Circle City Supernatural (2023) Movie Script

(radio static)
(theremin music)
- This is Circle City Supernatural.
I'm your host, Lindsay Mallyn.
And to the phones we return
for our next terrifying tale.
Welcome to the show, Caller. You're on the air.
- [Melody] Hello, I was wondering if, if you've ever had
like another caller, that is mention a door?
A red one with the number 13 on it,
it looks like it belongs to an old hotel?
A door that's not there one minute and then just is.
- [Lindsay] I don't think so. Could I have your name?
- [Melody] Sorry, I'm Melody and sorry,
I don't really know how any of this works.
- [Lindsay] Oh, you just tell us your story.
- [Melody] No, I mean the door.
I don't know how it works. I was out for a run earlier.
It was just standing there, waiting for me.
Don't ask me why, but I, I went through it.
(dramatic music)
- [Lindsay] And?
- [Melody] And on the other side was,
well, it was an old hotel.
Look, I know how crazy people always say,
I know how this sounds,
but I know how this sounds, and I'm not crazy.
- [Lindsay] You've brought your story to us to be heard
and heard it will be without ridicule or judgment.
- [Melody] Okay, good. Thanks.
- [Lindsay] Now, I assume you ran right back through
this clearly evil door, right?
- [Melody] No, no. I went exploring.
- [Lindsay] What? What are you some kind of dummy?
- [Melody] Hey, I thought you said there'd be no.
- [Lindsay] Right, right. My apologies, Melody,
please continue.
- [Melody] Anyway, I, I had a look around.
I weirdly needed to. The place
was speaking to me, I guess.
For whatever reason,
I felt like I was supposed to be there.
I'd come through on the second floor,
but headed down to the first to begin my search there.
- [Lindsay] What was it like, this mysterious hotel?
- [Melody] It was beautiful.
Don't get me wrong.
The place looked its age, had plenty of rough edges,
but that just added to the
charm and character, you know?
I have a soft spot for old buildings,
but this was obviously
more than just an old building.
It was... I don't even know how to describe it.
All I know is how the place made me feel.
I felt calm, at peace.
- [Lindsay] Calm and at peace, huh?
That's interesting because I think most of us
would be freaking out in your shoes, Melody.
- [Melody] I should have been, I mean,
I just stepped through some random door in a field
and was now wherever, but I wasn't afraid.
I felt like I belonged there, like it was home.
Eventually, though, I did snap out of it.
The reality of the situation dawned on me
and I moved for the front door
to find out what exactly was going on.
(phone ringing) (intense music)
but then the phone at the front desk started ringing.
- [Lindsay] You didn't answer it though, right?
(phone ringing)
- [Melody] What else was I supposed to do?
And I'm glad I did.
- [Lindsay] Why?
- [Melody] Melody, don't go outside. Don't go outside.
Whatever you do, don't go outside.
- [Lindsay] Melody.
- [Melody] I was warned not to leave the hotel.
- [Lindsay] Who? Who warned you?
- [Melody] Ah... Myself.
- [Lindsay] Yourself?
- [Melody] She had my voice anyway.
Maybe it was the real me.
- [Lindsay] But weren't you the real you?
- [Melody] I honestly wasn't so sure anymore.
I wasn't sure of anything.
I knew that something was very wrong.
(dissonance music)
- Okay, Melody, you gotta help me out here.
Can you explain how-
- [Melody] No. I can't. I can't explain any of it.
I don't have answers.
This place didn't provide answers.
It exists outside of what we know.
- But the hotel-
- [Melody] It wasn't a hotel.
It only looked like one to me anyway.
To someone else it, I don't know,
could have been a deli or a fire station.
It probably manifests differently for everyone.
- So, because you like old buildings,
it appeared to you as a historic hotel?
- [Melody] Yes. I think. Maybe.
I don't really know.
- But if it wasn't actually a hotel, what was it?
- [Melody] Alive.
It was a living thing and I'd
walked right into its mouth.
- So what'd you do next, Melody?
Did you end up leaving the building?
- [Melody] No, I had to exit the way I'd entered.
So I went back upstairs.
But now the place knew I was trying to leave.
So it tried to stop me.
- [Lindsay] How?
- [Melody] Distraction. It was trying
to get my attention, preying on my natural curiosity.
Maybe that's why the hotel had revealed itself to me
in the first place.
I simply had to know, that's just who I am as a person.
It was playing with me,
making sounds for me to chase and I did room to room.
- [Lindsay] So you're wandering around a haunted hotel,
what is actually the belly of some indescribable
interdimensional being, and
you started opening doors?
- [Melody] Not all of them.
Behind every door was a previous victim of the place.
An eternal guest of the hotel, I guess you could say.
There were secrets about the place
that I didn't dare to learn.
Most of them probably all
were beyond my understanding,
not to mention dangerous.
And so despite my overwhelming curiosity,
I left certain doors closed, doors I wasn't ready for.
But others, well, others I did open.
- [Lindsay] And what did you find, melody?
- [Melody] The next room I looked in was full of, well-
- [Lindsay] What was in the room? Melody?
- [Melody] It was full of antique toys.
- [Lindsay] Oh boy. Here we go.
- [Melody] But there was-sorry.
There was one in particular that, it was standing
in the corner of the room, watching me as I came in.
- [Lindsay] What kind of toy was it?
- [Melody] Well, I say toy,
but it was as much a toy as this place was a hotel.
- [Lindsay] So what was the-
- [Melody] It was a doll.
She was holding her own severed head.
Her own glowing, severed head.
- [Lindsay] You ran away, right?
Right, Melody?
- [Melody] Not until she lunged at me
and started shaking violently.
I got the message after that and bolted.
I ran to the next door,
but it, it was only darkness beyond, a void.
So I turned to the room across the hall.
I proceeded with a little more caution this time.
- [Lindsay] (chuckles) I should hope so.
What'd you find behind this door?
- [Melody] A box of some kind. It was sitting on the bed.
It had a little window in it like a pet crate would.
- [Lindsay] Was there an animal inside?
- [Melody] Not exactly.
Some monster woke up and went crazy in the box.
It was terrifying.
- [Lindsay] It certainly sounds
like it. What then, Melody?
- [Melody] I took off to the next room,
but that one was no better.
There was something... something outside the window,
but coming into the room,
it was passing through the glass
and emerged from the curtain.
It laughed at me.
Then the rest of them started in, every guest,
every victim of the hotel. I wasn't going to join them.
Before I even knew it, I was in the field again,
right where I'd started.
- [Lindsay] Wow. It's quite a story.
- [Melody] I didn't call your show with a story, Lindsay.
I called with a warning.
If anyone ever sees this thing just standing out
in the field or a parking lot
or wherever, it's not a prank.
It's real and it's hungry. Stay away.
- [Lindsay] Stay away.
But, Melody, what if someone-
- [Melody] Don't be like me
and let your curiosity get the better of you.
Just, just keep walking.
That's all you have to do.
Leave the door alone and it'll move on.
Do not open.
Do not step through. And do not disturb.
- Great advice.
Thank you for that story, warning.
We really appreciate it.
All right, well that was a good one.
Let's keep it going.
- [Derek] Yeah, I'm gonna get right into it.
I don't have a lot of time here.
So I took a job guarding this abandoned building.
The guy paying me, dropped
me off out front, then took off.
- [Lindsay] Whoa, slow down there, Cowboy. Details.
Why would someone need you
to guard an abandoned building?
- [Derek] The owner was trying to sell it off,
but the place kept getting
broken into. By kids mostly.
He said it happened this time every year
and was always left with a big mess the next day.
- [Lindsay] This time every year? You mean on Halloween?
- [Derek] Yeah, Halloween.
The owner gave me a flashlight
before I got out of the car,
said all I had to do was shine it at anyone I saw
and they'd run off.
Sounded easy enough.
- [Lindsay] I see. So what kind of building was this?
- [Derek] He said it was an old hospital,
but that wasn't the whole truth.
- [Lindsay] Oh?
- [Derek] There was a lot he didn't tell me.
- [Lindsay] Let's back up a bit here-
I'm sorry, could I have your name please?
- [Derek] It's Derek.
- [Lindsay] So how did you get this job, Derek?
- [Derek] I heard about this place at the edge of town
where someone like me could get work.
I didn't know what kind, just that it paid cash.
I was told to go to the local waterhole,
a place called Rosco's and talk to the owner, to Rosco.
He hired me on the spot,
but said he'd only pay me after the work was done,
not before.
I figured he didn't want me running off with his money,
but that wasn't it.
- [Lindsay] Why didn't this Rosco guy
just look after the place himself?
- [Derek] I asked him that, said he didn't wanna miss out
on Halloween.
Apparently he threw a costume party at the bar
for the adults of the town
after all the trick-or-treaters
went home for the night.
- [Lindsay] So you just had to guard the place
for Halloween?
Did he give you a key or-?
- [Derek] He told me the only door that wasn't rusted shut
was at the top of the second story fire escape.
I just had to let myself in.
- [Lindsay] What was it like inside?
- [Derek] It seemed fine as far as old buildings go.
I was just looking forward to
having a roof over my head,
even if it was for only one night.
I've been roughing it for a while now.
I carried everything I owned in an old duffle bag.
- [Lindsay] I see.
But the building, it wasn't creepy at all.
- [Derek] Well, there might have been
one or two odd things about it.
No red flags. Just some general weirdness.
Not that it mattered.
I was already there, I had to stick it out.
- [Lindsay] Because you needed Rosco's money.
So were you gonna get a place to stay
or some new clothes or-?
- [Derek] I needed that money for a new ride.
- [Lindsay] A new ride?
Oh, right, you mentioned that Rosco
had to drive you to the asylum.
- [Derek] I lost my bike a while back.
- [Lindsay] Your bike? You mean your motorcycle?
- [Derek] Yeah.
Once upon a time, I belonged
to the Infernaleers Motorcycle Club.
You've probably heard of it. Maybe not.
Doesn't really exist anymore,
but... that's a whole other story...
- [Lindsay] Derek, you still there?
Hello? Did I lose you?
- [Derek] Yeah, I'm here.
- [Lindsay] So you agreed to guard this building.
What happened next?
- [Derek] I did my job.
With my trusty old baseball bat
and Rosco's cheap flashlight, I started patrolling.
The place was cold and damp and echoey.
It was more cave than building at this point.
But it wasn't too long before I figured out
what it used to be,
what kind of hospital it had been back in the day.
