Every Monday, EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID presents listeners with an extensively researched and comedic deep dive into the world of true crime, cults, demons, aliens, and macabre history. Created by Jared Ordis as an amalgam of a few earlier projects, EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID features Ordis along with cohosts Nick Porchetta and Samantha Vazquez, who each bring a different perspective to the table. Rue Morgue spoke with Ordis about the early days of the podcast, what sets it apart from other shows of its type, and which episodes curious listeners should stream to get them hooked!
What are the origins of EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID?
It actually started out as a totally different show, or really, three shows in one. When I started podcasting back in September of 2019, the show was originally an interview podcast called Talking Trash with Ordis. By episode five, I introduced episodes called Storytime (comedic telling of true crime cases, the paranormal, and unexplained cases) with my co-host Nick Porchetta, and at the time, we had no idea that Storytime would be the first draft to help form what is now ETPIA. In episode 15, we introduced another show into the mix called Pasta Time (comedic readings of Creepy Pasta stories), and added a third co-host into the mix, Samantha Vazquez. Over a short period of time, I noticed that horror & comedy was a trend that kept repeating in all of our episodes. I would go from talking to a paranormal investigator in one episode to discussing New England vampires in another, from H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle to the paranormal happenings in my own and that of others who have had the same experiences, and then the idea hit me like a hammer: this needs to be one show. Plus, it was confusing for everyone!
On January 27th, 2020 on Episode 22, Even the Podcast is Afraid was officially born along with Nick and Samantha as my co-hosts. The show underwent a complete overhaul, from the logo to the way each episode was produced & conducted. The name of the show has always been a topic of discussion. I get asked this question a lot, “Where did you get the name?” The name is actually a play on an old 1960s Mexican horror movie called, Even the Wind is Afraid. It’s about a girl who was sent to a boarding school during Spring Break and has no idea the school is haunted by a ghost seeking revenge.
What draws you to horror culture?
I really like this question! I have always been a fan of horror and the macabre. When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to a video rental store called “Slapout Video,” when those still existed, and I would always head straight to the horror movie section. When I was five years old, I saw my first horror movies, Child’s Play and Critters. I became hooked! These two movies lead me into the horror culture & watching more horror films as a kid like, Leprechaun, Hellraiser, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Puppet Master, and more. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t all into horror. I played a bunch of horror video games growing like, Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Plus, I was obsessed with the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz like everyone else in my grade was. My first time getting into the paranormal was around the 5th grade, with the book 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham, which just ended up leading me down a rabbit hole throughout life.
As I got older, I became even more fascinated with all things weird, from serial killers to ghosts, from cryptids to aliens. I think what draws me to horror culture is the unknown & the “why?” We all have something we want to know, and we all want to figure that out. Within horror, there are no boundaries, something is always undisclosed. I’m literally the guy who wants to know why serial killer Bela Kiss pickled young girls in barrels, or why people follow cult leaders like Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate. In a short answer, I would be the first guy to get killed in a horror movie.
I think something else that draws me to the horror culture is the people. You can have some of the best conversations within the horror community. Everyone loves to give their input and it’s fantastic. I love hearing people’s theories on cases or horror movies, it can really lead me down that rabbit hole I mentioned, in a good way!
Tell us about your co-hosts.
Something not many people know about me and my co-hosts is that we have never met in real life. We have conversed over the internet and phone for more than two years. If we are able to do a live show at some point in the future it would probably be the first time we meet in person! So it could be special, not only for us but for our live audience as well.
Nick Porchetta brings witty humor to the show. He is an occasional streamer on Twitch & works as a sports journalist for a major network in Toronto, Canada. Nick is obsessed with hockey (mainly the Toronto Maple Leafs) and video games. What Nick brings to the show, other than his humor, is his fond interest in the creation and workings of cults, and his skepticism of the paranormal. It really helps to have a co-host who doesn’t believe in everything, and he will challenge what has been put forth.
Samantha Vazquez is one half of the former YouTube gaming channel, Wicked Sisters. Sam is a huge animal lover and owns a pet sitting business in Tampa, Florida. Samantha also has a love for anything having to do with horror, folklore, and the paranormal. Whether it’s horror movies or games, she loves the stories that keep us up at night! Sam brings all of her knowledge of horror and the paranormal to the show, plus she actually laughs at our jokes (Sam laughs a lot!). Two big qualities that Sam brings to the table are humbleness and examination (Sam will question everything!).
