The Black Tapes

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Name: The Black Tapes Podcast
Abbreviation(s): TBT
Creator: Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale
Date(s): 2015 - 2017
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: [7] [8]
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The Black Tapes is a fictional podcast centered around journalist Alex Reagan as she narrates and investigates different paranormal mysteries. Her investigation brings her to the "deeply enigmatic" Dr. Richard Strand, a serial skeptic who heads the Strand Institute. She wants to interview him for the podcast, but he ignores her many attempts to reach out. Reagan quickly learns that Strand has offered one million dollars for confirmed proof of paranormal activity. Once he finally agrees to the interview, she learns of his cold case files-- Black VHS tapes sent to Strand as various people around the world document paranormal experiences.

The podcast ran from May of 2015 to September of 2017. The first and second season had twelve episodes. The third season had six, and was originally completed, however in 2020, the description of episode 3x06 changed to "midseason finale[1]".

...It feels like what might happen if a perky NPR journalist decided to investigate the Blair Witch Project [2]




At first, listeners didn't realize that this was a scripted podcast. It's horror-paranormal subjects quickly drew the attention of more mainstream media [3]. When the season ended abruptly, it sparked widespread frustration from fans who felt that the ending was rushed. When the 'season finale' was changed to 'midseason finale' many fans felt that this was a disingenuous attempt to stir up interest, with no intention of releasing new content. [4]

Do They Finish Any of These Damned Stories! After Rabbits ended on a cliffhanger and they never did a second season, I'm not ready to invest in anything else PNWS unless I know they haven't given up on it...[5]



The Black Tapes Podcast sparked several online fan theories and blogs [6] created to keep the various mysteries introduced straight. To date there are 441 fanworks on AO3.


Notable Works


  1. ^ [1], r/PNWS
  2. ^ [2], The Daily Dot. Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia May 27, 2021
  3. ^ [3], 'The Black Tapes' Is 'Serial’ Meets Creepypasta, Osberg, Molly 2016
  4. ^ [4], reddit |r/PNWS u/be47recon.
  5. ^ [5] reddit |r/PNWS u/TheHuntedCity
  6. ^ [6],Tumblr user theblacktapesmysteries