I’ve made no secret here that I love things of a cryptid-friendly nature, so when I stumbled across The Cryptid Keeper podcast — through no one’s recommendation except the iTunes search function — I was intrigued. I immediately downloaded an episode to check out, but worried before I had a chance to listen that the hosts would end up being Dean Winchester types to whom I was never the intended audience. Much to my surprise and joy, I soon discovered that the hosts were two millennial women #justlikeme. But really, just like me, down to their love of Lin-Manuel Miranda and tendency to quote Spongebob. Within an episode, I was hooked.
What common ground do an Appalachian folklorist and a horror-savvy scream queen have? Cryptids. Come laugh, learn, and get creeped out!
The hosts of The Cryptid Keeper are Addison Peacock (the aforementioned scream queen) and Alex Flannigan (the aforementioned folklorist), two cryptid enthusiasts and meme-loving fucks (which I say with the greatest affection, as a fellow meme-loving fuck) who take deep dives into history and the internet every week in order to bring us the deets on a new cryptozoological animal. Each episode is structured with one host as the “cryptid keeper” and one as listener; basically, one introduces the creature and explains the lore, the history surrounding it, and some of the most interesting or peculiar sightings of it over the years, and the other asks questions and is generally excited and intrigued by the spooky beast.
Thematically, it shares a lot in common with the Spirits podcast, which I also enjoy: it discusses folklore and mythology from around the world, with an inclusive, queer-friendly, feminist bent and an eye toward educating people about cool and creepy things we may not have known about before, especially stuff outside the typical Western/American understanding of things, The major difference here is, of course, that Spirits focuses on mythology and deities versus cryptid lore, and (to the best of my knowledge, at least) The Cryptid Keeper isn’t recorded while drinking. Alex and Addison touch on everything from Nandi bears to hellhounds to chupacabras (chupacabrae?) to, of course, the buff and dreamy Beast of Bray Road, citing from historical sources as well as first person accounts and sightings and bringing in guest experts to discuss their own favorite cryptids.
I love the hosts’ mentality toward the cryptids they discuss; even when something’s horrifying, they’re able to put a funny spin on it, and they’re often able to find something lovable about even the strangest-sounding critters. They also make sure to keep in the disclaimer that they’re not poking fun at the lore or the people who believe in it, and are careful to always qualify that they’re not talking about cryptids as myth or legend, but as real, living creatures whose existence has just not been confirmed by science. They’re super engaged with their fanbase as well and are always happy to hear and act on criticism if it comes to their attention that they’ve misrepresented something or have been unwittingly offensive.
If I’ve piqued your interest with this post, there are so many ways to check out this podcast, engage with the creators, and support them! Obviously you can listen to it in your podcast catcher of choice, or at Soundcloud if you’re a web browser-type listener. There are only 28 thirty to sixty minute episodes so far, so it shouldn’t take too long to catch up! They have an Etsy shop where you can get good good stickers that say things like “liberfaerian” and “Bigfoot is my girlfriend” and a Patreon if you’re the financially supportive type. They’re on Facebook as well, with a fan page and a private fan group, and you can follow the podcast and Alex and Addison individually (they’re both fab) on Twitter. Even if you’re not a cryptid fanatic like yours truly, this is such a fun and engaging listen and I definitely recommend everyone check it out.
Hear more from Lady Saika on Character Reveal, the podcast she cohosts with BrothaDom!