Written By: Jevon Armstrong
Real Life Ghost Stories Podcast, based out of Canterbury, Kent, gives listeners a safe space to feel scared. Emma Ozenbrook and Daniel Issitt started this podcast back in 2018. Both of these characters have two different stories as to how it all began. Emma says, "There are two opposing narratives as to how this podcast started. I did (or rather did) a lot of amateur theatre and helped to run a theatre company which took up a huge amount of time. I started a Doctorate in Education while working full time as a secondary school teacher so the acting had to be put aside for a few years. I still felt the itch to do something creative though and had started listening to podcasts while I was writing and thought, "hey we could do that!" and RLGS was born. This is the story I stick to however Dan will tell you that him and his friend Will had decided to start a wrestling podcast and I got outrageously competitive and decided that I wanted to do one too. The real story is potentially a mix of both. But in short I love to perform and tell stories and knew that people would immediately be drawn to Dan's eternally lovely personality."
"This type of artwork represents our weird obsession with the fascination of being scared. While not everyone will believe in these stories or the paranormal, there is still a story to be told." Emma tells us, "There is something so overwhelmingly satisfying about feeling scared in a safe space and knowing that fundamentally you are not in any great danger. It's why horror films continue to be successful!" Falling in love with folklore was one of Emma's most prominent influences on the podcast. Emma being Irish and Dan being English; Emma says, "When Dan and I first met I would tell him stories about Irish folklore, ghosts and fairies and we had a shared interest in trying to work out the cultural similarities and differences." When they first started the podcast, many people began to send in their stories from all over the world, changing how they viewed their podcast approach.
Utilizing this platform has not only created a space for people to come together and share their spooky stories, but it has also created a community. Real Life Ghost Stories Facebook group has over 5,000 members and has become somewhere for people to build each other up and discuss the shared stories. "It has become a place where people's milestones are celebrated, where people can look for support and help each other out." Emma shares. And their fans have, in turn, created some fantastic artwork. While staying busy with their day jobs, telling ghost stories, and keeping up with the fans, they also understand the importance of taking care of themselves. "Being happy in what you have achieved, taking breaks when you need to, and giving a helping hand to those who are a step behind you are all as important are the work you create."
Real Life Ghost Stories, Emma and Daniel, are living their dream with this podcast; everything else that has come along has been a bonus for them. They ultimately had a goal of getting 500 listeners per episode; everything beyond that was unexpected and surreal. Emma tells us that she still has 'impostor syndrome' but gives some phenomenal advice. "My advice is to anyone who is thinking about starting a podcast or is maybe not seeing the results that they had hoped for. Find other podcasters in your genre and reach out to them - ask for help and advice, record a 30-second promo and ask them to play it on their show. Nine times out of 10 they will be more than happy to help a new show out. Let go of unreasonable criticism; I struggled with this for a very long time. Criticism can be helpful but it can sometimes feel unrelenting or unreasonable. Remember, 99% of podcasts are hobby podcasts and do not have the financial backing of big business. Be kind to yourself, don't apologize for needing to take breaks or taking some time away. Make small goals, and be sure to recognize it and congratulate yourself when you achieve them. A podcast is inevitably hard work, but watch out for when it stops feeling rewarding." Sound advice that goes beyond the realm of podcasts!!!
Send your personal ghost stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Life Ghost Stories can be found on Facebook, Instagram, anywhere you can get podcasts, and more information can be found on their website.