- [Lindsay] What do you mean?
- [Derek] As it turns out,
the place was an old bughouse, you know, for crazies.
- [Lindsay] You mean, it was a mental health facility?
- [Derek] (scoffs) Hardly, this was an old school asylum.
And by the looks of things,
they didn't treated people too well here.
I could see why kids would break in here on Halloween.
It was a great place to scare
your friends or whatever.
But God help those little punks
if they tried that crap on my watch.
I was more than ready for anyone... or so I thought...
- [Lindsay] Okay... Derek?
- [Derek] Anyway, as I made my way around,
I started finding other flashlights.
Here and there, just kinda laying around.
They were older than mine. Some were vintage.
I started collecting them. Soon I had a bunch.
I should have realized what was going on,
and I may have, if not for what happened next.
(loud bang)
- [Lindsay] What happened?
- [Derek] The one thing you really don't want to hear
when you're all alone, especially in an old asylum,
a weird noise.
A noise that I had to
investigate. It was my job after all.
Now sound in a place like that is tricky.
It tends to bounce around.
- [Lindsay] Sure, that makes sense.
- [Derek] Like I said, it was more cave than building now.
But I was pretty sure it had come from beneath me.
So I went looking for a way down.
Obviously, there were no
elevators in a building this old,
but I did find some stairs. Some old, crumbling,
rickety stairs. Then some more stairs.
(sighs) And even more stairs. Stairs, stairs, stairs...
The place just kept going,
deeper and deeper and deeper.
- [Lindsay] The hospital was a big place, I get it.
- [Derek] Eventually I got to the basement.
- [Lindsay] Ah, into the belly of the beast.
What was it like down there?
- [Derek] Darker than upstairs. Colder, too.
Plus it didn't feel right, you know?
I got a really bad vibe.
That's when I started to figure out
that something was wrong, that this whole thing
had been a setup from the start.
- [Lindsay] How so?
- [Derek] Rosco knew about
the Infernaleers, our reputation.
He knew that anyone left wearing those wings
was a criminal, a nobody.
And that's why he hired me. I was perfect.
- [Lindsay] For what?
- [Derek] I could disappear
and no one would come looking for me.
It's also why he refused to pay me up front
and why the flashlight he gave me was so cheap.
- [Lindsay] I don't understand.
- [Derek] I was never supposed to leave that place.
- [Lindsay] What did you find in the basement, Derek?
- [Derek] I was looking for someone,
but they were looking for me, too.
And they knew right where I was.
- [Lindsay] Who was it?
- [Derek] They... they snuck up on me.
- [Lindsay] Who?
(dramatic music)
- [Derek] At first, I thought it was someone in a costume.
It wasn't.
- I'm sorry?
- [Derek] It chased me into this big meat locker.
The thing had me cornered. I thought I was a goner.
- Hang on,
you said it wasn't someone in a costume?
- [Derek] I thought the guy was wearing a mask,
but he wasn't.
It was... another head.
- [Lindsay] Another head?
- [Derek] I know this is
ridiculous, but there was this dude
and he was all wrapped up by
a huge-fuzzy-snake-creature.
- [Lindsay] Was this man trying to break free or-?
- [Derek] No, no, it was really weird.
The dude looked like he was
in a trance or sleep-walking.
Like the creature had him
under its spell or something.
Then both came at me.
I got around them, though, burst out of the meat locker
and ran back upstairs.
But the door to the fire escape wouldn't open.
Rosco had rigged it to lock behind me,
trapping me in here with that thing.
Well, slow as it was, the monster eventually
caught up to me.
Heard it coming down the hallway.
Then I knew I had to fight it.
- [Lindsay] But, Derek, why did Rosco-
- [Derek] One of the previous guys
had tried to leave a message for whoever came next,
a hint before he was taken,
but I hadn't seen the clue for what it was.
And at the moment, I was more than a little distracted.
It had found me.
- [Lindsay] What'd it do?
- [Derek] It made some barking noises, trying to scare me.
- [Lindsay] And what did you do?
- [Derek] I showed him that he couldn't scare me.
(dramatic music)
It came at me and I gave it my best home run swing.
It barely phased him.
Then the creature tried to take a bite out of me.
(dramatic music)
I lost my bat, so I went for the only weapon I had left.
The flashlight.
Now, I knew why Rosco had
given it to me in the first place,
why he'd given one to all those who came before me.
It was so that the creature
could better find me in the dark.
I think it's really old and going blind.
So I used the flashlight against the monster.
- [Lindsay] How so?
- [Derek] I tricked it.
I lured the thing into one of the cells,
setting the light between some bars at the back,
then I got behind the gate and waited.
When it was inside, I locked that creature up tight.
(creature shrieking)
- [Lindsay] Whew. Do you think it would have killed you?
- [Derek] Not exactly. At least, not immediately.
The thing was trying to get me,
but not to eat me or anything.
It needed me, needed my body.
I think it was trying to switch hosts.
I think the guy it was attached
to now must have been dying,
and if he went, the monster went, too.
It was like a parasite or something.
But now that it was trapped in that cell,
there would be no trading bodies, so it was done for.
And when the creature realized that,
well, it wasn't too happy.
(creature snarling)
It threw a little fit. Made all kinds of noise.
- [Lindsay] Wow, Derek. That's, that's amazing.
Great story.
Creepy-snake-monster tries to trap you,
but you trap creepy-snake-monster.
But I get the feeling that's
not quite the end of the story,
is it?
And then?
It was time to get the heck out of there, right?
I assume you smashed a window and crawled to safety?
- [Derek] Eventually I would, yeah,
and I almost did right then and there,
but, but then I realized something else.
- [Lindsay] What?
- [Derek] I think Rosco must have bought the building
and found this thing already living there.
I think he made a deal with it.
If he sent the occasional sucker into that place,
the thing would leave him alone.
- [Lindsay] Rosco would sacrifice others
to save his own life.
- [Derek] And when better than on Halloween?
I remembered that party he mentioned.
I think he held it to celebrate another year
he didn't have to worry about the monster.
- [Lindsay] So what did you do?
(creature breathing)
- [Derek] I made my own deal with it.
- [Lindsay] You what? What deal?
- [Derek] The thing could understand me, my intentions.
- [Lindsay] Derek, why didn't you just-
- [Derek] Leave it die? I could have.
I almost did. But I needed the Coil.
- [Lindsay] The what?
- [Derek] Oh, that's what I've started calling it, the Coil.
- [Lindsay] And what did you need this thing for?
- [Derek] It had wanted to use me,
but now I was going to use it.
I want to say that I'm doing this to avenge
all those who came before me or even to stop Rosco
from doing this to anyone else.
But the truth is, I'm doing it for me.
I really didn't like that Rosco
had tried to screw me over.
And now he owes me more than just money.
(dramatic music)
- [Lindsay] Derek, what did you do?
- [Derek] I made the long walk back to town.
Took me the rest of the day
and most of the night to get here.
Plus it started storming pretty bad,
so that made it take longer.
Only got here about an hour ago.
- [Lindsay] No, Derek, the deal. What are you going to do?
- [Derek] Rosco is gonna need a costume
for his Halloween party.
And I have the perfect one for him.
(creature growling)
- Okay, I, I wonder if we should call this bar
to give Rosco a heads up. Even if he deserves it,
this isn't right.
Okay, Sylvia's telling me to get back to work, folks.
So back in we dive.
Next caller, you're up.
- [Melissa] My son Zack fell asleep in detention,
and when he woke up, well, everything was different.
Oh, I'm Melissa by the way. This is actually his story.
Introduce yourself, sweetie.
- [Zack] (yawns) Hi, I'm Zack.
- [Lindsay] Sounds like its past someone's bedtime.
- [Melissa] He's afraid to go back to sleep
after what happened earlier today.
- [Lindsay] You said everything was different
when he woke up. How so?
- [Melissa] The school looked
older, like years had gone by,
and everyone was gone.
Well, gone or a goner.
- [Lindsay] You mean... [Melissa] Dead.
He said it looked like something awful had happened,
but he didn't know what.
- [Lindsay] Wait, so Zack had-
- [Melissa] Fallen asleep in the present
and awakened in the future, yes.
- [Lindsay] But this was a dream, of course?
- [Melissa] I'm not sure we should call it a mere dream.
I think it was more of a vision
or premonition or something.
My Zack is a very sensitive boy.
He's never been the same since that incident
in the old barn.
- [Lindsay] So what did Zack
do in this dream-vision-thing?
- [Melissa] He was getting pretty nervous,
so he went down the hall to the art room.
I think he was looking for Miss Lozano.
That's his favorite teacher.
He has a little crush on her.
- [Zack] No, I don't!
- [Lindsay] (chuckles) Did he find Miss Lazano?
- [Melissa] Not exactly.
(dramatic music)
He said there was this man,
wearing a gas-mask and a suit.
Like a, a hazmat kinda thing, you know?
Zack said he'd been stabbed.
- [Lindsay] Yikes. Was this man dead?
- [Melissa] Yes and no.
(suspenseful music)
Zack said he started moving around,
but not like a person, like a, you know.
- [Lindsay] Oh, so this man was some sort of-?
- [Melissa] Yes.
And he was so rotten, the man could barely move.
He couldn't even get up, let alone chase my Zack.
- [Lindsay] Oh, well, that's good at least.
- [Melissa] Yeah, Zack was
still pretty freaked out and ran.
He was too afraid to leave the school, though.
He thought it would be worse outside.
But I'm afraid he was wrong, so very wrong.
He stumbled onto an old crime scene.
I think something terrible
must have happened at the school
before something worse happened to the world.
Someone had been killed,
but they hadn't stayed killed.
- [Lindsay] So your son
dreamed of an apocalyptic future
in which the dead returned to life.
You want my honest opinion, Melissa?
It sounds like he's been watching too many movies.
- [Melissa] It's not that. I don't let him watch that trash.
Besides, it wasn't just the goners,
there was something worse in the school.
- [Lindsay] Such as?
- [Melissa] Okay, well the way he described it,
the thing sounded like
what we've been sending to Mars, you know?
It was a little remote controlled-robot, a rover.
But this one had guns.
- [Lindsay] Guns?
- [Melissa] Yeah, and it turned them on my Zack,
so he took off and the rover chased him.
- [Lindsay] Hang on, did it think Zack
was one of these creatures?
- [Melissa] No, that's just it.
