A hell dimension was opened, and once again, we go off the rails in this week’s Your Urban Legends! We battle over who deserves the title King of Crawdads, discuss the misleading aspects of the Air Bud franchise, debate which version of the Grinch is scariest, and attempt to save Editor Eric from a bad case of the beer sweats. Also, there’s some creepy stories in there. Just wait until you hear about Kimberly.
News clipping from Remus for Eric’s first story.
Sunday Scaries. Visit forsundayscaries.com and use code “spirits” for 10% off your order!
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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 78, your urban legends part 9 the beer sweats. Yes folks it's going to get gross.
Julia: It does. It gets a little gross we get very off the rails very quickly. It's a wild ride
Amanda: We have some stories from some of our faves. But first I would love to give a shout out to some of our newest faves, the newest folks to support us over on Patreon: Cody, Velm, Audra, who's a new Legend Level Patron, and Shawna: Welcome to the show.
Julia: Also a tiny Dino, which we got literally like an hour before we started recording this...
Amanda: Oh my gosh such a cute name! And thank you as always to honestly, some of the stars of our universe, our supporting producer level patrons: Neil, Phillip, Julie, Christina, Josh, Eeyore, Jessica, Maria, Cammie, Ryan, Phil Fresh, and Debra
Julia: You all definitely don't know any creepy Kimberlys in your life and you should be grateful for that.
Amanda: Do you know who could totally pull off crimping if they wanted to?
Julia: That PR legend level patrons?
Amanda: Yeah! Mercedes, Ashley E, Buggie, Rachel, Sandra, Ashley Marie, Leann and Cassie can pull off whatever hairstyle they put their minds to.
Julia: They can. They can indeed.
Amanda: What we are drinking this week and the namesake of said beer sweats editor Eric is drinking Dog Head Fish 120 Minute IPA Beer. Now I am not quite brave enough to try a 16 percent alcohol beer but...
Julia: it's a good beer.
Amanda: I do quite like the Maboozie. And I have been trying more IIPS even though I'm not generally a hoppy type person but summer ales are kind of my jam. Jules what's your summer beer of choice this summer so far?
Julia: Oh Goze for sure. Salty, sour, delicious...
Amanda: Just like you.
Julia: Yeah. Usually in a small can too.
Amanda: It's true it's, it's very adorable and the packaging is very beautiful.
Julia: Thank you.
Amanda: We are sponsored this week by Sunday Scaries, which are very cool CBD gummies for anxiety and other purposes. You can check out all that they have to offer at 4 F-O-R-Sunday Scaries-dot-com where the code spirits will get you 10 percent off.
Julia: Yep that's F O R S U N D A Y S C A R I E S dot com spirits gets you 10 percent off. Yeah get that 10 percent.
Amanda: Before we jump right on in that episode we do you just wanna thank you for sharing the show with your friends we've had lots of folks tweet us in the last couple of weeks saying, or tagging their friends and shaming them into listening to spirits which frankly we super appreciate.
Julia: Solid choice!
Amanda: So if you have not yet texted a friend who is creepy and cool and who would completely understand your obsession with gods old and new, go ahead and do that. You can send them the link Spirits podcast dot com slash listen where you can browse all of our episodes by genre, by type of episode, or by geographical area.
Julia: It's a really easy way to find an episode that your friend or yourself might actually really enjoy and it's always a good place to start.
Amanda: We have transcripts available for all new episodes and we're working our way backward through the catalog so we again really appreciate you sharing the show. It's never been a better time to join and without further ado enjoy Spirits Podcast Episode 78 Your Urban Legends Part 9: The Beer Sweats.
Eric: Ladies, the last couple of times that we've done one of these hometown your urban legends episodes we have not end showed it great so we are now in the episode.
Amanda: I mean you just called us hey ladies so I don't know if this is any better.
Julia: Hey lady oh's
Eric: [laughter] Oh no! Is that not good?
Amanda: You fucked up.
Julia: It's okay because you're our friend it's just not what you would normally say.
Eric: That's true. When the opposite. This solves the issue of us having to figure out how to intro these. This episode is going to get weird because I had to turn off my air conditioner to record for the first time because it's properly nice out and I'm also drinking a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, which is 60 percent alcohol. So I'm dealing with a rising of temperature and a lowering of cognizance.
Amanda: Yes the best combo.
Eric: By the end of this one it could go places.
Amanda: So good. This is why internet friendship is the best friendship because you don't have to spell each other.
Eric: Yeah. You also don't need a designated driver because everyone's just at home on their webcams.
Julia: That's true.
Amanda: I know it's very good. This puts me in a fond memory of the year we started Spirits. We had Lauren Shippen of the Bright Sessions fame on to record in my tiny studio apartment where we started the show and it was so hot and we didn't know her very well. We had just gotten brunch and I was extremely hung over
Julia: Were you? I don't remember that.
Amanda: Or sick. What I remember is that I couldn't really eat. I think I actually was just like I had like a stomach illness.
Julia: I think you were sick because we had that meet up the next day and you're like I am so sick, please don't make me go.
Amanda: Yes that is what happened. I pulled it together for Lauren but anyway I was just sitting there like sweating into my single couch and just being like oh God, Lord please like me.
Eric: It all worked out though.
Amanda: It did.
Julia: So let's tell some stories...
Eric: Let's tell some stories. Who wants to start?
Amanda: I will start because I got an email with the best subject line of all time which is: “Fiddler On The Roof. But it's a heck pupper. And it's not a musical, which is a shame.”
Julia: Amazing already sold on it.
Eric: But that is so much to unpack.
Amanda: If you want me to read an email put a musical in the subject line. You know what you're doing.
Eric: So I thought the subject was going to be two free iPod Nanos. That's always the subject line in my opinion.
Amanda: RIP. I'm going to just read this email word for word because it's extraordinary. So it begins, “Hey Spirits team it's me, ya boy, a new boy, a fresh boy.” I'll stop.
Eric: OK stop, full stop, full stop. I'm leaving the show. Whoever this is, is replacing me.
Julia: I know.
Eric: I'm fine with it. I don't mind. This is good...
Julia: Can they edit is the question?
