PseudoPod 672: In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience and The Halloween Parade

Show Notes

Effie Seiberg: “As a card-carrying wuss, this is the first horror-eque piece I’ve ever written. This story finally lets me say that my work can be found in every single Escape Artists podcast, which is very exciting because I’m a wuss when it comes to horror and never thought this day would come. Perhaps the scariest part, to me, is how we have a culture where it’s somehow ok to treat customer service folks like trash even when they’re not responsible for whatever mishaps you experienced.”


In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience

by Effie Seiberg


Dear Mrs. Axelthorpe,

I’m so sorry to hear your family had a negative experience at our ScareBnB. While we aim to provide an atmosphere of family-friendly spooky overnight fun, I see that with your family’s unique experience we’ve missed the mark.

You’re right, the blood dripping down the stairs to the abandoned attic was a slipping hazard. However, we did have signs clearly stating that guests should not go up the abandoned attic stairs for precisely this reason. You’ll be glad to know that the stains will eventually come out of your family’s clothes with a little bit of bleach, but unfortunately the curse we use to keep the bloodflow going is non-removable, and your clothing will continue to drip.

After their arrival into the (closed off) attic, I understand that your children were distressed by the sounds of our attic ghost. However, after reviewing the logs and interviewing the performer on shift, Alex of the Screeching Chains, it appears that the upsetting sounds were of Alex weeping after your offspring doused him in several cans of WD-40 and tried to set him on fire. We encourage our performers to stay in character and will send him an appropriate reprimand once he’s out of the hospital.

While most of our guests are delighted by the Hallway of Knives And Very Pointy Pendulums, I am disappointed that we did not meet your requirements for entertainment. That said, after our staff put out Alex’s fire, they asked your children not to climb up the pendulums several times, as their weight would throw off the delicate balance of blade choreography. Despite this, they persisted on clambering all over the apparatus, which as a result disconnected and flew across the hall, decapitating our Haunted Knight. I understand your children were dissatisfied when they found the Haunted Knight staggering around looking for his head amusing rather than scary. For this I also apologize. (You might be interested to know that the Haunted Knight will also make a full recovery after another few rounds of ectoplasm transfusion.)

I would also like to assure you that yes, all of our bats, rats, and tarantulas have all been vaccinated. While I’m deeply sorry that your wife was bitten, the critters only nip when provoked. I understand that setting the castle’s tapestries on fire has a way of spooking them.

In regards to the tapestries, they are enchanted to show the current guests’ greatest fears. While I’m certain it’s unsettling to have your own image appear in magic needlepoint, unfortunately I am not able to determine who in your family is terrified of you. That said, we are grateful that you only burned the tapestries in the North Wing, as the South Wing’s tapestries contain the threaded souls of the damned and we do not want them getting out.

Finally, I understand that while you were asked to leave the house for the firefighters to do their work, your family wandered into the nearby (closed) graveyard. Unfortunately as this was merely the local graveyard and not part of the ScareBnB experience, we cannot be held responsible for your experiences there. That said, yes, it can be disappointing that the graves were only for the dead, and not the undead, and I understand your children’s frustration that their desecration did not yield more fruitful results. I can also understand your consternation at the arrival of the local pitchfork-wielding mob.

I’m sorry that this caused you to exit the premises, and you were not able to avail yourselves of our full overnight experience, complete with fully-locking coffins lined with the finest rotting shrouds.

For all of these, I’d like to assure you that your recent visit has been comped, and per local regulations, we’ve notified the police.

Best,

Mr. Swamppe, Director of ScareBnB Customer Service and volunteer firefighter

PS—While we are not able to offer you a discount on your next stay with us, as your account has been disabled, please instead accept these $50 gift certificates for each of our top competitors.

About the Authors

Effie Seiberg

Effie Seiberg is a fantasy and science fiction writer. Her stories can be found in the “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” special edition of Lightspeed Magazine (winner of the 2015 British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology), “The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2015-2017”, Analog, and all the other Escape Artist podcasts, amongst others. In particular, Effie would like to draw your attention to “The Tale of Descruptikn and the Product Launch Requirements Documentation” over on Cast of Wonders. Effie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She likes to make sculpted cakes and bad puns.

Find more by Effie Seiberg

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Alasdair Stuart

Hugo Award-nominated Alasdair Stuart is a genre fiction writer and pop culture analyst. His nonfiction has been published by Tor.comUncanny Magazine, and Barnes & Noble.

He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.

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About the Narrators

Tina Connolly

Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin and Seriously Wicked series, and the collection On the Eyeball Floor. She has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Norton, and World Fantasy awards. She co-hosts Escape Pod, narrates for Beneath Ceaseless Skies and all four Escape Artists podcasts, and runs Toasted Cake. Find her at tinaconnolly.com.

Find more by Tina Connolly

Elsewhere

Alasdair Stuart

Hugo Award-nominated Alasdair Stuart is a genre fiction writer and pop culture analyst. His nonfiction has been published by Tor.comUncanny Magazine, and Barnes & Noble.

He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.

(more…)

Find more by Alasdair Stuart

Elsewhere