The robot had left all those dead things alone.
I think it was after Zack because he was alive.
- [Lindsay] Why would it be trying to kill a survivor?
- [Melissa] I don't know. It's weird, right?
It doesn't make any sense at all.
But while he was hiding, he met another one.
- [Lindsay] Another rover?
- [Melissa] No, no, another survivor.
She'd been hiding, too, and when this girl stepped out,
she startled Zack.
Said he almost peed his pants.
- [Zack] Mom!
- [Melissa] Well, that's what you said.
(Lindsay laughing)
I think maybe the rover had
chased this girl into the school
and was hunting for her when it found Zack.
Anyway, it was clear to both of them
that they needed to stick together,
so they forged a little, silent pact.
- [Lindsay] Sounds like a couple of smart kids.
- [Melissa] They had dodged the rover,
but it was still searching for them.
And it wasn't going to stop.
- [Lindsay] About the rover,
you said it was being controlled remotely.
By whom do you think?
- [Melissa] Someone outside that place.
I think it was sent in there because the dead
would not attack it.
[Lindsay] The rover is a cold machine, not a warm body,
so the goners wouldn't bother with it.
But, like the dead, the rover would attack the living?
- [Melissa] I have no idea, but the kids knew
that if they couldn't escape the rover,
they'd have to fight it.
The girl had a weapon. Zack would need one, too.
Zack remembered why he
was in detention in the first place.
The bonehead took his slingshot to school.
Got it confiscated by his English teacher,
and that's why he didn't get to go
trick-or-treating tonight.
Anyway, among the rest of the contraband,
he found his slingshot.
He knew right where it would be,
where it would still be.
- Of course. Because the future?
- [Melissa] Yes, exactly.
That's why I think this was more than a dream.
Everything was just as it should be,
you know what I'm saying?
I mean, what kind of dream works like that?
They're always chaotic and nonsensical,
but Zack's experience was linear and orderly.
- Gotcha. So then what?
- [Melissa] Well, they assumed the rover
would go back to the main
entrance and wait for them there,
so the kids made their way upstairs with the plan
to climb down the side of the building
using the gutters or something.
But the rover knew better and had cut them off.
In a school full of monsters,
whoever was controlling that
machine was the worst of them,
because it then opened fire on them.
It was trying to kill children.
(gun firing)
But then my Zack got an idea.
Not a great one, mind you. But an idea.
- [Lindsay] Idea? What idea?
- [Melissa] The girl tried to stop him,
but once my Zack sets his mind to something, well...
- [Lindsay] What'd he do, Melissa?
- [Melissa] He fired back at the rover.
Hit the thing right in its eye, blinded it.
It was the perfect shot.
(intense music)
- [Lindsay] Good job Zack.
- [Melissa] Yeah, he couldn't believe it.
- [Melissa] You wanna tell her what you did next, Zack?
- [Zack] I, I danced.
(upbeat music)
(Lindsay laughs)
- [Lindsay] Ahh, okay, well,
what about after that?
- [Melissa] The two of them left the school.
The girl told him that she
was on her way out of the city
and that he should come with her.
Obviously, it wasn't safe for them to stay there.
He didn't know what else to do, so Zack went along.
- [Lindsay] How far did they go?
- [Melissa] He said they walked for miles and miles,
said the whole city was like the school,
crumbling and empty.
Everyone was either gone or-
- [Lindsay] A goner.
- [Melissa] Yeah.
When Zack tried to leave the city limits
he woke up back in school, back in detention,
and everything was normal again.
- [Lindsay] Wow, that was quite the-
- [Melissa] But what if it was real?
What if it was a vision of the future?
The future of Circle City?
What if there really will be some kind of apocalypse?
[Lindsay] Then I hope it was just a dream
and that you have better ones tonight, Zack.
- (sighs) Kids these days, am I right?
With their apocalyptic visions.
I blame the rock and roll music.
Welcome next caller. Who do we have on the line?
- [Les] Hey, I'm Les. Lester Issac Moore to be exact.
And I was gonna tell you about
the weirdest job I ever done.
See, a couple years back,
I got called out to this here old house.
Some young couple had bought it
and was in the midst of their renovation
when they got to hearin' scratchin' all up in the walls.
They figured it was rats, so they called me.
- [Lindsay] Called you?
- [Les] Oh, I didn't say, did I?
You see, I'm a, a independent contractor.
I deal in the science and art of pest control.
My company is called Les is Moore.
You get it? Like my name? Les Moore.
- [Lindsay] Oh, I like that. Very clever.
- [Les] I got a real good reputation
for getting jobs done, you know?
And done fast. That's exactly
what my clients were after.
They told me they were headin'
outta town for the weekend,
going off to some B&B.
Said that I could come by any time while they was away.
Left the door unlocked for me and everything.
Guess it was a safe enough neighborhood
for that kinda thing.
So I just let myself right in.
- [Lindsay] Les, you said this was an old house
that your clients were renovating.
How old was it?
- [Les] Shoot, I don't even know. Real old.
It was pretty, though. A gem of an old place.
It was gonna be a palace once it was all fixed up.
It was the kinda house
they just don't make anymore, you know?
With high ceilings and all
hardwood floors and whatnot.
- [Lindsay] I know exactly what you mean, Les.
I love old buildings too.
Please tell us more about this house.
- [Les] In the front room there was a crystal chandelier
and this old piana.
- [Lindsay] Piano?
- [Les] I think that probably came with the house.
There was also these marble fireplaces
and each one had a big ol' mirror above it.
(whistles) Absolutely gorgeous.
- [Lindsay] It sounds lovely.
- [Les] It certainly was, but I needed to focus up,
to get to work.
I wasn't there to admire the old house,
I was there to make it a good place to live, you know?
Now as a pest control man,
you really gotta familiarize yourself
with a location, you know?
You can't hunt without
knowing the terrain, so to speak.
- [Lindsay] Sure I get that.
I mean, you are basically a hunter, huh, Les?
- [Les] And you gotta be willin' to get low,
down to the level of the critter,
see the world from their point of view, you know?
You gotta get in the, in the mindset of your prey.
But there I go sounding like a, like a, what's the word?
- [Lindsay] An expert?
- [Les] A windbag.
- [Lindsay] Oh, I wouldn't say that, Les.
You gotta love what you do, right?
It sounds like you know
your craft and take it seriously.
The rest of us should be half as invested in our work
as you.
- [Les] Oh, well, ain't you just the sweetest?
Now, I, I really appreciate you saying that.
Believe it or not, most folk
look down on my profession.
It's a dirty job, but, hey, someone's gotta do it,
am I right?
- [Lindsay] (chuckles) Absolutely, Les.
- [Les] But, but, back to my story.
So Halloween wasn't due for a few months yet,
but my clients looked like they were decoratin'
for it already.
Had this old coffin with a skeleton in it.
Or maybe that came with the house, too, like the piana,
I don't know.
But I left my catchpole with old Bonesy,
then went to check out the rest of the place.
- [Lindsay] I'm sorry, Les, catchpole?
I am afraid I'm not familiar with that term.
- [Les] Oh, it's just a rod and a rope used
to snare critters.
I actually make my own.
I make all my gear, including
a little homespun gas chamber.
- [Lindsay] Gas chamber?
- [Les] Yeah, yeah, more on that in minute.
Now, I headed upstairs, to the second of three floors
the house had.
I said the house was old, I
didn't yet say that it was huge.
Just gettin' around, I broke out in a sweat.
Didn't help that there weren't
no AC, not in that old place.
- [Lindsay] Gotcha. So what was the second floor like?
- [Les] It was in rougher shape
than downstairs, to be sure.
Needed more work. And my clients had been at it.
I think they'd been in the middle of their fixin' up
when the critters got to be too much.
They couldn't take all the noise anymore.
- [Lindsay] Just the idea of something crawling around
in the walls would be more than enough
to keep me up at night.
I mean, it's your house.
It's supposed to be your safe place.
To have that violated is just the literal worst.
- [Les] Yeah, exactly. This was my clients' dream home.
They'd invested everything in it.
They weren't about to let it all get ruined
by an infestation.
But, but here's the thing,
I'd yet to see a single sign of one.
- [Lindsay] Of an infestation?
- [Les] Yeah, it was real weird.
By now I shoulda found some scat or somethin'.
So I headed up to the third floor, to try my luck there.
My clients were hearin'
somethin' and I was gonna find it.
Now, before you can ask,
the third floor was in even worse shape
than the second floor, hotter, too. (whistle)
I was boilin' up good.
- [Lindsay] Ugh.
That's a big no thanks for
me working in the heat like that.
Uh-uh, sounds absolutely miserable, Les,
but I think you're probably tougher than I am.
What happened next?
- [Les] So I found a room my clients were fixin' to paint
and decided that was as gooda
place as any to lay my trap.
- [Lindsay] Your trap?
This the homemade gas chamber you mentioned?
- [Les] Sure is. I'm awful proud of that thing.
Works like a charm every time.
You see, instead of using bait,
it emits a cocktail of
pheromones that attract the vermin.
They think its date night.
There's a little door on the front
and once they crawl through,
it seals shut behind them and in comes the gas.
Puts 'em to sleep nice and peaceful like.
My clientele prefer the humane approach.
I do, too, honestly.
It ain't the critter's fault they're in the wrong place.
They don't know no better
and don't deserve to suffer for it.
- [Lindsay] I can get behind that philosophy.
Yeah, makes sense.
I mean, it's not that they like evil or anything, right?
(intense music)
So you set the trap, then what?
- [Les] I kept on.
There was more of the third floor to check out,
so I got to it.
Made my way across the hall to another room.
Again, I was on the look
out for scat or little footprints,
anything, anything at all,
but found a whole heap of nothin'.
Well, almost nothin'.
I spotted some old sketches of the property,
but from way back when, you know?
- [Lindsay] Way back when?
But, Les, you said you didn't know the age of the house,
so, like when were these sketches from?
- [Les] Like from, like from when the house was still new.
It had really been somethin'.
Place had a fountain once upon a time
and all kinds of stuff.
Real, real pretty. But, but then-
- [Lindsay] What, Les?
- [Les] The gas chamber had been activated.
You see, I got this little indicator gizmo
that lets me know when something's got itself stuck
in my trap.
I figured it had to be a false alarm, though.
- [Lindsay] Why's that?
- [Les] Cause I'd just been in that other room,
trompin' around.
