'Limetown' and the Sound That Evil Makes


I finally got around to listening to the Limetown podcast this weekend over the course of a few long train rides across Massachusetts, which only makes me two or three years late to the party on that podcast. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a sci-fi horror podcast produced and performed in the style of NPR’s Serial. A journalist named Lia Haddock starts investigating the complete overnight disappearance of a small town’s population, and quickly uncovers a conspiracy tied to the shadowy research facility at the town’s heart. Its second season is due to start next year.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/mb9b7v/limetown-and-the-sound-that-evil-makes

Is it worth continuing Limetown if it didn't grab me?

Okay well now I have to know why you don’t like Night Vale, Rob.

More seriously though, this is a really good take on what makes Limetown stick in your mind. The format can be hammy, sometimes (personally, the ‘international news’ segment in the first episode is always a big immersion killer when I go to relisten), but generally the characters Lia talks to are rich and well rounded. Tropey, sure, but I never fail to be moved by the reverend discussing his connection with Napolean in Episode 3.


I think you’re 100% right about the juxtaposition of mundane details combined with picking through ruined areas. I think it goes a bit beyond “only those of us who have the luxury of arriving late that can see the dark portents in the things people chose not to notice or, worse and probably more accurately, chose not to care about,” though – because the reasons for the destruction are likely a mystery, and a mystery likely to threaten your character, there’s a desire to very strongly engage with the mundane details, so that you don’t get blindsided when the terrible things start targeting YOU.

Also full agreement with Limetown being amazing, and Night Vale being over-hyped. (Although I do have to give them a lot of credit for introducing me to Matches.)


I hate to step in with an uninvited Night Vale take, but…

As someone who fell off of the podcast, I really enjoyed their first novel (specifically the audiobook). The interests of the show’s writers shifted early on from Lovecraftian, Twilight Zone-style weirdness to very inclusive, sincere, and positive storytelling, and I don’t think the two ever meshed particularly well until the novel. It helps that they were able to plan and complete a contained narrative arc without worrying about the episodic format.


Serial is from WBEZ and the folks that make This American Life. Not a thing to get hung up on, I know.

I need to give Limetown another shot. It lacked some of the polish, or authenticity, that I have heard from other similar podcasts. May have been the mood I was in.


I also fell off the podcast and hadn’t gotten around to reading the book, will definitely have to pick it up eventually now


I haven’t been frightened by horror movies in a long time. I was following the forum’s horror movie recommendations thread and came upon a few people recommending a film I’d strangely never heard of: Lake Mungo. It’s a fake documentary about a ghost story, dealing largely in retrospective interviews with those involved. I watched it with my partner, who around the halfway point informed he they were pretty bored, and as I sort of agreed (though my attitude about finishing movies I start is different), we stopped it. The interview subjects are extremely realistic in their monotonous recollections, which added to the setting while simultaneously detracting from the time spent learning from these segments.

I went and read about what happens afterwards, and it’s pretty fucked up. However, I didn’t WATCH the rest of the movie - you see, I didn’t need to. Something about the realism of the beginning was enough to paint an extremely vivid picture of what happens at the end. Visions of the turn from that film’s ending haunted me when I would turn out the lights in my apartment. I felt the tingling anxiety on my back as I exited darkened rooms more quickly than necessary. It stuck with me for weeks. I’m certain the presentation of the film alone is what made it so effective: these normal people, moving on with their lives after a terrible, unexplained event, still understandably baffled but also disinterested in exploring the subject any further.

Give this story to James Wan and I’m sure I would have enjoyed the movie, but I am also sure I wouldn’t have been frightened by it.


Limetown is so GOOD. A rare instance where the central mystery is almost entirely explained by the end, but the truth is somehow more horrifying than the wilder theories some of the people in that universe put forth.

I gave the whole series another listen right before Halloween and Lenore’s emphatic “I am VERY good at my job” in the last episode still gives me a shiver. Thanks for shining a light on this show, Rob.


because of this post I listened to limetown and it was very good and gave me a spook