The ‘Ghost Town’ Podcast Interview with Rebecca Leib

by Stephanie Shamblin Gray

Podcasts are definitely seeing a boost in interest from true-crime stories like Serial so this is a perfect time to have a series on real-life horror history that considers the myth and legend of various haunted and/or notorious places.

Comedians Rebecca Leib and Jason Horton host the Ghost Town podcast and explore a new location each week. The subject could be the location of an unsolved mystery, a haunted house, or anywhere else with an interesting true crime or paranormal background. Episodes include True Crimes of Norwegian Black Metal (notorious for Satanism, church burnings, and muder), The Stanley Hotel and The Shining (the haunted history that inspired Stephen King that continues to this day), and Hotel Hell (the Maribel Caves Hotel which is rumored to be a portal to hell).

When not hosting Ghost Town, Rebecca Leib is a stand-up comedian, writer, and producer whose work can be seen on Brain Games, Hollywood Game Night, and James Patterson’s Murder is Forever. We caught up with Leib to ask her about the podcast.

Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit about your podcast?

Rebecca Leib: We’re a comedy podcast exploring history and story through esoteric, abandoned and offbeat places all over the world!

HNN: It seems you have been doing true-life horror research for some time. When did you become interested in the historical and paranormal? 

Leib: Both [co-host Jason Horton and I] love offbeat history, and have since we were young wannabe punk outsiders growing up in our respective suburbs, across the country. Since he was young, Jason has always been interested in offbeat history, music history and abandoned amusement parks. I’ve always been pretty obsessed with true crime, haunted/strange history, and anything that feels like, I don’t know, deeper or more subversive than what you might learn in a history book. We both moved [to Los Angeles] over ten years ago and found history as a means of connecting to LA, a place that isn’t the most “welcoming,” in some respects. We’ve been doing comedy together for 10 years, and started this podcast together about 9 months ago.

HNN: This podcast is getting categorized as comedy due to your presentation style. How did you decide on the tone?

Leib: Well, we’re both comedians by trade and definitely NOT historians, so it felt disingenuous to feel “authoritarian” about the subject. Coming at it from a loose, humorous, but still completely passionate angle feels much more us and much more how we approach the subject matter.

HNN: You have a live show coming up in April. Can you tell us about that and how it may be similar or different to what we hear on the podcast?

Leib: Well, we MIGHT have some surprise guests, giveaways, and media we don’t often have on the podcast. Additionally, for VIP ticket holders, we’ll have a tour of the subject matter the Saturday after (the 27th) at noon. So you can come to the podcast, laugh, learn and then walk through the place we’re talking about to see everything firsthand! We love doing the podcast but seeing us in that context we hope will be really exciting.

HNN: If you had to pick, which would you say is your favorite true-life horror story? 

Leib: Oh boy. My impulse is to go political with this because in some ways that’s the real true life horror story. But man, there are so many. We just did an episode on The Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure, which was a giant, hugely unsafe attraction in Jersey made pretty much of wire, mannequins and particle board where eight teenagers died inside due to asphyxiation. Those episodes are really detailed nightmarish and those true-life horror stories are sad and fascinating and another angle of how we utilize the podcast to talk about history…especially its failings.

HNN: Anything else you’d like to tell us about the podcast or live show? 

Leib: We love what we do, we’re open to feedback and we take requests! We just want to continue doing the podcast and hopefully make some money so we can go even more in-depth with our subject matter: visits to the places, live shows, expert testimony, etc.

HNN: Thank you, and good luck with the show!

Leib: Thank you!

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