Episode 82: Your Urban Legends X - The Third Spaghetti Fighter

You send them, we read them, everyone gets scared! This week we dive into stories about creepy kids, kids being creeped on, young blood, full ghost names, and-- what’s that? A THIRD SPAGHETTI CHALLENGER HAS APPEARED? Mostly, we’re starting to wonder… is spaghetti haunted?



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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.

Amanda: This is Episode 82, Your Urban Legends Part 10.

Julia: Yes.

Amanda: Double digits. Only not because we're using roman numerals.

Julia: There's been some conflict within the Spirits household about these episodes. Mostly that our family members only listen to these, and several of them have said they like Eric the best.

Amanda: Yeah. Several of our parents and loved ones, unprompted, were like, "Yeah, I try to keep up with Spirits." We're like, "That's fine. You don't have to keep up with the show. It's on every week. It's a lot." And they're like, "But I really love the Urban Legends one. You guys should do more of those. I really love Eric the most." And we're like, "What?"

Julia: I'm sorry.

Amanda: It makes me laugh.

Julia: Yeah, it's pretty fun.

Amanda: I'm honored that our parents listen. We talk a lot about things I wouldn't want to hear my child talk about so, go parents. Thank you for listening.

Julia: I think today we're going to thank some super special, super spooky folks, Amanda.

Amanda: Yes.

Julia: I know it's hard to achieve maximum spookiness in the summertime, but folks who always keep it creepy, keep it cool, are our supporting producer level patrons; Neil, Phillip, Julie, Kristina, Josh, Eeyore, Jessica, Maria, Cammy, Ryan, Phil Fresh, and Debra. And those special, special folks that are in our physical realm, in that they get physical packages from us every single month; Sarah, Sandra, Audra, Mercedes, Ashley, Buggy, Ashley Marie, Leann, and Cassie.

Amanda: Y'all definitely don't have roommates as mimics, but if you do, they make you a sweet, sweet dinner every night.

Julia: That would be very nice.

Amanda: That would be.

Julia: As a ghost roommate.

Amanda: And Julia, I actually chose the drink for this one.

Julia: Oh, tell me.

Amanda: Which was a Brooklyn watermelon summer ale. It's just like one of our go-to's, and one of the few beers that you and I both really love, so we decided to break it out for this tenth urban legend episode.

Julia: Yeah, every time that you have a party that is what I bring to the party. Because I know you like it, and I know I like it, and I know if there is any leftover I can just drink them whenever I come to your place.

Amanda: Yeah, it is a very smart plan, and I'm glad you do it.

Julia: That's what friendship is, my friend.

Amanda: Friendship is also about teaching each other great stuff, which is why I'm really stoked that our sponsor this week is Skillshare; which is an online learning community. They have over 20,000 classes in design, business, technology, arts, more. And you can sign up for a free premium trial at skillshare.com/spirits.

Julia: Also, I want to just express we love our patrons. Y'all make our months, every month, and you keep us doing what we do, and what we love, which is this show. I do want to point out that we are less than 40 patrons away from going to Spaghetti Warehouse in Ohio which we definitely totally wanna do, because our last experience was not so great. So I think we deserve a real actual Spaghetti Warehouse experience with extra garlic bread and maybe some gnocchi?

Amanda: Yeah, I really wanna get drunk in a trolley, I'm not gonna lie to you. And the fact that this new found career of ours can send us to get drunk in a trolley in a warehouse in Ohio, is I think the greatest accomplishment of all time. So, fewer than 40 people, if you are listening and you can give us even one dollar, it would mean the world. It will get us to Ohio. The minute we pass that patron goal I have to book plane tickets to Ohio. That's how Patreon works. Jack Conte will come to my house and be like Amanda, what are you doing? You hit your goal. Let's do it! So, if you want us to go to Ohio, we will literally go to Ohio. Please sign up at patreon.com/spiritspodcast.

Julia: Yep, just one dollar, and we will get to that goal. I believe in you. I believe in us.

Amanda: I believe in ghosts. I believe in spaghetti. And I believe in the Spaghetti Warehouse. So, without further ado, enjoy Spirits podcast episode 82, Your Urban Legends part 10.

[Theme Music]

I was at lunch this weekend with my Aunt Lourdes, who listens to the podcast. What up Aunt Lourdes?

Julia: What up?

Amanda: Even if–

Eric: My favorite of all of Amanda's aunts.

Amanda: Oh, funny you say that, because the third or fourth thing that Aunt Lourdes said to me when we were in the same room sitting down to a lovely late lunch and Greek food here in Astoria, Queens, "You know, Eric is my favorite Spirits host." I was like, "Excuse me?" She was like, "Yeah, I try to keep up-to-date, but I never miss an Urban Legends episode. There's something about him. He's so funny. You know, you and Julia are great, but there's just something about Eric."

Julia: I don't know about that now.

Eric: I love it. I love it so, so, so, so much.

Julia: This is what is going to tear the fabric of our friendship apart is this deciding factor.

Amanda: It's true.

Eric: I feel like I am a regular guest, at best. As much as I dream of having the title of host ...

Julia: Do you though?

Eric: I'm on this ride once a month.

Julia: You did, in the last Hometowns episode tell us, "I'll give my seat to this other person. They can be the host now."

Eric: Yeah, see, I'm very disposable.

Amanda: One person writes us with a good subject line and you're like, "Welp, that's it. I know where I'm needed and not." It's pretty funny, sometimes families say the darndest things. Also, kids. We put out the call last episode for some stories of your creepy children and, "People, your children are creepy."

Julia: Yeah, for sure, for sure. They are definitely creepy. Amanda, why don't you start us off with a creepy child?