Whatever was around shoulda run off.
It usually takes a couple a hours
of quiet for somethin' to creep back out into the open.
- [Lindsay] So you went to check it out?
- [Les] 'Course I did.
And as it turns out, my trap was workin' just fine.
It had snagged somethin'.
- [Lindsay] What was it, Les?
- [Les] It was the reason I'm making this here phone call,
Miss Mallyn.
- [Lindsay] Well, you certainly know
how to build suspense, Les. (laughs)
- [Les] So I move the trap to this little table,
you know, to have a look at what I got.
Now, I really didn't expect anything at all.
I mean, what could it possibly be in there?
- [Lindsay] Well, I mean there's only so many things
that could have been, right?
A mouse, a squirrel, a whatever... So what was it, Les?
- [Les] It was a, well, it was-
- [Lindsay] Yes?
- Let me out of here.
- [Les] A doll, a little dummy,
like a ventriloquist kinda thing,
but it was movin' and talkin' all on it's own.
- [Lindsay] Uh, come again?
- [Les] Hand to God. Stack a Bibles. All of that.
I'd trapped a little dum-dum.
The gas had pumped in, but it didn't have no effect on it.
I mean, it was a doll, so-
- [Lindsay] I'm guessing this is when you ran out of there?
- [Les] Run? Heck, no.
I pulled up a chair. To have a closer look, you know?
This was the most interestin'
thing that'd ever happened
to ol' Lester Moore.
Some genuinely fascinatin'
stuff was goin' on right here.
- [Lindsay] What did it do, the doll?
- [Les] He was pretty annoyed
that he'd gotten himself stuck.
But then, well, then I heard the piana downstairs
and I knew.
- [Lindsay] That there were more of them.
- You are dead.
- [Les] Yeah, this here house was infested.
But it weren't by no vermin.
- But, Les, surely you fled the house after that?
- [Les] (laughs) Flee the house? No, Ma'am.
Didn't I say earlier that I got a reputation?
I gotta keep it.
I gave my clients my personal guarantee
that they'd return to a quiet, pest-free home.
And I was gonna make sure they did.
- Wow, Les. Really?
This was literally a supernatural event.
Don't you think that-
- [Les] Makes me no difference, Miss Mallyn.
I had a job to do.
- Your dedication is honestly impressive, Les.
So what happened next?
- [Les] Well, I came down all in a hurry like,
but to get back to the piana on the ground floor,
I had to go through the second
one, to the stairs, you know?
It's just how the house was set up.
Well, I was on my way when I crossed paths
with another one of those little suckers.
I gave chase to the thing,
but he disappeared into a closet.
And that's where I lost him.
- [Lindsay] How'd you lose him in a closet?
Correct me if I'm wrong,
but there's just the one way in and out
unless there was something
special about this closet?
- [Les] There was a tiny little door inside.
Beyond that was this, like, a tunnel.
It musta run all through the house
and that's what my clients was hearin',
these little things scamperin' through.
Well, unbeknownst to yours truly,
the one I was after had circled back around me,
crawled up onto some saw horses
and was watching me from behind.
I spotted him, though, in one of the mirrors,
but I didn't let on, you know?
I backed out of the closet, real slow like,
keeping my back to it, gettin' closer and closer.
- [Lindsay] Oh, yeah, here we go.
- [Les] Then with my natural, catlike reflexes I pounced.
Snatched the bugger up.
- [Lindsay] What'd you do with it?
- [Les] Well, being unnatural creatures,
I assumed there to be only so many ways
by which to incapacitate them.
I'd trapped the first, the second one,
well, I carved him up like a Thanksgiving Turkey
on Easter Sunday! Yeehaw!
- [Lindsay] Uh, okay...
- [Les] Just started hacking off limbs left and right.
I figured if the thing couldn't move,
it couldn't be a problem no
more, you know what I'm saying?
- [Lindsay] Sure, Les.
(suspenseful music)
- [Les] But then, but then I heard that piana again.
- [Lindsay] There was still one more.
- [Les] Still one more, that's right, that's right.
The job wasn't done yet.
- [Lindsay] Sorry, real quick, Les,
the one you had sawed up, it was dead?
- [Les] Not sure things like that can ever actually
meet their end, Miss Mallyn.
But I was gonna get them as close as they could come,
I tell ya what.
- [Lindsay] So you headed back downstairs.
- [Les] That I did.
I tried my best to stay quiet,
to sneak up on the last one.
He was makin' an awful racket on the piana.
He couldn't really play.
Was just sorta stabbin' at the keys, you know?
He was havin' himself a grand ol' time of it.
He took no notice of me whatsoever.
- [Lindsay] Oh, good. That's good.
Whew man, this is creepy.
- [Les] So I tiptoed back through the house,
back to my catchpole.
I reached out for it to grab it, but then-
- [Lindsay] But then what, Les?
- [Les] I had myself an idea.
Old Bonesy made me think of it. You see I'm a smoker.
I know it's a filthy habit, but I swear I'm gonna quit.
And I never smoke in a client's house,
that's unprofessional.
- [Lindsay] Of course,
but what does that have to do with any of-
- [Les] Anyways, there was this old cast iron stove
sitting right next to the coffin,
it was original to the house, I'm sure.
Well, there was already
some bits of kindlin' in there, so,
so I got a fire goin'.
- [Lindsay] Oh, I think I see where you're going with this.
- [Les] Heck, yes, you do, Miss Mallyn.
So then I began the hunt.
I went creepin' through that old house like a panther.
- [Lindsay] I still can't believe
you didn't go running out the door, Les.
A house infested with ventriloquist dummies
is nightmare fuel. Ugh.
But anyway, back to your story.
- [Les] That dum-dum was so into his bad piana playin'
that he didn't even see the loop of rope
I was slipping around his neck.
Not until it was too late, anyway.
Well, he tried to give me a fight, but I had him.
I had him good.
My catchpoles can restrain a full-grown bear
and that's no lie.
It actually happened once.
I was called to this cabin out in the sticks.
They thought they had a
raccoon problem, but really it was-
- [Lindsay] Les, please, this story. It's getting good.
- [Les] Right, sorry. So I get him back to the old stove.
Oh, and he knew it was comin'. He knew.
He could see the fire.
He didn't wanna go,
but I forced his little, wooden butt in there,
- [Dum-dum] No, not in there! Not in there! (screams)
- [Lindsay] And then?
- [Les] I lit that sucker up like a Christmas Tree
on the Fourth of July! (laughs)
It didn't take long.
All that stuffing inside of him,
those antique clothes he had on.
It all just kinda went up like that.
Dang near incinerated the whole thing.
Almost took my catchpole with it.
But that was that. He was gone.
- [Lindsay] Whew.
Please tell me there was no more,
that you were finally done after that.
- [Les] The job... it was done.
- [Lindsay] Wow, Les.
So what'd you do with the other dummies?
- [Les] I gathered up
what was left of the one I'd taken the saw to.
He joined his friend in the fire.
But the one I'd trapped, well, it was odd.
As soon as I left the house, he went quiet,
stopped movin' entirely.
- [Lindsay] Oh, weird.
- [Les] I was gonna tie a brick to it
and chuck the dang thing into the river,
but instead I hawked it to a little curio shoppe.
- [Lindsay] You sold it?
- [Les] Sure did.
I had to recoup some losses.
This job had required
a bit more than I was being
compensated for by my clients.
- [Lindsay] Did you tell them what happened?
- [Les] No.
They'd never sleep easy again
knowin' what had really been in their house.
I just told 'em it was rats.
- That was quite the story. Thank you, Les.
I wonder if I should find this curio shop, though.
Let them know what's actually sitting on their shelf.
But anyway, it's gonna be hard to top that one.
The next caller sure has their work cut out for them.
Let's see what they have. Hello, hello.
- [Owen] I was invited to watch a movie. This movie.
- [Lindsay] I'm sorry?
- [Owen] Earlier today,
I, I saw Circle City Supernatural. The movie.
- [Lindsay] CCS is not a movie, it's a radio show.
My radio show.
You know, the one you called into?
- [Owen] Well, elsewhere, it's also a movie.
Let me explain.
I was sent a ticket, to a private, matinee screening
at this old movie house.
- [Lindsay] Hang on.
You're saying someone made a movie
with the title Circle City Supernatural?
- [Owen] No, I'm saying this, this right here,
what's happening now, is a movie.
- [Lindsay] Uh, okay. What was your name?
- [Owen] It's Owen.
- [Lindsay] Owen, you said you were sent a ticket
to this movie?
- [Owen] I have a blog. It's called the Dutch Angle.
I review indie horror movies with it.
I was invited to watch this film in exchange
for an honest review.
A writeup from me can be
very helpful to new filmmakers.
The press packet I'd been sent described this film
as a Halloween-themed
anthology, an all-practical-effects,
throwback, creature feature,
midnight movie kinda deal.
It was a self-financed little affair
that the filmmaker did with his friends and family.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting
much with that kind of description.
As you can imagine, I watch
a lot of zero budget schlock.
But don't get me wrong, I love zero budget schlock.
I wouldn't have started my blog if I didn't.
- [Lindsay] I gotcha.
Okay, so you went to see the movie, then what?
- [Owen] There wasn't anyone in the box office,
no one in concessions either.
There wasn't even a ticket-taker,
so I just let myself into the auditorium.
- [Lindsay] Wait, there was no one running the theater?
How is that, how is that even possible?
There was no one around at all?
Not even other movie-goers?
That's like really, really weird, Owen.
Did that not strike you as really, really weird, Owen,
there being no one else at the theater?
- [Owen] But there must have been someone
in the projection booth,
because the movie started right on time.
- Well, how was it?
Was the movie schlock?
- [Owen] Not exactly.
I mean, like other films of this type,
it wasn't perfect, far from it.
You could tell everyone was doing their best
with what little they had, though.
This was clearly a labor of love,
a true passion project, which I respect.
It was curious, though.
The filmmaker made an odd decision
to break the fundamental rule of filmmaking.
- Which is?
- [Owen] You're supposed to show, not tell, but he did both.
The voice-over work, that is, the calls to your show
told one part of the story and the visuals another.
They ran parallel and frequently overlapped,
but remained distinct,
conveying their own information.
It was like two different roads
that both lead to the same place, you know?
The movie was also shot in
this bizarre, semi-real-time way.
You were with the characters almost step-by-step,
like how it would really be
with someone telling you a story.