Eric: Oh no I'll still edit. I'm not going to be on these anymore because this person is clearly about…
Amanda: abdicating his throne. Yeah no, this is, this is a trip. “So before I get into the main story two things. One y'all are amazing and make my day better. Which is something you definitely haven't heard a million times. Two have a quick list of things that have happened but I don't have the time to go into now.”
Eric: You'll hear from me at a later date.
Amanda: This person knows how to structure an email. “So number one my sailor dads met a siren. I've been given gifts from Faye, very good for 7 year old me. I've taken up witchcraft and it's gotten me into some weird shit. I cussed out a ghost backstage of my school musical on opening night. The cat and tons of other things I won't bore you with.”
Eric: Wait, wait...was one of those the cat, just the cat?
Amanda: Anyway on to the story. Just the cat.
Julia: I love this. Oh I love this person so much!
Amanda: “I live on Vancouver Island B.C. and it has a bit of a reputation for less than normal activity. Lots of native spirits of course and many Japanese and European creatures seem to have come across when people migrated over and stole all the bloody land. Thanks guys! So sightings of this such as Sasquatch and fey folk aren't uncommon. I however was still in my ghost phase. Not that I've left but I picked up the folklore by this point so I didn't have much knowledge of fey non-human spirits and the black dog. My parents were having a house party and being the tiny introvert I am I really didn't want to be around all the people telling me how big I was getting and asking about my elementary school love life.” Side note from Amanda. This is not ever acceptable don't ask children about their love lives until they're maybe 30.
Eric: That's what you're no longer a child.
Amanda: Yes it's true.
Eric: I'm very happy to be becoming an adult. Later this year.
Amanda: Awe it's okay baby. We still like you even though you're an old. “I went out onto the back deck where a single low light was the only illumination. Running alongside the yard is a long shed which I could access the roof from with a bit of clambering from the deck. I sat up on the top to look at the stars thankful for the moment of peace when I heard a noise. I thought it was just a raccoon or something as that wouldn't be too far fetched. That assumption was quickly dashed like the dreams of a millennial art student.”
Julia: Damn! This dude telling it for real here! Fuck!
Amanda: “Let me reiterate this was a shingled shed with only one possible roof access point. It would be difficult for a human to get up there let alone a dog but there it was a big black dog staring at me from the other end of the roof. I froze, because listen even as an 11 year old I still had the common sense to know that this was some sure fire nature fuckery. No one on our street had a dog like that and even if they did this guy was huge and its eyes were bright golden not reflecting the light but emitting their own light like a double lantern in the fog.”
Julia: Hard. No.
Amanda: “And then it began to run toward me.”
Julia: Hard. No go away.
Amanda: ”It ran across a shingled and sharply angled and narrow roof toward this horrified little kid who was too afraid to jump out of the way and also fucking lazy. Even then I was pretty sure this was how I died. A big naughty pupper Air Bud had misled me to my death. It didn't reach me though when it was only a few feet away the dog vanished. It didn't fall off the roof. I checked. Plus there wasn't any thump or sad doggo sounds. It just—”
Eric: Why would you check? Hold on. Pause. Why? Why would you check?
Amanda: Because you got to know if it was physical or spiritual...
Julia: Because there weren't any sad doggo sounds.
Eric: I don't know. I say you don't got to check and you just go outside and never think about it again until a podcast comes along and you go, oh I'll email them about this.
Julia: Checks out.
Amanda: ”Maybe this is why I wasn't allowed on the shed. I did the reasonable thing and bolted. I tried to tell my mom but she was distracted with her guests. Ain't that just the way. By the way, this whole time the dog had made no noise at all. I looked it up the next day though and as I stated earlier I had known of shucks slash Grims slash Heck puppers before him so I'm sure I didn't imagine this. No death followed it but soon after I did end up falling into a spiral of depression and other issues that are still being a bitch. I don't know if that's just a coincidence but I don't want to write it off just in case. From Cecil, King of Crawdads.”
Julia: It's an amazing name!
Eric: King of Crawdads?
Amanda: Best for last. Cecil you should be a writer and or a podcaster. That was fucking awesome!
Julia: That was great. I want to hear all the other side stories.
Amanda: Oh we better get 5 more emails Cecil.
Eric: I have one issue. My friend Dan is the King of Crawdads.
Julia: How dare you sir? Cecil.
Amanda: From whence does Dan's divine power stem?
Eric: When do we would go to Hinckley Creek in the Cleveland Metro parks, there is a spot where you could get some crawdads and he would always get the most and I can only assume that is some kind of royal blood he has from the crawdads in order to catch them so so easily.
Amanda: So folksy, such Appalachia.
Eric: Not an Appalachian. Northern Ohio. Not at Appalachian just about everywhere about Midwestern geography.
Julia: So Midwestern.
Amanda: A prodigious catcher of crawdads does not a Crawdad King make.
Julia: That's fair...That's fair. I'm just saying.
Amanda: Do they listen? Do they do they take comfort from his presence? Do they support his successors? Do they give offerings to him? Do they listen to his tax collectors? Do they put his little face on their stamps? I don't think so.
Eric: I don't think they... You're right. I have no evidence that any of the crawdads did any of that from my friend Dan at the age of 7.
Amanda: But listen Cecil has power of words and I bet that they are king of something
Eric: that's true. That's for sure. King of evils at the very least
Amanda: for sure.
Eric: I have an email about an angry mob attacking a ghost.
Julia: How dare they.
Eric: This email comes from a Ramos, excellent name.
Amanda: Excuse me. Ramos email following an email about a grim. I love it.
Eric: Yeah no kidding.
Julia: Such Harry Potter.
Eric: “In the 1880s a ghost started to appear in the village cemetery in Miamisburg,” which is now a suburb of my city of Dayton so you know I picked the one from Ohio.
Amanda: Of course you did. You son of a bitch!
Eric: Also I'd like to point out this time I read all the emails.
Amanda: I'm so proud of you.
Eric: It's not going to get super sad at the end.
Amanda: Thank you so much to the several people who sent us emails the last few weeks saying safe for Eric to read in the subject line.