Amanda: Very gladly. I will give you short and sweet, maybe the creepiest child thing I've ever heard from our good-good friend, Alexander Danner.

Julia: Whose child I met when I was in Boston last time.

Amanda: Aww, cute. Well, now you'll have a great strong visual in your mind for this story.

It's 4:30 a.m. and our son, then 3-years-old, who has been asleep between us, wakes up. We automatically wake up too because that's how it works at that age. Side note, kids sound awful.

Julia: Yep, I like to sleep.

Amanda: Oh boy, I love sleeping so much.

We were still pretty groggy and on our way back to sleep until Julian says, "Putting the light on will make the person go away." So I ask, "What person?" "The person on the inside," he says. Fully awake now, I say, "Inside what?" He ignores the question and instead tells us the person doesn't want us to put the light on. Brandy is fully awake at this point too and hanging on to the conversation. Julian, I insisted, "The person inside what?" "The person inside the house." I tried to assure him there's no one here, but us. "And our blood," he assures me back and then he rolls back over and goes to sleep.

Julia: That's such a hard no. Such a hard no.

Eric: I don't want it. I don't want it at all.

Amanda: I don't want it either.

Julia: Oh boy, no.

Eric: And our blood.

Julia: Yep, and our blood.

Amanda: And our blood. Maybe the worst word for a child to say if the child knows about blood, if the child is around blood, if, for some reason, the child wants to reference creepy ghost blood, no.

Eric: All bad. All bad situations. Also, the kid did not answer the question about who the person was. It's still ambiguous. It's just ...

Julia: He's the man in the house.

Eric: The mom assured them that there wasn't a person and the kid just segways into, "Oh, but don't forget about the blood."

Amanda: Oh boy, it's very bad.

Julia: The counterpoint, the blood.

Amanda: Oh no! Have you considered the blood? Yes, I have. Your mine and now I want to disavow you. No, I'm sorry, Alex. I'm sure your child is adorable.

Eric: Have you considered the good word of the blood today?

Amanda: That's my favorite of the books of blood is Deuteronomy. That's a joke just for Julia.

Julia: Thank you. Thank you for that. And all of the other Bible study people in our audience.

Amanda: That's true. I just think the word Deuteronomy is funny and I said it with full eye contact.

Julia: You did. Thank you for that. Thank you for the giggle.

Amanda: Your welcome.

Julia: I have a story about children being creeped on. Would we like to hear that next?

Amanda: Oh no! Does it end okay?

Eric: That's not what we wanted. That's the opposite.

Julia: Yes, it is.

Eric: I want creepy children.

Julia: Well, we're going to start with this one. This is from a listener named Fran. Fran goes, "Hi again, it's Fran and I forgot about more creepy in my town." This guy is called The Watcher. You can pull up articles written about him, her, maybe not even human, who knows. I believe the story begins in 2014 when a family moved into a new home and began receiving threatening letters from The Watcher.

Eric: Too soon. This is too recent. I want an urban legend from the 70's. I don't want an urban legend from a year I can remember.

Amanda: It's too much. No.

Julia: The letters explained that generations of watchers had been watching this house. In a letter, they write that their grandfather and father watched the house. So, I guess we can assume that The Watcher is a man, but who knows.

The Watcher threatened the children and detailed their knowledge of the house and stuff along those lines. The Watcher referred to the children as "young blood." They requested for the house to be filled with "young blood." Another letter explained that they knew the children's names. This generated a lot of buzz in the community.

Amanda: I bet.

Eric: Buzz is underselling what this generated in the community.

Amanda: Probably moral panic.

Julia: Probably. Everybody in my high school was sharing links on Facebook with articles written about this creepy stalker.

Amanda: No, Julia, I'm going to stop you right there. An urban legend that involved Facebook is too recent. Too recent. Pre-Facebook only.

Julia: The couple moved out and they sued the previous owners of the house because they did not disclose that there was a creepy stalker mailing threatening letters to the owners of the house. I would too.

Eric: This sounds familiar now. This sounds like a story I've actually read about.

Amanda: I don't know.

Eric: It sounds familiar enough that I actually might know ... I don't know details, but it sounds like something I've actually heard about, which means it's far too recent.

Amanda: I got excited that it would involve Rupert Giles and a full conspiracy of vampiric specialized librarians, but no.

Julia: Nope. I'm sorry. I don't think they won the case, but they did rent out the house to someone else.

Fearing for the safety of their "young blood," they had to get out of there. The house went back on the market last year and I have not seen any more headlines about The Watcher. I have no idea what was up with that, but it was definitely super creepy. With a quick Google search, I see that there haven't been any articles written about it since last year. So, if I hear anything new, I'll let you guys know. Maybe the new owners just ignore the letters?

Amanda: That's for sure. What I want to know is whether the previous occupants dealt with something similar. Was this documented as phenomenon?

Julia: I guess not because, I feel like, if it was documented as a phenomenon and had police records and stuff they would have won that court case that they put.

Amanda: Fair enough.

Julia: I think these people just like, "It's a letter from the creepy stalker again. Throw it out."

Amanda: Yikes! You can't even setup Gmail filters on your physical mail.

Julia: You can't.

Amanda: If so, I would get no spam mail and almost no mail at all.

Julia: That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Amanda: I'm a millennial. Don't send me mail.

Eric: One time I was waiting for a friend in a park and an elderly man came up to me and said to me, "Young blood, do you know where the bathroom is?"

Julia: Oh boy!

Eric: That was the coolest thing that anyone has ever said to me. It was the coolest question anyone has ever asked.

Julia: Wow!

Eric: He was just like, "Hey, young blood, do you know if there's any bathrooms around here?" And I was like, "Uh..." I had to get out of the shock of how cool this dude was.

Amanda: You were like, "Thank you for the awesome new nickname, sir."