Stephanie Kemmerer, is our researcher and writer, and although Steph is not a co-host of the show, she is an integral part of the group. Stephanie brings her writing skills to the show, and with her interests in history, true crime, and the occult, she helps make our tales more accurate. Without Steph, we probably wouldn’t have had the series on serial killers Fred & Rose West, the Exorcism of Roland Doe, or our series on the Nazis and the Occult. Stephanie is very much part of the secret sauce of EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID.
What sets ETPIA apart from other horror/true crime/paranormal podcasts?
Typically, when you think of true crime, paranormal, or horror podcasts, comedy doesn’t normally pop up. It can be really hard to find a balance between the macabre and being funny, but I think we have been able to lay that out successfully. We don’t leave any horrific subject untouched. Whether it’s real-life killers or fictional ghost stories, we want to lead you down the path to the darkest corners of history, while also making you laugh. We hold nothing back. While we don’t always take a serious approach to cases, we do hope that through our research we can shed some light on something new (We try not to rehash the re-telling of popular cases!). An example of this would be our two-part series on Jeffrey Dahmer. Instead of diving headfirst into the individual murders that Dahmer committed, we examined the mysteries surrounding him, like the possibility that he could have murdered Adam Walsh.
The other way we stand out comes down to the writing and story. As previously mentioned, we have a great writer, who researches all of the information and puts it into a story for us to discuss for each episode. We cover the story, while also giving you information on medical conditions, occult practices, or other tidbits of info that a normal listener might not know. I learn something new every time we record an episode! Plus, if you like weird current news, like how a group of teens found a decomposing body inside a haunted house, or how Texas officials accidentally sent out a missing child alert featuring Chucky & Glen, we cover all of that too, in our episodes of EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID: SIDE CRIME. The best part is, these episodes are right in the ETPIA main feed. Within the same main show feed, you will find episodes of EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID: CREEPY PASTA, where we comedically read the darkest stories from the internet.
I think in short; we stand out from the others because we want to cover all of the darkest topics, real or fake. We want the listener to enjoy their time listening, learn something new, and laugh, even at some of the darkest of cases. We all need laughter; we just like to bring it in a different way.
What are your favorite episodes for first-time listeners?
We have created over 80 episodes so far, and I am fond of so many of them. If you are a first-time listener, I suggest starting from the newest episode and working your way back, since the old episodes of the show were basically a completely different podcast altogether. However, it is interesting to go back and listen to those episodes to see how we have grown as a show. Below are some of my personal favorite episodes we’ve ever recorded for EVEN THE PODCAST IS AFRAID:
This is our newest episode (at the time of writing this), and it has already become one of my favorites. It’s about the most haunted house in England and includes the possible spirit of a nun, a skull found in a cabinet, and the ghost of a headless man driving a carriage. During this episode, I spent a lot of time laughing, because with a name like “rectory,” how could you not laugh? Honestly, I think this episode made me laugh more than any other episode we have ever recorded.
The Lizard Man of Lee County is a supposed reptilian creature that inhabits the swampland regions of Lee County, South Carolina. This monster is considered to be the real-life Creature from the Black Lagoon. Of course, I’ve always been fascinated by cryptids, they walk the same line with the paranormal. What I liked so much about this cryptid episode, is the hilarious nature of this true story, from Lizard Man’s love of butter beans to the eccentric people who conducted the investigation to find him. Think of it as a small-town monster hunt in Mayberry!
Roland Doe is perhaps one of the most well-known recorded exorcisms since his is the case that inspired the novel & horror movie, The Exorcist. What made this case so fascinating to me was how this young boy could have possibly faked his own possession. Plus, I really enjoyed being able to jump into the topic of demonology and basic exorcisms, even learning about some of the most popular demons that I didn’t even know existed. It really made me wonder if he really was possessed, or if he made it all up for attention. This series really left me scratching my head.
To be honest it’s very hard picking just a few episodes as my favorites, as they all have a special moment for me in the show’s run. Just to give you a little more, here are a few more episode mentions: The Amityville Horror series, Simulation Theory series, The Murderous Lobster Boy, and the Joe Exotic series. While I’m not able to list them all, we hope everyone will find an episode or series to dive into. As we like to always tell our listeners, stay elbow deep!