Your stories are full of lessons, this episode. Including he milestone of giving spooky prophecies, a queer dream icon, that Capstone class you take to learn how to excorcise a demon, and taking a moment to consider why you keep winding up at haunted places.
This week, Julia recommends Schitt’s Creek, available on Netflix.
Content Warning: This episode contains conversations about surgery, bodily functions, death by fire, exorcision, suicide, gaslighting/hazing, cancer/drowning/heart attack reference,
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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: And this is Episode 138, your Urban Legends Part 24.
Julia: Wow, we're just getting up there in Urban Legends numbers, huh?
Amanda: Boop-a-doop-boop-a-doop-boop. Julia, sorry there's a newsflash.
Julia: Whoa, what's happening?
Amanda: Julia, did you know that Multitude launches a new show next week?
Julia: Whoa, tell me about that show Amanda. I did know, but tell other people about the show.
Amanda: I am so excited, partly because it's a great show, and also partly because Eric Schneider is the person who had the idea, and is going to be editing the show, and together with Eric Silver, designed this friendly debate show to be the coolest and in my opinion best debate show on the internet.
Julia: Yeah, it's not about who has the right answer, it's about who has the best answer. And that's the best kind of debate.
Amanda: So every month, we debate a different set of three iconic things from pop culture or the world around us.
Julia: And we use the idea of pathos, logos and ethos, aka the head, the heart and the gut, to figure out what's the best thing.
Amanda: Absolutely. So it's all your favorite Multitude hosts on the same feed, every month it's like a different round. So the first three weeks of that month, each person talks about their pick, and sort of defends to the other two why there's is the best, using the definitive survey of greatness, which is seven ideas and prompts that very hilariously makes us sort of defend our pick from different angles.
Julia: It's called Heart, Heart, Gut, in case we didn't mention it before. And there's only one way to listen to it. Amanda, tell them how to listen to it.
Amanda: That's to join the Multi Crew. This is our new membership program that lets our community, you the listeners, fund out new work directly. Because listen, this is the deal. We are growing, we have a studio now, we want to do more and more stuff in our office. We have big plans, we have big ideas, we're all in the same room now all the time, and we have amazing ideas that we want to bring to the world. But the way that works is, we need money to do it. We need to pay people for their time, we need to pay other people to make art, and music, and act, and do all the kinds of things we need to them to do. So, we could wait for a giant media company or a podcast app to pay us to do a show-
Julia: And it could go on Shark Tank.
Amanda: Could go on Shark Tank. I definitely have some floral blazers that I would love to wear in from of Mark Cuban.
Julia: You do.
Amanda: Or, we could depend on you. We could be powered by you. So the Multi Crew is a membership, and your money every month goes toward making Multitude better. Making our office better, bringing in events, making even more amazing podcasts.
Julia: So for $10 a month, you get Heart, Heart, Gut, but you also get pilots for upcoming shows that we're working on, you get exclusive live show audio, just all of these cool, cool things that you can't get anywhere else.
Amanda: And to convince you that Head, Heart, Gut is as amazing as we know it is, we're going to drop the first four episodes the last week of July. So July 29th, 30th, 31st, and August 1st. Then the show will air weekly, a new weekly show from Multitude, oh my God, starting on August 8th.
Julia: And if you have a little bit more money that you'd like to put Multitude's way, we have different tiers. You can do $20 a month, where you get a glitter pin, you get live streams, you get voting rights on very important topics, like upcoming shows, and stuff like that.
Amanda: And also, what to name our many, many plants that we have here in the office.
Julia: There's so many plants.
Amanda: Also the pin is glitter, did I mention that? It's a glitter pin.
Julia: It's a glitter pin.
Amanda: And then $50, you get enshrined on our founders wall, so you get a personalized signed poster, you get free tickets to all of our live shows, no matter where they are, which is very cool. And we may or may not be kind of plotting a live social media honoring ceremony for everyone who joins the founders wall. We're so excited. Nervous, but also stoked. So please go to multicrew.club for more information on the Multi Crew, and to sign up today. Yes, I am a URL monster. I was so excited to buy multicrew.club.
Julia: I was going to say, it's a very, very, very good URL. Multicrew.club.
Amanda: Awesome. So, that is the Multi Crew. We're so excited. Please click on there, if for no other reason than to see how I wrangled our website into looking pretty good. I am pretty proud of it. So, just check out my hard work please.
Julia: Amanda is always just crushing the design.
Amanda: Thank you. Oh, and the newsletter. All Multi Crew members get a dope newsletter delivered to them every single week with even more photos, gifts, movies, weird cropped shots of us when Silver takes candid photos of all of us. It's extremely good.
Julia: Yeah, it's excellent, as always Amanda is doing a killer job.
Amanda: Thanks babe, but do you know who else is doing a killer job?
Julia: Would it be our new patrons?
Amanda: Our new dang patrons, Sarah, Holly and Andy, as well as our supporting producer-level patrons. Phillip, Eeyore, Skyla, Mercedes, Samantha, Danica, Marisa, Sammy, Josie, Neil, Jessica, and Phil Fresh. And Julia, our legend-level patrons, those who are on the founders wall, of Spirits Podcast, virtually. Ayla, Cody, Mr. Folk, James, Jess, Sarah, Sandra, Audra, and Jack Murray.
Julia: Now Amanda, I know you picked our beer for this episode that we would obviously share with our legends if they were here with us now. But tell me about that beer.
Amanda: Yes. This is a beer from my new favorite brewery, which I know is hard to say, but this one really is. It's called Plan Bee, B-E-E. Their logo is a ding dong bee, Julia. Adorable.
Julia: It's just meant for you.
Amanda: It is a farm brewery in Poughkeepsie, New York. They raise bees, they grow things that they then put into their beer. And this week I got to try a plum beer that was so delicious. It had plum, and then shiso leaf, which I didn't even know was a thing. It was spicy, it was herbal, oh my God, it was so delicious. So I brought home several bottles from a barbecue they had at their brewery this past weekend, and shared one with you, because I love you.