Eric: So we're good. We're good with everything I'm bringing tonight. Anyways back to the email. “Every night she would appear at 8:00 and wander through the graves there. She did so regular that people would be more surprised if they didn't see her than not and she began to make the newspapers. Then people started to show up to see this ghost. Eventually they started to come from all over the town, then the state and eventually the whole country to come and watch this ghost woman in the white wander through the cemetery. Not a lot of entertainment in the 1880s. They'll come from anywhere to see a ghost.”
Amanda: Or is this the first street busker and she is dressed up as a ghost and taking their offerings of whiskey and coins or whatever.
Eric: I'm going to assume that there were buskers before the 1880s. Probably like a guy playing the lute in like jolly old England.
Amanda: Yeah fair.
Eric: “It got to crowds of hundreds of people that would come to the cemetery every night to see the ghost and gained the record for the most first person sightings of a ghost here in Ohio. Love to know the records from all the other states.” I would love to know those stats.
Amanda: Me too.
Eric: “Except that the people of Miamisburg were upset about these giant crowds standing outside the cemetery night after night and started to try to move the bodies buried into the nearby Hill Grove Cemetery in the hopes of eventually finding the right grave and stopping the hauntings and thus the crowds.”
Amanda: I loved that human beings have been curmudgeonly about the same shit for hundreds maybe thousands of years. Like now. Get off my lawn. You're too. You're too loud. It's too late. Go home. Crowds of people annoy me.
Julia: It's on brand.
Eric: “They did this day after day but the hauntings continued and the people began to believe that it was a ghost of a member of the Buss family who had been murdered several years before and buried in the cemetery.” I said buried weird there.
Eric: Someone will probably yell at me on the Internet for it. “But one day moved her grave. The hauntings didn't stop. Frustrated by the still growing crowds and lack of any real solution despite constantly digging up these graves on March 27, 1884, they turned out en masse with clubs and guns trying to beat and shoot the ghost who'd just continued on as though they didn't exist.”
Amanda: Hey, that's not how ghosts work.
Julia: Also what an image. I love it.
Amanda: Charity beat death. Don't. Don't bother.
Julia: Exactly, it's not. What do you think is going to happen? It made the news from all over the country. When that didn't work the next day the entire town turned out and exhumed all of the bodies in the graves in the cemetery all at once and moved them to Hillgrove.
Julia: That seems like overkill for sure.
Eric: I mean it's definitely overkill if you're trying to kill a ghost am I right? “While the sightings have slowed down she's still to this day seen there. It was now Library Park and a branch of the Dayton Metro library and Carnegie activity center with the latest publicized sighting being in the late 1980s and Remus has included a link to the one of the stories back in the day about the ghost.”
Amanda: We love links. I do love a link.
Eric: We will include that in the show notes.
Amanda: We believe ghosts one of the ways to summon us is to be really like thorough in your linking. We really appreciate that.
Julia: Good. Can confirm. This story is from our dear friend Wil Williams
Julia: And the subject is Phoenix Arizona's the Kimberly story. Oh…
Eric: The Kimberly story?
Julia: The Kimberly story.
Eric: Is this like, is this about a haunted game of Mall Madness?
Julia: God I hope so!
Eric: Because the name Kimberly... I've never played Mall Madness but I imagine I have at least three of the eight playable characters in it were named Kimberly B and Kimberly D.
Amanda: That's right. That's how the 90s worked. I remember.
Eric: A lot of Kimberlys.
Julia: All right so she says, “Hello wonderful and great Spirits team. I've got a pretty locally legendary urban legend for you. This one is from the Phoenix Metro area because Phoenix is to the Hell big. But if you want to get real specific it's from the East Valley. Also there's this canal system that runs through the entire area because human beings are not supposed to live in the ridiculous desert.”
Amanda: I love Wil's Phoenix color commentary. Please keep them coming.
Julia: That'll be relevant later. “The canals not Phoenix being a ridiculous desert. Anyway this story was told by a local high school teacher who as a first person "nonfiction narrative". It was recorded, passed around all the school districts and played in tons of classes during Halloween, and of course passed around by word of mouth. If you say the Kimberly story to someone from the area you're probably going to get a don't in a reply. Sorry in advance for how long this is and also heads up for like animal death and like general horror tropes.”
Eric: I am excited to dive into this.
Julia: Me too.
Eric: Something that's that like well known as an urban legend is like a local urban legend has got a got to be good.
Julia: “The teacher, back when he taught in Texas, had the student go missing, Kimberly. They tried contacting the family but there was no response. They assumed they'd up and moved. One day though Kimberly comes back to class out of the blue. She's wearing this long white dress and she looks ill and dirty and like she hadn't eaten and she's rubbing her hand. The teacher asks what happened and she says, ‘Poor Kimberly.’”
Eric: No no no
Julia: He takes Kimberly to the nurse.
Eric: Yep no no no no.
Julia: And I'm not even I'm not even a quarter of the way into this and let's do it.
Eric: Not a quarter? Not even a quarter?
Amanda: So we're at a situation where someone should have called child protective services like three weeks ago.
Julia: “So the teacher takes Kimberly to the nurse, the nurse takes Kimberly to the hospital. She's dehydrated and in shock and once they get her stable they take her to the mental ward. The teacher and a cop go to the family's house to find out what the hell happened and her house is real, real old which isn't unusual for the area but everything is just covered in dust, a thick layer of dust. The parents keys are still there. The mom's purse is still there. There's no...”
Amanda: As Eric is shaking his head and waving his arms like he's like, he's batting a moth away.
Eric: I hate this, I hate this. This is the first time that I've played up how much I've hated other stories in terms of like pure creepiness. I don't like this. This is straight up like every night volume four level stuff right now.
Julia: This is what I want out of life. OK. “Parents’ keys are still there, Mom's purse is still there. There's this awful burnt smell in the house and this awful smell in the kitchen. The teacher opens the fridge and there's a dead cat and a dead dog totally disemboweled. When they get a report back on the dog they find that it's been cut apart with an extremely thin sharp and precise, like a razor. And there's these long hairs inside the dog. When they run an analysis the hairs are hollow. The kind you would find unlike a gorilla not a human person. The teacher goes back to talk to Kimberly. She's pacing back and forth staring at walls talking to herself. He tries to talk to her but she's not responding to any of his questions at all until he asks about the dog and she kind of snaps back to herself. She starts rubbing her hand again and she whispers, They live in the walls. The teacher freaks out because, of course he does. But she's already back to being unresponsive.”
