Archive for Holiday

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PseudoPod 680: The Wild Wood

Show Notes

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The Wild Wood

by Mildred Clingerman


It seemed to Margaret Abbott that her children, as they grew older, clung more and more jealously to the family Christmas traditions. Her casual suggestion that, just this once, they try something new in the way of a Christmas tree met with such teen-age scorn and genuine alarm that Margaret hastily abandoned the idea. She found it wryly amusing that the body of ritual she herself had built painstakingly through the years should now have achieved sacrosanctity. Once again, then, she would have to endure the secret malaise of shopping for the tree at Cravolini’s Christmas Tree Headquarters. She tried to comfort herself with the thought that one wretchedly disquieting hour every year was not too much to pay for her children’s happiness. After all, the episode always came far enough in advance of Christmas so that it never quite spoiled the great day for her. (Continue Reading…)

Pseudopumpkin

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. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 670: The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en


The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en

by Lisa Morton


It was Hallowe’en night, and business was slow at the whorehouse.

Leona didn’t put much stock in the stories that kept other folk indoors on this night. She’d laughed over stories about Jacky-Ma-Lantern, who’d once outsmarted the Bad Man and then couldn’t get into Hell or Heaven, and so on Hallowe’en he wandered around lighting his way with a coal kept in a pumpkin. She’d once seen the strange blue lights in the bayou that some said led unwary travelers to their doom on this night, but she didn’t really believe they were spirits. And her favorite of Miss Mamie’s girls, Lizzie, had talked about going down to New Orleans once and meeting up with a real hoodoo man, who she’d watched bring a dead boy back to life on All Saints’ Day. But as much as Leona loved Lizzie, she thought even decent, smart folk could sometimes be bamboozled when they found something they just plain wanted to believe in.

It was about midnight now (“the witching hour”, Leona remembered Lizzie once calling it), and the swamp just behind Miss Mamie’s was dark and quiet, no flatboats poling up to the dock tonight, unloading new customers. Leona wondered again where Lizzie had gotten to; Beulah, the cook, said she’d left out the backdoor about four that afternoon, just as the sun was going down. She’d taken a big kettle with her, and said she’d be back around night. It wasn’t safe to wander around the bayou any night, and Leona couldn’t imagine where Lizzie had gone.

It didn’t help that Mamie’s scrawny old cat, Lumpy (so named because he was as black as a lump of coal), was missing, too. (Continue Reading…)

Pseudopumpkin

PseudoPod 619: The Ghost Guide’s Tale & The Halloween Parade


The Ghost Guide’s Tale

by Ian Stuart


Outside the Minster, every eventide,
You’ll see him wait- the smiling Ghostly Guide.
Top hat on head, dressed in Victorian fashion,
He’ll tell you stories full of gore and passion.
“For just three pounds I’ll chill your blood,” he cries.
And people pay him, though they know he lies.
At half past seven by the Minster clock
He’ll gather them to him, like a dog his flock
And fleece them.Then when all have paid him money,
He’ll charm them with a voice as sweet as honey.
Dead Romans,phantoms, corpses limp and gory
Drag bloodstained footprints through each shocking story.
From Minster on to Bedern and the Shambles
He’ll lead his nightly paranormal rambles.
Then, at the end, he’ll finish with a joke-
A jolly, cheerful, normal sort of bloke. (Continue Reading…)

VTG-HALLOWEEN-GREETINGS-GOBLINS-1910

PseudoPod 618: Goblins & Little Orphant Annie

Show Notes

Goblins: “I don’t remember why my friend Reyna and I ended up having a discussion about a creepy undertaker pickling kids and turning them into goblins, but we did, and the idea was so perfect that I knew immediately that it had to turn into a story someday. So she deserves at least some of the credit for this one.”


Little Orphant Annie

by James Whitcomb Riley


Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!
							 
Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,--
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout--
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!
							 
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company," an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!
							 
An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you
                Don’t
                   Watch
                      Out!

Goblins

by Orrin Grey


The undertaker lived with his wife in a long, low house in the farthest corner of the cemetery, built of dark brown stone that looked perpetually damp and covered almost completely with trumpet vines and creeping ivy. It had been the town’s mortuary once, before the mortuary facilities moved into a larger and more modern building a few blocks down the street. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 570: The Jamcoi


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PseudoPod 522: The Christmas Spirits – A Tale of the White Street Society

Show Notes

Another true horror story of the season mentioned in the intro can be found here.


The Christmas Spirits

by Grady Hendrix


You can have your Paris, your London, your Vienna, your Rome; for this good Christian there is no city more sublime than New York at Christmastime. As I walked to the White Street Society clubhouse I sucked in great gulps of cold Yuletide air until my lungs froze solid with Christmas cheer. My feet were numbed with holiday spirit as they tramped the icy streets. My face and whiskers were chapped with all the joy of the season. Six carolers raced past me in the opposite direction, screaming, their exposed skin red and blistered with burns, their wet clothes steaming, flesh hanging from one of their faces in sheets. I smiled to myself a secret Christmas smile, for this meant that my good friend Augustus Mortimer was home.

‘God rest you, merry gentleman!’ I shouted in gay spirits, as I pounded on his front door. ‘Augustus? It is William! Come a’wassailing this December eve! Augustus?’

I felt something poking me in the midsection and directed my gaze downwards to behold the blade of a saber protruding from the mail slot and halfheartedly prodding me. It was sharpened to a murderous gleam, but as I was wrapped in many cloaks, and carpets, and coats, and shawls to protect myself against the Christmas chill, I felt only a gentle massaging about my tummy.

‘Augustus!’ I smiled, squatting down and peering through the mail slot. ‘Is stabbing any way to greet a visitor on this fifth night of Advent?’

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PseudoPod 470: The Santa Claus Parade


The Santa Claus Parade

by Helen Marshall


Some people think the Santas are smiling.

The Company tries to weed out that kind of thinking pretty early on with videos from the eighties, people with big hair, shoulder pads, smiling in bleached out, crackling colours. There are diagrams about brain function. A specialist gave a talk on the subject but I slept all the way through it. Sweet dreams.