Julia: It was very good. I appreciate you a whole bunch.
Amanda: And Jules, let me know, this weekend while you like a smart person were sheltering from the heat, whereas I was laying outdoors at a farm during it, what were you watching, reading, listening to?
Julia: To be fair, I was not sheltering myself from the heat. I was working a wrestling show on Sunday in 99 degree weather, in a non air conditioned warehouse.
Amanda: Well, what did you do to recover afterward?
Julia: I've been watching Schitt's Creek on Netflix, which is very, very, very good. I feel like you recommended it to me, a friend of the show Lauren Shippen I think recommended it to me. A bunch of people have. And it fits the trope that I love on television, where it's like, awful people slowly getting better.
Amanda: Yeah, it's so good. It's so good.
Julia: It's like if you like Community, if you like The Good Place, and if you liked early Arrested Development, that's what the show feels like.
Amanda: Or Parks and Rec too. There's some definitely Parks and Rec vibes.
Julia: That's fair. But yeah, it's fantastic. It's on Netflix, go watch it now.
Amanda: Beautiful. We already talked about the Multi Crew, so we will get without further ado to this week's episode. Thanks again to everyone who's joined, thanks to everybody who will join. We're so excited. Now, enjoy Spirits Podcast, Episode 138, your Urban Legends Part 24.
Eric: Guys, it's Surgery Watch 2019.
Amanda: Oh no.
Amanda: Oh no, I don't like that.
Eric: In the last nine months, my girlfriend and both of our dogs have had surgery.
Amanda: That's not good. That means you're next on the list.
Eric: What's going to happen to me?
Amanda: I don't like that.
Julia: No, one must survive. One must remain to tell the story.
Eric: The Surgery Watch is all for me. What will happen to my body that requires surgery?
Amanda: I hate it. No.
Julia: This is sad, and I don't like this.
Eric: We've had back surgery, we've had broken leg surgery, we've had hernia surgery.
Amanda: To be fair, it seems like it's de-escalating. Back surgery seems like the worst out of all of these.
Julia: Yeah, it's pretty bad.
Eric: Yes. Yes.
Amanda: So you'll probably stub your toe.
Eric: I've seen the bills for all of them. The back surgery was 100% much more expensive, and they have decreased in price. But everyone's doing great. Henry had his surgery yesterday for his hernia.
Amanda: We wish him well.
Eric: He's relaxing right now in the background.
Julia: Hi pup.
Eric: Yeah, he's doing fine. He's not going to poop for like four days.
Amanda: Sweet. That means he's not going to poop in the house.
Eric: Yeah. Well, that's- No, that's usually Henry, but now it's like a wild card because we don't know when it's going to happen.
Julia: It's going to strike at any moment.
Eric: It could be any point after the anesthesia where it's like, "I'm ready."
Amanda: Well, do you want to start our Urban Legends episode with a little aperitif about a dog that has maybe a more serious problem, though not a health problem, maybe?
Amanda: Sure. All right.
Eric: Now I'm confused.
Amanda: So this comes from Kai, and he writes, "Hi. Me and my girlfriend just finished racing to see who could send our email to you first. For the record, I won."
Julia: That's adorable.
Amanda: So cute. So cute. "So my story is, that once one of my friends was very angry, and she went outside to do homework, when she started to hear growling, like animalistic growling. She could hear breathing, and panting, the sound was behind and maybe above her. So naturally she stood there being terrified of being eaten alive, if she turned back or ran away. She says that she has been hearing the growling noise a lot recently."
Julia: I guess she survived. I guess it was fine.
Amanda: "She says that things like this always happen to her when she's mad or upset, like she was when she first heard that growling noise. So naturally the first thing I said rather than comforting her was, 'We have to tell Spirits.' She has no idea what the podcast is, I think she still thinks I'm talking to ghosts, and suggested that maybe Charlie, her adorable floof dog, went through dog puberty. However, she says this was definitely not a dog doing the growling."
Julia: Do dogs go through dog puberty? Is that a thing?
Amanda: No, I think people spay or neuter them, and they don't.
Julia: I mean, a dog's bark does decrease in pitch as it gets older.
Amanda: I don't know.
Eric: I have no idea.
Amanda: Well, she did mention-
Eric: On this episode of How Things Work, dogs voices getting deeper.
Amanda: We speculate wildly. Love it. "Well, she did mention that something had happened to Charlie earlier though. She was home alone, and she heard Charlie 'borking,' as she says. He was running up and down the stairs making noise and going berserk. She heard some other noises too. So when she came out, she saw Charlie in the corner of the room. She couldn't see anything in front of him, but then suddenly he lunged back, as if someone was picking him up and pulling him backward. However, Charlie is the kind of floof who loves people, and jumps on them if anything. She believes that she might have seen a hand, but no one was home. And disconcertingly, nothing else happened after that. So very intelligently, my friend took two days supplies worth of food up to her room and didn't leave until her family came home."
Julia: Correct. Good choice. Actually, I think I would leave. I think isolating yourself, good thing. Isolating yourself that is not in the house, better thing.
Amanda: I just liked the feeling that this is a two-day kind of problem. And in fact the friend said, "I'm only smart when it comes to not being murdered by Satan's cousins."
Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), that's true.
Amanda: And Kai finishes up with, "This all happened by the way within days of each other, and of course I will use it as an excuse to make her listen to Spirits."
Julia: See, this is the kind of wisdom that I want our listeners to have.
Amanda: Oh yeah.
Julia: I don't care how smart you are in any other capacity, just be smart enough not to get murdered by ghosts, please.
Amanda: Yeah. I love the wisdom and the planning here. I love the race to send us an email. We love the long emails, but we love emails most of all, so do that. And of course, use the paranormal as a reason to listen to us. It's great.
