#SpookySZN: ‘Limetown’ haunting looks at a fictional ghost town’s past

Fiction October 25, 2021
Listen to ‘Limetown’

When hundreds of residents vanished from Tennessee’s fictional Limetown, onlookers were at a loss as to what happened. Leads were neither found, nor did any survivors seem to remain. It was only when American Public Radio’s reporter Lia Haddock started asking questions that an investigation began. “Limetown” is presented by Two-Up, and unfolds the drama over two seasons to solve how this ghost town disappeared without a trace.

“Limetown” is totally bingeable! You’ll hear the fictional investigation, which is comparable to formats of true crime favorites like “Serial.” Listeners will hear the storyline narrated by Lia, filtered in with field recordings, interviews with survivors, 911 calls, and old, leaked audio from Limetown’s eruption of panic just before the residents’ disappearance. Over the first few episodes, you might speculate whether or not Limetown was a cult.

Throughout the episodes, Lia interviews Limetown survivors and begins to uncover a secret lurking in plain sight. This story is personal for our protagonist since an uncle on her father’s side was one of Limetown’s missing. Lia finds out about a facility where researcher Dr. Oscar Totem conducted experiments and promised participants a future in a utopian society. And this is where the story takes a sci-fi turn.

Lia tracks down survivors including Winona, and conducts the first documented conversation with any eyewitness. We also hear from a lead researcher in Limetown, Dr. Max Finlayson, who helped Dr. Totem discover “a pattern of thought called the second self.”

This research led to an invention: an implant to transmit ideas from one person’s brain to another, a direct mind-to-mind communication device. While the technology seemed to work, issues began to arise with the trial subjects. Dr. Finlayson’s wife also spoke with Lia and told about the disturbing side effects the implants seemed to have on its recipients.

In the second season, the investigation is still underway when Lia gets kidnapped. Does she join the missing or make it back alive? We’ll have to listen to find out.

“Limetown” was created by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie who met while attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Both worked in film production before cooking up this fictional world in podcast form. What started as a creative project soon became their full-time gig, releasing the series’ first episodes in 2015.

Zach and Skip have continued with podcasting and produced “Shipworm.” It’s a fictional drama about a guy who wakes up with a device implanted in his ear, and he must obey everything the voice tells him. Also an interesting listen for fictional podcast fans.

“Limetown” was adapted for TV by NBC’s Peacock and starred Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci. A prequel book was also published by the same title by Cote Smith, Skip Bronkie, and Zachary Akers.

“Limetown” tops Podsauce’s picks this spooky season. Both seasons of “Limetown” are streaming now.

Listen to ‘Limetown’

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