Amazon’s new creepy anthology original series Lore is based on Aaron Mahnke’s popular podcast with 5 million monthly listeners. The 6-episode series presents tales dealing with frightening, psychologically disturbing, and often paranormal true events that have spawned modern-day nightmares. I watched the first episode which starts off as an animated tale about two women from New Haven, CT, named Sarah and Mary. The two were inseparable and nothing could split them apart, except for death. One fateful day Mary collapses in their home and her cause of death wasn’t clear. Sarah thought her niece Mary had fainted, but as it turns out she took her last breath and Mary was buried the next day. One evening Sarah had a nightmare and was convinced that Mary was alive and immediately needed to be unearthed. When her coffin was opened it was discovered that Mary’s hands and face had blood all over it. There were scratches on the lid of the coffin and her fingernails were torn and bloody. This is actually based on a true story that happened to Mary Hart on October 16th, 1872.
This is the opening of the horror series Lore narrated by podcast host and series creator Aaron Mahnke. In this episodic series, Mahnke (who’s podcast I’ve never heard before) tells us true life stories that sound like folklore, but are ripped from headlines in year’s past. Mahnke who’s narration, in my opinion, is a bit jarring and sounds a bit mechanical and robotic presents each story intercut with animation, photos, and live-action dramatized depictions of each horror story. Many of these stories feature actors we know such as Campbell Scott, Robert Patrick, Kristin Bauer van Straten and Holland Roden. Our first story about the burial of the undead is an interesting opening for the show considering Lore’s executive producer Gale Anne Hurd is pretty familiar with shows about the undead. She’s the executive producer of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead, a show about zombies.
This genre is also no stranger to The X-Files alum/showrunner Glen Morgan who also serves as an executive producer on the show. Part documentary and part horror film, Lore meanders its way into our deepest fears and definitely will bring chills to your spine as it dawns on you that these real-life stories are stranger than fiction.
I had the pleasure of interviewing executive producer Gale Anne Hurd about the series and here’s what she had to say:
Jamie Broadnax: Talk to us about the research for these stories. Was it challenging putting this together or were the stories directly adapted from the podcast?
Gale Anne Hurd: Luckily we based our episodes on Aaron Mahnke’s well-researched podcasts, and with the help of our documentary/animation producers, Mark Mannucci and Jon Halperin, we were able to explore even more fact-based stories. These six episodes really do prove that real-life horror is even more frightening than make-believe!
Jamie: I really loved the animation segments intercut with the live action scenes. What led you to that creative decision when presenting these tales?
Gale: Given the limited archival materials available, and the wonderfully creepy animation we were able to contract animators around the world, it seemed like the ideal solution to bring the Lore podcast to life. As huge fans of Tim Burton’s animated films, it seemed like a great solution.
Jamie: The casting in this show is pretty phenomenal. What led to the decision to cast Kristen Bauer van Straten, Robert Patrick, Campbell Scott and others in Lore?
Gale: We wanted to cast actors who are familiar to genre audiences, and were right for the roles. Some are actors we have worked with before (such as Robert Patrick from T2), others were actors we’d always wanted to hire.
Jamie: Each of these stories are based on real events, are any of these fictionalized for dramatic effect or are these real-life scary stories?
Gale: No these are all well researched true stories based entirely on fact, which makes them truly frightening!
Lore‘s 6 episodes premiere on Amazon Prime Friday, October 13th.
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online publication and multimedia space for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association and executive producer of the Black Girl Nerds Podcast.