Amanda: Nope, quit your job, burn your life down, move out of the country. Goodbye.
Eric: Why did the teacher go back? Why? You're a teacher, go teach stats!
Amanda: No no no. Ugh!
Julia: “The house is searched. And in the backyard they turn up the bones of the parents. The cops say the bones had been chewed on but the teeth marks are the same razor thin razor sharp markings. They've got the same weird long hollow hair on them. They arrest Kimberly because cops and because like I guess in fairness what even does one do in this situation. Kimberly though has disappeared from her room. They said sometimes she just like did this they'd find her in the kitchen just eating raw meat. But now she's just gone. They go back to the house and they've got some sort of blacklight but for blood. So everything is normal but when they get to the kitchen it just lights up. There's traces of blood everywhere but not like in a square around the air conditioning vent. They poke up into the vent with this little flashlight and the flashlight goes out. So the teacher starts to back out until he sees a glow around the corner in the vent system.”
Amanda: The first reasonable thing this teacher has done all episode.
Julia: “He follows the glow through the vents and then he turns a corner and bam. There she is, Kimberly, holding a candle covered in blood. And then she goes shush. They're here the ones that live in the walls.”
Julia: “They grab her and she's all kicking and screaming but the cop is like, ‘Dude we got to take her in. This is extremely the worst.’” I love Wil so much.
Amanda: I know. Wil Williams dot reviews is her website. She writes about podcasts! If you listen to podcasts, you want to listen to her. That's Wil with one l Williams dot reviews.
Julia: “So here is where the retellings diverge and to be honest the versions I've heard are way more interesting than the actual recorded versions from the teacher which you can find on SoundCloud.” I have a link.
Eric: Oh no, no I'm not going to get a curse in my computer.
Amanda: Yeah I super don't want to listen to that just like I super don't ever want to listen to 911 calls. Why? No.
Julia: No don't make me do that.
Julia: So Wil says, “I'm going to give you the version I know the best because honestly like spooky local legends are always the best in later iterations than the originals” which, hard agree there.
Eric: If this is true to the thing so far it has been a wild ride.
Julia: “So the cop decides he wants to figure out who she's talking about, how she's surviving. So they decide to let her go back to the house after setting up a bunch of security cameras. Over the day that she's there they see that she's pacing back and forth talking to herself and staring at the walls just like she did at the hospital but then she lays down on her bed and she hangs her hand over, the hand that she's been rubbing. Then from under the dust ruffle of the bed a long, thin tongue wraps around her hand and Kimberly looks right at one of the hidden cameras and it all goes static.”
Amanda: No. That was the worst possible outcome. I was thinking Huh, is that a hand? Is it a cat? Is it hair? Nope! Tongues. The worst.
Julia: “They rush in and she's gone. When they move the bed to see what was underneath, they find this hole through the floor going way, way, way down into the ground underneath the house. So far that they can't see to the bottom. The cop gets some rope and the teacher helps lower him down—”
Julia: “—but pulls them back up when he hears screaming. The cop’s leg is just gone.”
Amanda: No, just stop!
Julia: “There's those long hairs all over it. So the teacher bails like a wise man. He says hell no. When he gets the fuck out of there his cop friend says What got him was a chupacabra and he says unless you're a goat I don't know how legit that claim is. He moves to the Phoenix area and he starts teaching. Years later he's in his classroom and he gets a call from the front desk. He's not expecting anything so he asks who it is and the receptionist says she says her name is Kimberly. He takes the call and just hears a girl say poor Kimberly, they're here. He hangs up but he keeps getting the calls every few years. He starts seeing glimpses of a girl in a white dress whenever he's by the canal and now people say you can see her to this very day.”
Amanda: Fucking no.
Julia: It was so fucking good.
Amanda: I'm shocked. No.
Eric: This is the first time I have intently looked at my webcam viewer of myself and gone, ‘Make sure there's nothing behind you.’
Julia: Oh no!
Eric: Because a lot, a lot of room behind you and I got some walls in this apartment.
Julia: Oh boy!
Amanda: Oh boy!
Julia: Oh so there's, there's a short film and the story on SoundCloud which we will link in the description.
Amanda: Haunted link. Please don't click.
Eric: Yeah I'm gonna click it but also. Don't click it. It's not worth looking.
Amanda: It's not worth it. Like if it had ended that that woman died and the house burned down then maybe I would feel safe but I don't.
Eric: That it is like straight up like classic good campfire...
Amanda: Oh it was super good!
Eric: scary story.
Julia: I expected nothing less from Wil.
Eric: More people should know this story. We're getting the word out. This is good.
Amanda: We are.
Eric: This is like the new guy with a hook hand.
Amanda: Oh yeah.
Eric: Killing teens in cars, this is way better
Amanda: I love that it's like the full name Kimberly because who goes by Kimberly. No one.
Julia: No one. Horrible people.
Amanda: Just a ghost.
Julia: No I'm kidding.
Amanda: Yeah. We know lots of Kims but not any Kimberlys, I don't think.
Amanda: So Jules, I know that both of us have talked on the show before about dealing with anxiety, mental illness, insomnia, stuff that makes it kind of difficult to live in our own heads and I know that both of us have made use of whether, it's therapy, or medication, or kind of lifestyle changes, taking care of yourself, you know doing the sort of self care that helps make our lives the easiest that it is to live.
Julia: Yeah absolutely. Which is why we're excited to bring on Sunday Scaries as our sponsor this week.
Amanda: Sunday Scaries make these gummies, so gummy treats like the delicious vitamins you used to eat way too many of us a kid that uses CBD, which I hadn't actually heard much about before we got in contact with these folks. It is a natural compound that is found in hemp and cannabis but it's not like psychoactive, doesn't get you high, yet it is used for health benefits like anxiety, inflammation, pain, and other stuff it's very personal like the way that you find it'll help you in your life. But for a lot of folks it helps a ton with anxiety and we tried some of their kind of anti-anxiety gummies that frankly I really liked and I had a really good experience with.
