While Halloween is certainly an apt time to take in some of Mahnke’s twisted tales about real-life horrors, it’s easy to get sucked into the creator’s calm delivery backed by composer Chad Lawson’s simplistic yet eerie piano stylings. Each episode starts simply enough, with Mahnke offering to explain the story behind a longtime superstition before the story takes unexpected turns. “Lore is a deceptively simple podcast,” the creator explains, revealing there are several components – historical context, smaller tales used to illustrate the larger point and little lessons – that make it both inviting for audiences but easily adaptable for the screen.
Combining animation, found footage and filmed sequences featuring actors like Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood), Adam Goldberg (Fargo) and Holland Roden (Teen Wolf), the TV series adds a visual component that Mahnke says make each episode a more distinct experience.
Launched in March of 2015, Lore was only a few months in when the idea for a TV adaptation became a reality. By the time it went into production, there were over 50 episodes of content to choose from. “It’s an unusual problem to have when you’re making a TV show: an overabundance of things to use,” Mahnke says, revealing that they ultimately chose to focus on stories that didn’t have too unique of concepts or would have required too much explanation for audiences to understand. As a result, they settled on fan-favorites including a story of a family whose home appears to be inhabited by a spirit from the other side; a German village that hunts for a murderous creature; and “Unboxed,” the tale of a boy given a doll that seems to have a sinister life of its own.