Episode 96: Ghost Stories (with Paul Bae)

Sometimes, you just want to sit down and have your friends tell you scary stories. Luckily, we have Paul Bae of The Big Loop and The Black Tapes to tell us some of his best stories. Featuring Mr. Bae’s “Hour of Horror”, a haunted Toys R Us, and many stories that remind us why we will never go into the woods on our own again.

Catch a sneak peek of the NEW MERCH on our Patreon page!

You can also get tickets to our LIVE SHOW at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival!


Paul Bae is a writer and podcaster. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram (if you want to check out his amazing dogs), or check out his work such as The Big Loop and The Black Tapes.


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Amanda: Welcome to Spirits Podcast, a boozy dive into mythology, legends, and folklore. Every week we pour a drink, and learn about a new story from around the world. I'm Amanda.

Julia: And I'm Julia, and this is episode 96, Ghost Stories with Paul Bae. Wow we are really close to the hundred aren't we?

Amanda: We really are, but let's actually get back to that later in the intro.

Julia: Yes we will. Sorry, I jumped ahead of the game. We're only 96.

Amanda: Well, we are also really excited to welcome our newest patrons, Skyler, Samantha R., Samantha G., Jen, Casey, Katie, Hillary, Joe, Brian, T.H., and Robyn. Robyn, you and the 274 other folks supporting as on Patreon are bringing us to Spaghetti Warehouse.

Julia: I am so excited for Spaghetti Warehouse. I was just telling Jake on the ride home from the dinner I just came from, and he looked at me, he was like ... Because I was making all of our usual spaghetti puns, spaghost, spooghetti, and he looked at me, he goes, "Meat boos." And I'm just ... I'm upset with us that we didn't come up with that ourselves.

Amanda: Yeah, that's how I felt about boo tie when the first ... one of us realized that ... Yeah.

Julia: Oh, God dammit.

Amanda: But actually believe it or not, that's not the most exciting announcement that we have in this-

Julia: That is true. I mean it's up there.

Amanda: Stay tuned.

Julia: It's up there.

Amanda: It is up there. It's up there. I bet that our supporting producer level patreons though never miss a ghost Italian food pun.

Julia: That's true.

Amanda: That would be Philip, Julie, Christina, Eyore, Josie, Amara, Ella, Neil, Jessica, Maria, Ryan, Phil Fresh, and Deborah, as well as our legend level patreons who always sit in the trolley car in Spaghetti Warehouse.

Julia: Of course.

Amanda: Alisa, Zoey, Loraley, Cassie, Sarah, Sandra, Audra, Mercedes, Jack and Leanne.

Julia: Oh man, you guys just ... you know all the haunted places in all of the haunted Italian chain restaurants. That's just ... You're that cool.

Amanda: Absolutely, and completely not haunted. Our sponsors this week, Skillshare and Backblaze will tell you all about it in the midroll, but if you want a little preview, you can head to Skillshare.com/spirits for your premiums subscription at only 99 cents for two months, and Backblaze.com/spirits to get unlimited cloud backup for Macs and PCs. No scary ghosts in this computer.

Julia: And that's a 15 day free trial at Backblaze.com/spirits. Amanda, di you read or listen to anything cool this week?

Amanda: Oh yes, finally after about a year and a half of being told by Spirits listeners that I would really enjoy the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, I did, and it's so good. It's so good. It's a great kind of magic. It's very physical, very elemental. All stuff I love.

Julia: You do love that.

Amanda: And it's set in London, which is amazing. So, check it out. Rivers of London.

Julia: So like we said before Amanda, we're almost at episode 100.

Amanda: It's true.

Julia: It's almost October, which is the coolest and creepiest time of the year. So I think we're going to do something special. We sort of thought to ourselves, what would be cooler than new Spirits merch? New Spirits merch. So our new merch line is coming out on October 17th, and trust us, you are going to love it. We have seen it. We promise it is amazing.

Amanda: And as a thank you to all of you whose support helped us get not just to the Spaghetti Warehouse goal, but to this milestone as well. We are giving all patreons who support Spirits at the four dollar level or above, a 20% off discount code for our entire merch store.

Julia: So no matter how long you've been with us, all patreons who are pledging four dollars per episode or more as of October 17th are eligible for this discount.

Amanda: But this offer is only available for the next three weeks. So after the merch launches we won't be offering a discount of this size again. So, this is your opportunity to pledge to us, or to up your existing pledge, or if you're at that level already to be like, "Yo, yeah. I'm the best." And that'll be coming your way on the 17th.

Julia: What exactly is this amazing merch that is dropping, you may ask? Well, all things in due time, but we will be dropping hints in every episode between now and October 17th.

Amanda: I don't know. We just need a little mystery for October.

Julia: We always do.

Amanda: It's just ... it's an exciting time. It's your birthday on the 8th. We have a live show on the 14th. New merch on the 17th, and then it finishes at Halloween. What a month.

Julia: Oh and, Amanda quit her job this week. So this is her first day as a full time podcaster, and this is 100% thanks to your support that any of this is possible, that Amanda and I can do this full time, just living our lives, living our Spirits creepy, cool lives.

Amanda: It is super exciting. I'm wearing one of our old Spirits t-shirts right now as we record, and I don't know what it's like not to have a day job, and just do creative stuff at night, and on the weekend. So I am so, so, so grateful and excited. And we're really happy to share this milestone with you all by launching some merch that I think people are going to really love. So you can head on over to patreon.com/spiritspodcast to check out our first merch hint, which is up now, and to pledge your support for our future.

Julia: So, thank you. We love you, and now it's time for the episode, Amanda.

Amanda: All right, enjoy. Spirits podcast, episode 96, Ghost Stories with Paul Bae.

Julia: All right we are joined this week by a very special guest, someone who has induced plenty of nightmares in my life, which I appreciate very much so as someone who loves a good hard, dark, suspense trope. Paul Bae who is the co-creator, and co-producer of The Black Tapes, and also the producer and creator of The Big Loop. Paul thank you so much for joining us.

Paul: Thanks for having me guys.

Julia: It's our absolute pleasure.

Amanda: Hello.

Julia: So Paul, I guess we can probably get started just airing out the fact that you have some of the funniest, and also creepiest twitter threads I've ever followed on the website, and it's wonderful.

Paul: Thanks, I think it's ... You reach a certain age and we've gone through enough careers that you've ... That you're like, "These are actually funny stories with some hindsight. Scary at the time, and a little fucked up, but with hindsight it's hilarious."

Amanda: Much like my college years. I understand.

Paul: It's at the point now where every time something crazy happens to me, I ... Even though it's unpleasant, at the moment I'll actually be able to think, this is going to be really funny 10 years from now.

Julia: Maybe not in a month from now, but 10 years at least. So I guess I want to get started with just ... I mean you create some really spooky stuff. I guess I kind of want to talk to you a little bit about what the inspiration was, maybe to start with for The Black Tapes, and then some of your episodes of The Big Loop. So if you want to get us started with that.

Paul: Yeah, I think I've had this thing about ghost stories. I've always liked telling stories, just any type of story, since I was a kid. When I got to university, we didn't have cable. We went to McGill in Montreal, and my roommates and I, we didn't have cable, because we didn't have enough money. And so, sometime ... Some evenings we'd be drinking, and we'd all be dateless, I'd just start telling ghost stories, just make it up as I go along. And if ... I could just read from their faces, if they're scared, I just keep going. I'm like, oh this is a good thread to go down, and then I'd choose one of them, and just make it so that he won't be able to sleep in his room that night. If I can do that, it's been a success. And if that doesn't work, I'll hide in his room later in the week, and scare the shit out of him.