Julia: Yeah I mean I personally struggle with anxiety and I also struggle with insomnia quite a bit so Sunday Scaries actually works pretty well for me. Their formula includes CBD but it also includes vitamins like B12 and D3 which are proven mood boosters and supposed to help you get a little bit more energized, a little bit more focused during your day and I really appreciate that because as someone who has some mental health issues that make that a little difficult sometimes, my brain doesn't want to make those chemicals sometimes. This really helped me out.
Amanda: Yeah and it doesn't impair your cognitive function and it's not psychoactive in any way. So if this is something that you think may help you or be part of your kind of holistic mental health treatment and generally living your life and enjoying it a little bit more, you can check out forSundayscaries.com. That's F O R Sunday Scaries S C A R I E S dot com where the code spirits will get you 10 percent off your order.
Julia: Yeah and I mean try it out, if it's for you and it works awesome. We are always encouraging our folks who listen to this to try new things, whether it's new stories or you know something that's going to help you make your life a little bit better.
Amanda: I know I wish somebody told me earlier in my life that living does not have to feel this way and the inside of your brain does not have to feel this way but it doesn't. And again whether it's talking to friends, going to therapy, making good changes to your life, or other stuff like CBD, it may be a really helpful thing in your life.
Julia: So thank you to Sunday Scaries for sponsoring this episode and let's get back to the stories.
Amanda: All right. Well onto a similarly spooky but uplifting tale.
Eric: Thank God! I was like similar? No we can't. Not a similar story, I can't take it.
Amanda: Nothing but horror from now on. Yeah I did not until this moment understand the difference between horror and just scary but I get it now. So this is from Alice. The subject is, “Train dreams and haunted arts centers.” So I clicked. So Alice says, “Hi lovelies! I've been meaning to write in for a while. As someone with a strong Irish Catholic and Welsh Protestant background I was raised with a healthy respect for all things spirits, ghouls, sprites, angels, etc... and I've considered myself to be rather reluctantly open to these sorts of meetings and quick side note I really like that phrase reluctantly open because I've kind of identified with that. I like it. I've had a few encounters but I would like to share a rather personal one with you. My maternal grandfather served and died in the second World War and as a result my mom grew up largely without him. And I was never able to meet him. When I was about five years of age I came down with a terrible fever. My mum tells me that just when she was beginning to become very concerned and started to think that they'd better take me to the hospital I shot up in bed and yelled Stop. I then promptly fell back asleep. Cue mom freak out. Good news is my fever broke within the hour. And I mean kids are creepy as fuck right? Can we agree?”
Julia: Kids are always creepy 100 percent of the time.
Amanda: So parents, I really, really, really want to hear the creepy shit that your kids say. Please send it to us.
Julia: I mean also don't. I don't want to know when your children are like the shadow man is here. I'm like I don't want to fucking know that child.
Amanda: Put in the subject line creepy kids so Julia knows not to click but I really, really want to listen and read all those stories.
Julia: Thank you.
Eric: Yeah, I'm totally down for those. For sure.
Amanda: “I recall that moment I remember dreaming of a train, one of those old black and red British steam trains running down a hill out of control. I remember feeling very distressed and yelling stop and the train did. It then calmly pulled into a train station just a concrete platform with the ocean on its left and the rolling green hills on its right. A faceless, not the freaky kind, I just couldn't make out his features, man in a military uniform approached me and stood on my right side. He gave me a one armed hug and kissed my head and then got on the train and the train pulled away. I felt instantly calm. Years later when my maternal grandmother passed away I overheard my mom and her sister discussing a dream about a train they'd both had the night before. Shocked I quickly interjected but wait the train dream, I've had that. They grilled me and we had all three of us had a similar dream right down to the color of the train.”
Julia: DUDE I love dream sharing.
Amanda: “With tears in her eyes my mom ran to get a photograph, the only one I've ever seen of her father standing on the same platform in this same uniform. Parentheses holy fuck. By the way, this is a real train station in Wales.”
Julia: Ugh! That's awesome. I love it!
Amanda: “My aunt then whispered he used to kiss us on the head too, just like you said. That night I had a dream that I stood on that platform and I waved to the train as it went past and you know what, he bloody waved back. Every so often when I'm sick or stressed I end up on my platform with my grandfather. And it's nice to know that he is still out there.”
Julia: Awe. That's kind of sweet.
Eric: That's very sweet.
Amanda: Yeah, I thought it was too. And Alice also included some links to haunted arts centers in Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia where she lives. I love haunted museums so I really appreciate the links. Thank you Alice.
Julia: That's awesome.
Eric: That dream is much better than my recurring dream that I used to have in which I was stuck in a giant box and I would get out of my bed and then a giant foot would try to squish me.
Julia: I'm sorry what?
Eric: I would wake up, I'd be in a giant box and then there'd be my bed in the corner, and I'd get out of the bed and then a giant foot would just try to squish me.
Julia: [laughter] Oh no! Did you watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail or Life of Brian too early?
Eric: No, but I think it involved a video game that I cannot recall the name of on the PlayStation which, because when I would get to the wall of the box, the box would rotate so I could constantly be escaping.
Eric: I don't remember what that game was but there's definitely a game like that on PlayStation 1. In fact if anyone knows what that game was please let me know because I would love to play it again. And also the game Snake, Rattle and Roll on the original Nintendo in which a giant foot tried to squish the snakes. I think I was combining those but I would have it all the time. Anyways. Not important about my dream. That was my recurring dream. This recurring dream that she's having is adorable and very, very sweet. I love it.
Amanda: It is super, super lovely.
Julia: On that note my recurring nightmare as a child was I would be chased by the Grinch around New York City.
Amanda: Oh no!
Julia: I was not a fan of the Grinch. It was the animated one where he looks like super creepy when he smiles.
Amanda: Oh yeah, I know he's terrifying there.
Julia: Not good.
Eric: Honestly. Okay this is let's, let's,
Julia: Let's dive right into my psyche go ahead.