Julia: That's true. Do it.
Amanda: Thanks Kai.
Eric: I have a story about a spooky kid.
Julia: Ooh, my favorite.
Eric: This comes from Dan, and he writes, "Hey there. I wanted to share our spooky kid story that happened two years ago. It's all true, but I've changed the names of the kids out of respect for the survivors.
Amanda: No, survivors is bad. That means-
Julia: Yes Dan, yes.
Eric: "This story happened in my adopted home of a small seaside town/big village, Skerries County, Dublin, Ireland."
Julia: I always like the difference in what a town/a village is, especially in non-America, because it's used interchangeably here, but it seems much more important in other places.
Amanda: Very true. I can't really speak to town versus village, except that village is so quaint when people say that they're going down the village, I just find it really adorable. And my favorite part of Irish vernacular is that everything is just down or up the road. Just down the road, it could be 50 kilometers, it could be 500 feet, or meters, whatever, you're never going to know. Down the road, up the road, around the road. Yeah, amazing.
Julia: As long as it's one road though. As long as you don't have to make a turn, and then you're good.
Amanda: It's true.
Eric: You're fine. "The town has a spooky past going back to the year 432 when St. Patrick returned to Ireland." That's probably 1432.
Eric: Or is St. Patrick from 432
Amanda: He old, Eric. He old.
Eric: I don't know. I don't listen to this podcast. I have no idea about the history of stuff.
Julia: He be old.
Amanda: As we learned from Caroline Krampton-
Amanda: It be the old there.
Eric: "When St. Patrick returned to Ireland and cursed the locals for stealing and eating his goat. But he forgave them, so ..." Julia was not prepared for that part of story.
Eric: But he forgave them, so by and large, so we're cool with the supernatural world.
Julia: Sure, that's how that works.
Amanda: Oh, this is the town where the goat eating happened?
Eric: I believe so.
Amanda: Love it.
Julia: It's got to be, otherwise, what's the point?
Amanda: Listen, that's Irish famous, it really is.
Eric: "We live in a new housing estate a mile or so outside the village, out by the prehistoric Cairnes. It was a planning condition for the houses that line of sight was maintained between the Cairnes."
Amanda: Oh no, do you know what that means? It was the building code that the houses couldn't block the Cairnes from seeing each other. It sounds like you are setting yourself up for some otherworldly energy to manifest and make stuff happen.
Julia: There's some fable bullshit about to happen. I agree.
Eric: This is intense. "Maybe this is like how Icelandic road planners won't disturb rocks with trolls living in them."
Eric: "I guess they were being careful not to upset the fairies. So no reason to expect anything spooky."
Julia: There we go. Amanda did that thing again that she always does.
Eric: Hard disagree on that reasoning. I think that's the number one reason to expect something spooky. "Our two kids soon befriended two neighbors, Charlie, aged eight, and Molly, aged five. On the third night after moving into their new house, there was an unsettling sense of impermanence. The house smelled new, new carpets, paint and glue. Boxes were still unpacked, and Charlie was not yet in his bedroom. He was camping down on a mattress in a living room with a glass door." I'm so excited for this one.
Julia: I hate this. I hate this already. Just remember that this story started with, "survivors." Just putting it out there. Very creepy framing.
Eric: "Around midnight, he was awoken by a slow, knock noise on the door. The knocking continued. So being an enterprising kid, he got out of bed to see who was at the door. On the other side of the glass was a little girl in an old-fashioned white nightgown, slowly knocking. Of course, it was his little sister Molly. Charlie opened the door, but before he could speak, Molly opened her eyes wide to just show the whites of her eyes. Charlie Scooby-Dooed upstairs to his parents' room and jumped into their bed."
Amanda: Smartest thing Charlie's done so far.
Eric: "He was explaining the story to his mommy, when Molly walked in the room slowly and deliberately. Molly stretched out her arms and pointed at the bed, and calmly said in her cute little girl voice, 'Charlie will be first.'"
Julia: Very bad.
Eric: "Molly walked out of the room and put herself to bed, and in the morning remembered nothing. She had never sleptwalked before, nor has she since."
Amanda: That's a great sort of child development milestone. If you're old enough to give forth prophecies in the middle of the night, you are old enough to tuck yourself back in.
Julia: That's true. She's got you there.
Eric: "She's a sweet kid, and there's nothing spooky about her at all." I mean, disagree.
Amanda: Except ...
Eric: "Except for the mysterious disappearance of snacks when she calls around our house. We dunst curse her for it.
Julia: That's an extremely pleasant email. Obviously scary as shit, but well-written. Thank you.
Amanda: Horrifying, but also good. I have one about a house and a ghost.
Julia: I want to hear it.
Amanda: So this email comes from Ray, and Ray writes, "This story was actually told to me by my stepmother who lives in my birth city of Boise, Idaho, a wonderful little desert town not asimilar from Night Vale. My biological mother and my dad split up when I was little, so I spent every summer and holiday break ages 4 to 17 in Boise. My dad and my stepmom stared remodeling the house here and there when I was about seven, and a couple of years ago my stepmom told me that our house was haunted before they started the remodel, and that she had seen a ghost in the house. The story that she told me was that one day, she walked into our kitchen and saw a rather portly man with a beard standing in the doorframe from the door that led to the backyard from the kitchen."
Eric: When was this again?
Amanda: When this person ... Before they were seven, apparently.
Eric: Wasn't me then.
Amanda: Wasn't you. You're going to appreciate that it wasn't you in this next part.
Eric: Oh great.
Amanda: "It is also worth mentioning that the man was totally naked."
Eric: Although you know what, I did get up to some crazy stuff in Boise one time.
