For paranormal podcaster Jim Harold, wondering about “what’s out there” is something everyone ponders every now and then.
Among his first brushes with the unexplained was after attending his brother’s funeral back in 1999. Harold and his wife Dar were driving back through a rural area when they turned on a radio station that was playing music from artists like Nat King Cole and Dean Martin.
Then came Lawrence Welk’s “Calcutta.” That got Harold’s attention. “He loved the Lawrence Welk Show,” he said, referring to his brother.
The weird timing of the song was one example of how departed loved ones can put signs out there for us, Harold said.
But Harold, who now hosts a total of four podcasts, said what resonates with people isn’t just the idea of ghosts.
“I think most of us, most people, have the feeling that there is something more,” Harold said.
His podcasts give listeners a way to explore these areas, with many contacting him to submit their own stories.
Two of Harold’s shows include the popular Jim Harold’s Campfire and The Paranormal Podcast. Campfire features callers recalling their experiences to Harold with topics ranging from living in a haunted house, seeing strange creatures, or wandering into alternate realities.
And while some are looking for stories that are really scary, Harold is just looking for something genuine.
“I want the real story because I think that makes it more interesting,” Harold said.
The Paranormal Podcast, started in 2005, includes interviews with guests about ghosts, UFOs, and the afterlife.
But not all the shows Harold offers talk about the paranormal.
You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me is hosted by Harold and Dar. These stories are about harrowing experiences such as narrowly avoiding being kidnapped or being chased by the police. Then there is his true crime podcast Crime Scene.
Podcasting is truly a family affair for Harold, as Dar serves as an editor, daughter Cassandra hosts her own show titled Unpleasant Dreams, while daughter Natalie also pitches in.
And while family does help out, the podcasts are Harold’s full-time job.
His background in media advertising helped him understand the business side, allowing him to sell advertising and edit his shows. He tries to edit as minimally as possible to make the show as authentic as possible.
While some of his callers may get a little nervous, Harold does what he can to make them feel comfortable.
“I take my trash out, nobody knows who I am. Outside of this little podcasting thing, nobody knows who I am, so it’s no big deal,” he said. “We’re just having a conversation. You are just telling me a story.”
One of his favorite stories came from a woman who found herself in a place called the Roadhouse Saloon. The women recounted talking to people in the saloon who seemed very strange, and a mural on the wall that looked like it was making room for her and her friend.
“That was really kind of Twilight Zone worthy,” Harold said.
And while he may have been worried about the pandemic killing his business, Harold said the exact opposite happened, with informal surveys revealing that many people started listening during the pandemic.
Harold’s work doesn’t stop with the podcasts. He has five books to his name.
“Those are basically compilations of some of the best stories,” Harold said.
Harold said he looks forward to talking to more people and getting more stories.
“I’m thankful I get to do what I get to do,” he said.
All of Harold’s podcasts can be accessed through his website right here.