It was avant-garde, minus the pretension,
if that's even possible.
- [Lindsay] Huh, it sounds interesting at least.
So he pulled it off, the filmmaker?
His unique style made for a successful movie?
- [Owen] Weeeelllll, eh, mmmm, kinda, sorta.
- [Lindsay] Oh, so you didn't like the movie?
- [Owen] No, no, I'm not saying that.
It was just different, surprisingly so.
Unlike other films I watch,
this one was weirdly clean.
There wasn't nudity or profanity, no gore,
barely any blood, none of the characters died.
But it wasn't lame either, to be honest.
It was rather charming in its own way.
You could often see the strings, so to speak,
but that only endeared the film to me.
There's something about
watching an artist struggle
against their limitations,
it's kinda the core of all art, you know?
- [Lindsay] The core of all art.
Sure, I suppose. You're the expert.
I'll take your word on that.
Well, Owen, it's kind of sounding
like you were coming around to this film
that you were seeing the thing for what it was
and appreciating it.
So you did actually like the movie?
- [Owen] I was actually getting into it, yeah!
But then I... was in it.
- [Lindsay] You were in what?
- [Owen] The movie. I was in the movie.
- [Lindsay] I'm sorry?
- [Owen] I saw myself walking up to this old theater,
exactly how I'd just done.
- [Lindsay] Uh, I'm not sure I heard you correctly, Owen.
Could you say that again?
- [Owen] You've been listening to these stories,
but I've been watching them.
Then I was watching my own story,
hearing my own voice, saying these exact words.
- [Lindsay] Whoa, pump the brakes there, Owen.
This was a prank, surely.
Someone must have been filming you outside then-
- [Owen] No, no, I must have
slipped realities or something.
There's a world somewhere in which this,
all of this, is a film and not real life.
- [Lindsay] Uh, okay. So what'd you do then?
- [Owen] What do you think I did?
I freaked out and ran out of the theater!
But now I kinda wish I hadn't.
- [Lindsay] Why?
- [Owen] I want to know how it ended.
It's hard to stick the landing with an anthology film,
but maybe this one didn't need to.
- [Lindsay] Why not?
- [Owen] It felt like it was part of something bigger,
a larger narrative, a shared universe of stories.
And this was just one of countless.
- Well, Owen, once again I think you were the victim of a-
- [Owen] I've been watching your callers, Lindsay.
I've also been watching you.
You dressed up for Halloween,
but you haven't mentioned it on the show.
You're wearing a medieval,
warrior woman costume, right?
- Uh, yeah, that's correct.
But, Owen-
- [Owen] It's okay, Lindsay.
You didn't believe me in the movie either.
- Well, folks, you heard it here first.
Circle City Supernatural
coming to a theater near
you... in another reality. (laughs)
Ooh, well, gang,
I hope everyone is ready for a blast from the past
because it looks like Sylvia
has some Circle City legends lined up for us.
This should be good.
(dissonance music)
- [John] Hi.
John here, but at the time of this story,
everyone still called me Johnny.
- [Lindsay] Oh, a childhood story, is it?
- [John] It takes place more years back
than I care to fully recollect.
I wanna tell you about the
time I was dared by my friends
to go trick-or-treating in a ghost town.
- [Lindsay] Mm. I'm listening.
- [John] Maybe ghost town isn't the right term for it.
The place was technically still part of the city,
but it was out on the edge,
in an area where no one lived anymore.
I had to knock on every door that was part of the dare,
you know, to see if anyone or more like anything
would answer.
All us kids assumed the place was haunted, of course.
- [Lindsay] Of course.
But, John, the place, why was it abandoned?
- [John] It happened before I was even born,
back when everything was still farmland.
Well, story is, the crops started dying.
Not from drought or anything.
They were being strangled out.
Something else had taken root under the soil
and it didn't like competition.
Then it started going after the livestock.
It spread like a cancer, devouring (coughs)
devouring the place from
the inside (coughs) inside out.
(John coughs)
- [Lindsay] Please, take your time.
- [John] I can't. (cough) I'm running out of it.
- [Lindsay] Out of what? Time?
- [John] So there's an old urban legend
about the place that goes something like this.
There was this guy, this plant scientist,
you know, what do you call them?
- [Lindsay] A botanist?
- [John] Yeah, that's it. His name was Nathaniel Thicket.
He used to travel the world
looking for exotic plants
and whatnot.
It was during an expedition to Transylvania
that he discovered some
prehistoric, carnivorous plant,
the last of its kind apparently.
Well, Thicket somehow got a hold of its seeds
and brought them back home to Indiana,
tried to get them to grow here.
- [Lindsay] And did they?
- [John] No.
Thicket tried everything, every kind of soil
and water and nutrient, but they just wouldn't take.
He spent the whole rest of his life trying
to get them to grow, but nothing ever worked.
It was his obsession, cost
him all his friends and family.
Ended up as a hermit.
He was so cut off that even
his neighbors didn't notice
when the old man finally dropped dead
in the cellar of his house.
Too bad, they may have stopped it before it started.
- [Lindsay] Stopped what?
- [John] The blight,
the thing that would soon start killing their crops
and their livestock and, which eventually,
would force them to abandon
their homes and businesses.
- [Lindsay] I'm sorry, John, you're kinda losing me here.
What was this blight?
And what did it have to do with Nathaniel Thicket?
- [John] It had everything
to do with Nathaniel Thicket. (coughs)
- John, you still with us?
- [John] (coughs) Yeah, I'm still here.
For the moment anyways.
- Okay.
- [John] (coughing) One second.
(John coughing)
(John spitting)
All right, I'm back.
- So what happened then?
- [John] I saved Thicket's house for last.
According to the legend, his was the biggest one
and sat apart from the others.
It wasn't hard to find.
When I knocked on his door, well, it creaked open,
so I, I let myself in.
- [Lindsay] You just went inside?
- [John] There was still power on in the place,
so I thought maybe someone was home.
Guess I was curious,
or maybe I just wanted to have a better story
to take back to my friends.
It's hard to remember what was going through my head.
Just kid and kids do stupid things,
often for no reason at all.
- [Lindsay] True enough. Tell me about the house.
- [John] It was as old as the place it belonged to.
And was just as creepy.
Inside was wall-to-wall antiques.
It was the smell, though. That's what I remember most.
It had that musty smell that
(coughs and clears throat)
I need to hurry up. I don't have much time left.
- [Lindsay] You mentioned time before, John.
What do you mean?
- [John] We'll get to it. Anyway, I explored the house.
Obviously someone was living there.
But they must have been the only one in the area.
- [Lindsay] Why do you think that?
- [John] Because they'd left without locking,
let alone latching, their front door.
- [Lindsay] Yeah, I suppose that tracks.
- [John] But again, it's hard to know for sure.
Much of this is based on things I thought then
or assume now.
This was ages ago and I, I was just a little kid.
Time has a way of distorting the truth, you know?
Kinda like the legend of Nathaniel Thicket.
- [Lindsay] Could we get back to that?
- [John] Yeah, of course.
You see, and again, this is all according to the story,
it was only in death that Thicket finally solved
the problem of the plant.
He died with the last seed in his pocket.
Well, since no one saw to the body, it was left to rot.
The only suitable soil for that plant
was decaying, human flesh.
- [Lindsay] Oh. Gross.
- [John] It didn't like water. It drank blood.
That, and sunlight actually killed it.
The thing could only grow in darkness.
- [Lindsay] (scoffs) The
vampire plant from Transylvania.
Really, John? That's the plot of some 1950s, B-movie.
Clearly this legend is fiction.
Not to mention that the guy's name was Thicket.
A botanist named Thicket, come on.
- [John] Yeah, I'm sure you're right.
Most of the story is pure fantasy.
There's at least one part that was true.
- [Lindsay] Which part?
- [John] The scariest part.
I found the door to the cellar
and made my way down the stairs.
I don't know why I wasn't afraid.
Maybe because I didn't yet
know there was something to fear.
Oh, but that was about to change.
I learned the same truth as
all your other callers, Lindsay.
- [Lindsay] The same truth?
And what would that be exactly?
- [John] That monsters...
- [Lindsay] Yes?
- [John] They're real.
(dramatic music)
There it stood before me, the Thicket.
- [Lindsay] You found the old man?
- [John] No, no. He was long gone by this point.
But his death had given life to this thing.
It was his offspring, more or less,
and so it inherited his name, as far as I'm concerned.
Decades before, the Thicket had flourished,
grown beyond this cellar,
threading its tendrils through
the surrounding region,
ruining the crops and draining the livestock.
- [Lindsay] An invasive species.
- [John] But when everyone cleared out,
they took the Thicket's food supply with them.
The thing had been left to starve
and had been in decline for years.
It's roots had detached and withered.
All that remained was the original core.
It appeared to have gone dormant.
Even still, an old flit gun lay on the floor,
ready for use against the Thicket.
- [Lindsay] Flit gun?
- [John] One of those old pump sprayers.
It was full of weed-killer.
Whoever was living in the old house
had been using it to keep the plant weakened.
- [Lindsay] John, you said it had gone dormant.
What do you mean exactly? How could you even tell?
It was a plant.
- [John] I only discovered that it was sleeping
when, when I accidentally woke it up.
I barely touched one of it's branches,
but that was more than enough.
It, well, it came alive.
We had ourselves a little tussle.
It's vines came up off the floor
and started flailing all around.
They had me cut off. I was trapped.
Then its head swung around
and this thing tried to take a bite of me.
It had these fanged, snapping jaws.
- [Lindsay] Wait, it could move? Oh, yikes.
- [John] But the Thicket was gonna have
to work for this meal.
I sprayed it with the flit gun,
giving it a mouthful of the weed-killer.
And then, just like that, it went dormant again.
Closed it's mouth and dropped it's vines.
During the fight, one of its
acorns or seeds or whatever
came loose and rolled into the middle of the floor.
- [Lindsay] Wow, crazy.
- [John] I didn't notice at first.
But was backing away from the Thicket,
I almost stepped on the thing.
And when I saw it, I decided to take it.
- [Lindsay] As proof, or what?
- [John] I suppose. (coughs) Now anyway-(cough)
- [Lindsay] John, are you okay?
You sound-
- [John] I'm almost out of time.
I'm calling you from hospice,
Lindsay. From my deathbed.
- [Lindsay] Oh, John, I'm very sorry.
- [John] At the time, I thought I had killed the Thicket.
