Halloween is more than a month away, but you could've fooled us. Craft stores have had decorations since July, Walt Disney World kicked off Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the beginning of September and Busch Gardens and Universal Orlando debut their newest immersive scares in the next couple of weeks. On TV, FX's macabre hit, American Horror Story, creeps into September for its sixth season premiere this week. We definitely aren't complaining. We'll take Halloween creep over Christmas creep any day.
SEASON PREMIERE: Documentary Now, 10 p.m., IFC, Wednesday: Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are back to lovingly parody some of the most famous documentaries. The second season spoofs six films, including The War Room and Salesman.
SEASON PREMIERE: American Horror Story, 10 p.m., FX, Wednesday: It's anyone's guess what's really going with American Horror Story's sixth season. Leaked set photos had fans thinking this season was going to surround the lost colony of Roanoke, Va. TV Guide recently listed the show's premiere as American Horror Story: The Mist, setting off a fire storm of speculation on whether the season would borrow from the Stephen King story. So far, FX has released dozens of teasers for the show's next season. But during the Television Critics Association press tour, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said the show's marketing team created teasers for the show's next season, but not all of them are accurate.
Teasers show spiders, ghostly families, creepy kids a la Children of the Corn, demonic dolls, swamp things and jewelry that would make an odontophobe pass out. None of them really seem to mesh together, but all are perfectly suited for one of the most disturbing shows on television.
Just two days before the season premiere, we are like Jon Snow trying to relate to his Wildling girlfriend: We know nothing.
SEASON PREMIERE: Dancing With the Stars, 8 p.m., ABC, Monday: The season premiere of ABC's glittery, spray-tanned celebrity dancing competition is one of its most anticipated. Sports stars (Ryan Lochte, Calvin Johnson Jr., Laurie Hernandez and James Hinchcliffe) and the wild cards (Vanilla Ice, Amber Rose, Rick Perry and Terra Jole) will have us hooked.
PREMIERE: Legends of Chamberlain Heights, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central, Wednesday: Comedy Central is again toeing the line between humor and being offensive with another very adult animated series. Legends follows three high school freshmen warming the bench on the school basketball team but with a level of humor that might make some diehard South Park fans squirm.
The Halloween season is so close we can almost feel the sugar rush from leftover candy. We can already picture the roadside stands of plump orange gourds ready to be carved and the streets filled with tiny trick-or-treaters lugging pillowcases of goodies. These podcasts will help get you in the spirit.
Listening to Lore is like sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and sharing ghost stories. The podcast, hosted by author Aaron Mahnke, delves into folklore, urban myths and mysteries throughout history. Some episodes are dedicated to the true stories behind supernatural creatures — the New Jersey Devil, vampires, fairies, elves and more — while uncovering how these supposedly mythical creatures came to be. So far, episodes 14 and 15 really stuck with me. "The Others" explained the many folk tales surrounding pygmies, goblins and pukwudgies - small, mischievous creatures who were often blamed for human troubles. "Unboxed" detailed a story about a childhood doll that wasn't exactly inanimate and the steps its owners took to keep it appeased.
Lore also explores fears (the dark, woods, being alone) and places where tragedy concentrates (graveyards, historical and ancient structures).
Lore doesn't exist to scare its listeners or try to prove the existence of the supernatural. It's beautifully thrilling in a way that makes you think about the gray, unexplained areas of the world. Last year, Lore was named one of iTunes' Best of 2015 and is in the works to be adapted into an anthology series with The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and lorepodcast.com.
My Favorite Murder
As two lifelong fans of true crime, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark spend more than an hour every week discussing their favorite sinister stories. The two also chat about murder in the news and take submissions from listeners on their favorite hometown murders. This is very much a fan podcast. It's perfect for those who love to sit around and chat about killers, victims and disturbing details with other true crime fans. The two always reiterate that the information they have on cases comes from social media, true crime forums and documentaries, so it's best to do your own research if you want the full story on the Yosemite murders or the case of JonBenet Ramsey. The best part is hearing the excitement in the hosts' voices as they discuss their passion of discovering some of the most gruesome murders in history. True crime stories are thrilling, terrifying and often speak to the depravity of the human mind. Kilgariff and Hardstark just ask if any murderers are listening to their episodes, please don't kill them.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and feralaudio.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.