During the summer of 2001, two girls, on opposite sides of town, in the dead of night, stopped what they were doing and walked into the Daniel Boone National Forest. They were never seen again. This is Olive Hill.
To most, especially those who live there, Olive Hill (fun fact, it’s a real town!) is just your run-of-the-mill town with churches, schools and whatever else you might expect to find in a town. To former resident Esther Snow it’s a land of question marks surrounding the only thing that puts Olive Hill on the map: a ghost story.
Two girls, who were seemingly different in every way, both drop everything they are doing, walk into the woods and are never seen alive again. Sounds like something from Stephen King, right? I went into this podcast assuming it was going to be a mystery thriller about a cold case that gets solved after so long. But while Olive Hill is a run-of-the-mill town, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill story.
I review a lot of podcasts because I am a huge podcast fan and I don’t often stumble across a podcast that catches my interest as quickly as Olive Hill did. It normally takes me a couple of episodes to decide if I’m really going to invest in a new podcast. But from episode one, I was obsessed hook, line and sinker. From a production standard, it gets an A+ in every category. The acting is great, the characters are likable and the writers made them sound like actual humans in the dialogue, the production is excellent and the story is amazing. Top notch. Stellar. Fantastic. I can’t properly put into words how much I love it. And I’ve already gone on about the acting but this story wouldn’t be as good without the talents of our narrator, played by Brooke Jennett, because good storytelling really does make or break a story whether in movies, audio books or, obviously, podcasts.
I genuinely can’t remember having such a strong reaction to a podcast since the Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air). I really don’t want to give too much away, because I think everyone should at least listen to the first episode, but the ending literally brought me to tears. Our journalist narrator, who didn’t actually go to journalism school, doesn’t get sucked into a world wind of conspiracy as one might expect. Instead she finds herself in the middle of a fairytale. Odd, I know but trust me it works so, so well. If you enjoy podcasts like Tanis or The Black Tapes, you will absolutely love Olive Hill.
Olive Hill is created by Ian Epperson, Brooke Jennett, Bridgett Howard and Grant Schumer. Sound Design by Lizz Walker, music by Drew Raleigh. Brian Burkhart is in the control room.