Amanda: "She only saw him for a moment, but she told me that it felt like her surroundings had changed as well, almost as if they were in a different time period, but only in that moment. After she and my dad started remodeling the house, she never saw him again. A little bit of Boise history. The town used to primarily be a farming community in the early 1900s, especially on the hill where we live. So my stepmom figured that the man must have been a farmer who used to live on our property. I always knew that the house was old. I would sometimes find super old toy cars buried in the dirt while playing outside as a kid. My favorite part of this story is that my stepmom said that he was probably naked because this was his home, and it was a place that he felt comfortable."
Julia: You know what, that is genuinely the purest and least creepy reason that a ghost could be naked in your house. It really is.
Amanda: The next sentence is, "The thing is, my stepmom is the same way. In the summertime, she'll walk around the house in the mornings totally naked and regularly draw a bath for herself in the bathtub we have in the backyard, and just do what feels comfortable. I feel like this ghost farmer and my stepmom would have gotten along. Anyway, keep up the good work. I've been a big fan of the podcast since almost day one, and you guys are keeping me company while I make zines about vampires. Love y'all."
Julia: Oh man, please show us some photos of your zines on Twitter. We would love to re-tweet that.
Amanda: We want to see the zines. We would love to see those zines.
Eric: I definitely want vampire zines.
Amanda: Yeah. I have a zine collection here in the Multitude office.
Julia: Yes, please send us a zine. We'll pay for it, just let us know where we can buy it.
Amanda: Oh yeah, for sure.
Eric: We should commission a zine.
Julia: That would be super cool.
Eric: Why haven't we done ... That's so obvious.
Amanda: I love that idea. After the bell house, we have to dream bigger, you know?
Julia: I know.
Eric: So naturally we've got to do small local publishing.
Amanda: We've got to get into print, baby. Embrace that old media.
Julia: Well, that story about a ghostly kitchen reminded me that I need a quick refill. Will you guys come with me?
Eric: I sure will.
Amanda: Yeah, let's go grab some beer. Julia, do you notice something different about me this week?
Julia: Well your hair looks really nice.
Julia: Your skin is flawless as always.
Julia: Your eyes look really, really pretty right now?
Amanda: Thank you, because I got my first new pair of eyeglasses in four years from our new sponsor, Warby Parker.
Julia: Yo, I love Warby Parker.
Amanda: Now, you all have probably heard of Warby Parker before. They are trying to bring boutique quality eyewear at a revolutionary price point, aka an affordable price point. And I was so stoked when Warby got in touch with us, because again, haven't gotten an eye exam or updated my glasses in four years, and I have done probably thousands of hours of reading in the time between 2015 and now. And I definitely needed a new prescription.
Warby makes it super easy to get your prescription renewed or updated at their stores, or you can go to an eye doctor, take Julia, a photo with your phone, of your prescription, and upload it to their app or their website. Or you can email to them, you can also call them, there's lots of ways to get in touch. But point being, it has never been easier for me to get anything filled with any kind of prescription than it was to get these glasses.
Julia: That's fantastic.
Amanda: Their aesthetic is vintage-inspired with a contemporary twist. Every single pair of glasses has anti-reflective lenses, so you don't get that glare, which everyone hates. And their stuff is available exclusively through Warby Parker's website, and their retail stores. Glasses start at $95. There's not a lot of BS and upcharge. You can genuinely get a pair of glasses at $95, which is pretty amazing.
Julia: I have a pair that make me look like a 1960s librarian.
Amanda: It's absolutely wonderful. And best of all, if you're not quite sure what you look like in different pairs, because it's really hard to look at a website and see what your face would look like on it, they have an iPhone X app where you can have a virtual try-on right in your home, or you can have a physical try-on. They have a free home try-on program, where you order five pairs of glasses, try them for five days absolutely free, no credit card, no nothing. It ships free, and includes a prepaid return shipping label. So go to warbyparker.com/spirits to order your free home try-ons today.
Julia: That's warbyparker.com/spirits. I will say the home try-on is really useful. Jake is a big tactile person, so he needs to see the thing on his face in order to tell if he likes it. I ended up getting two pairs.
Amanda: Awesome. And you can even get blue light filtering lenses, for those of us who spend a lot of time in front of computers. Anyway, awesome stuff. That's warbyparker.com/spirits, to order your free home try-ons today.
Julia: Amanda, it is hot outside, but I am still plowing through 20-fight-teen, with the help of Care/of.
Amanda: Tell me how.
Julia: So Care/of is a subscription service that delivers vitamins and supplements customized to your specific health needs. You just take this short quiz online, it's really easy, it's really useful. They ask you questions about your lifestyle, your fitness and health goals, and then they put together a personalized plan for you, in these little packets of vitamins that you take daily. And you know what's really cool? They just updated this recently. They now have compostable packets instead of just piling on plastic and plastic, and hoping they'll recycle. You can compost them instead.
Amanda: That's so cool. I really appreciate a company that really thinks about that kind of thing.
Julia: Plus Care/of is looking out not only for the environment but for you. With the quiz, it helps you focus on things like how much sleep you're getting, or if you're looking for more energy, they'll help you out with that too. It's really, really useful in focusing on your exact needs, and helping you solve the problems that you're having. The best part is too, is if your goals change, you can modify your subscription at any time when your needs or preferences change. So if you decide you're focused on one thing for the summer, bu then fall, you want to focus on something else, easy to change, easy to retake that quiz and be like, "Hey, I want to sleep better this fall," and Care/of is like, "Yo, we got you."
Amanda: Or if you need more energy as the light starts going away, that's really real. That's really real.
Julia: And the nice part is that Care/of makes sure that you know what you're putting in your body, and that it's coming from the best sources backed by honest guidance and transparency, which are all available to you via their website. So, transparent, good for the environment, good for you, Care/of, fantastic. So for 25% off your first Care/of order, you can go to takecareof.com, and enter the promo code SPIRITS.
Amanda: That's takecareof.com, promo code SPIRITS.
Julia: Thanks Care/of.
Amanda: And speaking of the seasons changing Jules, I don't know about you, but I'm super weirded out by the fact that it's light at like, 9 PM right now.