Eric: And then I was like, "Maybe the public pool across the way has something you could use, but I don't know."

Amanda: So beautiful.

Eric: That's the context I want to hear young blood.

Julia: Okay, not fill the house with young blood.

Eric: I don't like this context. I don't like the idea of looking for young blood. I like someone just being called young blood. That's cool.

Amanda: Yeah, like when you casually come across somebody and you're like, "You know what, you are the future, young blood." And you're like, "Yes, thank you." Or maybe if you're a college sports recruiter. Even then, it's something a little bit iffy about going into high schools and being like "young blood," and I'm like, "Go away, you're a stranger."

Julia: Also, getting weird letters about your children's young blood is super creepy.

Amanda: Yeah, that sounds like a prank gone really really wrong.

Julia: Yeah, agreed.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Well, young blood, what do you got for us?

Eric: I have a letter from a listener, Katy Lynn.

Julia: What up, Katy?

Amanda: Katy!

Eric: This is the story of the ghost who lives at the University of Memphis. Well, one of them. Hopefully, one ghost.

Julia: Good start.

Eric: Not the same ghost haunting multiple versions of the University of Memphis.

Amanda: Or it could be multiple stories about one ghost or, I'm hoping, multiple ghosts and multiple stories because that sounds pretty cool.

Eric: Her name is Elizabeth Mynders. I like a ghost with a first and last name.

Julia: I do appreciate when ghosts have full names.

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Eric: I feel like you typically don't get that specific of the ghost.

Amanda: Give me that historical record.

Eric: She is the daughter of the first president of the university back when it was West Tennessee Normal School.

Julia: Why is it normal school?

Amanda: What does that mean?

Eric: Hold on. Let me make sure ...

Julia: Let's do a quick Google of what a normal school is.

Eric: I'm highlighting letter-by-letter to make sure that it is just normal and not just weird kerning. It's normal school.

He commissioned a dorm to be built on the campus in the shape of a letter E for his daughter and it was called Mynders Hall.

Amanda: It's just normal school. That's just what it's called.

Julia: That's so weird.

Amanda: Uh, Tennessee, are you okay?

Julia: Just call it school.

Amanda: Sorry, Eric, back to your story.

Eric: No, no. I love it. I love it. Unfortunately, she died at a young age and I think she was a student. She lived in Mynders Hall and it was said that she haunts the building even today.

That's crazy to have a dorm built after you and then you live in the dorm and then you die in the dorm. That's almost a prophecy coming true, it feels like.

Julia: Yeah, not good. Not good. Don't have a building named after you and then live in it.

Amanda: Also, don't build physical buildings for future children of yours. I'm just saying, unrelated.

Julia: To our listeners.

Amanda: Please don't build creepy ... All of our extremely wealthy, land-owning listeners, I suppose ... Don't build playhouses for future children. I just feel like that's a bad omen waiting to happen.

Julia: Nope. Just don't do it.

Eric: Also, great advice for any of our rich, land-owning listeners, we have a Patreon, patreon.com/spiritspodcast.

Julia: Become a legend level patron.

Eric: Is that right?

Amanda: Then you can get physical packages to your lands.

Eric: There's a legend level. It's great.

Amanda: Yeah, it is great.

Eric: Check that out. It's great. Anyways, back to the story.

They closed the dorm in 2015, so I've never been in it, but walking past even gave me goosebumps. She was considered a friendly ghost who just kind of wandered around the building and turned lights on and off as she saw fit. She never really did anything, but there have been reports of her being seen being in rooms and even reaching out to the female residents who live there. One of my friends who lived in Mynders Hall the last year it was open, told me that she woke up one night to her door being slammed open. There was no one else around and she didn't see anything.

Amanda: Yikes!

Eric: She let it go and went back to sleep. I lived in the dorm behind Mynders Hall and would have to walk around it to get to the cafeteria. I never saw anyone, but I always had the weird feeling of being watched through the windows. Random lights would be turned on and sometimes people would see a shadow wandering around the third floor.

Amanda: Yikes!

Eric: That's all I really know about Elizabeth and Mynders Hall. She has sent us some links along with her email to some stories about the ghost.

Julia: Sweet.

Eric: She says, "Stay creepy. Stay cool."

Julia: Aww. Also, I like the idea that it's like, "She didn't really do anything, but people would see her every now and again." Which is like a hard same.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: Just really hard same.

Amanda: Oh, yeah.

Julia: She didn't really do anything. People just see her every now and again.

Amanda: That's kind of my ideal. Someone would notice if I died probably, like after several days, but no one expects of me anything.

Julia: That's just how I live my normal life, not my ghost life.

Amanda: That would be the dream.

Eric: An abandoned dorm and just seeing someone standing there is a very spooky image to me. At one year during college, they moved us all mid-school year between semesters into a different dorm because they had finished it.

Julia: Why?

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: They were like, "We're kicking you out of your dorm. It's the middle of winter. Time to move." It was a real pain in the butt, but then that dorm was empty for a while. We would always walk past it and it was just this place that we had called home for 3 years was just empty and abandoned. The idea of spookily seeing lights turn on and off or a person in a window is very unsettling to me because I know the uncreepy version of that and it was already not great, but the creepy version of that is very creepy.

Julia: I've been kind of obsessed with the haunted dorm ever since Jeffrey Gardner's episode with the elevator.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: Oh man, that fucked me up.

Amanda: I know, the elevator one in particular was so good and scary.

This one comes to us from Kelsey. She says, "I have no direct memory of this story. It's secondhand from my parents. So, I'll leave it to you guys to speculate whether I was a child straight out of Amityville or I was just already a troll by age three."

Julia: I liked this email a lot. I remember this one.

