Lore is a bi-weekly nonfiction podcast narrated and produced by Aaron Mahnke. It premiered on March 9, 2015.
Each installment details the often-horrific history behind various facets of folklore and real-life events. Some episodes have abstract topics such as werewolves or vampires, but others focus exclusively on certain occurrences, locations, or crimes.
In 2017, it was adapted into a television series through Amazon Video, which follows a similar format to the Podcast, but with the addition of dramatic re-enactments and animations, still narrated by Mahnke.
A second season of the Amazon series drastically changed format, focusing mostly on the re-enactments, with Mahnke's narration reduced to only a few lines at the end of each episode.
Sometimes the tropes are more frightening than fiction:
- Alien Abduction: "Road Trip" details the story of Barney and Betty Hill, one of the first known cases of alien abduction.
- An Axe to Grind: Covered Mirrors presents some of the stories that gave rise to the concept of the Axe-Murderer.
- Bedlam House: "Echoes" discusses the history of Danvers State Hospital and its failed attempt to subvert this trope.
- Creepy Cave: "The Cave" discusses a cult on the island of Chiloe and the rumors that circulated about a cave where the cult leaders kept their most precious objects, as well as chimeric beasts and deliberately disfigured humans.
- Creepy Doll: "Unboxed" tells the story of Robert the Doll, the supposedly cursed doll that terrorized the families that lived in the house with him.
- Doing In the Wizard: Some episodes go out of their way to show that the horrific events of the story are actually human caused or build up to a supernatural conclusion only to subvert it at the last minute with an explanation based in reality. This is seen in "Black Stockings" when examining the death of Bridget Cleary, an Irish woman who died after her husband set her on fire, thinking fairies had replaced her with a changeling. Unlike most episodes, this one doesn't end on the conclusion that Bridget was a changeling, but rather that her husband was delusional and she was just an unfortunate victim of his psychosis.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: This message is usually coupled with Doing In the Wizard episodes, where supernatural elements are throw out to show that humans are usually to blame for the horrific things that happen in life rather than supernatural things. Episodes such as "The Castle", "Covered Mirrors", "Lost and Found", "All the Lovely Ladies", and "On the Farm", which cover real-life crimes, examine this trope as well. This becomes especially prominent in any episode that features accusations of witchcraft and witch trials, with Mahnkes monologue often going on at length about the superstitious and uninformed nature of such accusations.
- Lobotomy: The latter part of "Echoes" follows Dr. Walter Freeman as he develops then travels the country presenting his transorbital lobotomy, which was basically sticking an ice pick behind the patient's eye, tapping it in with a hammer, then stirring up the brain tissue behind it.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Episodes often end on a note of ambiguity within the stories presented, which leaves viewers wondering whether the events were caused by humans or if supernatural elements are really at work. Seen most notably in "Brought Back", "Rope and Railing", and "The Bloody Pit".
- Our Banshees Are Louder: "Facets" describes the stories of banshees and La Llorona.
- Our Vampires Are Different: The very first episode, "They Made a Tonic", is about vampire legends. Later episodes, such as "Deep and Twisted Roots", also talk about vampires.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Several episodes talk about werewolves and similar creatures. "The Beast Within" is about werewolves in general and the case of Peter Stumpp in particular; "Worn Away" is about skinwalkers; and "Trees and Shadows" is about the Beast of Bray Road.
- Our Zombies Are Different: "Brought Back" is all about zombies, and cases of people reportedly being turned into them.
- Sea Monster: "Debris" and "A Deep Fear" are about sightings of sea monsters over the years.