Julia: Yeah, it's weird.
Amanda: It is really weird. And as a person who struggles with sleep a lot, it is kind of disconcerting to have your routine thrown off, which is why I'm so glad that Calm is a part of mine. You know how much I love those sleep stories. There are ones about rivers, there are ones about trains, there are ones about walking through a lavender field. There's fiction, there's fairytales, it's so awesome.
Julia: I love these basically adult bedtime stories. They're fantastic, and I want to listen to them even when I'm not sleepy.
Amanda: Absolutely. And Calm also has all kinds of meditations, and soundscapes. You can play the sound of rain, or a field, or a forest as you're trying to get to sleep, or to focus, or to read, or to stay zen in a stressful situation, like I don't know, a packed commuter train going to the Hamptons at 4 PM on a Friday.
Julia: Yeah, you need that sometimes. And maybe you just want to take a nap on that train, and then you're like, "Stephen Fry, tell me about that lavender field."
Amanda: And Calm can help you seize the day and sleep the night, which is an adorable catchphrase.
Julia: I really like that.
Amanda: So right now, Spirits listeners can get 25% off a Calm premium subscription at calm.com/spirits. That's C-A-L-M.C-O-M/spirits. 40 million people have downloaded Calm, and you can find out why, at calm.com/spirits. Now Julia, I could tell from the way that this email, it was marked read in our inbox, so I know that you clicked on it, and I know why. Because the title is, "Weird Dream Sharing and Zelda Fitzgerald the Ghostly Wingman (Eric Safe)."
Julia: I did totally click on that one. You got me there.
Eric: I haven't clicked on this one. I don't know what's going to happen. I'm excited.
Amanda: This comes from AJ, and they write, "I've been an avid fan and Spirits listener for almost three years now, and I've shared your amazing podcast with virtually everyone I've met in that time." Excellent, thank you AJ.
Julia: Thank you. Doing the best.
Amanda: "These are a few of the weirder moments in my life. I finally decided to write in when I heard a listener story where someone else talked about having predictive dreams. Mine aren't exactly the same, but I've always thought they were pretty cool. For one thing, my whole family has had them. My dad used to tell me and my sister about the times in his life when he had dreams about getting lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood with his old friend, only to have it happen to him the very next day. The first time he just thought it was funny, and the third time he was actually able to find his way back to where they were going by following what he had done in his dream the night before."
Julia: That is very cool.
Amanda: It's terrifying. How do you explain that?
Julia: I'm not terrified, I am fascinated.
Amanda: Yeah, you're right. You're right. I think I said creepy, but I meant cool.
Julia: We know that there's a fine line between those things.
Amanda: Oh, we sure do. We sure do. "So that story always fascinated me, and of course I thought of it when my sister had a dream predicting the end of our favorite video game." Now listen people, I don't know how old Halo 3 or if people still care about it, but you might want to skip forward about 60 seconds if you do. "We grew up loving the Halo franchise, and when Halo 3 was coming out, we were both in elementary school." Okay, so pretty old then.
"My sister had a dream two months before the release date that one of the main characters would get killed by a spike gun while she pointed her own guns at herself and another character. Turns out that exact thing happened in a cut scene near the end of the game, except involving a different kind of spike gun than the one my sister had seen. There are two in the game because who plays games with only one spike gun?"
Julia: It's true.
Amanda: Does that resonate with any Halo players here?
Eric: There's 100% tracks. There are, there's different spike guns. The needler, which got significantly worse in Halo 3.
Julia: It was way better in Halo 2.
Amanda: Yesterday I shut down an office conversation about Star Wars movies versus one another, because I was like, "This discourse is on the internet for you guys, I don't need it in my office. Let's move along."
Julia: Damn, good choice.
Amanda: All right. "I personally have had two of these dreams that I can remember, and they have a kind of weird-ish theme to them. The first one only a few years ago started like an entirely normal dream, as they always do, with me gathering TV characters and my own family to form a team to save the world from impending doom."
Julia: Very good. See, I love people who have super intense but also ridiculous dreams, because I'm like that. My dreams get very, very vivid, very quickly.
Amanda: I do like hearing about people's dreams, but I think it's only because you were the person whose dreams I heard for like a decade only, and I was like, "Well every dream has to be this entertaining." They're not.
Eric: I've had a bunch of really wild dreams lately, because Kelsey has a cold, so she's been coughing a bunch, so I've been taking a melatonin to help me stay asleep throughout the night. And melatonin gives me just Grade A weird stuff in the middle of the night
Amanda: So does that CBD sleep juice that I use.
Julia: Nice. I will say that Amanda once, I told her a dream that I had, and then she wrote a short story about it, and it made me cry.
Amanda: It was very good.
Julia: It was when I was a superhero, and you're like, "I'm just going to make this happen for you," and then I cried.
Amanda: I'll try to find it. We'll post it if we have it. Check the Insta.
Julia: I think Paradox was the name we came up with.
Amanda: Oh shit, yeah that's right. Oh my God. It's on my computer.
Eric: Search Paradox, and we'll eventually find Amanda's AO3 username. One day we'll figure it out.
Amanda: Oh, don't worry Julia.
Julia: Definitely a fanfiction.net-
Amanda: I have it, and it's in script format. I wrote it as a movie scene.
Amanda: The line, it starts with the stage direction, "Open, the Greco Roman sculpture gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, night."
Julia: Of course. Obviously. This was like senior year of high school, so we had no place else.
Amanda: All right, check the Insta y'all, it'll be there. So AJ continues that they have had "seven different versions of this dream on seven different nights."
Julia: That's too many times.
Eric: That's a lot. That's a lot.