Amanda: It's very good. Kelsey is a good writer. She says, "I was a military brat, but when I turned three, my parents, brother, and I settled in North Carolina and moved into this old brick house in a suburbish part of town. I have the most lovable brand of helicopter mom, so she generally kept up with my shenanigans and knew how and when I tripped or bumped into things or scraped myself up. One evening, I came down for dinner and had a long scratch down my forearm, but I didn't mention anything about it. When my mom asked what happened, I calmly responded, "The boy gave it to me," and kept eating my dinner." Julia's face is so creepy.

Eric: The boy?

Amanda: Yeah, the boy.

Julia: Alright, here we go.

Eric: It's "the." If it was a boy, it's fine, but the boy is too specific.

Amanda: Absolutely.

"Thinking I may have meant a neighbor, my mom asked, "What boy?" To which, in five star creepy kid form, I casually retorted, "The boy who lives in my room.' He doesn't like that we live here."

Julia: Oh no!

Amanda: Her parents, inexplicably, didn't press the issue further.

Julia: No!

Amanda: My dad has more or less forgotten about the whole thing, when a few months later ... Totally an estimate, my timelines are pretty blurry (she was three) ... The previous owners of the house stopped in because they were passing through the area and wanted to meet the new residents. During the conversation, they asked my dad if he had had any run-ins with the ghost boy who lives upstairs.

Julia: Come on!

Eric: What are you doing?

Amanda: My parents either have nerves of steel or no sense of self-preservation. They just went about their business until we moved for other reasons a year or so later. Okay, other reasons, sure. I wish I could provide a first-person account, but unfortunately I have maybe two memories of our whole time in that house and neither of them were paranormal. I looked up the neighborhood and the house before writing this, but short of an ad on Zillow, nothing particularly haunted popped up.

Julia: Did the Zillow ad say, "Kind of haunted. Just a little bit though."

Amanda: Don't worry about it. Recent price drop. Why? Don't worry about it.

Julia: Don't worry. It's fine. It's cool. We have to disclose murders, but you know.

Amanda: Creepy kids, you know, that's on your own time. Wow! That's freaking terrifying.

Julia: Yep, nope. Not a fan.

Eric: Is there a statute of limitations on any of that stuff for houses? Because there is lots of houses around here that are over a hundred years old. If there was a murder in 1917, do you still have to be like, "Someone was murdered in this house, but that was over a hundred years ago now?"

Julia: That's such a good question.

Amanda: I don't know.

Julia: I feel like the murder has to have happened within the sale of the house. If you're the first family to buy it after the murder, they have to release that information, but not if you're the fifth family to buy that house after the murder.

Amanda: I suppose, though, if it's a generational house where a grandmother was born and there was a murder around that time and then when she passes 90 years later, that could be technically within the lifetime of one ownership. I wonder ... If people work in real estate or insurance and want to let us know, I'd be very curious what the rules are there.

Julia: Amanda, you know what I love about these Hometown Urban Legends episodes and our show in general?

Amanda: Getting pretty creeped out, while slightly buzzed.

Julia: That, definitely. But, also, I like learning new things.

Amanda: I do too and I love learning them about all kinds of stuff. I love that we can talk about old history, new history, urban legends, historical ghosts and creepies, but I also like learning real stuff in the world. My favorite place to do that online is Skillshare. It's an online learning community. They have over 20,000 classes in design, business, arts and crafts, and other artisan fields, technology ... Anything you could want.

Julia: The best part is their premium membership gives you unlimited access to all of these high quality classes on these must-know topics so you can either improve your skills, or unlock new opportunities, or do the work that you love. This week, I've been checking out the Intro to Mixology, which is upping your cocktail game in 30 minutes and that's hosted by April Wachtel, who is this New York-based cocktail instructor. She is amazing. It's a class where it's anything from a total bartending newbie, who needs an orientation on how to get started, to bartenders who really want to get into mixology, but haven't had the time because they work at a dive bar or maybe you're just really enthusiastic about cocktails and you want to know the basics and the classics and some new stuff as well.

Amanda: It is really cool. I learned some stuff I didn't know, which I thought I knew a lot for an amateur cocktail maker. It turns out, no, I had a lot to learn. I also really love this class called The Hitchcock Method, which is all about adding suspense to everything you write. Now, I haven't had to write papers or stories since college and, as much as I write a ton of emails during the day, I want to get back into creative writing. I really liked this class. It makes you think about story structure, the sequence in which you reveal information to your listeners and readers, and I thought it was really well-done. You can get unlimited access to classes like this with your premium trial. You get two months of Skillshare for just 99 cents. That's at skillshare.com/spirits, for two months of unlimited access to all 20,000 plus classes for just 99 cents.

Julia: You can't even buy gum for 99 cents.

Amanda: You can't. You can't buy a water bottle or a can of Coke for 99 cents, but you can get two months of Skillshare.

Julia: That is skillshare.com/spirits, 99 cents, two months of premium service. Go do it!

Amanda: Thanks for supporting the show, Skillshare, and thank all of you for supporting them right back.

Eric: I have a story about a spooky restaurant that isn't related to spaghetti, as far as I know.

Julia: Tell me.

Amanda: Whoah!

Eric: This comes from Parker, and they have a story about a spooky restaurant. The restaurant is called Margaritas. It's the original and start of a chain. Also, it used to be the city jail, so guests can eat at old jail cells if they're some available.

Julia: I want to go to there.

Amanda: Oh, good! I really super want to go.

Eric: What's up with the restaurants that end up on this podcast in which something that shouldn't be in a restaurant is at a restaurant. Jail cells, trolley cars. Keep them out of restaurants.

Julia: People know we like weird shit.