Eric: No I don't want to. I do want to dive into your psyche but my poll is not about your psyche. My poll is which Grinch would be scarier to take you around New York City, the cartoon Grinch or Jim Carrey?.
Julia: Nope! The animated one. Sorry. Aren't you guys impressed that I knew Jim Carrey played the Grinch. I don't know how I know that. I've never seen that movie. I don't have a visual here. But I know the animated one is the creepiest.
Amanda: We're going to have to fix that.
Eric: I would also agree with Amanda which means I guess this does work well. I will now psychoanalyze you Julia based on this little information. This poll that we've just conducted that the cartoon Grinch is less creepy than Jim Carrey the Grinch, although it probably wasn't out when you were a kid.
Julia: I was about to say to be fair when I was having these dreams the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch had not come into theaters yet.
Amanda: Oh no, I think that animated one is much creepier.
Julia: Oh for sure.
Amanda: It's terrifying.
Julia: I don't know.
Amanda: I have a recurring nightmare that my brothers and sister are dying in a fire and now that my—
Julia: Now yours is much more serious than the rest of ours!
Amanda: Now that my youngest—
Eric: That's too dark! Too dark for the podcast!
Amanda: No but listen, listen. My youngest brother is now a firefighter so—
Julia: See! Too dark! Too dark!
Amanda: I was telling this to a friend recently and she was like, ‘Oh that's good then, because he knows how to handle himself’ and I'm like ‘Yeah no but I think the probability of him dying in a fire is now much higher because even though he's more skilled.’
Julia: Uh yeah!
Amanda: I guess in way more fires.
Eric: So he's in like 100 percent more fires than we were as kid.
Amanda: Yes. If you romanticize being real life friends with your podcast fave's just take that little tidbit home.
Julia: Remember that for the future.
Amanda: Eric, please take me out of my misery and give me another myth.
Eric: I've got a very, very nice story
Eric: I made sure to rectify my wrongs and find a story that was pleasant. This story comes from Emma. “So my urban legend takes place a few years back when I was still in college. It was late fall/early winter and I took to walking back to my dorm in the dark after I'd finish with karate practice.”
Eric: That's awesome.
Julia: That is awesome.
Eric: Amanda. Amanda doesn't like the part about walking back in the dark. I love the karate practice.
Julia: I'm with you on that Eric. If you have to walk home in the dark after karate practice like sweaty and in my imagination still in your uniform is the way to do it.
Eric: It is. It definitely is. It's the best way to walk anywhere to be honest. “To get back to my dorm, I had to cross a river. As I'm far from the country and wasn't used to living in such close quarters with other people, I would stop at the river to watch and listen, try and comfort and peace from the nighttime sounds of babbling water. It became a routine of mine and I started talking to the river, singing little songs to it and leaving small offerings because I felt like it was lonely, or maybe I was just projecting LOL.”
Julia: Well I love it. It's dark and I love it. Also, very good instinct. If your instinct with creepy shit is to leave it an offering, I think that nine times out of ten is the right call.
Julia: I doubted any other people took the time to talk to it. So that's probably accurate.
Amanda: Probably true.
Eric: “So I continued this for a few weeks and the rivers presence kind of grew in my mind until I felt like I was talking to another person. Then one night when I was alone on the bridge I asked the river a question. I then heard, clear as day, a soft male voice in my head answering me.”
Eric: “I nearly jumped out of my skin. I looked around but the bridge was completely empty. I thanked the river then hurried home, more than a little spooked. I don't think I'll ever know for sure what that was. The only thing I've found in my admittedly limited research that fits with my expertise is the Scandinavian nook. That's N O K K.”
Eric: “But even that doesn't seem to fit perfectly. Any thoughts?” Ha.
Julia: I mean…
Eric: I have no idea. I mean I think what you're doing I mean I guess I don't know the answer or the question.
Julia: You're doing something right is the answer.
Eric: But it seems like everything's working out just fine as far as I can tell.
Amanda: Absolutely. I'm curious what the question was though I could sense that it was probably personal and I don't need to know. But I would absolutely counsel you to only ask it important questions don't ask it like sushi or Thai as you're walking home from exercise and want to get take out.
Julia: I don't appreciate the idea that that's not an important question.
Eric: I agree with Julia. I think you might want to work your way up to that. I think you might want to get a few more deep ones in. But then you know eventually you know. Veggie or meat lovers.
Amanda: I sort of approach therapy the same way where I'll walk in and be like, ‘So my childhood trauma…’ and then by the time I've been seeing my therapist for several years I'll be like ‘How do I word this text?’ which is not the way you have to do it. But for me increasing intimacy means like increasing frivolity of the questions that I'm comfortable asking.
Eric: This reminds me of a tweet that I saw last night during the Met gala that we are recording right after
Eric: In which someone said the only thing I'm going to talk to my therapist about tomorrow is that Grimes is ending Elon Musk.
Amanda: Yes I saw that too.
Eric: She has no idea who either of those people are. She is going to be very, very confused about my passion about it. And I love that.
Amanda: We talked about this in the multitude team's slack for about 45 minutes this morning. It was a good time.
Eric: It's so strange.
Amanda: There's so much there. What, what fucked up love spirit is involved?
Eric: Emma also some book recommendations for all of us. She says, “Also, if you haven't read Fearless Girls Wise Women and Beloved Sisters Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Reagan you totally should.”
Eric: That seems right up your collective alleys.
Amanda: I love it.
Julia: That does sound…
Eric: that 100 percent does
Julia: For sure. Thank you so much. So I have an email from Abigail which is titled The Shadow Man.
Julia: “Hello. I had a friend suggest Spirits to me a while ago, and I've been addicted ever since.”
Amanda: Yay friends that recommend Spirits, do it more. Thank you.
Julia: Thank you friend. “I was a few behind and am currently binging to catch up including the most recent urban legends episode. I've been a big fan of ghosts ND mythology my whole life, but I've had one, well three separate incidents rolled into one experience particularly interesting paranormal experience in the last year with what I affectionately referred to as the shadow man since.”