Julia: That is wonderful.

Amanda: I was going to say it's a very ... it's a very pure form of pranking, but especially if you follow it up with a physical prank, that's kind of the like the best of both.

Paul: Yeah, my best friend who's still my best friend, Handel, he ... I told him the story about this weird French Canadian goblin, that are known to haunt these old apartments, and they're sort of bald in the head, and really small, and just jump out at you. And he thought it was scary. I don't really remember the story part, but I remember thinking I'm going to word it so that after one of his showers he won't expect it if I'm in his closet hiding behind the clothes.

Amanda: Oh my God.

Paul: He came out, and I guess he had his towel on, and I was in his closet. And I was just ... I must have been in there 20 minutes, and it was September so it was really hot still. I remember sweating, and I remember thinking is he ever going to come get his clothes? And then I was thinking, oh God what is he doing? What's taking him so long? So one of those thoughts. We're all young men. Thank God we didn't have computers in our room back then, and so ... and then finally I hear his footsteps, and he opens the thing, and he starts looking through his clothes. I just waited for him to get to my section, and I had a bandana on, and so my head was-

Amanda: Oh my God.

Paul: Looked bald if you just in a flash from the darkness, and I just ... even before I was able to say boo, I remember him sort of yelping, like a really weird scream. I've never heard a guy do this. It was like a howl almost, and he went back, his eyes rolled back in his head. He did a 360 against his desk and then he fell backwards onto his bed, and his towel fell off. So then I got scared, and so, yeah that's how it all started.

Amanda: That's wonderful. I really, really like that. It's true dedication to creeping your friends out. It's very on brand.

Paul: The funny part is I did that once every two days after that, because I realized how much fun it was, and our roommates would howl just hearing him scream. And he got better at not screaming, and it sort of got conditioned towards it. And so I guess he wanted to get me back, and one day my roommate rolls his eyes, and he goes, "Hey, maybe," he sent me on some stupid errand in my room, and I could tell he didn't want to do it. So I went to my room, and in my bay window I could see the silhouette of my roommate Handel just standing there with his arms above his head waiting to scare me. He didn't realize the ... his silhouette would show through the curtains.

Amanda: Oh my goodness.

Paul: So I grabbed one of my boots and I just chucked it at him, and then I hear this ow. You got ... You suck as a ghost, and then I realized one day I'm going to write a story about a funny ghost or a really screwed up ghost.

Amanda: I think throwing boots at ghosts is probably the best method of getting rid of them.

Paul: Right? Yeah.

Amanda: It's a proving exorcism quality.

Paul: Exactly.

Amanda: That's awesome.

Paul: And then when I got to high school teaching, I realized, "Ooh I got this gift of telling stories, sort of extemporaneously, and it's great because I don't have to lesson plan then on a Halloween. So if I had my English kids in it became a thing with ... every Halloween it became this thing after ... over 12 years, it's called the hour of horror, where all these kids from other classes would pack my classroom. And every Halloween no matter what they'd all brace themselves. Okay, this is all bullshit. Mr. Bray's about to tell us an hour of bullshit. Don't fall for it. And then every year I would still hook them, and convince them that this ... there's fucked up things in this world. And so the first year was ghosts-

Amanda: That's awesome.

Paul: Next year was demons, next year was weird things in our school.

Julia: Oh dang.

Paul: The last school-

Julia: And you got to change it up because students talk to each other, and they will pass on last years final, and they also pass on last years Halloween story.

Paul: Well the funny thing is the last school I taught at Templeton, that I told these ghost stories at, I told the story about someone, one of the kids ... something happened on the third floor girls bathroom. And I've never been in that girls bathroom, but I took a guess because it's a public school. You guys ever been up there, ladies do you know, do the lights flicker? They're like, "Oh yeah." I'm like, "Yeah right?" So just a good guess.

Julia: Yeah it's a public school. We know.

Paul: Yeah and I go, "You know how there's never enough toilet paper?" And they're like, "Oh my God yes." I'm like, "Yeah okay, good." So, I just make up shit, and I'm like, "You know how there's a bunch ... There's a middle stall?" I don't know how many stalls there were, but apparently everyone knew what the middle stall was. And you know that really creepy stall?

Julia: There's always a middle.

Paul: And they all sort of ... There could've been two stalls, and they ... But there's something about a group dynamic where they look at each other, and go, "Oh yeah, we know what you're talking about." So that was kind of fun, and then I guess I told them a story, but every year at the end of the hour I would always say, "And by the way, not a word of what I said was true." Then they'd all go, "Oh, a lot of fun. Happy Halloween." Go off on your way.

But one year, so the grade nine class, the bell went, and I forgot to do that last part.

Julia: No.

Paul: And it was a Friday, so on the Monday I got into school and my principle was so upset at me, because she played me all these voice messages from angry parents whose kids were really upset about all these stories. I don't know if you remember, there's a Black Tapes episode about how to conjure demons, and there's this librarian who has a lot of fun saying the names of the demons. And it says, "You don't even have to say it, just think these names and they'll just come up." Isn't this a lot of fun? And the character's based on me and what I did to the classroom, because I would say ... I would do it, and these kids are putting their fingers in their ears and going, "la la la la." Anyway.

Amanda: Wow in high school too.

Julia: Oh boy. Those influential freshmen, because grade nine is freshmen year for us in the U.S., and oh man, I'm just thinking about how freaked out I would've been as a 14 year old. That would've been bad.

Amanda: That would've been in the lore that's passed along to you when you go from middle school to high school. Right? Where they're like, oh yeah, I know this teachers really bad, and gym class the volleyball tournament is the worst, and oh yeah, no Mr. Bays Halloween, you got to be there.

Paul: Yeah, it's fun ... If you go to the Facebook Templeton group, the Templeton High School, there's an old thread that popped up said, "Is our school haunted?" And then all these stories were the stories I had told, but I had left teaching already. And then one of my former-

Amanda: Yeah.

Paul: One of my students, her names Julia, she went on, she goes, "Lol, I was in that class. Mr. Bay makes these up every year." And then I thought she was going to win the battle, but then other kids way younger says, "No, no, no, this goes way beyond before Mr. Bay. It started in the 1950's," and they're taking my stories and re-contextualizing them, and mythologizing them.

Amanda: We don't often hear about the origin of urban legends, but this is it.

Julia: Yeah you quite literally created some that's amazing.

Paul: Yeah, because I was too lazy to do a lesson plan for Halloween.

Julia: That's such a good reason to have an urban legend. So good.

Paul: Every great thing in society that lasts stems from laziness, our technology. I don't want to mail a thing, let's create a digital email thing. Everything stems from laziness, including stories.

Julia: That checks out. I like it. We're too lazy to convince our children to go sleep so we tell them stories so that they'll go to sleep anyway. I like that a lot. Wow, no, that was so good. I ... Let me think, I have another question I'm sure, unless you have one Amanda then go for it.

Amanda: No I mean I'm almost curious to hear some of the stories that you think are the most perfectly constructed urban legends. What creeps you out?

Paul: Remember the ... I don't if you remember this TV show that was on ABC called That's Incredible, and it was-

Amanda: No I don't think so.