Amanda: "At one point, I ran into an old friend that I had from summer camp in one of these dreams, who I asked to join us in defending reality. The friend agreed and then told me, 'By the way, I go by Jamie now. I'm trans,' to which I said, 'Cool,' and we went back to saving the world. About a week later in the real world, my mom asked me if I remembered that exact friend from summer camp. When I said, 'Yes,' my mom said, 'He just came out on Facebook as trans. His name is James.' The second dream was almost exactly the same, except with a family member who came out to me a month and a half after I had the dream. The only difference was that the second time, I got their name way more wrong than Jamie and James."
Julia: You are still a queer dream icon, and I appreciate you.
Amanda: I really love it. "One more weird dream thing. Last year while I was living in the same dorm as my ex, he walked in ..." Mistake number one by the way, AJ.
Julia: Yeah, don't do that.
Amanda: Can't do that. Gotta run them out of house and home. Okay. "So in one of my dreams, he walked into my room, asked me two questions and then left. I don't remember what the questions were, but I do remember that when I was telling a friend about it the next day, she told me that my ex had had the same exact thing happen in his dream last night and told her about it. I questioned him about this, and it turned out that he had dreamed the night before that he walked into my room, asked me two questions, and left. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but maybe dream sharing is easier when two people are in the same building? I don't know. I just hope I'll have slightly more strange dream things happen, mostly because my regular dreams tend to involve more apocalypse."
Julia: I appreciate the jam-packed action of your regular dreams, but these prophetic ones are also very, very cool.
Amanda: So we now get into the Zelda part of things.
Julia: Oh yes, I forgot about the Zelda part of things.
Eric: I forgot there was a whole other second part. It's already so packed.
Amanda: It is short but packed of stuff. "This email's getting a little longer than I intended, so I'm going to save the Riverside ragman for a later day, and finish ..."
Eric: Hold on, hold on. Ripperside ragman?
Amanda: River. Riverside ragman.
Julia: I think we covered that in the live show that we did at the Brooklyn Horror Fest, Amanda.
Amanda: That does familiar, but AJ, write in and tell us your version. We'd love to talk about it.
Julia: Yes please.
Amanda: Okay. "So we'll finish on the time Zelda Fitzgerald tried to help me get it on. Okay, to be fair, I didn't know it was her, but I'd like to think that it was. The dorm my ex and I lived in was built on the lot where the asylum Zelda Fitzgerald had lived in and burned down. One of the employees ..."
Julia: Wait, Zelda Fitzgerald burned it down herself?
Amanda: No, Zelda had lived in the asylum-
Julia: I'm just curious. That sounds like something that she would do.
Amanda: "Sadly, one of the employees had locked all of the patients' rooms and set the building on fire. Six people died, including Zelda herself. Someone apparently decided that it would be a good idea to then build a lot of schools there." Seriously.
Julia: Sure. It's New York, it's real estate, baby.
Amanda: "Over the years, people reported seeing her spirit walking down the halls, sometimes at night. They said you could hear a woman's laugh sometimes when no one else was there, or the click of a lock when nothing had been locked, or even the sound of a match being struck."
Julia: Creepy. Creepy. Super creepy.
Amanda: "I have no idea if any of that was true, but I do know what I saw. It wasn't much really, but I still think about it. Right around the time my ex and I started hooking up, we were kind of making out in the common room," as you do, "When suddenly there was a loud slam. We jumped and tried to figure out what had happened, and we saw one of the largest books on a nearby bookshelf had hit the floor. The floor in the middle of the room. The floor, a full foot and a half away from the shelf."
Julia: Too far. Don't like.
Amanda: "Just as I picked it up, a staff member walked in to check on something in the room. Neither of us had heard them coming at all. We looked to put the book back and realized it hadn't even fallen from the edge of the shelf. It had been tucked snugly in the middle, and two other books on either side of it had been knocked off by the force of whatever moved it."
Julia: Zelda didn't want you getting caught.
Amanda: "Both of those had landed normally on the floor beneath the shelves. I like to think that whoever did this was trying to be a bro and warn us so that we didn't get in trouble rather than trying to get us to stop. I think Zelda Fitzgerald may have been that kind of friend, and I can't help but hope that it was her."
Julia: I support it.
Eric: The friend here ... It's obviously not Zelda Fitzgerald. It's clearly Matthew McConaughey from Interstellar.
Julia: You're the worst.
Eric: Vague spoilers for Interstellar there, but if you've seen Interstellar, A plus joke right there for you all, for Interstellar-heads.
Amanda: All five of you. Cool. And AJ closes with a P.S. Normally I wouldn't Julia put in front of you episode requests because I know you catalog them and run them against your list, but I love the way that AJ phrased this. "Are there any plans for a vampire roundup in the future? Please, I'm a desperate bisexual."
Julia: I understand, AJ.
Amanda: AJ, me too. Same.
Eric: You know who else requested that? Me and Julia's Lyft driver in Portland.
Julia: Forgot about that.
Amanda: Tell me all about it.
Julia: That's how much she likes The Vampire Diaries.
Eric: We have two requests for vampire roundups.
Julia: We'll work on it, y'all. We'll work on it.
Amanda: You know the Pacific Northwest, they love their vampires.
Julia: Horny for vampires.
Amanda: Just horny for vampires. Yo.
Eric: And vampires are horny for everything, according to the recent round of films.
Eric: I've got a story that is not about vampires, but is about the time Tai saw a demon.
Julia: Ooh. Waddup Tai?
Amanda: Tell me.
Eric: Tai writes, "Hey Spirits gang, I've been wanting to write in for a while, but couldn't decide which story to tell."
Amanda: Tell them all. Tell them all, Tai.
Eric: Send multiple emails. If that's what you got to do, just write them all out, split them up into a bunch of emails, and send them. Send them one a day. "I grew up in the middle of nowhere, Kansas, and everywhere I've lived, and most of the places I've worked have been haunted."
Amanda: Tai, we're making some decisions here with your life, and I just want you to sit here for a moment, think about them. And then move on.
Eric: They were probably all Italian restaurants, as we know.