Amanda: I know. It is a pretty efficient drunk driving trap where if someone is going to be drunk driving ...

Eric: You think the manager could just close the door on you.

Amanda: Oh, yeah, it's like, "Good job, cop. You've been imprisoned."

Eric: The downstairs portion of the restaurant has the largest cell and, in it, lives our ghost, George.

Amanda: That's such a good sentence.

Julia: It's named George? The ghost is named George?

Eric: The ghost is named George.

Julia: Aww, so good.

Eric: Since George has given us a bit of a reputation, our restaurant has been a spot to visit on local ghost tours. Once, there was a group of psychics and mediums that came to the restaurant to spend the night.

Julia: Oh my god! I want to be there.

Amanda: That's good.

Eric: They invited another medium from out-of-town and made her wait outside when our manager was talking about the history of the restaurant.

Amanda: So she wouldn't be tainted by the story.

Julia: Sure.

Eric: Probably because they want to see if she could pick up anything that the locals would miss, or maybe just to see if she was genuine. She was taken on a tour of the restaurant, and when she got to the downstairs by the soda fountain, close to where the big cell is, she stopped. She started mumbling until she looked at my manager and went, "It's Joe, not George."

Julia: Yo, calling him out.

Amanda: Wow!

Eric: She kept mumbling it all night. Where did the name George come from? Parker writes a lot of question marks and exclamations after that sentence, but I wasn't sure how to enunciate that many punctuations.

Julia: Where did it come from?????

Amanda: Where did it come from?????

Julia: Just do it in your best 40's announcer voice.

Amanda: This question and more on tonight's story hour!

Julia: Amanda's got it.

Eric: I don't think I need to do it again because you guys clearly gave them what they wanted.

Julia: Exactly.

Eric: Also, when people are working the closing shift, Joe/George will flicker the lights. Sometimes he'll hide in other smaller cells and say quiet things or cause the area around us to go cold.

Julia: Alright.

Eric: Now Parker, I don't like to get on the cases of the people who write it. You got to tell us some of those quiet things the ghost is saying.

Julia: Yeah, I want to know what George/Joe is whispering.

Eric: What's being said?

Amanda: We need the color commentary. Though, to be honest, if you're working in a restaurant you're probably sweaty and moving around a lot, walking all night. It's probably nice to have a little bit of ghost air conditioning with you.

Eric: That's very true. The only time I've ever had an encounter with him was when I was about to leave the host area and go home on a Friday night. It was around 11:00 p.m. and the lights shut off and, I swear, I felt someone tap my shoulder and say, "Excuse me, can you move?" Needless to say, I ran in to the restaurant to cry in my friend's arms because I was so terrified.

Julia: oh no!

Amanda: Wow!

Julia: But, at least, he was polite about it. You can's say he wasn't.

Amanda: I'm genuinely trying to think to myself would I be more scared if someone was like, "Hi, young blood," or if they were like, "Sorry, do you know the time?" I just don't know which one would be more challenging.

Julia: Probably the first.

Amanda: Probably the first would be more scary.

Eric: Definitely, the first. I feel like I would not handle a ghost well either way, but I could at least compose myself if the ghost was being pretty chill about the situation.

Amanda: Yeah, that's true. I always see the reveal in a book or a movie or something that like, "Oh, there's magic," or like, "Oh, you're special," or like, "Oh, I'm an alien." I always think that I would take it very calmly. I'm always like, "Oh man, these people are jumping all around and they're so incredulous." Can't you see, it's right in front of you? That person is a talking dragon. I don't know. I feel like I would be able to be pretty down. I would be like, "Yep, I suspected as much."

Eric: They finish by saying, "Please come to the restaurant if you ever come to Concord, New Hampshire."

Amanda: Dope. Will do.

Eric: We just got to take a road trip up north and we can go to Margaritas and hang out in a jail cell and get spooky.

Julia: Yeah, sounds good.

Amanda: That sounds like a wonderful summer vacation.

Julia: I want to get spooky every summer vacation.

Eric: What we need is a show that's on either the Food Network or the Travel Channel in which we just go to haunted restaurants.

Julia: Get at us!

Eric: Initially, it would be a show where we just go to haunted places is enough, but I feel like we've honed in on niche. We could just do haunted restaurants at this point.

Amanda: We've found a niche.

Julia: Make us cocktails and show us your ghosts.

Amanda: Listen, I'll drink bottled beer. I'll drink wine. I don't need a bespoke cocktail based on the haunting of your particular establishment. I will take one.

Julia: I mean I wouldn't mind that.

Eric: I will definitely take one.

Julia: I would prefer that, but ...

Amanda: Do I want a themed tasting menu around the particular heinous crimes that occurred in your basement once upon a time? Yeah, yeah I do. And all you creepy cool Mfers would watch that as well.

Julia: My next story was titled, The Fairies at the Bottom of the Pool.

Amanda: Ooh. Sold me right away. Pool fairy is a really good summer aesthetic.

Julia: This email is from Nizzie and they say, "Hey guys, in your most recent episode, someone shared about when they talked to a river and how it responded to them and it reminded me of the fairies at the bottom of the pool."

Amanda: Good start.

Julia: "When I was in year 11 in school, AKA when I was about 15 or 16, I used to do swimming for games."

I don't know if calling it games is a British thing. So, basically, sports lessons.

Amanda: Gym, P.E.

Julia: Yeah, it's gym.

"I was spending about four hours a week in the pool. My school made us do too much sport."


Amanda: Yeah, it sounds like a lot.

Julia: "I don't know what started it, but I would imagine these fairies that lived at the bottom of the school pool. One of them was king of the water fairies. I'm not sure why the king of the water fairies would live in a swimming pool, but I guess that was just where my mind went. I started talking to the king of the water fairies, just randomly chatting. I don't remember any of the conversations, but I'd do this thing where you would talk under water and it sounds all weird. I would imagine his responses, mostly just to keep my mind busy while swimming up and down the pool."