Paul: Early found footage stuff. It was almost like the Guinness ... It was like part Guinness Book of World Records, and they would show this guy can grow his beard to 20 feet, and show the video footage, and we'd be like, "Oh." This was the ... I think late 70's, and so I remember watching these, but then they showed the ... probably the first security camera footage I'd ever seen in my life, and there was a notorious ... I want to say Missouri, but there's this Toys R' Us store. Toys R' Us, I'm pretty sure it's St. Louis, and it has a security camera and apparently these children ghosts haunt the aisles of this Toys R' Us. So they set it up really creepily, but then again I was 10 years old or whatever. So it scared me, and it shows a tricycle going across the aisle. And it's all creepy black and white grainy footage, dolls starting up. You remember those old monkey dolls playing the drums.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Amanda: Yeah no good. I'm out.

Paul: A whole section of them started playing.

Julia: Oh my God.

Amanda: And this is pre-furby too. Furbies were the worst for me in that regard.

Julia: Yeah, that's a whole thing.

Amanda: Throw them down the stairs, oh yeah.

Paul: Yeah, that kind of stuff gets to me. Also Koreans have a lot of urban legends that make it into the North American context. So one of my favorite stories ever involved ... And it makes sense for Korean kids, because it's if you say it in ... The first time I said it, I said it in the Korean way, and my own students in Vancouver were like, "What are you talking about? Why were they in a high school on a weekend? Who studies on a weekend in a high school?" So the story goes where it's like you know the two chemistry students, they need to study for their big entrance exams for university. The teacher ... their favorite teacher let's them into the high school on a Saturday. So they're there and they're goofing around, and then all of a sudden that night this woman, this girl that they ... this very pretty girl taps on the outside window, and she said she needs help and she's sick.

Amanda: Nope.

Paul: Right? That kind of thing, and then she walks away into the fog. And then as they get back to studying and they're teasing the guy, you should've asked for a number, they realize, oh my God, we're on the third floor. That kind of thing, right?

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: Those are my favorite.

Paul: Yeah, but I hated it when I ... I remember the first time I told it, I included it in my hour of horror for one of my classes, and it was grade eight. And they're like, "Why are they there on a Saturday? Where was the teacher? That's so irresponsible."

Julia: You'll understand when you do it yourself.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: You're fine. You'll get there. Oh man, yeah that reminds me there's a lot of just really good Japanese urban legends that I'm obsessed with, and a lot of them are focused around schools, and haunted bathrooms, and just that sort of general kids being haunted by ghosts of other kids. And I just I love that so much. It's one of my favorites

Paul: I've got one, a Japanese urban legend ... Not, sort of like a Japanese myth that I made up based on something historically that happened in Japan, and I got this amazing Japanese actress that I just cast an hour ago for the Big Loop.

Julia: There we go.

Paul: Right, so I ... You'll ... It'll be the first episode of season two.

Julia: Okay.

Paul: So just remember this conversation when you hear it. You'll be like, "Oh that's the on Paul was talking about."

Julia: I will not ask for spoilers, but if you want to give us some we won't be mad about it.

Paul: That's okay.

Julia: All right.

Amanda: Yeah as theater kids the mystic of weekends at school was totally gone for me. I was almost relieved to be at school on a weekend, because there would be other kids around and it was like, oh finally I can get here early and get some work done. Oh come on.

Julia: Amanda constantly doing work when she doesn't need to since 2006.

Amanda: Yeah there abouts.

Julia: Round about there.

Paul: Well both of you have been involved in so many podcasts.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: We do. We do so many things.

Amanda: I know when I left work today I said to my boss, "All right, on to my other job." And he was like, "Didn't you just record?" And I was like, "I never stop recording podcasts."

Julia: We're always recording.

Amanda: It never ends.

Julia: That's our urban legend. We're going to only become voices in the future. One day our physical bodies will just disappear and then it'll just be our ghost voices.

Paul: Oh that's-

Amanda: Yeah maybe-

Julia: That's creepy now that I say it.

Paul: Yeah.

Amanda: Or perhaps, we have to keep talking in order to retain our physical forms, and so we just have to keep coming up with stuff to talk about or else our bodies will slowly dissipate.

Julia: Like sharks, but voices.

Paul: Have you ever had a dream where it slowly revealed that you're the ghost in the dream?

Amanda: No.

Julia: No Paul, that's not a thing that we've had before, but please tell us.

Paul: Oh God, I remember one of the most ... I get a lot of very vivid dreams.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative) me too.

Paul: And there very ... Well I read them symbolically after the fact, but this one dream, it wasn't symbolic at all, just a fucked up dream. I remember watching this family, I guess it was an open house. I had the feeling I'm in an open house, and I'm staring ... I'm sitting here in this second floor overlooking this massive foyer with a chandelier in front of me looking down at these people looking at this open house. I'm like okay, and it's a dream so I'm not questioning why I'm there, because I don't know it's a dream.

And these people start coming up and they're looking around, and I'm thinking, okay, well they're getting closer to me. Why can't I move? And they get closer and they're inspecting the walls. And this one gentlemen gets closer and closer, I'm like ... I'm thinking, he's very uncomfortable close to me, and not even acknowledging my existence. And then he starts looking around me, and as if he noticed something. I'm like, oh what's he looking at? Is something behind me? And I couldn't ... I couldn't move. And he gets right in front of me, and as he's looking around he's sort of staring at my face, but he's getting uncomfortably close, and I'm like, why is he staring at me? So I move forward but it felt like my face was going through a water barrier, through a barrier. And as I soon as I popped through that barrier, his eyes went wide, and he screamed. And he just took off, and I'm like, I was crying. I remember thinking why did he do that? And after a while ... But I woke up I realized, oh my God, that was ghost dream. I'm the ghost. I have my own sixth sense thing.

Julia: Oh my God.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: That is intense.

Amanda: That is so cool.

Paul: That was one of the greatest dreams I've ever had.

Amanda: The sensory detail. Wow.

Julia: Like I'm just so blown away ... I'm blown away by that. But Amanda.

Amanda: I know, I love ... We talk often about liminal spaces, and how that kind of border ... I mean that's where all urban legends live, is the border between the seen and the unseen, and the real and the maybe not real. And I love particularly that really physical aspect that your brain supplied of ... Because ghosts must feel something, or experience something when they move from the invisible to the visible. Oh, that's just so cool.

Paul: Yeah, I remember playing with that space with my eyeball. Trying to get as close as possible while staying in that zone where it's just my eyeball. Do you know what I mean?

Amanda: You're such a good investigator even as a ghost in a dream.

Paul: Yeah. I've wanted so badly to have that dream again, or a sequel to it, and I haven't been able to do it.

Julia: Oh yeah, that's ... It's always hard to ... I can think of so many dreams where I was like, oh okay, I really liked that dream. And then I wake up, and I'm like, no I can go back to sleep and get in from where I started. And it never works out the way I want it to. I got to get better at the ... You can supposedly train yourself to do ... What's it called Amanda when you influence the dream.

Amanda: Lucid dreaming.

Julia: Lucid dreaming. I can't do it though. I've tried so many times, but oh I wish I could.

Paul: My friend George trained himself to do it.

Amanda: Wow.