It wouldn't be until I was much older
that I realized the truth.
You see, I'd dressed as a skeleton for Halloween,
but I wasn't the only skeleton in the cellar.
The Thicket had been drinking the blood of rats,
the only animals that were still around.
But someone, probably whoever was living
in Thicket's house, had left out poison.
Rat poison is warfarin, it's a blood-thinner.
Nothing could be more deadly to a blood-drinker.
It had fed on poisoned rats and so poisoned itself.
The thing was already dying before I even got there.
The Thicket was in its final hour.
Like I am now.
- [Lindsay] I think I understand your call now, John.
You were wanting to get this
story out before your passing.
- [John] Not at all.
I've been telling this story
to anyone who would listen since it happened.
No one ever believed me. But now I can prove it.
I've given special instructions
not to be embalmed when I go
and to be buried with the acorn.
That's right, I kept it all these years.
It'll take root in my flesh, nourished by my blood.
It will grow in the darkness of my casket,
then spread through the cemetery.
The Thicket will live again! (laughing and coughing)
- Oookay then. Thanks for that, John.
Got a little maniacal there at the end,
but, still a good story.
Sylvia, do you think we should reach out
to the cemetery to let them know about this?
Nip it in the proverbial bud?
I guess not. Okay, back to the phones.
Welcome, Caller. Whatcha got for us?
- [Lucy] What we have for you
is a classic Circle City ghost story.
The story of the Visitant. Have you heard it?
- [Lindsay] I don't believe so. Sorry, did you say visitant?
What is that?
- [Lucy] It can mean visitor or it can also mean ghost.
- [Lindsay] Or a ghostly visitor?
- [Lucy] Right.
So back in Victorian times,
no one is really sure when exactly,
there was this young
nursemaid named Mallory Enfield.
She was hired to care for the children
of the local undertaker, a
widower named Ambrose Thornton.
Of the kids, there was Emmeline,
a girl of about seven, and her baby brother Everette.
Now, as it is with all these types of stories,
there's different versions of it.
No one knows for sure how it happened,
but both children met a tragic
and untimely end on Halloween.
And even though there's
multiple tellings of this story,
they all agree upon one point.
- [Lindsay] It was the fault of the nursemaid.
- [Lucy] Some versions have it as pure negligence,
others say the nursemaid actually murdered them.
Their father, being the undertaker,
could not bear to embalm his own children
and had them swiftly interred in the family vault,
what is one of the oldest in Circle City Cemetery.
However, not three days after the internment,
the tomb was violated.
The bodies of Emmeline and Everette had been stolen.
- [Lindsay] And I think I know by whom.
- [Lucy] Yeah.
The remains were found in
the possession of the nursemaid.
When questioned, Mallory said the children
were afraid of the dark.
She couldn't bear to leave them in the vault.
- [Lindsay] Oh, so her guilt had driven her mad.
- [Lucy] She was fully bananas, yes.
So while the kiddos were reburied,
the nursemaid was committed to the local asylum.
That's where the story should end but doesn't.
Eventually Mallory got out and then so, too,
did the children.
- [Lindsay] She did it again?
- [Lucy] Yup.
She'd once more broken into the vault
and carried off the now greatly decayed bodies
of her former charges.
And, just as before, she was caught.
The bodies went back into the cemetery,
and Mallory went back into the asylum.
This time, for everyone involved, it was permanent.
Oh, your caller from earlier,
the one who was hired to guard that old asylum,
that's where Mallory lived out the rest of her days.
- [Lindsay] Oh, I see. Small world or city.
- [Lucy] But anyway, Thornton, the undertaker,
had the vault sealed off.
The doorway was bricked up
to prevent any further grave robbery.
- [Lindsay] But, you said this was a ghost story.
- [Lucy] And I meant it.
So every Halloween, for ages now,
the nursemaid has been seen at the cemetery.
She delivers a ghost pumpkin
to the Thornton Family vault.
Presumably as some sort of penance.
- [Lindsay] Wait, wait, is this ongoing?
People still see her at the cemetery?
- [Lucy] Every Halloween. Without fail.
- [Lindsay] Don't apparitions tend
to be a little more elusive than that, though?
- [Lucy] That's the thing.
She doesn't look like a specter.
She just looks like a person.
Most assume it's someone in period clothing
putting on a show.
No one had ever proved it either way,
because no one had ever
followed her from the cemetery.
That's where we came in.
- You followed her? Where did she go?
- [Lucy] She went back to Thornton's funeral parlor.
- Was it still in use?
- [Lucy] Not as a funeral parlor but as a home.
I checked on it later.
Turns out the place had been lived in for decades
before it went back on the market.
They had trouble selling it,
but now, well, now it was occupied.
- Don't tell me you-
- [Lucy] I know, I know.
If it was a ghost, we were tempting fate.
If it was a person, we were tempting prosecution.
This was, technically, stalking.
Now the funeral parlor was just down the street
from the cemetery.
It was this beautiful old place.
We hung back while the nursemaid headed inside.
The door wasn't even locked.
She just went straight in like she owned the joint.
We knew something was wrong.
- [Lindsay] You keep saying we.
Was there someone else with you?
- [Lucy] Oh, yes. My husband Gabe.
He's here with me now as well. Say hi, Gabe.
- [Gabe] Hello.
- [Lindsay] Hi, Gabe. Could I have your wife's name as well?
[Gabe] She's Lucy-here she is.
- [Lindsay] Ope, okay.
- [Lucy] Sorry about that. He's shy.
So we'd come this far. We couldn't turn back now.
We were going to solve this mystery, no matter what.
- [Lindsay] I can't believe
you just went into someone's house.
- [Lucy] Not the smartest thing to do, admittedly,
but Gabe and I were paranormal investigators
and this was our white whale.
We were willing to risk it all.
- [Lindsay] Paranormal investigators, you say?
- [Lucy] Oh, yeah.
Guess I should have mentioned that sooner, huh?
It's not a thing we do anymore,
but once upon a time, we were really into it.
We had all the gear.
I had an EMF detector and a camera.
Gabe had, do you wanna tell her?
- [Gabe] Yeah, I had a parabolic microphone,
but I'd rigged it up to a field recorder,
so that I could get EVPs with better clarity.
- [Lindsay] Oh, interesting.
- [Lucy] The person we'd followed here
was nowhere to be seen,
so we started our investigation on the ground floor.
We still didn't know who, if anyone, was here,
so we stayed quiet.
The whole time we were in that house,
we didn't speak one word to each other.
But someone, somewhere, was making noise.
Gabe got a hit a sound from the second floor.
- [Lindsay] And since you guys were brazen enough
to enter the house, I assume you didn't hesitate
to go upstairs?
- [Lucy] That is correct.
- [Lindsay] You guys are brave. I'll give you that.
So you're a couple. That's cool.
It's nice to hear married people sharing hobbies.
Even if it involves unlawful entry.
- [Lucy] (chuckles) Oh, for sure.
Gabe and I are very different
people, as you've noticed,
but we complement each other well.
We're very functional as partners.
We have a strong dynamic,
which I always thought could carry over.
- [Lindsay] Carry over into what?
- [Lucy] We used to toy with the idea of having
our own reality show, you know?
It was never more than a pipe dream,
but still, it was fun to think about.
I've got the people skills and the personality,
so I'd be the host or the lead investigator.
Gabe, being the strong-silent type
with all the technical know-how,
would run the equipment.
I mean, if those Welievers kids can do it, why not us?
Do you know them, the True Welievers?
They have that popular show on cable.
They're from Circle City, did you know that?
- [Lindsay] I do know the Welievers, yes.
But, Lucy, you said earlier
that you no longer investigate the paranormal.
What made you give up on your dream?
- [Lucy] Honestly, we were never going to make it.
It just wasn't in the cards for us. We know that now.
- [Lindsay] And that's why you stopped?
- [Lucy] Not exactly.
- [Lindsay] Then what made you-
- [Lucy] Lindsay, I'm telling you the story
of why we stopped.
- [Lindsay] Oh, sorry. I didn't realize, please, go on.
- [Lucy] So back then we'd
done a few investigations already
but hadn't ever really found anything.
Ghost hunting is a surprisingly competitive field.
There's just so many groups.
We needed something to make us stand out.
Some undeniable piece of evidence.
We thought that exposing the legend of the Visitant
could be our big break.
- [Lindsay] Okay, I think I understand a bit better
why you entered that house,
but surely there was a flesh
and blood person behind all this.
- [Lucy] If this was a hoax,
it was the best ever perpetrated.
The house was fully furnished in antiques.
It looked untouched from the age of the story,
a time capsule from the Victorian era.
But maybe that was part of the trap.
- [Lindsay] Trap?
- [Lucy] It was in the last room
that we made our discovery
and that's when it started.
(intense music)
- [Lindsay] What, Lucy? What started?
What discovery did you make?
- [Lucy] We'd found a couple of photographs
from back in the day.
In them were the two Thornton children
and the nursemaid, Mallory.
It was the Visitant, the very
person we'd followed here.
She looked exactly the same.
We were convinced that it was a spirit now.
How could it not be? But it wasn't.
We'd been tricked.
- [Lindsay] You had?
- [Lucy] (sigh) I might as well explain it now.
Something had taken up residence in that house,
but it wasn't the disembodied
souls of once living people.
No, no, they were not that.
- [Lindsay] Then what, Lucy?
- [Lucy] I don't know what to call them.
They probably don't have a name,
but if they need one, how about the Icky-Trickies.
- [Lindsay] Pardon?
- [Lucy] That was a little,
homespun term my grandmother would use.
She hated liars and would call them that.
- [Lindsay] So these things they were liars?
- [Lucy] Yes.
They had seen the same photos we had
and simply taken the forms
of the people in the images.
- [Lindsay] So they were like, like shape-shifters?
- [Lucy] They were.
The eldest of the three adopted the appearance
of the nursemaid and would
make the yearly pilgrimage
to the cemetery,
to lay the pumpkin at the Thornton Family vault.
- [Lindsay] Why?
- [Lucy] Remember how I said
that no one had ever followed her from the cemetery?
Well, we only thought we were the first.
As it turns out, Gabe and I were far from it.
We'd wrongly assumed that no one
had ever made the attempt before,
but that's only because no one else ever lived
to tell the tale.
- [Lindsay] I don't understand, Lucy.
- [Lucy] It was a trick. To lure people back to this house.
