Korean true crime, dark history, ghost tales, folklore, serial killers, and more.

You are about to discover why Korea has the spookiest stories and darkest history.
The Dark Side of Seoul Podcast

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Joe & Shawn

Joe & Shawn

Hosts

Folklorist Shawn and history buff Joe delve into Korea’s gruesome stories of massacres, betrayals, and blood. It’s like “Game of Thrones” in Asia. We share our passion for Korea and its struggles throughout time. If you enjoy shows like “Kingdom,” this is the podcast for you. Even if you know nothing about Korea, its history will become your new addiction.

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LATEST EPISODES

Koreans Murdered Overseas

Koreans Murdered Overseas

We talk about cases of Koreans who have been murdered while traveling or living outside of Korea. What was with that rare packing tape?

Lotte World Tower

Lotte World Tower

Korea’s tallest building has had its problems. We’re scared to go in there. Listen to this episode to find out why.

Our 100th Episode

Our 100th Episode

Some behind-the-scenes (BTS) of the show. We talk with our patrons about their favorite episodes and what we’re working on in the future.

Why So Angry?

Why So Angry?

Koreans have a reputation of being quick to anger. Is there any truth to that? Are there any reasons why?

Based on an article “Angry Koreans” written by Se-woong Koo in Korea Exposé

Year of the Tiger

Year of the Tiger

Korea’s shaped like a tiger, and Korea has been shaped by tigers. Some think there are still wild tigers on the peninsula. Are there? Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at...

Massacre at the Hospital

Massacre at the Hospital

At the beginning of the Korean War one of the worst war crimes occurred in the northeast of Seoul, and no one talks about it. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at...

Rats!

Rats!

Shawn uses the tale of his recent rodential visitor to springboard into the significance of rats in Korean folklore. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at https://darksideofseoul.com...

Missing Persons 2: Overseas

Missing Persons 2: Overseas

It’s doubly mysterious and distressing when someone is not only missing but missing overseas. Some are mysterious; others less mysterious, though ultimate fates of individuals is unknown and they are technically missing Kang Nam-kwon Last seen November 1, 1996 Kelleys...

Haphazard Bell, Haphazard New Year

Haphazard Bell, Haphazard New Year

The bell in Jongno, Seoul, rings in the New Year. But what is the story of that belfry? How has South Korea celebrated the New Year over centuries? Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk...

Spectre of Winter

Spectre of Winter

Korean winters are harsh! Take tips from folklore traditions on how to survive it, along with omens to watch out for. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at https://darksideofseoul.com...

All I Want for Korean Christmas Is…

All I Want for Korean Christmas Is…

It may seem like Korea only plays two Christmas songs (Mariah & George), but Christmas has been celebrated in Seoul for at least 130 years. We cover its import, how it’s changed, why it’s a couples holiday, dark events and controversies surrounding the date, and...

You Gonna Eat That?

You Gonna Eat That?

Don’t eat while listening to this. We cover Korea’s food scandals from the 1970s to 2021. In fact, you won’t want to eat anything after listening. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk...

The Curse of King Muryeong’s Tomb

The Curse of King Muryeong’s Tomb

Archaeologists botched the excavation of King Muryeong’s tomb, and some say they paid the price. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at https://darksideofseoul.com Listener Mail! Send...

Well, That’s Weird

Well, That’s Weird

A collection of weird Korean news stories from the past few years. Hamsters, the death spa, and the national government’s ghost-warding penis rocks. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul   Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost...

Kids Who Kill, part 2

Kids Who Kill, part 2

The media has passed over some of these stories of murderous youths. Does this indicate lingering bias against the types of victims in these cases? Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul   Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost...

Kids Who Kill, part 1

Kids Who Kill, part 1

Children are the most vulnerable in society. So what happens when they become the predator? In this first part, we talk about children who have murdered other children and ones who have murdered their own families.   Join our Patreon to get more stuff...

The Wau Apartment Collapse

The Wau Apartment Collapse

In 1970, the rush to construct housing in Seoul resulted in a disaster that surprisingly many have forgotten. And it’s right behind Hongik University. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost...

The Two Towers

The Two Towers

The 63 Building and Parc.1 in Yeouido. Even though Lotte World Tower is compared to the Eye of Sauron, it’s these two buildings that are known as Cirith Ungol and Barad-dur. Each of these have stories of intrigue, betrayal, rivalries, and mishaps. Join our Patreon to...

More Korean Spooky Tales

More Korean Spooky Tales

Huddle in your favorite blanket. Turn off the lights. We are bringing more campfire stories. Listen--if you dare! Check out our sponsor City of Ghosts A supernatural neo-noir audio drama set in 1990s NYC about corruption, murder, and the things that haunt us. Join our...

16 Things You Didn’t Know About North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung

16 Things You Didn’t Know About North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung

We’re definitely going to get targeted by North Korea for this episode. Did you know Kim Jong-Un’s granddad had a big fat tumor on his neck? We cover sixteen (mostly true) facts about North Korea’s founder. Check out our sponsor City of Ghosts   Join our Patreon to...

Bullying part 2: In Society

Bullying part 2: In Society

Korean Suicide Prevention Centre hotline: 1393 Social bullying is commonplace. It depends highly on Korea’s vast power distance, especially in the workplace from bosses to customers. Check out our sponsor   Join our Patreon to get more stuff...

Bullying part 1: In Schools

Bullying part 1: In Schools

Suicide is the number one cause of death for Korean youths. Extreme bullying infects schools and contributes to this. What do the experts say about bullying in Korean schools? Is it a new problem?   Join our Patreon to get more stuff...

Korean Cults: Shincheonji

Korean Cults: Shincheonji

Guest Lucas E. Lucas tells us how he was targeted for a year by the Shincheonji cult. How coordinated are they in their recruitment tactics? Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at...

Korean Urban Legends 2

Korean Urban Legends 2

Why is fall jinxed for Korean celebrities? Are there ghosts from the Sampoong Department Store collapse? What prurient urban legends pass through the lips in Korea? We spread more of them in this episode. Join our Patreon to get more stuff...

Korean Urban Legends

Korean Urban Legends

What’s up with fan death? A friend of a friend told us about these stories. Shawn has been interviewing people about folk beliefs, ghostlore, experiences, and urban legends for a long time. These are all from his most recent interviews. Join our Patreon to get more...

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 4: Aftermath

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 4: Aftermath

What was true about Yoo Young-Chul and what was urban myth? How badly did the authorities mess this up? Have things changed? We analyze what the psych and criminology experts have written about this case. Join our Patreon to get more stuff...

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 3: Caught!

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 3: Caught!

The police didn’t catch Yoo Young-Chul. Seoul’s criminal underground took control while the authorities bumbled. Catching him wasn’t the end of it. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk...

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 2: The Sinchon Murders

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 2: The Sinchon Murders

After almost getting caught on CCTV, Yoo Young-Chul took a break and changed his focus and methods. Rather than going out to victims’ houses, he invited them into his home. This time, his focus was on women. This is part two of four in our series on Korea’s most...

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 1: Monstrous Origins

Serial Killer Yoo Young-Chul, part 1: Monstrous Origins

Korea’s most notorious serial killer. In the first of four parts, we cover Yoo Young-Chul's tumultuous early life in an urbanizing Seoul and his first string of killings--targeting wealthy seniors in standalone houses near churches.  We’d put off tackling this topic...

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