Paul: He's one of my roommates from McGill, and I asked him how he did it, and he said in his real life, his waking life, he'll look at something and he look away from it, then he'll look back at it. And he does that regularly. I don't know if he does that anymore, but back then he did so that when he's dreaming it's a habit. He'll look at something, look away, look back and if it's gone he automatically knows I'm now dreaming.

Julia: Oh interesting.

Amanda: Ooh.

Paul: And he's probably the smartest guy I've ever met. So he could do it. I tried it but I think it lasted five minutes where I'm like, okay look, look away, look, hey look, what's on TV? Or what's on ...

Amanda: Yeah, reminds me of a totem right, where it's something that you know how it acts in the physical world, but in the dream world the rules are different. Oh man, I wish. I don't really remember my dreams at all, which is nice for just turning off and going to just resting. But it is pretty wild, whenever I think too hard about the brain. I'm like, okay so if I can think about my brain then what am I? What is doing the thinking? The fact that we don't really know how dreams work, and we spend a third of our lives in that space ... Human beings are crazy.

So outside of dreams do you have any IRL, paranormal urban legend experiences.

Paul: Yeah, I got tons.

Julia: Hit us with your favorite first.

Paul: My favorite one, okay so ...

Julia: Or the weirdest. We'll take either. Those are both good.

Paul: I remember in, I think it was grade 12, grade 11 or grade 12, I came home and I did the usual. I walked through the front door, and I said, "Hey mom," and I heard "Hey." And then I went and did my normal thing. And maybe about 20 minutes later, or half an hour later I yelled out to my mom, "Is there anything to eat?" And no one answered. I went looking for her. She wasn't there. The house was empty. So I got the sneaking suspicion. So I called my mom at her work not expecting her to be there because I thought she was in the house, and she answered. And this was on the other side of town. I said, "Hey mom, did you leave the house after I came home?" She goes, "I've been working all day." And "Is grandma home? Is she visiting from Toronto?" She goes, "No. No ones there." So I grabbed my baseball bat and I remember looking around the house everywhere. And then my brother came to the front door, and he goes, "What the hell are you doing? I could see you from the sidewalk walking up looking around like a maniac with a baseball bat." I told him what happened. He goes, "Dude that happened to me recently too." So he grabbed a golf club, and we went looking everywhere in the house, and nothing.

But this house was really weird. All my friends swear we lived in a haunted house, because when we first purchased this house ... Do you use the term crawl space in the States?

Julia: Yeah, that's a thing.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: It's not quite a basement.

Paul: Exactly right, you got to crouch in, and it was a huge crawl space. Took up half the house, and I remember when were looking to purchase the house, when you walk in on the left hand side in the middle of nowhere against a wall was a five foot by five foot room with it's own roof, inside the crawl space. And it had a door that could only open in, and it had a little sauna bench, and it freaked us out. If you closed it ... If you're in the inside and you closed it, there's no lock, but there's no door handle on the inside, so there's not way to open it for you. You're trapped.

Julia: Yeah that sounds like a murder room Paul.

Paul: Right?

Julia: That sounds like a murder room.

Paul: It's really weird. So my dad didn't like it so when we bought the house my dad, my brother and me tore it down. We just tore it to pieces, and I remember that outline was always still there. And I would always joke, if we dug a little deeper I bet we'd find a teddy bear in the cement. Right? I'd always joke and try to freak out my brother. Anyways, one day we got our first ouija board, and we played with it in the rec room right by the entrance to that crawl space, and it fucking worked.

Julia: Oh no.

Paul: It worked because I was asking it historical questions, and my brother ... I don't want to say he's not a good student, but he ... he just doesn't know history, right?

Julia: Sure, sure.

Amanda: He has other strengths.

Paul: Yeah exactly, and I ask it, where did you die? Poland. When? 1943. And then I looked at my brother, and I'm like when was World War II? And he goes, "1977." I'm like, okay, okay. He says-

Julia: Not right, but okay.

Paul: Yeah, so I'm like, okay so it's not him messing around. It was so smooth. I remember our fingers barely touching it, and it almost moved on its own. So there was a lot of that kind of stuff.

Julia: My question is, why was a ghost of in Poland here in your house?

Paul: My guess is it jumped aboard a ship, and somehow made its way across to escape he war.

Julia: Maybe it was embodying some sort of physical object that ended up in the house, or something like that.

Amanda: Ooh interesting.

Julia: Exactly that was my thought too. It kind of can manifest.

Paul: Well I didn't even think about that. So thank God you and I weren't friends at the time or else I would've burnt down that house.

Julia: It's that teddy bear that you never found.

Paul: Oh there it is.

Amanda: Oh no.

Paul: The crazy part is the house I live in now, thinking back to that episode, I wrote this little story that went semi viral about a haunted high school, and the big conclusion involved the room that looked exactly like that. And on the inside of the door there were fingernail marks, and they found dry fingernails in the cement, and that kind of stuff, right.

Amanda: Always good.

Julia: Yikes.

Paul: Right, that was pretty good.

Julia: No big deal.

Paul: So we bought the house, we're about to buy the house, and they had a crawl space, and it had ... And that exact door, from the story.

Julia: What? Canada why?

Amanda: In the house you bought? Canada what are you doing? Canada get it together.

Paul: My wife ended up making me get rid of that room, and we renovated.

Julia: Well yeah, one would hope.

Amanda: Yeah. She sounds smart.

Paul: So that's probably my favorite one, just because it involves my brother and me. I like stories that involve my brother and me doing these types of things.

Amanda: Because he's easier to freak out than you.

Paul: Used to be. Now nothing scares him, and it's because of me. Nothing. Nothing scares that guy.

Amanda: You desensitized him.

Paul: I remember in grade ... I think it was first year university I was back for the summer, and I went ... the rec room downstairs was now his room. He was in senior high school. I came downstairs on a late Friday night or Saturday. I remember from the outside the TV lights were on, but every other light was off. And he was watching The Exorcist by himself with all the lights off. I'm like, "What are you doing?" And he goes, "This movie used to scare me. It's really funny now." And so, to this day he hasn't seen a movie that scares him from that time.

Amanda: That's impressive.

Paul: Yeah.

Amanda: I will give him credit. That is pretty cool.

Julia: I think you're good brother.

Paul: Yeah I take all the credit for it, really.

Julia: As well you should.

Amanda: As a true sibling would. Yeah.

Julia: All right so what's the experience that freaked you out the most? Just given that you've had a bunch of paranormal experiences. What's the one that to this day scared the crap out of you?

Paul: So after my divorce in the late 90's I was in a messed up place, and I'm a guy who likes camping by himself. I did that ... I've done that my whole adult life. I just go out for five days at a time, find a very remote location, and back in my Christian days I would set out there and just feel God's presence. That kind of thing, right. I was very into that kind of thing. When I divorced I was an Atheist. So I'm like ... But the habit of going outside still was in me, so I drove from Vancouver, and my plan was just keep driving until I find a spot, where I can be alone for five days. And I ended up in the Northern ... what is that? The Redwood forests, Smith River national forest, or Smith River State forest, on the Northern California coastline. And the ranger told me, "Oh you're in luck. It's pouring rain of course, so you go the whole park to yourself, there's not a single human being in this whole park except you.

Julia: I don't know if that's luck.

Amanda: So you turned around and-

Julia: Ranger Rick-

Amanda: Went home.

Paul: So I was really happy about that. So I went in. I remember driving to the most remote location in that park, I set up camp, and at night I saw one of those swinging lanterns. You know those old fashioned lanterns?