Julia: “I moved apartments about 6 months ago. While a mostly quiet place I was told that there used to be an odd old woman who had sold books on the first floor, who I'm convinced was a witch. She doesn't still live there but it was the first thing I was told by my co-worker when I moved into the place. The building is usually fairly quiet but not eerily so. Side story that's become a favorite among my friends. One night there was a sudden cacophony of people cheering somewhere in a floor above me followed by a single Mario style wahoo and then silence again.”
Amanda: I love it!
Julia: “The first time I experienced the shadow man was not in my home but about a block away. I was being driven home by a friend when, in a area spotlighted by a street light I saw a dark human figure for only a few seconds. The person I was with did not see anything. We ended up sitting in front of my apartment building for a while talking about ghost stories and leaving it as a weird, dumb incident that very much could have been nothing at all. A few days later I woke up in the middle of the night to what sounded like a large vehicle rhythmically idling and revving, a weird feeling of presence and the sudden realization that it was significantly darker than it should have been in my room.”
Amanda: Oh no.
Julia: “After realizing this, I sat up to look out the window next to my bed for the source of the noise and everything went silent and the lighting washed back to the way it should have been in my room at night. This was odd but I didn't connect it to the shadow man until the next time I felt the same presence a few days later in my kitchen. I was getting something out of my fridge when that same presence suddenly hit me and I knew when I turned around the shadow man was going to be there, and in fact he was. I turned around and the figure was hunched slightly almost curiously looking into my fridge before it disappeared. Looking for a snack that's all I want.”
Julia: “This is the moment where I either enhance or negate my connection to these experiences depending on your beliefs by noting that I am an empathetic person. So present signatures are a thing I have sort of through constantly and I feel strongly that these two moments were accompanied by the same presence. I never felt threatened by it. If anything it constantly seemed curious but I haven't seen or felt it since these incidences. Despite loving folklore and mythology and the paranormal my whole life, this is the only large scale incident I've ever experienced. If nothing else these stories are enough to freak out my friends and hopefully has been entertaining for you guys.” Thanks, Abby.
Amanda: That's exactly the kind of paranormal involvement in my life that I really want is.
Julia: Enough to be acceptable.
Amanda: Exactly like enough to be entertaining. Like give me the willies once and you know be kind of ghost cat levels of intervening in my life.
Eric: Yeah I think a little bit of spooky always fine. Too much spooky, I was worried at any point during that story that Julia was somehow going to tie it into the Kimberly story. I was just like oh no she's got us it's two stories of why they're split up across a bunch of stories. It wasn't that so I was pleasantly surprised.
Eric: Not that it would have been. It would have been more surprising if it was linked but still have it.
Amanda: I will close with another tale from a friend from Mike Schubes of Potterless. Hello. I'm not going to talk you up any more Mike because people know who you are
Julia: Also you have fucking over a million listens to your podcast now so we don't need to promote you.
Amanda: Your pod mom have over two and a half. But don't worry about that
Julia: Whatever it's fine.
Eric: The scary thing is he is going to pass us.
Julia: Oh yeah I know. I mean isn't that every parent's dream is to see their kid grow up and surpass them. Anyway. Okay.
Eric: Not this quickly.
Amanda: Not mine.
Julia: He's too tall. He's like double my size.
Eric: In like eighteen years it's supposed to happen.
Amanda: We have the same haircut though. So in the future we can have print shirt and haircut contests to see who wore it better.
Eric: Half of Multitude has the same haircut at this point.
Amanda: Yeah it's true. We're becoming the same person. Oh well that would be like a fucked up Cerberus with like me in the middle and you guys on either side. With this same...
Eric: That's the story we're talking about the story of Amanda, Mike and Eric all transformed into one terrible creature called MAE.
Julia: and me.
Amanda: Yeah the same haircut. A lot of banter. Anyway. So Schubes sends us a story about Portland. So he says, “I'm not from Portland but when visiting there my buddy John, who leads an underground tour of Portland, told me a bonkers story that I think fits the bill as an urban legend since there is no concrete proof. Lawrence Sullivan was a crimp in the Pacific Northwest. Crimping was a scheme where scam artists would kidnap people into being sailors by either tricking or intimidating them into working for them. Which can we just talk about the scale of this grift? Like you kidnap someone to be a sailor for like years at a time.”
Eric: This is what happened to Tim.
Amanda: Yeah I think this is what happened to Tim.
Julia: Also I got what was it crimping and crunking confused for a second in my brain and I was just like. No way. No. Those are not the same.
Amanda: Once a person signed on. Now I'm just picturing the 90's hairstyle. [laughter]
Julia: No dammit!
Amanda: That crime against humanity! Crimping!
Eric: That was a scam! That was a fashion scam across millions of Americans.
Amanda: Do you remember the infomercials for the elaborate crimping straightener hair situation?
Amanda: With so many attachments? You don't need a twenty-five piece crimping set!
Julia: For different levels of crimp. Wavy...
Amanda: None! None is the right answer. Unless it's natural to your hair.
Eric: Hold on, hold on. I'd want to play with Julia in the space. Name three or four types of crimps other than tight and wavy because we're talking about a 25 piece set. So I want you to name five of the types of crimps.
Julia: So you want three more is what you're asking.
Eric: I want three more, yes.
Julia: Okay, so I have tight, I have wavy.
Julia: I have permed.
Eric: I'll accept it because I don't know what the different types of crimps were.
Eric: Loose. That's fair.
Julia: The opposite of tight. No antonyms.
Eric: I'm not letting you say medium that's off the table because that's obvious. I need a fifth type of crimp.
Julia: The last one is bedhead.
Eric: You know what I'll accept that.
Julia: Thank you. I came through.
Amanda: And to be clear we are ragging on white people that crimp their hair. If your hair has natural awesomeness to it, do it up.
Eric: But we're talking about specifically blonde ladies named Kimberly from the 90s
Amanda: No, no…
Julia: Who have just naturally straight hair and we hate them.
Amanda: Adding some levity back into the name Kimberly. I'm so sorry to all the Kimberly's that listen. You're not dead. No tongue is going to wrap itself around your wrist unless you want it to.
Julia: No promises.
Amanda: Got it. Oh no.