These creatures would kill
and probably devour whoever they trapped.
But what kind of person,
what kind of ridiculous idiot
would actually follow a creepy, veiled figure
back to an old funeral parlor?
- [Lindsay] A paranormal investigator.
- [Lucy] Exactly. That was their prey of choice.
- [Lindsay] So these things were ghost hunter hunters?
- [Lucy] Yes.
Gabe, you wanna do this next part?
- [Gabe] So the monsters possessed bio-acoustics.
They used infrasound to stun their prey.
Infrasound is noise too low for human perception,
yet it still enters our ears
and hits the nerve receptors,
causing terror, disorientation, and sickness.
It's a sonic weapon and it hit us hard.
Almost knocked Lucy and me right over.
But then I realized what they were doing
and how I could fight back.
I unplugged my headphones from the parabolic mic.
Shielded from the infrasound,
I could now try something.
I'd been recording the entire time,
so I rewound the audio and played it back at them.
My rig was calibrated for ultra low frequencies,
so it had picked up their little siren song.
- [Lindsay] And you turned it around on them.
- [Gabe] Yeah. It confused the monsters
broke their concentration,
giving us the chance to escape.
We made for the door, but-
- [Lucy] But they tried to stop us.
So Gabe cranked up the
volume and blasted them with it.
(intense music)
The eldest, the one that looked like the nursemaid,
dropped the baby.
It tried to bite us as we left,
so I stomped the little bugger.
I think I broke it's neck.
Then we were out the door,
leaving the Icky-Trickies behind.
(intense music)
- [Lindsay] But you succeeded, Lucy.
Your camera, you were recording.
You had footage of the supernatural, right?
That's what you were after from the start,
even if it wasn't what you thought it was.
This could have been your big break.
- [Lucy] You're not hearing me.
We only thought we wanted proof of the paranormal.
Having experienced it,
having experienced real evil,
we, well, we gave up investigating after that.
I said earlier that
competition in this field is fierce
because so many people want to do it.
Everyone wants to hunt the supernatural,
that is, until the supernatural hunts you back.
(suspenseful music)
- Yikes. The abyss stare back, indeed.
All right, moving on.
- [Aiden] Hello.
- [Lindsay] Hello there.
- [Aiden] Hello, Am I, am I on?
- [Lindsay] You certainly are. Who do we have with us?
- [Aiden] Ah, lovely. My name is Aiden Wright
that's Reverend Aiden Wright.
- [Lindsay] Well, Reverend Wright,
welcome to Circle City Supernatural.
We're glad to have you.
- [Aiden] In seminary,
they used to call me the Wright Reverend.
You know, because well, because of, well,
a little clergy joke for ya.
- [Lindsay] Sure. I'm with you.
So what did you want to tell us about?
- [Aiden] My story takes place a number of years back,
not on Halloween exactly,
but the day after, All Saints Day.
- [Lindsay] Eh, that's close enough.
- [Aiden] I was asked to officiate a funeral.
It's worth noting here
that I was the only pastor in town who would.
- [Lindsay] And why is that?
- [Aiden] The funeral was for a one Seth Leply.
You may know him better by his newspaper
monicker, the Harvestman.
- [Lindsay] The serial killer?
- [Aiden] The very same.
Obviously, he was not a very popular man
and so no one came to see him off, as it were.
I had written a small sermon, just some words to say,
but there really wasn't anyone there to hear them.
- [Lindsay] No one at all showed up?
- [Aiden] Not a single soul.
Even his family had disowned him by that point.
- [Lindsay] Understandable.
- [Aiden] For me, it was very boring day, indeed.
Just a lot of waiting around, as you can imagine.
I struggled to remain alert and ready
should someone arrive at the church
in need of my comfort or counsel, but, but-
- [Lindsay] But no one did.
- [Aiden] The only person
I saw that day was the funeral director
when she delivered the body to the church.
She gave me a look and told
me to keep the casket closed.
Now, if you know anything about the story,
you'll recall that the
Harvestman's reign of terror ended
very mysteriously when he himself was murdered.
He was found with his head...
put this delicately-removed.
I confess, I was a little curious about it.
(suspenseful music)
- [Lindsay] Reverend? Hello?
- [Aiden] I don't imagine the task was an easy one,
but with the contempt there was for this man
and his foul deeds,
I don't think the mortician
labored long, if you follow.
- [Lindsay] Oh, looked pretty bad, huh?
- [Aiden] Quite so. He'd met a very gruesome end.
But then, several others had met gruesome ends
at the hands of Mr. Leply himself, so...
- [Lindsay] So he had it coming?
- [Aiden] Well, for perhaps the tenth time that day,
I moseyed back to the front door,
to see if anyone had arrived.
- [Lindsay] And had they?
- [Aiden] Alas, the parking lot remained empty.
As I said, I was rather bored,
so I decided to explore the rest of the church.
I hadn't wandered down into the basement yet,
so I did, you know, to take a look around.
- [Lindsay] Hang on, Reverend, was this not your church?
- [Aiden] Oh, no, it wasn't.
I didn't mention that, didn't I?
Again, because of how reviled this man was,
no church would host his funeral.
I tried to convince my own to do so but was denied.
So I found a defunct church
that would serve our purpose.
It had been deconsecrated
decades before and sat vacant
ever since.
- [Lindsay] I have to ask, Reverend,
why did you agree to officiate this man's funeral
when everyone else refused?
- [Aiden] It felt like the right thing to do.
To show some kind of mercy, even when it is undeserved.
After all, this is what the Lord shows to us,
undeserved mercy?
- [Lindsay] So what'd you find in the basement?
- [Aiden] There was something pushed against the wall.
It had been covered in red burlap
and left to rot with the rest of the building.
I couldn't help but look.
Once again, it seems, my curiosity overcame me.
- [Lindsay] What was it?
- [Aiden] An old cabinet of sorts.
But inside, well, inside was something very special.
- [Lindsay] What was it?
- [Aiden] One of my very favorite books actually.
- [Lindsay] Oh, that's good luck, I guess.
- [Aiden] So I took it in hand,
being the first probably to do so in many years.
Clearing away the dust and cobwebs,
I then cracked open I began paging through it.
Finally, I had found something to occupy my time,
but then well-
- [Lindsay] Well, what?
- [Aiden] That was when I heard the front door
open and close.
(door banging)
I hurried back upstairs,
setting the book down, for now.
I was eager to finally be of some service
to actually do the good work I was there to do.
But, well...
- [Lindsay] But what, Reverend?
(suspenseful music)
Reverend? Hello, who was there?
- [Aiden] At first, I thought it was a mourner.
It looked like a woman in a flowing gown and shawl.
- [Lindsay] Uh, okay, so if it wasn't that,
then what was it?
- [Aiden] You know to this very moment, Lindsay,
I have absolutely no idea.
I know only that it was
something very alien and very evil.
It looked like the Grim Reaper,
if the Grim Reaper was from Planet X.
It then stretched,
extended to an impossible height.
I turned to run, but it closed the doors behind me.
It had some sort of a mental
sway over its environment.
I was trapped with it there in the sanctuary.
It approached me, this, this spill of darkness.
That's how I come to think of it, the Spill.
It lowered back down, down to my level.
This thing got right in my face and then it,
it's hard to describe exactly.
The Spill put its mental powers to work against me.
It seized my brain, so to speak.
I fell into a kind of trance.
This creature knew everything
there was to know in seconds.
But the interesting part is that it worked both ways.
While it entered my mind, I entered its.
- That sounds horrible.
- [Aiden] Oh, it was, it truly was.
And I would soon learn than it could move faster
than your eye could track.
But its powers went beyond even that.
Just as it could take a mental hold of a person,
it could take physical hold as well.
And this, this, is what it had done to Seth Leply.
Again, this was not a fallen angel
as I would define one, but it had previously
come to, in a sense at least, possess the man.
- And it made him a serial killer?
Then what? It ripped his head off
when it was done with him?
- [Aiden] No, no.
Whoever actually killed Leply
disrupted the Spill's plan for him.
Now, what that plan ultimately was, I never did learn.
However, I did glean that the Spill
wasn't done with the Harvestman, not even in death.
- So it was there to reclaim the body?
- [Aiden] Exactly. For whatever diabolic reason it had.
Maybe it wanted to resurrect him
in some kind of false miracle.
Whatever it's intention, it became clear to the Spill
that it had no use for me whatsoever.
The creature released its hold on me.
Let go of the doors as well.
The Spill knew I would run away,
leaving it alone with the body and run away I did.
I scampered out of there just as fast as I could.
It was the most terrified I have ever been.
I would have continued my flight,
but, but I was reminded of something.
Mine is not a faith that runs from evil or fear.
The kingdom of heaven is not
a matter of talk, but of power.
Lindsay, we are more than conquerors.
So I marched back in there,
to show that thing whose house this was.
But it, it was gone.
Well, I thought so, but then I locked eyes on the casket.
I did so just in time to see the tail end
of the Spill vanish inside.
(intense music)
- [Lindsay] It was going after the body.
- [Aiden] That's right.
But I wasn't going to let that happen.
I steeled myself, then pressed forward.
But as I approached, the lids of the casket
started shuddering violently.
Even still, I would not be deterred.
This abomination would not come to pass.
- [Lindsay] What'd you do?
- [Aiden] I laid on hands and I prayed.
I called on a power far greater
than that of this creature.
- [Lindsay] And did it work? Reverend?
- [Aiden] Yes. Yes It did.
(intense music)
But it wasn't over. Not, not just yet.
(intense music)
For the rest of my story,
Lindsay, I'd like to read from another, if you don't mind?
- [Lindsay] Oh, yeah, go right ahead.
- [Aiden] "But as God would have it",
while Apollyon was fetching his last blow,
thereby to make a full end of this good man,
Christian Nimbly reached out his hand for his sword,
and caught it, saying, 'Rejoice not against me,
O mine enemy, when I fall, I shall arise.'
And with that, gave him a deadly thrust,
which made him give back,
as one that had received his mortal wound.
Christian perceiving that, made at him again, saying,
'Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors,
through him that loved us.'
And with that, Apollyon
spread forth his dragon's wings,
and sped him away.
(dramatic music)
(doors bang)
"That Christian for a season saw him no more."
- [Lindsay] Oh, wow.
Uh, I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened,
but what about after that?
- [Aiden] I took the event as a sign you might say.
I sought to acquire and reopen that old church.