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: No, no, no, no, no.

Paul: It just swung along a path. So I'm like well fuck me. So I grab my hatchet. I grab the knife that I put in my waist pocket thing, and I grabbed my flashlight, and I walk all the way towards where the lantern was, because I had the ... There was no way I'm going to sleep knowing that's out there. You know what I mean? It was too late to drive away, and I was drunk by this point, because I'd been drinking by myself. So I'm like, what am I going to do? Just wait in my tent. Because he knows where I am, because I had a fire going. So I'm like, I have to go to him. So I went all the way to where I saw the light, which was maybe a half kilometer. And I remember walking, and trudging away, and it was super dark, it was super rainy, and I remember halfway thinking, hey this is ... Is this really my best option right now?

Julia: No. No it wasn't

Paul: And the rain was stopping. I remember the sound of the bushes nearby, and I'm like, oh fuck me. Come on. So I just started yelling, "Come on." Just trying to scare the guy.

Julia: Oh my God.

Paul: Because if you think about it, to me this guy was a psycho, but maybe to him I was the psycho right?

Amanda: You were just in the forest by yourself. So if I came across someone camping in the middle of the forest at night, I would assume that they were crazy. But that's just me.

Paul: Yeah, right? It's pouring rain. I got a huge hatchet in my hand, a knife in my belt on the other side.

Amanda: Someone's going to murder someone.

Paul: Exactly. So it was nothing. I kept walking. I saw a camp ... a empty camp spot where the lantern was. It was the last camp spot, but there was no tent, and there was no person. I'm like, oh fuck, there's a ghost. That was my drunk thinking. So I went back to my tent, I slept with my hatchet. I didn't get much sleep that night, because every little noise kept me ... stirred me awake.

Amanda: Oh I bet.

Paul: The next day I'm fly fishing out on the river, and this guy from this other side where there's zero access, and he's in army fatigues, he comes bursting through the bushes, and he's like ... It was him. I'm like ... He's like, dude. Is that you camping up there? I'm like, "where are you from?" He goes, "I'm camping way up there," and he's pointing. I'm like, "Were you walking around with a lantern." He goes, "Yeah, were you walking around with a flashlight." I'm like, "yes." And we both started laughing our asses off. We had scared the shit out of each other, and that burst of bushes I heard was him running away from me.

Amanda: Oh my goodness.

Paul: He saw some psycho with a hatchet maybe ... screaming. I didn't know I was screaming. But he said I was yelling, "Come on fucker."

Amanda: Oh my goodness.

Paul: So we ... That's one of the funniest things that's ever happened to me ... It was scary the night before, but the next day was really, really funny.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: So in my head I was like, do not follow that lantern. It is a will of the wisp. It is going to walk you off a cliff and then you're going to die at the bottom of that cliff. So I would never follow the light.

Amanda: And I thought that when you saw the army man again, that he would be the ghost, and he would be like, "Oh yeah, how's Korea going, or Vietnam," or something, and you'd be like, "Oh."

Paul: Can I be really honest with you two? I do not believe in ghosts at all.

Julia: Okay.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: That's fair.

Paul: So that's stuff doesn't scare me at all. Probably the scariest thing where I thought well I could've ... That was the closest call I've ever had was that same week, it was daytime, it was after that incident, so I was really happy. So I'm ... And I'm hungover and I'm walking towards this new trail that I found towards a river, and there was bear right there. I turned a corner, there was a bear.

Julia: Oh dang.

Paul: A big black bear, and right away I thought, oh fuck. So this is where I'm going to die. I didn't tell anyone where I was. I'm going to be one of those missing people that you hear about, and then in my mind starting racing, do I have my plates on? Will they be able to trace my body through my plates? You know you're ... When you're thinking about how you're going to die, all these weird things go in your head? And then I remember turning to my right, and I grabbed a bunch of leaves, and I started eating them. Just gently eating the leaves, and then the bear ignored me and just continued on its way. He's like, what the fuck? I don't eat Korean food, too spicy.

Amanda: Wow.

Paul: So he just kept going. He just kept going, and I ran back to my car. And I remember laughing because in my pure panic of maybe being torn apart by a bear, I'd accidentally accessed a memory of watching a national geographic special of mountain silver back gorillas, and the researcher said if you want to survive an attack, eat leaves to show that you're not confrontational. So-

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: Whoa.

Paul: So in my panic memory, I mixed up gorillas and bears, and at all these leaves.

Julia: I mean it still worked out for you.

Amanda: It still seemed to work.

Paul: Yeah it worked. I think it just ... I think bears just generally avoid humans. So I think that's what was going on, but in my head it was ... that was ... that's way scarier than any ghost to me. That still effects my behavior to this day.

Amanda: Paul I have a question for you that is asked out of love?

Paul: Okay.

Amanda: Why do you think you are this way? What did love as a child? What did you read? What did you watch? Where do you think this comes from?

Paul: I think I'm a bit extreme in terms of ... or at least I used to be. When I thought something was the truth, I would pursue it to its logical extent. So when at 18 years old, when I converted to Christianity I went whole hog. I read the bible five times. I woke up ... I became a morning person, and that was one thing that happened-

Amanda: Right.

Paul: Because I thought, well you should pray to my maker to start the day, and I became one of those guys. And then when I became an Atheist, I was like, well there's nothing. So might as well just experience everything. But the one thing that stuck with me, there was this one teacher, John Gibson who taught me how to fly fish.

Amanda: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul: Because he knew I liked camping by myself. Well if you're going to be out there, might as well do something instead of drinking by the fire all night by myself.

Julia: That's fair.

Amanda: Fair. Fair.

Paul: It's creepy. I'm like, it's good, and he taught me that. So I don't know. It's just my way of ... A lot of people, you get the sense that life is not that long at all, it's really, really short. And so I try to squeeze as much out of each day. I know it sounds trite, but I really do try to squeeze as much out of each day. I'm one of those guys-

Amanda: Right.

Paul: That if I have to do something that I really don't enjoy, it takes a lot out of me, more than the average person I think. I don't do well doing stuff I don't want to do.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: Oh man.

Amanda: And so is this the thrill of the bodily thrill, and the adrenaline, and stuff of telling scary stories, is that something that you really liked about them?

Paul: I think I ... There was an entertainer part of me, so I think I like watching people being entertained, because when I was a stand up comedian instead of scary stories I just told funny stories, and that ... I just ... I got as much a thrill out of that, right, watching hundreds of people laughing at something I said was the same thrill as making dozens of students freak out over a scary story that I thought of.

Julia: Sure.

Amanda: Right, very Monsters Inc. of you.

Paul: Yeah, the sucky thing about podcasts is that I make these stories with Terry, but I can't see the reaction.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Right.

Paul: Except on Twitter sometimes, but it's not the same thing as the live feedback.

Julia: Yeah, I feel that.

Speaker 4: Yeah. That's why I like talking to guests, and also reading listener urban legends because it's sort of the opposite dynamic where I listen to my favorite hosts react to various things, and I react to them laughing and whatever on the podcasts that I really like. But here, audiences can hear us react to their grandma's scary story, which I think is pretty neat.

Paul: Yeah the only feedback I get, because my wife won't listen to the Black Tapes, she doesn't like scary stories at all. She loves the Big Loop, and she's glad it's not scary. But Black Tapes she refused to listen to. So the only real thrill I get in the writing of it is when I'm at the dining table with Terry, and we'll sit there, and I'll think of something scary, and I'll watch his eyes, he'll be like, "Oh my God," and he'll tag it with something scary. And then we'll high five over it. Right.

