them together, but the duo seem like they could be childhood best friends.
3. The episodes make you feel like you're chatting with your friends.
Every episode you listen to just feels like you're telling scary stories at a sleepover with your friends. Karen and Georgia really allow their listeners to get to know them as people and often discuss the events going on in their lives. As they tell the stories, they oftentimes make connections to their past like what it was like back in the 80s or 90s for them when the murder would have taken place. My favorite is Georgia describing what kinds of outfits she wore as a teenager to raves.
In their minisodes, they read 'Hometown' murders or stories that their listeners send in that last around 20-30 minutes. As they read the letters, they act as if they are actually talking to the sender and to the listeners making you feel like you are being directly addressed.
4. It'll help your mental health.
Karen and Georgia allow their listeners to know all about them, both the good and the bad. They openly discuss their struggles with addiction, anxiety, depression, body image issues, and other flaws. Their openness and supportive discussions of mental health can be therapeutic and they offer great advice and tips on seeking help and self-care. I have appreciated listening about Karen and Georgia's efforts to practice yoga as part of their self-care. It's inspired me to practice yoga again.
5. The Murderino community will make you feel welcome.
These murderino paint nights are blowing our minds! So lovely to see all these talented murderinos getting together… https://t.co/o66tvTx3td— My Favorite Murder (@My Favorite Murder) 1535932191.0
The MFM fans, known as Murderinos, have formed local communities and spinoff groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. There are spinoff groups for everyone, from cat lovers to craft enthusiasts to "murdeREADos." Karen, Georgia, and the Murderinos have created an inclusive community where everyone is welcome as long as you're kind and respectful.
6. They will empower you.
Although all are welcome in their community, Karen and Georgia speak as females and speak more to females (with most of the Murderinos being female). Women are disproportionately at a higher risk than men to be raped, killed, or abused according to Buzzfeed. Many of the true crime stories they tell have women victims or women as objects of desire or rage, but Buzzfeed describes how MFM reframes the narrative of female trauma.
Karen and Georgia don't just tell the stories, but they give suggestions on how to prevent being victimized and to protect yourself in the case you are victimized. I appreciate the concept of "Pepper spray first, ask questions later." They have taught me the value of my own safety and my worth, and now I feel stronger knowing that I am taking every precaution and that having these fears does not make me weak but rather a realist.
7. You will gain new mottos.
Some of their advice seems simple but is very powerful like "Stay out of the forest" and "lock your f***ing door." My favorite is "F*** Politeness," which reminds women of how gendered politeness exists and that protecting yourself if you are uncomfortable is more important than coming off as rude. They end each podcast with the iconic phrase to "Stay Sexy, and Don't Get Murdered!" or SSDGM!
Along with the stories, Karen and Georgia discuss their 'fur babies' including Karen's dogs and Georgia's cats. Georgia's cross-eyed Siamese cat, Elvis, is featured at the end of every show giving his signature 'meow' off.
Karen and Georgia put a lot of work and heart into MFM. While they don't always do their homework and there may be a few mistakes (hence the 'Correction Corner'), they make up for it in the dedication and care they show to their listeners. I hope that someday I'll get a chance to see a live show and read a Hometown murder! So Stay Sexy, and Don't Get Murdered!