Eric: If that's what you want you're going to have a hard time finding it as far as I know. Wrapping around your wrist that's a long tongue!
Amanda: That's what the internet is for finding those people who yum the same yums as you.
Eric: Amanda you were like on the right path and then you said that and you went so far off the rails. So far...
Amanda: That's what I aim for. That's what I aim for. Switch up on you keep you guessing.
Julia: Tell the story.
Eric: I'm getting the beer sweats.
Julia: Wrap it up, the beer sweats have come.
Amanda: Crimping. Once a person signed on board a vessel for a voyage it was illegal for them to leave the ship before the end of the journey. This is why this is a scam that actually works.
Eric: Also it's unsafe to leave a boat before the end of a journey.
Julia: Especially if you can't swim!
Amanda: Crimps would sometimes trick people into signing onto a vessel by allowing an unsuspecting bar patron to run up a large bar tab and tell them that if they sign this document they wouldn't have to pay cash for everything they just drank. Hey love it.
Eric: Just be, just be clear crimps are the people pulling the scams not the victims, okay.
Amanda: Yes. Like the scam artist. So this guy Lawrence Sullivan took crimping to the next level in Portland
Eric: Because that I was thinking that made me think of when Julia was confused crimping with crumping.
Amanda: I was picturing crimped hair that started one way and then all the hairs branched off into two and like it was additionally crimped like a tree.
Julia: This is all horrifying. I hate you both. Let's continue with the god-damn story.
Eric: This is the best urban legend we've ever done.
Julia: This is taking body horror to the next level.
Eric: Nine episodes into it we've finally nailed it down.
Julia: This is almost as bad as the Toyota plant. Please continue.
Eric: This is worse.
Julia: I gave the best bit of all time.
Eric: And better in both ways.
Amanda: I love that Schubes sent us a two-paragraph long email and he has, he has indoctrinated us into this space. Okay so. Eric, Calm yourself.
Eric: I'm ready.
Eric: I'm ready, I'm ready to remain calm.
Julia: I hate both of you so much.
Eric: The longer it goes on the hotter this apartment gets and the more alcohol I have drank.
Julia: To save this man wrap it up.
Eric: So we need to power through.
Julia: Oh joy.
Amanda: The next sentence is that Portland was the crimping capital of the West Coast.
Amanda: Fuck! Fuck! Why? Why would you do this? ‘Yeah, I love this podcast, they scream-laugh about the word crimping.’
Julia: I hate you. Why did you break Eric?
Eric: I'm going to hate editing this.
Amanda: OK all right all right I'm better.
Eric: I'm going to yell at Schubes in the Slack immediately after this is done.
Amanda: Do it.
Julia: Okay do it.
Amanda: So Lawrence Sullivan. “Sullivan in Portland started advertising an all expenses paid booze cruise to Astoria.”
Julia: I'd go.
Amanda: Like Astoria, Oregon, to be clear, not Astoria where I live in New York.
Eric: Because that's not how cruises work.
Amanda: You go around the Arctic I guess? Anyway.
Eric: I guess that's a long cruise.
Amanda: “Panama Canal, first 20 guys to show up got to party. He went bar to bar finding people and quickly, obviously, got 20 to join in on the fun. Once they boarded the ship he asked them to sign a roll call sheet. The boat was in fact a party boat. So all of these fellows thought they weren't duped. These people at this point knew to look out for the scam. However, once they got to a story they approached another ship the T F Oaks, which was not a party boat. By this time they were all plastered out of their minds. So he got them to board the other boat easily. He handed the roll call sheet to the captain of that ship and Boom, they were crimped. They spent four years working their way to Marseilles, France.”
Julia: Four years, people! The longest con
Eric: Truly. From where? From Portland.
Amanda: From Portland, Oregon to Marseilles, France. They were either entirely around on the way. “Sullivan made a hundred and sixty dollars per worker he handed over to the T.F. Oaks.”
Julia: I'd do that.
Amanda: “A normal going rate for this would have been a hundred dollars, but Sullivan bumped the price up to cover the cost of his all expenses paid portion of the trip.”
Julia: Smart man, good business.
Amanda: “It reportedly took one of the sailors nine years to get back to Portland.”
Amanda: ‘Hey honey, I'm going out with the lads.’ ‘Again, Jeremy? Fine.’ Nine years later. See you in nine years. Insane. I love it.
Julia: That was good.
Amanda: Thank you Schubes for opening up this hell dimension in our recording and to everybody else.
Eric: Was there even a myth?
Amanda: No that's it.
Julia: Yeah that was the myth. That was the urban legend. Fuck!
Eric: We are duped into just reading the email about a con.
Julia: Wait what if I got conned into the cons?
Amanda: Listen guys I love cons. If you got articles about cons send them to me. I love them.
Eric: Yeah we are willing to open up your urban legends vault where we saw all the old Disney movies.
Amanda: Yes exactly in there.
Eric: Into more types of stories so if you got more stuff send, if you think it might be something send it to us.
Amanda: Yeah. Don't worry about qualifying. We love reading it and listen we wish we could read every person's email on the show but we do read every single one that comes in. So if you have cool shit to tell us, cool links, articles, especially about con artists, please send them our way.
Julia: Yes please.
Amanda: Well thank you again. This wraps up another hometown urban legend episode and while I go figure out how to recreate that sweet style of the 90s in my new short on the sides, long on top hairstyle, I am going to bid you adieu, and remember:
Julia: Stay creepy.
Amanda: Stay cool.
Julia: Spirits was created by Amanda McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, and Eric Schneider with music by Kevin MacLeod and visual design by Allyson Wakeman.
Amanda: Keep up with all things creepy and cool by following us on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram @spiritspodcast. We also have all our episodes, collaborations and guest appearances, plus merch on our website, spiritspodcast.com.
Julia: Come on over to our Patreon page, patreon.com/spiritspodcast for all kinds of behind the scenes stuff. Throw us a little as one dollar and get access to audio extras, recipe cards, director's commentaries, and patron-only livestreams.
Amanda: Hey, if you like the show, please share us with your friends. That is the best way to help us keep on growing.
Julia: Thank you so much for listening. Till next time.