Julia: The best reaction to scary things.

Paul: And that's it, and then we have to sit down and write it. And that's okay, but it's not as fun as the thrill of the first part.

Julia: The immediate reaction.

Paul: Yeah, because Black Tapes is a different writing animal than The Big Loop, right.

Julia: Right.

Amanda: Right.

Paul: The Black Tapes I'm just purely trying to entertain with that one.

Julia: Absolutely. Oh that makes a lot of sense. So, I'm going to request a story from you just because it's one of my favorites that I read. Would you mind telling us if you want just a shorter version of the Christian Cult story?

Paul: Oh my God. Yes.

Julia: Please, please. It's my favorite, and I don't know if Amanda's read it yet, but it's very, very good.

Amanda: I have not read it, but Julia, I think if I'm going to hear this I'm going to need a refill.

Julia: Absolutely.

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Julia: Oh that is amazing. Is there any weird cost structure, or limits to it? No there is not. It is unlimited data backed up, at that fixed price. So, all you have to do is go to Backblaze.com/spirits, get that 15 day free trial, and try it out.

Amanda: Absolutely. So thank you Backblaze. We're excited to welcome you to the show, and thank you for keeping my data safe.

Julia: So you know what's just as cool as keeping data safe Amanda?

Amanda: I don't know is it learning and stuff?

Julia: Yeah, it is learning and stuff and that's why-

Amanda: Yes.

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Amanda: Why you got to call me out like that Julia? I know nothing about wine.

Julia: So if listener you are like Amanda and you go to a wine store, and you have no clue what you're looking for ... I feel like I'm putting you on blast a little bit here.

Amanda: Yeah I walk in and I'm like, I don't know. Are there any gay labels. I guess I'll get that one.

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Amanda: That sounds awesome. I think I'm going to have to enroll, and if you all want to take this class with me, you can go to Skillshare.com/spirits to get two months of unlimited access to their more than 20, 000 classes for just 99 cents.

Julia: Do you know what definitely costs more than 99 cents Amanda?

Amanda: Any bottle of wine.

Julia: Correct.

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Amanda: It's awesome. So thank you Skillshare. Thank you again to Backblaze, and now let's get back to the show.

Paul: Yeah, the cult story. In 1992 I was a youth pastor for the United Church of Canada in Vancouver for Korean congregation, and we had a separate congregation. So I was in charge of all the teenagers and college students. And the ... My parents generation were upstairs. They had an education department, and the education person she said, "You know, we want to train you to be a better youth pastor, leader. We want to send you to this retreat in California while they'll train your leadership skills." I'm like, "Yeah, you guys are going pay ... That's cool. I'll do it." So I go down, and right away it was weird because one of my friends John from another church in Vancouver was there, and then two other Vancouver people. And then they made us change vans about four times on the way to where we were going.

Julia: Uh-oh.

Paul: So that's already a red flag, right.

Julia: Uh-oh. Never go to second location, never get into a second van.

Paul: Yeah, and it was really odd. And the guy was, his personality was a bit off. You know when you meet someone, you can't put your finger on it, but they're just a bit off right? They're looking at you a bit too much in the face.

Julia: Uh-oh.

Paul: I don't like direct eye contact with strangers. It throws me off. We get there, I remember there was this ... a double line, like a human corridor of people with these Hawaiian leis, and these guitars, and they're singing the song called De Colores in Spanish. So they're all Korean. These Korean Christians singing a Spanish song holding Hawaiian lies. So, very multicultural. But at the same time very freaky. And I go down off the bus, and they lay it on me over my head, and they're like, we love you, we love you. And I hear that for a minute. We get into the big auditorium, it's very weird. I get into my room, unpack, there's love notes everywhere. Like, we love you Paul. God has sent you here. And I'm like, oh okay, this is a little fucked up, but whatever. I get into the thing, and the message is a bit off, and I was always wary of cultish behavior, because I grew up in the 70's and the 80's so there was a lot of cults on the news.

Julia: Yeah, I was going to say.

Amanda: Crime era.

Julia: You were in the golden age of cults.

Paul: Yeah, exactly. So that was in my head. I was VP of fraternity, Delta Cap Epsilon, and we ran purposely mind altering initiations to make them weak, to depend on you, and actually do the initiation. I left the frat later on, but I remember running those things, and knowing purposely, they cover the windows, take away their watches, just disorient their sense of time, make them dependent on you and they will do anything you want. And that most frats ... I don't know if they do it anymore but that's what frats did. It's pretty despicable. So when I saw it happening to me, like all the windows covered, they make me take off my watch, I was like, well this is fucked up.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Ooh the watch is really bad, yeah.

Paul: And the other three Canadians and me slowly started to complain, Hey, how come you guys tell us not to bring our bibles? Why do you tell us to not take our watches? And we became sort of an issue for them. I guess they're not used to people complaining, and then I remember the first night got back to my room, and someone had been through all my stuff, all my clothes were folded out of my bag into the drawers. I had a love note on my pillow saying, "Hey Paul," ... My underwear was folded. They folded my underwear.

Amanda: Oh no.

Paul: Into a drawer. My toothbrush was out onto the toothbrush holder. It was ... They'd been through everything it was obvious, and-

Amanda: Stay.

Paul: It was so weird, and that was one of the creepiest things I've ever experienced. So I was really angry, and so the next day going into it I let my displeasure be known with the higher ups. And I guess every single thing I did after that they would follow me, and it was always these big muscular Korean guys that would just follow me. Like I got to go to the bathroom. They go, okay. Then a big muscular Korean guy would escort me to the bathroom, and watch me from the back as I'm at the ... You know, that kind of thing. Really creepy. Then they said, okay ... Then they really, really indoctrinated people into the reality of angels and demons fighting over our heads. They meant literally, angels and demons are fighting a war over our heads outside of this auditorium, and the only reason the can't get in the auditorium is because the power of our prayer. And everyone's like really into this, nodding, and praying, and whispering in Korean. I'm looking at the other three, and they're looking at me like, we're all like, we got to get the fuck out of here. And then we ... They said we're going to go to the other prayer auditorium. I'm like, okay here we go.

Amanda: No. No, no, no. Second location.

Julia: That's now a third location, which is not good.

Amanda: Uh-oh.

Paul: Oh this one was really creepy, because it was nighttime and when we left there was again the corridor, the double row of humans, Koreans with flashlights sort of over our heads. So if you imagine a lit archway, lit ... They're holding the flashlights with two hands over their heads, and they're bowed in prayer. And he said, I'm going to ... The pastor Kim, David Kim ... I'll never forget his name. He ended up being a cult leader later on. He's-

Julia: Later on? He wasn't one now?

Paul: No that was the beginning. That was-

Amanda: This was just his warmup cult Julia.

Julia: Oh okay.