Julia: As we know, spaghetti is haunted as hell.
Eric: "I have tons of stories to share, and might write back with some others eventually." Might? Might write back?
Amanda: Tai, you insult us.
Eric: I don't want to tell you what to do, but you should write back. "But today, I want to share the story of the time I saw a demon. We moved into this house when I was two years old. My younger sister and I were given the entire upstairs for a kids' paradise, like a huge mess of toys."
Amanda: This as we learned from the last one that we did, the upstairs paradise is where the creepy clown is hiding, and it's going to become your imaginary friend who's actually real.
Julia: Don't do that.
Eric: Let's not put that on other people.
Amanda: I'm just saying.
Eric: I don't want to put that mojo onto other people.
Amanda: I learned from other people's mistakes is all I'm saying.
Eric: Okay. Okay, fair enough, fair enough. "I took the smaller room because it looked like the Power Puff Girls' room, and I was more of a style than a space kind of kid."
Eric: "One night, not long after we had moved in, I saw a man in the corner of my room. I was freaked because the thing wasn't really a man. It was something else. Something worse. I don't remember much of my childhood, so lots of the details are lost to time. But I do remember the spirit. It didn't look human. It stood in the corner of my room and pointed a long finger at me. Its nails were long and uncut, and its skin was a faded, dark blue-ish color."
Eric: It's probably just like an elf from World of Warcraft.
Julia: All right, there we go. Solved it.
Eric: "The entire figure was shrouded in darkness, and though I couldn't see its face, I got the distinct feeling that it was laughing at me." That's the detail that made me pick the email, because I hated it so much.
Julia: Don't like that. Don't like it at all.
Eric: "Naturally, I got the hell out of there. I ran down to my parents' room and told them there was a man in my room laughing at me. They freaked out, but my dad is a preacher, so he had an idea of how to handle it." Now this is the second part that made me choose to read the email, because as some listeners know, I was studying to be a pastor for like, three, three and a half years in college. And let me tell you, unless it was a capstone course that I didn't take, they don't tell you what to do about a laughing person in your child's room, anywhere else in the curriculum.
Julia: That's your final. That's what they teach you last.
Amanda: Yeah, it's like the Kobayashi Maru, right? Where they don't teach you how to solve it, they just teach you the wisdom that you need to know that you can't solve it.
Julia: This is the nerdiest shit that you've ever said on this podcast.
Amanda: Thank you.
Eric: That's 100% not true. There's no way that is the nerdiest shit. I don't have a good counterargument about what is the nerdiest shit that's been said on the podcast, but there is no way it's the Kobayashi Maru.
Julia: I think it's got to be top ten though.
Eric: Oh well top ten, well we're expanding a lot from the one to the top ten.
Julia: In recent memory, that is the nerdiest shit you've said on this podcast.
Amanda: Listen ...
Eric: "They went with me up to my room and prayed for my protection." Weird that they brought her up immediately, like they didn't check it out without the child in tow.
Julia: That's bad.
Eric: "I'm not here to preach the idea of prayer, because personally that's not my jam. But from that day on, I never saw him again. I still felt him, and stuff always disappeared in that corner, but I couldn't see him. I could ignore it, and a lot of other creepy stuff happened in that house, but that was by far the scariest."
Amanda: As a parent, your kid says, "A man's in my room." Would you rather it be a demon or a person?
Eric: Uhhh ...
Amanda: Neither, right? It's a real head-scratcher.
Julia: The answer is neither.
Eric: We're a bit short on time, so we might as well really consider this. Okay. If I'm a preacher, it becomes harder, because now I believe in demons, and obviously there are creepy people out in the world.
Eric: So let's take it from this specific situation. It's a real tough one. I feel like person is worse, and here's why. A demon you can use, you have God on your side, against the demon. And there is a supernatural element, it might not be able to physically do something. But a creepy guy is there, for sure, and you'd need the cops more than God in that situation. So I feel like that is 100% worse.
Julia: Yeah, I think I got to go with demon over creepy dude.
Eric: So you're doing the opposite. You're doing the opposite of me. You're saying-
Julia: I'm saying I would rather it be a demon than a creepy dude.
Eric: Oh right, yeah, that was the- I forgot what the question was.
Julia: The tangibility of a creepy man is so much worse than the intangibility of a demon, in my opinion.
Amanda: You know, I currently have a worldview that does not accommodate real demons. So I think I would rather deal with an intruder, for which I feel like I have a plan, than rethink my whole thing. So I think I'm going to vote, I'd rather it be man.
Julia: I feel like I've seen enough horror and paranormal films that I could fake my way through an exorcism if I really needed to. The demon probably doesn't know the difference. It's probably fine.
Amanda: Yeah, word.
Eric: Tai also included a few pictures of their dog, which we are pulling up now, live reactions.
Julia: Oh no, what a good pup.
Amanda: Mia got one of those things full of whipped cream from the Starbucks, oh very good.
Julia: Yeah, she has a very good little tongue hanging out. Aw, very good. She's got like human hair. She's one of those dogs that has the human hair but on just the ears.
Amanda: I know. She looks like a TRESemmé influencer.
Julia: She does. That one picture just ... I want that hairstyle.
Eric: TRESemmé influencer.
Julia: Love it.
Amanda: I don't know if they do influencer marketing, but it feels like they must, right?
Eric: Everyone does influencer marketing.
Amanda: All right, Julia how about you take us home with our final urban legend?
Julia: Sure. Would you prefer a ...
Eric: I love a choice.
Julia: A summer camp with a giant lynx monster, or a 500-year old boarding school with secret underground tunnels?
Eric: I'm going to defer to Amanda, but I would vote underground tunnels.
Amanda: I agree. It's hot outside, and I want to be in that dank cool.
