With the recent rise in popularity of series such as the Walten Files, and perhaps a bit earlier with Petscop, there’s a new audience of people being exposed to the genre of analog horror. Analog Horror itself is a relatively new concept – it’s a subgenre of a subgenre: found footage horror. Analog Horror focuses more so on audio rather than visuals to create tension and a sense of unease within the viewer, it’s predominantly web-based with the majority of it’s series being posted onto youtube, occasionally expanding to different websites that build in-universe lore. A core element of analog horror is that it’s presented as if it’s taking place within our world, many channels utilise emergency broadcasts to immerse the viewer into the world as if it was our own. Analog Horror stories are very cryptic, filled with subtle messages and hints that a viewer is meant to piece together and theorise on. Here are some top spoiler free recommendations for people looking to get into analog horror.

Local58 is widely regarded as the first analog horror series due to how it’s the first known series to use the word ‘analog horror’ to describe itself in its youtube about section. The first video was posted to LOCAL58TV youtube channel on the 31st of October in 2017, since then 8 more videos have been published all under the 6 minute mark making them very quick watches, it is also an ongoing series that is not completed. This series follows the format of a TV station (hence the name), the majority of the episodes start with the same beginning; a TV listing schedule before devolving into different content. This series contains no jumpscares, instead relying on the messages that are displayed to create a sense of unease within the viewer. The series is also not just exclusive to youtube, there’s a whole website full of lore to uncover, which people can even contribute their own creative writing skills towards by submitting stories of their own to. Local58 was created by Kris Straub and has certainly set it’s mark on the analog horror community as a standout project with each episode (aside from the most recent one) garnering over a million views. Most other series follow the format that Straub set, marking it as a prominent series.

The Mandela Catalogue has recently seen a boom in popularity due to volume 2 releasing on the 18th of January which at the time of writing has accumulated over a million views lately. The first volume is sitting on just over 3 million views since it’s release on the 10th of October last year showing just how popular the series is. It became a bit of a meme with the intruder face being used across the internet during late 2021 and early 2022, which helped spread it to communities that otherwise may not have known of the existence of the series or analog horror as a whole. The series consists of 7 videos and 1 teaser, the first and second volume are 15 and 20 minutes long respectively and contain the present timeline with the modern day lore of the Mandela Catalogue world, the rest of the videos are formatted like informational videos very much inspired by Kris Straub’s series. The videos contain some slight jumpscares but they’re not traditional jumpscares in the sense that they’re not followed by a loud shocking noise, just an image. The horror is mainly through the visuals and audio (or lack thereof), it definitely leans more towards the outwardly horror style in comparison to Local58. The series is being produced by Alex Kister and is not yet completed.

A bit different from the preceding two, is the Walten Files created by Martin Walls. What makes this series standout is definitely the unique art and visuals, with heavy inspiration from Five Nights at Freddys the story revolves around horrifying looking animatronics. There are few jumpscares but audio is mainly used to build up and eerie and suspenseful atmosphere throughout the videos. There are 16 videos on the youtube channel including 2 teasers, 1 official album and various other lore videos that range in length from short 2 minute commercials to full hour long expositions. The first video on the channel was released on the 26th of April 2020 and has garnered almost 7 million views at the time of writing making it the most viewed series on this list. The style of animation looks very similar to that of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, another popular horror web series that hasn’t seen much new content since the promise of a TV show with little updates on. The Walten Files is an ongoing series with a planned two seasons with six episodes each.

With 24 episodes, Petscop is the only completed series on this list. It became popularised through a deep dive video made by the popular youtuber Pyrocynical back in 2017 that has accumulated over 13 million views, ever since it has become a meme as to when Pyrocynical will make a Petscop 2 due to the series completing after he published his analysis video. The Petscop webseries itself takes place through the format of a video game with a narrator commentating on the gameplay footage as he plays it. It is very much an atmospheric horror series with no jumpscares but the feeling of isolation and eeriness that comes with it being emanated from the gameplay footage that contributes to making the viewer feel unsettled at what they are watching. The creator Tony Domenico revealed his identity as the creator of the series on twitter after staying anonymous throughout the entire series runtime.

Overall, these are 4 different analog horror series that are very easy to binge watch over one day to break into the genre.

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