Paul: That was ... yeah, that was college cult. He hasn't been called up to the pros yet. He's going to create a corridor of prayer for us and protect us angels and demons fought. And he even said something stupid like, "Don't look up while you're walking, because if you look up you might see a demon trying to reach" ... You know, really stupid shit. And I'm thinking, this is amateur ghost time, ghost story time, because even as a ghost story it's not fun, or scary. So we're going through and all these people are praying, whispering, and speaking in tongues, as we're walking through them. And we get to this auditorium, and every three or four seats had a box of tissue. I'm like, oh fuck me. This is ... Here we go. And my friend is like, what? What do you think is going to happen? I'm like, well they're going to ... I've seen this kind of thing. They're going to start bringing up people, and they're going to tell real stories about their families experience with cancer, and suicide, and all these ... Think of the saddest that had happen. They're going to tell these stories and it's all going to end with Jesus save me. And we're going to cry, and then he's going to distort the message, and make us do something, right?

Julia: Right, after the physical disorientation to make the ... your experience of the stories that much more ... I don't know, enrapturing.

Paul: Exactly. They're going to widdle you down as they have been, and then they're finally going to make you emotionally dependent, and feel this great outpouring of love.

Julia: Right.

Paul: For each other, and make us all into this brother, sisterhood thing. So, and that's exactly what happened. And then by the end, everyone's weeping except us four Canadians. And the guy at the front, the David Kim comes out with this backlit thing. So you couldn't even see him, he just had his hands outstretched like Jesus, and saying just praying, but he never said in Jesus name, he said pray, come to me, and it was really weird.

Amanda: Uh-oh.

Paul: Yeah so that's the night we said, we got to get the fuck out of here. So we went back to our dorms and we'd forgotten that they changed the combo to get into the building every day.

Amanda: Oh no.

Paul: And the quiet one among us, her ... I could say her name, Jiung. She was the quiet one among us, she slowly makes her way through the three guys, and goes, do do do do do. She'd been watching the code quietly. So she's-

Amanda: Oh my God. Yeah.

Julia: The mainframe.

Paul: She didn't have much contribution during the whole time except her quiet dignity. The three guys, we're always panicking and getting angry, and she would calm us down. Like, hey guys, just shhh, just ... Let's just watch for a bit. Right, and finally at the end when we really needed someone with skills, she's like do do do do do. It was awesome. We ran-

Julia: That's your climax in the movie version of this.

Paul: Oh it was too good. So we got in and we met at the back of the building, and we started running for the fence. We got to the fence, helped each other up, and we didn't know where we were. So we're just in a field. So we just ran across a field, and it was like forever. Probably, 10 minutes, 20 minutes max. Ended up at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, and it's one of those gas stations where it's ... It's like ... It looked like Iowa, what you imagine Iowa to be with a lit gas station on one side of lot.

Amanda: Yeah.

Paul: And a telephone booth in the far corner. Right? And so we went to the phone booth. I called my cousin. She goes, "Where are you?" I'm like, "I don't know." So we had to send my friend Dennis all the way to the station to ask where are we, and he comes hopping it back, tell us. And my cousin's like, "What the fuck? What are you doing out there?" So it took her two hours to drive out to wherever we were. I think-

Amanda: Good cousin.

Paul: Yeah, she's great right. So she picked us up, and that was it. Then I met ... Through that I met my other cousin who put us up, who was the first woman in California to pass the U.S. Marines Motorcycle Safety Test. She was a kick ass-

Julia: Whoa.

Paul: This whole week was a week of kick ass women for us.

Julia: Yeah, apparently.

Paul: Yeah, and the three of us were just these angry emotional guys, and we're not going to take it.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: Saved by all the ladies in your life. I like that.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: What happened to pastor Kim though? What was his adult cult?

Paul: So this ... I didn't have ... I don't think there was internet at the time, so I don't remember seeing that. I just remember my friend sending me a news clipping from Los Angeles, years later about him getting in trouble, and he had to go back to Korea or something like that.

Julia: Oh dang.

Paul: Yeah, it was-

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: Kicking people out of a country is real.

Paul: Korea is ... Well, Korea's got the most Christian cults per capita of any other industrialized nation.

Julia: Really?

Paul: Yeah, there's so many Christians in Korea, but there's so many Korean cults because of that.

Julia: Wow. Whoa that's so interesting.

Amanda: Wow I had no idea. Yeah, I want to know more about those.

Paul: Yeah, I'm sure someone out there has done a paper.

Julia: Oh for sure.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: That was really, really good. There was so many good stories in there. I'm kind of overwhelmed by the amount of just excellent story telling that just happened.

Paul: Well, you know what the crazy part is, I've always wanted to write this, but whenever I write it, it's like, yeah but it's not dangerous. None of it was every dangerous or anything. It was just me getting mad. That's the whole story.

Julia: It was just scary and not super dangerous, but also upsetting. So I understand.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: You can do it into an emotional suspense thriller kind of thing.

Paul: Yeah, I think if you had never grown up around religion the way I have, it might strike you as scary. The sense of having no power in a situation, that was frustrating.

Julia: Right.

Amanda: Right.

Paul: And then when they said we can't leave. That was really frustrating, but at no point were any of us scared. We were just full of rage. That was it. What they were doing to the bible, what they were doing to these kids that were our age, yeah.

Amanda: Right.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: I guess that could an interesting beginning to a narrative though where then you see those people pop again, or other churches start doing one of those behaviors. There could be some kind of slow spread of this bad ideology, or maybe a ghost.

Paul: Oh the guy who drove the van, the one that picked us up, he moved to Vancouver, and I ran into a bunch of times.

Julia: Oh my God.

Amanda: No.

Paul: It was ... I always made sustained eye contact with him whenever I walked by him.

Julia: Like, I know who you are, motherfucker.

Paul: Just to remind him ... Yeah, do you remember me fucker?

Julia: It's the opposite of gorillas, you eat sticks around him to be like, hey, I can do whatever I want.

Amanda: Just chew on some rocks. It's fine.

Paul: I remember him, because I looked at the ... I remember I was with the other pastor John, and I'm like, "Hey, there's bad haircut guy." He goes, "Oh my God, he's still go the crazy look in his eye."

Amanda: Yikes.

Julia: Oh my gosh.

Paul: But he ended up being, I heard through the grapevine, an okay youth leader. He had calmed down. I guess all of them sort of figured out, okay this is too much, on their own.

Julia: That's the ideal situation for a cult, where everyone's like, yeah this is kind of nuts. We should probably stop.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: Which it has happened a couple of times historically.

Paul: Yeah, yeah.

Amanda: Paul do you have any stories, books, movies, other podcasts that you have been super creeped out by, that you think are just really great well constructed stories that people who like this kind of thing would also really like? Besides the Black Tapes of course.

Paul: Well I've always been a big fan of No Sleep.

Amanda: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul: All those stories. They've just been ... Whenever I need just a quick hour of a scary story, I'll just go through them, and it's a cool little lottery thing. You never know what you're going to get. I like that feeling.

Amanda: That's true.

Paul: Probably the one that creeped me out the most in the last year is Alice from Joseph Fink.

Julia: Yeah. Alice is dead.

Paul: Yeah that one-

Julia: It's a really good one.

Paul: The atmosphere of that one, the story yeah it's great, but the atmosphere, the way he produced it, and the way he wrote it, and just hearing her voice, something about her focus, and the way things come from the periphery, into that focus. I like very narrow storytelling when it comes to scary stories. The narrower the focus, the scarier the potential. Right? Because then-

Amanda: Right, it's like a pair of headlights slicing through complete darkness. The rest of it could be anything, and that sense of vulnerability is so intense.

Paul: Yeah it's like listening to bababook is that?

Julia: The Babadook.

Amanda: Babadook.

