Glynn Washington is a storyteller. But he is also much more than that. By his own account, the host, creator, and executive producer of Spooked — the podcast born “in the dark of night” of his Snap Judgment show — was raised in an apocalypse cult, is the grandson of a seer, born to a family haunted by ghosts, is a student of magic, and witnessed his first exorcism as a teen.
The Detroit native also studied in Japan, graduated law school, and is an activist and educator. Since 2017, over the course of seven seasons, and more than a hundred episodes, the bassy campfire storyteller intonations of Washington have guided Spooked listeners on a journey of supernatural stories told firsthand by experiencers.
A perfect spooky season series that extends beyond October, Spooked is available across podcast platforms, with bonus episodes on the Luminary subscription site and app. And though the current season of the show is not shying away from the afterlife, things are most certainly getting weirder.
“This is a season of monsters,” Washington told me in a recent interview for my Talking Strange paranormal pop culture show — published on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. You can also watch the full interview below:
“This is a season where we get to look at creatures that are not supposed to be there,” he says. “Creatures that we thought were only imaginary.”
Some of those tales involve Los Chaneques in Mexico, Night Marchers in Hawaii, a greenish blue skinned creature in an Oregon lake, and more.
Though the Spooked stories can, and often are, chilling, Washington emphasizes the monsters we meet along the way this season shouldn’t immediately be dismissed as villains.
“[They] behave in ways you do not expect. Just because something might look scary doesn’t mean that it has an evil intent.”
Additionally, while the phenomena unfolding in an episode might be paranormal in nature, the core of the show is normal people. And each story has a beginning, middle, and end that involves more than a brief bump in the night.
Washington and his team at Spooked turn every witness into a storyteller, cultivating these tales over time. But the show doesn’t set out to provide definitive answers about what’s “out there.” Rather, Spooked is about stoking curiosity and sharing mysteries.
“All I got to do is be curious,” he says. “I don’t have an answer about anything. I want to find out what happened to you. What did you see, what did you experience, why did you experience it? … At the end of the day, I think the world is made of wonder, and I want to dig into it.”
As far as stories Washington would like to pursue, he says he’s interested in pursuing the lore of North Africa and gathering accounts about the Djinn from Islamic belief. He also says he tends to babble on about UFOs in his friend text message thread and wants some solid X-Files type tales.
“I would love a story that allowed us to explore that phenomenon from a first-person perspective, someone who had really seen it. We don’t have that story yet,” he says before adding, excitedly, “I would like to get it! If there’s somebody out there who would like to tell me a story, I would love to have it!”
Washington’s interest in stories for Spooked goes beyond the supernatural as well. “Forget the paranormal stuff,” he says, and points to other mysteries that connect us to long-forgotten people and civilizations.
“When you have a bunch of areas being revealed for the first time in a thousand years due to the impact of climate change, we’re seeing tools, and all sorts of things left behind … The idea you had these civilizations in the Americas before Columbus that are completely wiped out that we know next to nothing about. I want to explore the relationship between those communities and us today. What did they leave behind?”
Whether Washington gets his UFO, Djinn, and ancient civilization stories remains to be seen. But with new episodes posting until at least Spring 2023, there is a lot more Spooked to come.