Probably doing laps or whatever for school.

Amanda: Yeah, makes sense.

Julia: "However, after a little while of doing this, I became aware that his responses didn't seem to be just coming from my imagination. It felt like something else out there was responding inside my head. For example, I remember there being a day where he wasn't there and I didn't hear from him and I was really worried until the next time I went swimming and he was back. I don't know what he looked like. It was just his voice. I then went to a church youth group weekend away and I was very aware that the idea of this water spirit that I was talking to kind of clashed with my other beliefs. So, I came to the conclusion that either it was just in my head or it was some demonic presence trying to lull me into a false sense of security. So, I decided that I had to stop talking to him. I felt really bad about it because I considered him a friend, but it was easier to distrust him than question my entire belief system."

Amanda: I don't blame her.

Julia: "Looking back at this story, I started experiencing mental health issues at that sort of age and my brain likes to do strange things when my mental health is bad. I never had the strongest separation between reality and fiction in my head. So, this could have all been in my head or maybe it was some kind of water spirit or demon, but who knows? It does make me wonder, though, how many myths started as a result of someone's mental health though. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story. Nizzie."

Which is cool. We've talked a lot about how mental health can definitely affect how we tell stories and what effects what's real and what's not in our brains. I think this is a really good example of that, but also I like the idea that what is your reality is shaped by your experiences and whether or not is this real for you or if the river story was real for our listener who sent that in. It's all a matter of perception. I just like that. I like that kind of stuff a lot.

Amanda: I like it too. It reminds me a lot of imagination. That's a thing that we kind of lose track of ...

Julia: Especially, becoming adults.

Amanda: In adulthood, exactly. At least for me, bad mental health times tend to rob me of creativity and whimsy. As a kid, I was solitary and weird and my brain spun out way too much, and so I came up with really cool stories. As an adult, that normally is like worrying about my chores or stuff at work. I really love also that people with nontypical brains or mental health, we have a cool magical realism view of the world.

Julia: Hell yeah.

Amanda: There is a way in which there is lots of down sides, obviously, and sometimes I wish that wasn't the one that I was given, but I also know that my outlook on life and on stories is super unique and I'm grateful for that too.

Julia: My neurodiverse brain is a good storyteller when it wants to be.

Amanda: Yeah, anxiety is just a really compelling storyteller.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-for sure.

Amanda: Most of the time, I'd rather it not, but there it is.

Our next email comes from Sander. It is subject line: a creepy kid who was also a ghost and how my stepdad got his mom to bless the place.

Julia: Yep. Hard yep.

Amanda: I like it. Sander says, "I have some interesting blends of neurodivergent issues that lead to me being a hyperaware anxious ball of "Oh God, please don't jump out at me!" When I was about, I want to say, early teens or so I lived with my stepdad and mom. I didn't like my stepdad at the time, but anyway...I've always been a firm believer in spirits and ghosts and and fae and so on. I've seen ghosts and shadowman, so I'm pretty down with whatever. When I started to see this ghost kid I was like, "Alright then, you cool? Because if you're not cool, then you and I got to set some boundaries."

Which I love. "Okay, this is happening. This is what's going on right now. How can I cope with it?"

Julia: I do like the idea of setting boundaries with your ghost that's haunting you.

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Julia: Be like, "Hey buddy, this is fine you can wake me up at 3:00, but if we do this for longer than an hour we got some problems."

Eric: A very understanding, progressive ghost.

Amanda: It's very true and, you know what, I feel similarly about pests in my home. I live in 110-year-old building in New York City, there's going to be pests. My feeling is like, "Long as I can't see you, we can cohabitate."

Julia: Do your thing.

Amanda: You can do your thing. Don't show me poop. Don't jump out at me when I'm cooking and we're going to be good.

Back to sander, "I would get up in the wee hours of the morning to pee because of insomnia. I wouldn't turn on the lights because my mom and stepdad are strict and sleeping. I would see this little kid with a bowl cut, about 4 foot something, just chilling on our couch like he owned the damn place. At first, I was scared because I've seen some bad ghosts before, but the boy never really did anything aside from chill on our couch. Then he started standing outside the bathroom door when I peed and just watched, which again, is creepy, but not like bad bad.

Julia: But also not cool.

Amanda: Also not cool. You gotta set those boundaries. But baby Sander was all like, "Hey dude, can you not? So, I just stopped trying in the end because it was company. He was kind of a soft white gray and his hair had an impression of being brown. I don't remember his eyes, so I decay. His face was kind of chubby and cute, and so on ... Like a puppy. I talked to him all the time and eventually got the idea in my almost baby brain that his name was Benji. Along with chilling on the couch and also watching me groggily pee at 3:00 a.m., Benji would also stand outside my bedroom just in the door frame and do nothing."

Alright, we're getting into creepy here.

"He respected my space and I kind of liked that. He became a bit of a fond friend. Wake up in the middle of the night, hey Benji. Can't sleep? That's Benji. Just a chill little dude. I made the mistake of mentioning Benji to my stepdad one day and that was that. His mom is a Christian counselor in a pseudo super church. So, he had her come in and bless the place by banishing the spirit. I kept telling him that Benji didn't hurt anyone and was just living there, but that was that. I haven't seen Benji since, despite my stepdad and mom living in the same house, but I like to think that Benji is now kind of kicking it on Jesus' couch in heaven, standing in door frames until his ghostly heart is content."

Julia: Aww. I hope Benji is doing good.

Eric: There is many, many houses in heaven with lots and lots of door frames, I'm sure. That's a choice place to look for door frames to stand in.