Paul: Yeah, Babadook. That one ... you get that claustrophobic sense because it's all from her point of view, and anything outside of that point of view is possible. Anything is possible. So Alice really gave me that sense listening to it, and I was really impressed by the way he was able to pull that off. So that one is probably right up there for me in terms of the things that creep me out. A lot of things don't usually creep me out. I try to get creeped out. I'll listen ... I'll save scary podcasts for my walks in the woods with the dogs.

Julia: I think we just need a minute where you tell us about your dogs, because they're all wonderful.

Paul: Oh aren't they great.

Julia: They're so good.

Paul: It's all my wife's doing. I didn't want dogs at all, and then she adopted the first one nine years ago, and the second one while I was doing a comedy show at Whistler.

Julia: Uh-oh.

Paul: She went to visit the SPCA and find this ... the second guy, and then two years ago there was a call out from the Human Society from New Westminster to adopt this pitbull no one wanted, because she had huge medical bills that you have pay before taking her. And she's ... My wife's like, we've been blessed in many ways, we should ... I'm like, I don't want a third dog, and then we went to see her, and I'm like, oh God it's hard to say no to this. So she ended up at our house, and ended up ... I don't have any regrets. I love them all when they get here, but I really don't want them before they get here.

Amanda: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Julia: Fair enough.

Paul: Yeah, I'm kicking and screaming, and then they get here, and then ... Because I'm the one who ends up walking all of them.

Julia: Sure.

Paul: And the third one ended up ... She loved finding feces and rolling in it for the first month.

Amanda: Awe.

Paul: That was her thing.

Amanda: You know, it's a habit that only a parent could love.

Paul: You know, now that I think about it, all those times in the woods of me screaming at her, "No," I probably freaked out so many people on the hiking trails when they hear this guy screaming.

Amanda: There's probably an urban legend about some weird yeti like creature that screams no through the mountains where you hike, and you just don't know about it yet.

Julia: And smells

Paul: Probably.

Julia: Like feces. If anyone would like to see wonderful, wonderful videos and pictures of Paul's dogs, you can follow him @mrpaulbae on Instagram I believe.

Paul: Yeah.

Julia: Yeah.

Paul: Oh that just reminded me of the scariest thing that ever happened to me, not involving animal.

Julia: Go, do it.

Amanda: Oh gosh. Okay.

Paul: So one time ... So I watched Blair Witch Project.

Amanda: Of course, it's wonderful.

Paul: That made me not camp by myself for a whole year. That ruined my ... I remember thinking I wish I didn't see that, because I was an Atheist now, but that was disturbing enough to make me not want to be myself in the woods.

Amanda: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul: My roommate at the time, she's like, "You know, you really should just force yourself back out there. What are you going to do? Never fish again? Never camp again?" I'm like, "Yeah, you're right." It's weird that he option of camping with other people never came up in this conversation. But she was like you should go.

Amanda: I mean, to be fair though Paul, there's other people in the Blair Witch Project, and they fall off one by one.

Paul: That's true. That did nothing right. It didn't do them any good.

Julia: It does nothing.

Paul: So I went and I found a place on a map by this place called Logan Lake, and it was a ... You had to take a two way radio, and you had to have good four wheel drive to get in and drive for two hours into this very remote location. And so I thought, well I could do it. So I went, found it, and at the daytime it was gorgeous. The fishing was so easy, because the fish hadn't been used to people. I don't want to say the name of the lake, because I might go back there one day. And I don't want to ruin it with tourists, but I was just on the shore, every cast I caught a fish and released it back. It was beautiful. That's how remote it was.

Julia: Oh wow.

Paul: But at night, the wind picked up, and there was a full moon. So I ... You could see every branch silhouette on my tent, and I had just ... This was my first time out after watching Blair Witch a year prior, and the coyotes started in with their howling. So, I was kind of freaked out, and then I had to pee. And I think it was two or three in the morning on a ... And I'd been ... I hadn't slept a wink. And I was so scared, because you know my imagination, it was I kept seeing long haired women outside my tent, in the silhouette.

Julia: Uh-hu.

Amanda: Ooh man.

Paul: And I'm like, oh fuck me, because in that area we have a lot of what's called this moss called grandpa's beard. It's long, and mossy, and just sort of hangs off the branches.

Julia: It's a great name.

Paul: Yeah, and it's dry. And it sort of ... it had this weird effect outside ... Anyway, it was really scary. So I finally decide, well I need to get out there and pee. So if something kills me while I'm peeing, undignified, but at least I tried to pee. So-

Julia: At least you tried. That's all that matters. Your ghost can tell people that when it's haunting the area.

Paul: It sounded very heroic in my head before I put it into words. So I stepped outside, and as I stepped outside ... I took this little trail, I don't know why I took a trail because there's no one out there, I kicked over a little pile of stones. Someone had built a little pile of stones.

Julia: Oh no.

Amanda: No.

Paul: It wasn't right by my tent, but I guess I hadn't looked in that area. And so in my mind, someone built it right then. Right?

Amanda: Oh right, because you hadn't noticed it before.

Paul: So I remember, I just I stayed outside my tent the whole night, with my hatchet, just watching things, just watching, and the next morning it occurred to me, oh okay, I found other piles of stones. I'm like, oh okay, someone camped here and made these things, probably after watching Blair Witch, and had been here for a year.

Julia: Probably. Oh my God.

Paul: So that's the scariest thing now that I just remembered that.

Julia: There we go.

Amanda: You're just confirming to me why I don't go camping in the woods by myself, but I appreciate that.

Paul: Well I have dogs now. So it's not scary at all, no matter what happens.

Julia: There you go.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: The dogs will protect you at least.

Amanda: All right, so adopt dogs from your local Humane Society, always carry a hatchet, always scare your siblings, and destroy all crawl spaces. I think these are very good take home lessons.

Julia: I think so.

Paul: Very good lessons.

Julia: All right, Paul, would you like to plug your projects slash tell people where they can find you on the internet please?

Paul: Yeah, I'm at just go to the website thebiglooppodcast.com for my solo anthology series, then I have theblacktapespodcast.com for the thing I do with Terry. We are building the rest of season three right now for The Black Tapes. It should come back end of this year, or early next year.

Julia: Woohoo.

Paul: I want to knock on wood somewhere because I can't have anything go bad with that. The Big Loop, I'm almost done writing season two, and I've cast parts of season two. So we should be up with that pretty soon.

Amanda: Awesome.

Paul: I'm also building a separate, sort of like a memoir based podcast, just for my Patreon followers.

Julia: Oh cool.

Paul: So it's like Memory Palace but with ... instead of memories of other people, it's all my memories. So stories that I've been telling today, that kind of stuff set to music, and just a podcast of my ... of funny stories from my life.

Amanda: So a good sampling for people to check that out then.

Paul: Yeah, yeah. So that's what I'm trying to build right now. We'll see if it works out, and I got some other stuff going on, but I'm not allowed to talk about it right now-

Julia: Fair enough.

Paul: But you guys will find out.

Julia: All right, we will link it up.

Amanda: And you're mrpaulbae on Twitter, so people can keep an eye out there to make sure they stay apprised.

Paul: Yeah, awesome.

Julia: Paul thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Thanks for creeping us out as much as possible.

Paul: Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad we did this.

Julia: Me too.

Amanda: Us too, and remember listeners.

Julia: Stay creepy.

Amanda: Stay cool.