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

The Bastard Prince

The Bastard Prince

The first “illegitimate” heir to the Joseon throne, Prince Gwanghae spent the kingdom’s shattered post-war coffers on building projects. Obsessed with the occult, he ended up being overthrown by a revolt.

Shawn Digs Graves

Shawn Digs Graves

Shawn takes us through the hills of Paju to show Korean grave sites. Learn about the traditions, folklore, and potential curses. We also check out abandoned military installations.

The Bells

The Bells

Did people really throw a child into a furnace to forge the Emillé Bell? We answer this question in this episode.

Divination

Divination

Divination was a significant part of daily life in old Korea. For some, it still is. We predict you’ll get something out of this episode. 

Gwangju Massacre

Gwangju Massacre

May 18th, 1980, the South Korean military beat, jailed, raped, and murdered the citizens of Gwangju while the rest of the country didn’t know. The stories of this crime didn’t start going public until the 1990s, and more is being found. Do the world a favor and listen to this episode.

Park Chung-hee vs. Vladimir Putin

Park Chung-hee vs. Vladimir Putin

Is Vladimir Putin’s regime going the same way as Park Chung-hee’s in its final years? Let’s test this hypothesis. Authoritarian leaders tend to go through the same stages–eerily so. Can we predict what will happen with Putin by looking at what happened to Park?

Park Chung-hee, pt. 2: The Fall

Park Chung-hee, pt. 2: The Fall

After steering the Korean economy out of poverty, how did Park Chung-hee’s popularity decline to the point that he was assassinated by his own cohort?

Park Chung-hee, pt. 1: The Rise

Park Chung-hee, pt. 1: The Rise

Park Chung-hee’s legacy commands controversy. The President/Dictator oversaw Korea’s rapid economic rise, and he brutalized his people with his brass knuckle rule. In the first of three episodes, we discuss how his rise synced with South Korea’s rise.

Police Torture

Police Torture

South Korean police were ruthless and tortured confessions out of people because they couldn’t find perps. Things have changed, but have they?

Forensics in Korean Criminal History

Forensics in Korean Criminal History

This is your CSI: Seoul episode. South Korea’s forensic science has a longer history than thought. It’s played a pivotal role in historic and current events. Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul...

The Rise and Demise of Pimatgol

The Rise and Demise of Pimatgol

A popular street used by commoners for 600 years has been obliterated in the past 20 years. Why was it popular, and why was it destroyed? Join our Patreon to get more stuff https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at...

How is Insa-dong?

How is Insa-dong?

How did Insa-dong become known as the antique and art district? The dark reason will surprise you. Plus our recommendations.

Hidden Sex Cams Epidemic

Hidden Sex Cams Epidemic

Reuters dubbed Korea “The Global Epicentre of Spy Cams.” How bad is it? Why is it so bad? And what can you do to fight this?

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...

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