Amanda: Yeah. I just thought that was very sweet. It was not like a malicious ghost. It was not really interfering. Having dealt with insomnia myself, it was nice to think, "Well there's just someone also chilling, enjoying this nice 3:00 a.m. witching hour."

Julia: That would freak me the fuck out, but alright.

I got another email. This is from Jenny. Jenny says, "Before I get started with my story, I want to say that I'm an active, practicing pagan/witch, and I have a lot of stories I want to share, but out of all of them, I wanted to share the one that my husband told me when we first met once he discovered my "interests." It's probably one of the most unique and chilling stories I've ever heard."

I'm sold already.

"My husband went to college in Seattle. He shared an apartment with his roommate and his roommate's cats. My husband has always seen ghosts, though he'd rather not, and, at that point, already had his fair share of creepy experiences outside this apartment. Another story for another time. The area was known for having weird and creepy things happen. It is important to note that the way the entrance to the apartment was setup was done in a way that you wouldn't see the person's face as they entered, but you would be aware of their presence for it's the only way in and out of the apartment.

So, one day while hanging out in the front room of his apartment, my husband's roommate walked in. My husband said, "Hey," but his roommate just sort of raised his hand in acknowledgement, never showing his face as he quietly walked to his room, shutting the door behind him. The cat followed to sit, clawing and meowing at the door, something that the cat never did. Not even an hour later, the roommate walked into the apartment and started talking to my husband. My husband sat shocked and said, "Wait, you were just here. You got home a little bit ago." To which his confused roommate, replied, "No, I just got home. I haven't been home all day."

At first, they both thought it was nothing until the reverse happened just a few days later. The roommate was in the apartment, but saw my husband enter, silently walk to his room, closing the door behind him, never seeing his face. Only a few minutes later, my husband walked in from being at school since the night before. This happened a few more times before my husband eventually moved out. Sometimes, the roommate would be playing games when my husband would arrive home, never seeing his roommate's face, but always a silent wave, only to come back a few minutes later to find the roommate entering the apartment for the first time all day."

Amanda: That's wild.

Julia: "It wasn't until much later that my husband realized it probably wasn't a ghost they were seeing, but more something like a mimic or a doppelganger. He believes that if him or his roommate were ever to see the true face of the mimic, it would have been deadly, like hearing a banshee scream indicates death is nearby.

Amanda: Holy shit.

Julia: Yeah, that's terrifying.

Eric: Is it possible, may I add a third theory?

Julia: Go.

Eric: They have desynced from our timeline.

Julia: That's possible.

Eric: They're seeing future events slightly sooner than they're happening, only in their living room. Their living room has desynced from time by a hundred and eighty seconds.

Julia: The living room is a time bubble.

Amanda: Yeah, I had that thought too, which is almost to me more terrifying than a paranormal-like haunting of this existing space-time. The idea that I could be desynced, decoupled from the rest of the timeline and that things happen again or not at all, or losing time, that is one trope in psychological or horror movies that I really get creeped out by, is the idea of losing time.

Julia: As someone who has partial face blindness, this creeps me the fuck out in ways that I can't really describe. You think that a person that you see is a person that you know, and then you look at them again and they're not the person that you thought they were, or vice versa, where someone was like, "Hey, what's up?" And you look at them and you're like, "I have never spoken to you in my entire life. I don't know what your face is. Who the fuck are you?"

Amanda: Yeah, right. Because if you can't recognize the face, that's like the one true identification. What then is left?

Julia: Oh, man. That fucks me up though.

Amanda: Well, that was terrifying. Thanks for sharing.

Julia: Always. You know I go for the terrifying ones.

Eric: And I will end with a update on spaghetti, spaghetti-based restaurants. Spaghetti Factory and Spaghetti Warehouse.

Amanda: Wait, what?

Julia: Yes, I love Spaghetti Warehouse.

Amanda: I hope this never dies.

Eric: This comes to us from Serenity. They write, "So upon listening to you guys talk about Spaghetti Factory and Spaghetti Warehouse, I realized they sound kind of like Spaghetti Works in my hometown, Omaha, Nebraska."

Julia: Oh no!

Amanda: Oh my God, not a third spaghetti!

Eric: A third, Spaghetti Works, has entered the fight.

Amanda: This proves the multiverse theory.

Julia: There is so many spaghettis.

Amanda: That's it. There's no two ways about it.

Eric: Accept that they're all the same verse.

"Also, I worked at Spaghetti Works and I constantly got phone calls asking if we were the same thing as Spaghetti Factory of Spaghetti Warehouse. I never realized how similar they were. Spaghetti Works is in the old market, which is a section of downtown where everything is built in old buildings. Spaghetti Works was built in an old mattress factory and there's also a ton of vintage-type stuff hanging up, but I'm not too sure about any of them being haunted. I do have a creepy story about working there though."

Is it possible that the noodle spaghetti is haunted?

Julia: Just the type of pasta, spaghetti.

Eric: Just the type of pasta is what is haunting all of these places, not specifically these restaurants. Because there is one common thread now.

Amanda: I'm going to play in the space with you here. Why is spaghetti haunted? Why spaghetti? Why not penne?

Julia: Long, long tongues licking out at you.

Amanda: Oh boy! Alright.

Eric: Well, that's the worst part, so let's just move right on from there.

Amanda: Wait, wait. Counterproposal. What if there is a vengeful spirit who is trying to enact a task that they never got to do in their life and that task is to start Italian restaurants in old places. In order not to get sued by past bodies that they've occupied, they change the name very slightly each time.

Julia: Okay.

Eric: But why, after succeeding multiple times ...

Amanda: Have they succeeded, Eric? Maybe their true idea of success is something different.

