HomePalmyra NewsBuilding a reputation on horror

Building a reputation on horror

Palmyra man's podcasts on the genre have gained listeners since COVID

Benjamin Dutill is known as the Horror Heathen for the podcast he began three years ago.

Podcasts have exploded since 2020, a result of COVID.

For Palmyra resident Benjamin Dutill, podcasts began three years ago, right before the pandemic. He has since been running his “South Jersey Horror” podcast since 2019.

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“A friend of mine started her own podcast on relationship/marriage advice and
counseling, and I asked her how she got it started,” Dutill recalled of his inquiries about podcasts. “She replied that she discovered an online website called Anchor, and it’s 100% free to get started. I decided to start my own in December 2019.

“This was my breakthrough.”

Dutill was able to find his podcast niche once he began. According to his website, he is known as the Horror Heathen, due to his extensive knowledge of the genre.

“Originally, I only wanted to create movie reviews for the horror community online while
delivering humor and attempting to break the fourth wall by inaugurating satire,” Dutill explained. “So far, there have been over 2,700 plays and downloads and the numbers continue to soar.”

Dutill said podcast making fulfills his love for horror movies, but enables him to create something entertaining.

“When I was around 9 or 10 years old, I watched the movie, ‘A Nightmare on Elm
Street,’ which was the very first time I watched a horror movie,” he recalled. “There is a particular scene that the director, Wes Craven – may he rest in peace – called ‘The Poltergeist’ scene and that is what got me hooked on horror.

“Crazy as it sounds, but that is when I discovered the genre and then later, as the years passed, I also discovered that there are subgenres, opening my eyes and mind to a whole new community and world.”

With his podcast, Dutill found connections through TikTok.

“… My friend requested a movie director (on TikTok), because I wanted to get some of his actors on my show,” Dutill noted. “However, he informed me that he was not the person to talk to or get in touch with. He suggested that I start my own IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) Pro account and get in touch with the actors’ publicists and managers.”

That gave Dutill “a more direct line to the actors and actresses.”

“… Their publicists and managers dictate what shows the actors are allowed to go on and what the actors are allowed to talk about,” Dutill explained. “It’s a hit or miss; I have received my fair share of declines to my requests. It breaks my heart, but I keep pushing. The good news is that now publicists and managers are reaching out to me to have their actors on my show.

“I guess I am starting to build a reputation.”

Dutill has received positive feedback from the actors and actresses who have been on his podcast.

“… They have all said the same thing, (that) they really enjoyed talking to me and they had a lot of fun,” he noted. “All of the interviews are unscripted, unrehearsed, and the actors get to be themselves. You would be surprised how delighted they are to come talk on my show.

“Generally, after I invite the actors, I suggest that they watch a few of the interviews on my YouTube channel, and shortly after, they agree to come on,” Dutill added. “They have told me that I am the easiest person to speak to and they would 100% come back if I invited them again.”

One highlight for Dutill was an interview with actor Ken Sagoes.

“During the interview, I informed Mr. Sagoes that a friend of mine is a huge fan of his character in the movie, ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3,’ and to see if Mr. Sagoes would give him a quick shoutout,” Dutill said.

“To my surprise, Mr. Sagoes asked for my friend’s phone number to call him during the interview and to say, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ So he called my friend during the interview and unfortunately my friend was asleep, but he did get the voice message.

“That by far has to be one of the coolest memories.”

For more information about the “South Jersey Horror” podcast, visit Dutill’s IMDB page, YouTube Channel and podcast.

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