Julia: Tight, tight, tight. Well, if you are a patron for Spirits, you can hear about the apocalypse lynx named Kitty another time. So this comes from listener Jess, and Jess writes, "I don't really have any from my ..." Sorry, I'm just going to read the whole thing. "Hey guys, I've been listening to the podcast for a couple months now, in a haphazard listening order," the best way to listen to Spirits in my opinion.
Amanda: Oh yeah, no worries.
Julia: "And I've been particularly loving the hometown urban legends sections. I don't really have any from my hometown, but thankfully, I did go to a very old, very weird English boarding school, which had ghost stories to spare."
Amanda: Fuck yeah.
Julia: All right, Amanda gave you the rock out across the table here. I appreciate it.
Julia: "Most of the ghost stories are fairly bare bones. With it being such an old institution, there have been a number of deaths. So just about every house had a ghost of a teacher, or a student who was rumored to still walk the halls. The one I find the creepiest was the boy that hanged himself from the chapel bell, and the whole school had been woken up to the relentless chiming of the bell in the dead of night. You can see the knot in the bell rope where a new rope was attached, giving a particularly creepy credence to the legend." I love physical aspect of legend. Very good.
Amanda: Obviously it's a tragic and sad scenario, but those are very good creepy details.
Julia: Yes, I appreciate it. "However, no doubt the most enduring of these scary stories was that of the blue nun. Every girl's house in the school would claim that the blue nun was one of their own, and her story was one of the few told to new pupils," in parentheses they're called squits, I don't know why, but I'm very interested in that etymology of that thing. "These were scared little 11-year-olds, most away from home for the first time. And by their squitmus, which girls in the year above would be tasked to look after a particular newbie ..."
Amanda: That's extremely good.
Julia: So that's what a squitmus was? Oh my God. "Legend had it that the blue nun had been an old house parent, basically a teacher that would act in lieu of a parent while you were in school, assigning chores, making sure you did your work and cleaned your room, et cetera. In the school's early days, a lot of the house parents were religious figures, like priests, monks, and nuns, as the school was super religious, and the blue nun was no exception, but for the fact that she had made a deal with the Devil."
Eric: The worst. The worst thing to do, to make a deal with.
Julia: Especially as a nun.
Amanda: Nuns had made a deal with God, that's the whole point.
Julia: That's the whole point. They didn't do it.
Amanda: That's the whole thing.
Julia: Except if you're reading Good Omens, or watching the TV show. Then those ones didn't, but ...
Amanda: I mean, they weren't ... They were just posing as nuns though.
Julia: No, they were a Satanic religious order.
Amanda: Oh that's true, that's true.
Julia: Yeah. Okay, so. "There was never any mention of what the nun got out of this deal. But in exchange for whatever devilish reward she'd wanted, she was tasked with marking souls for death and damnation. On one particular night in the first term, I want to say it was around the start of October, she would mark one new squit with an inverted cross upon their forehead. A black cross meant they were to soon die of a heart attack, red for fever, in later years cancer, because we figured out how to treat most fevers. Blue for drowning, and white for suicide. Once the squit woke and found themselves marked, they would die in seven days." It's always seven days.
Amanda: I know.
Julia: I just like the roundness of the week, I suppose.
Amanda: I do find a week to be pretty poetic, but listeners, pay attention next week, because we do talk about when you're foretelling or doing something dooming, do you give people a day's warning? Do you give them no warning? What is the plan?
Julia: I feel like with seven days, it kind of builds up the suspense a bit, you know what I mean? Like, oh, now you've got to think about, you've got seven days to live. What you gonna do?
Amanda: I just picture a Bruce Willis movie cover of him running away from death, like instead of an explosion behind him it's like the Grim Reaper. I think that would be great.
Julia: This is just the plot of Final Destination, and also The Ring, right?
Amanda: Neither. Nope, neither for me.
Julia: Amanda's like, "Nope. Never going to happen, sorry." Let me finish this email and then we can talk more about those things. So Jess continues, "Now, I don't know if the blue nun was ever a real person. And while there were a number of unconfirmed sightings of a dark-robed figure at the end of the corridor, that I never saw myself, I do have a direct experience with blue nun night, though not a supernatural one. I was woken on blue nun night to a wet, sticky feeling of something on my forehead. But when I screamed and slammed my light on, it wasn't the nun, it was my squit ma, and all the girls from the year above who quickly ran back to their own dorms. I went to wash off my face, and I found a wonky inverted cross drawn in red lipstick."
Amanda: That's extremely cute. Also, very Parent Trap.
Julia: Yeah. "And the next year, I helped spread the story, and marked my own squit. Sorry Catharine."
Julia: "P.S.- There's not much to say about this one, but we did have weird tunnels built to link all of the houses and provide an evacuation point built pre-World War II. And during my time at the school, our school reverend went down there to do an exorcism. To be honest, the true danger down there was the asbestos."
Julia: That's very good.
Amanda: What more can I add? That was perfect. It was very, very good. I really liked that one.
Julia: Well, lesson learned from this urban legend roundup y'all?
Eric: Yeah. I think so. Lessons learned are ... Sorry, I did not realize what ... I thought you were saying, "Lessons learned." And I was like, "Yeah." You're asking, "What kind of lessons?" Lessons are that kids remain champions of creepiness, for sure. That's number one, with a bullet.
Julia: I think Jess taught us that you need to perpetuate your own mythologies for as long as possible, and do your part to scare younger children.
Amanda: That's true, and Kai is a master entrepreneur in taking creepy moments and turning them into opportunities to spread the word about Spirits.
Eric: I think from a narrative point, calling people survivors is very good, even if no one dies in your story, because it immediately ramps it up. Because as soon as I saw that, I was like, "Oh, this is going to go places." And it does go places, but none of those places involve death, and I was like, "This is going to get them real good. This is going to get everybody really good."
Julia: We're all survivors of yesterday. You know what I mean?
Amanda: And we're going to survive today.
Julia: We are.
Amanda: All right, well thank you again everybody. And remember, stay creepy, stay cool.