Eric: I guess. You think you would focus on just the first one and try to franchise that out more than opening competing spaghetti-based restaurants.

Amanda: Maybe it was kicked out of its body and so it had to either watch this body that it no longer ran succeed, and they had to create a sister restaurant.

Julia: Corporate ghostpionage.

Eric: "So, I worked as a host and one day I got a weird call from a lady saying she was locked in her stall in the bathroom."

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: "So, we did the logical thing and sent someone to the bathroom and tried to get her out. The person that went to go check, came back and said, "No one was there." There are two locations in our city, so we went ahead and called the other location and told them that there might be a woman locked in the bathroom, there wasn't."

Amanda: Oh man!

Julia: Oh man! I'm assuming she was at a Spaghetti Warehouse.

Eric: That would be quite the faux pas. First, to get locked in a bathroom. Second, to call the wrong restaurant to report your locked in.

Amanda: No, your day is not going to be redeemed from there.

Eric: "The lady definitely told me that she was at Spaghetti Works and she sounded too old to be making a prank phone call."

Julia: But just old enough to slightly have dementia.

Eric: I want to be very clear, that sentence was in the email, because it is something that I would add.

"After this happened, though, the head hostess told me that she thinks there's a ghost in the bathroom and she swears she has seen it. After this happened, we all want to catch this ghost. So, someone downloaded an app that lets ghosts talk through it and it said lots of words for them and even said, "Bathroom."

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: Oh no!

Eric: "I, however, don't know how trustworthy this app was, so I downloaded it on my phone and tried using it in different locations that I assumed weren't haunted and didn't have spirits."

Amanda: Wow, that's really going beyond.

Eric: Way to do a hefty review. That's some thewirecutter.com level of app review right here.

Amanda: I love it.

Eric: "There definitely wasn't any activity in the places that she checked, but in Spaghetti Works there was a lot of activity. I still don't trust this app 100 percent, but I still think there's definitely a spirit there. Love the podcast. Thanks for reading."

Julia: Why are they all haunted? Why are all the spaghetti places haunted?

Amanda: You know, Julia, I think you're on to something. I think spaghetti is the most haunted pasta.

Julia: No, Eric said that, but I will give that credit.

Eric: That is one hundred percent my idea.

Amanda: You know what, Eric, I think you're on to something. I think spaghetti is, indeed, the most haunted pasta.

Eric: Hold on. I'm going to do some quick Googling, sp-a-ghe-tti ... Did the person who made spaghetti die a horrible death?

Amanda: I, meanwhile, am Googling spaghetti ghost.

Eric: The first written record of pasta comes from the Talmud in the fifth century AD.

Amanda: I just found a paranormal experience on Reddit with a spaghetti ghost one.

Eric: Wikipedia does not have who created spaghetti thousands of years ago.

Julia: God dammit, Wikipedia, what's the point of you?

Eric: It was a long shot, for sure.

Julia: Did you get any good spaghetti ghost stuff, Amanda?

Amanda: No, I'm Googling about spaghetti ghosts and I'm not seeing a whole lot. I'm also not seeing our episodes on the first page of the results, so ...

Julia: That's some bullshit.

Amanda: Oh wait! Hauntjaunts.net has a post called, "Why do ghosts like spaghetti so much?"

Julia: There's a paranormal Reddit thread, where there's just a thing called spaghetti ghosts.

Amanda: I know it's about a spaghetti strainer though, and not actual spaghetti which ...

Julia: Fuck that.

Amanda: Get the fuck out. Well, TripAdvisor has a post about the haunted Spaghetti Warehouse in Houston.

Julia: Alright, cool.

Amanda: Vancouver has a haunted Spaghetti Warehouse tour.

Julia: There's a t.v. show episode of a show called Ghost Bounty Hunter.

Amanda: Oh wow!

Julia: The episode title is called, "Urban Spaghetti."

Amanda: This is very disappointing Haunt Jaunts. This is simply a blog post calling people's attention to the existence of Spaghetti Warehouse and asking some questions. I don't want questions, I want answers, god dammit.

Eric: I just want to fill you in on this information. If you search, "Is spaghetti haunted?" the third page top result is meatballs.com the Spaghetti Warehouse website. Also, all the other results are about the Houston Spaghetti Warehouse which is what led us on this ridiculous journey in the first place.

Amanda: I love it. We have to follow this rabbit trail. We have to follow this long slide of spaghetti noodle lure.

Julia: One of the ones that I found was the many ghosts of Old Spaghetti Factory, picture of ghostly Vancouver.

Amanda: Yeah, beautiful. Well, I'm going to continue Googling, "Why do ghosts like spaghetti so much?" all evening. So, I think we better wrap this one up.

Julia: Yes, so remember to eat your spaghetti and stay creepy.

Amanda: Stay cool.

[Theme Music]

Amanda: Spirits was created by Amanda McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, and Eric Schneider, with music by Kevin MacLeod and visual design by Allyson Wakeman.

Julia: Keep up with all things creepy and cool by following us @spiritspodcast on Twitter, instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. We also have all our episode transcripts, guest appearances, and merch on our website, as well as a form to send us your urban legends, at spiritspodcast.com.

Amanda: Join our member community on Patreon, patreon.com/spiritspodcast, for all kinds of behind-the-scenes stuff. Just $1 gets you access to audio extras, with so much more available too: recipe cards, director’s commentaries, exclusive merch, and real physical gifts.

Julia: We are a founding member of Multitude, a collective of independent audio professionals. If you like Spirits you will love the other shows that live on our website, at multitude.productions.

Amanda: And above all else, if you liked what you heard today, share us with your friends! That is the very best way to help us keep on growing.

Julia: Thank you so much for listening. Til next time!