I was blessed to do both and
I have been there ever since.
I've had failures and successes, sure.
But in all things I have striven to do the Lord's work.
- [Lindsay] I, I really don't know what to say
to all of this Reverend, other
than, than that's amazing.
Honestly, you're kind of a hero.
- [Aiden] No, no, not at all.
I'm just a pilgrim, making my progress from this world,
to that which is to come.
- Powerful stuff there, Reverend.
Thank you so much for that call.
Sylvia is telling me we have time for one more
before the break.
Let's make it a good one.
[Lindsay] Welcome to Circle City Supernatural.
What's your story?
- [Cameron] My story...
- [Lindsay] Uh, yeah, you know,
what you called in to tell us about.
- [Cameron] Well, here's the thing, to understand my story,
I have to first tell you someone else's.
I have to tell you about a man named Virgil Hobbs.
- [Lindsay] Well, please do.
- [Cameron] I don't have his whole life story or anything,
just a short account he made
about something that happened to him.
He wrote it all down.
Actually, I have it in front of me,
I could, I mean, if you'd like to hear the man's story
in his own words.
Your last caller read from a book, I, I could do the same.
- [Lindsay] Yeah, sure.
- [Cameron] Just a heads up, though,
it's kinda hard to read the handwriting,
plus the language is pretty old, so.
- [Lindsay] How old is it?
- [Cameron] What I'm about to read to you
is dated October 31st, 1879.
- [Lindsay] Oh, wow, so really old.
Where did you find this story?
- [Cameron] I'll... get to that later.
- [Lindsay] Oh, okay. Well, please, read on.
- [Cameron] "I ain't here cause they caught me."
I sit in this new jail of theirs
cause I give myself over.
It may so happen that I git the rope for my thievin',
but it was certain death to stay in them woods.
I thought it best to take my chances with the law.
I'd rather be in irons than stay out there.
It was sundown yesterday that Sheriff Dalrymple
and his men chased me from town into the trees.
I lost 'em easy once night came over.
But then I lost my own self.
Got mixed up and turned 'round.
Never been to these parts before.
Heard about 'em, though.
Supposed to be haunted or
some such. Not sure about haunted.
Unlucky maybe.
"Lost one of my twin Doomsayers crossing the crik."
- [Lindsay] Sorry, what is a Doomsayer?
- [Cameron] It's a brand of gun.
I had never heard them either,
but I'm not really a gun guy.
Apparently the company is still around, though.
They're motto is "Live by it. Die by it."
- [Lindsay] Charming. Well, continue if you're ready.
- [Cameron] Okay, let's see here.
"I still had me the one shooter."
Took it in hand and kept it there.
Deeper I got into them woods,
the more I felt myself espied.
Somewheres out in the dark there was eyes on me.
I felt myself to be trespassin'.
I'd crossed into territory long spoken for,
but nary by any man.
"I's now in the domain of Old Scratch himself."
- [Lindsay] Old Scratch?
- [Cameron] It was a term for the devil once upon a time.
The creek he mentioned
came to be known as Old Scratch Creek
and, according to his story,
seems to have served as some kind of natural border.
- [Lindsay] I see.
- [Cameron] Where was I...? Here we go.
"Heard the beast before I saw him,
but soon enough, though, he showed himself to me.
There was a break in the trees
where the moonlight shown down.
Beast stepped right into it.
He was a wonder. Lofty and mighty.
Old Scratch was all furry white,
like one of them North Pole grizzlies,
but upright like a man.
Wore clothes as men do, but old kinds.
Old kinds of armor, too, like some cavalier.
The infernal thing looked
like he'd stepped right outta fairy tale.
He were a ways off still,
but I saw he had him a lion's
mouth and horns like a steer.
Eyes as dark as pitch.
No weapon that I seen, though, so I raised my own.
I had a good bead on Old Scratch,
but none of my bullets could find him.
Sent five his way before I give up and turned tail.
It weren't bad enough I'd intruded upon his land,
but then I'd tried to slay him in cold blood.
Well, he weren't too tickled 'bout that.
He give me chase back the way I'd come.
And I knew I's in for it when I get back cross the crik
and he kept at me.
It weren't enough that he'd run me off.
He was gonna put me in the ground.
Well, he weren't the only one hunting for me.
Havin' reversed my direction,
I knew I's flying right back into the arms of the posse,
but I favored my odds better with my fellow man
then this here beast.
I called out, trying to get myself found and was.
Surrendered my shooter to Dalrymple himself.
Sheriff smiled, not cause he'd nabbed me,
but because he knew what I'd seen in them woods
and why I'd come haulin' back.
I think he musta met Old Scratch before, too,
but didn't say nothing 'bout it.
So they brung me back to town
and put me up in this new jail
of theirs just like I wanted.
I's the only soul there who wanted be.
My fellow tenants were trapped, but I, I was protected.
A truer fortress there ain't ever been.
These walls ain't keeping me in,
"they're keeping that monster out."
- [Lindsay] So the outlaw turned himself in
to escape the creature.
That probably saved his life.
- [Cameron] Yeah, that's what he thought anyway.
- [Lindsay] Oh, there's more, isn't there?
- [Cameron] Oh, yeah.
"I knew Old Scratch was doggin' my heels,
but just how far he'd come to
get me all the way into town,
that is, I couldn't have rightly fathomed it.
Dalrymple knew Old Scratch, knew his nature,
and even as a man of the law,
would not stand in the way of the beast.
As I write this, Dalrymple
is letting the other prisoners free.
He's emptyin' the jail, and as soon as it's just me in here,
the Sheriff is gonna let Old Scratch come right on in.
That's the only way to appease the creature
by spillin' my blood.
It's Dalrymple's job to keep
the peace in the territory.
This is him doing that, I recon.
He ain't entirely without heart, though.
Sheriff just unlocked my cell
and give me my Doomsayer back.
Guess that's how he'll sleep tonight,
"by knowing he give me a fightin' chance, at least."
There's a break here and then he starts writing again
on the next page.
I think there's a slight time
jump to later on that night.
- [Lindsay] Oh, okay. Got it.
- [Cameron] "It's all quiet now."
Everyone is gone from the place.
They're probably watching from a distance.
If I try to flee out the jail, Dalrymple'll stop me.
Only Old Scratch can leave,
and he won't do so till I'm good and perished.
I hear him now, them same noises from the woods.
The heavy steps. The heavier breaths.
He's in the jail, huntin' for me,
and all I have is the one bullet left.
I couldn't hit 'em out there amidst the trees,
how'm I supposed to hit him amidst all these bars?
But I gotta try. It's him or me, I recon.
You better believe I got the sand for it,
but I's not even sure if Old Scratch can be killed.
"How do you kill the dev-"
And that's where it stops.
Virgil Hobbs didn't even get to finish writing
his last words.
- [Lindsay] (sigh) Too bad for Virgil.
Still, a tantalizing tale.
So, I know I asked you this earlier,
but where exactly did you find this story?
- [Cameron] In the dungeon of a historic jail,
in a box just as old.
Inside was the diary of Virgil Hobbs,
the last entries of which were written
exactly as I've just read them.
- [Lindsay] Incredible.
I love this kind of thing,
these old chronicles surfacing and being found
after so long.
It's just the best way to look into the past, isn't it?
And of all the diaries
that could have possibly
survived into the modern era,
it was this one, with this story.
It's just incredible. I love it.
But hang on, I just realized,
we've been talking about Virgil Hobbs,
but I haven't even gotten your name yet.
[Cameron] Cameron.
And that's as much as I will say about myself.
- And why is that?
- [Cameron] Because I'm guilty of trespassing,
not unlike Virgil Hobbs.
I'm an urban explorer. I
entered the old jail illegally.
And before you can say it, yes,
I also realize the irony of breaking into one jail
only to risk spending time in another.
- Ah, I see.
Well, thank you for your call, Cameron.
It's been was very interesting.
- [Cameron] Oh, I haven't gotten
to the interesting part yet.
- There's more to the story?
But I thought you'd finished reading the...
Was there, was there more to it?
The diary, I mean.
- [Cameron] Virgil's diary wasn't the only thing
I'd found in the dungeon of that old place.
I'd also found his Doomsayer.
- [Lindsay] The gun. Wow.
- [Cameron] Like I said earlier, I'm not a gun guy.
I don't know much about them.
I really don't even like them, to be honest.
But this one, there was something about it.
I was compelled to pick it up for some reason.
(intense music)
But that's when things got really weird,
[Lindsay] How so?
- [Cameron] I became Virgil Hobbs.
Excusez-moi, s'il vous plat
- [Cameron] I was dressed
differently. I looked differently.
I was still me, but I wasn't me. I was him.
I was the man I'd been reading about.
- [Lindsay] So, uh, are we talking like time-travel here
or what, Cameron?
- [Cameron] Yeah, but not the kind we see in movies.
I went over to the window.
Everything outside, it was all the same as it had been,
the same modern world.
I had not gone into the past.
I had brought the past into the present.
Even the Doomsayer I held looked brand new again,
and that gave me an idea.
- [Lindsay] What idea? Weren't you freaking out, Cameron?
- [Cameron] I was doing my best not to.
Maybe I was too busy trying
to figure out the mechanics
of my situation.
If I'd brought the past into the present,
then interacting with modern things
should have a similar effect.
And it did.
Anything from the present day that I touched
pulled something else from the past
a counterpart to whatever I grabbed.
Having confirmed this,
that's when I started to freak out a bit.
It just so, just insane. What was causing this?
Was it a magic spell or some quantum,
science-fiction, time-flux?
I had no idea.
I still wasn't even sure this was happening,
so I conducted another test.
To confirm that I wasn't
hallucinating or losing my mind.
- [Lindsay] Did it, did it work or I mean,
was this real, was this really happening, Cameron?
- [Cameron] It was happening for real.
It was all real, whatever this was.
But, as I was about to learn,
Vigil Hobbs wasn't the only
one I'd accidentally pulled
from the past.
(creature howling)
- [Lindsay] Cameron?
- [Cameron] I heard something.
Something was in the old jail with me.
- [Lindsay] Wha-oh. Don't tell me it was-
- [Cameron] Yeah.
Just as I was compelled to pick up the Doomsayer,
I was then compelled to go look for the creature.
I didn't want to, but I had to, you know?
Virgil Hobbs couldn't flee the jail.
He knew he had to face Old Scratch.
And being him now, I, I knew I had to do the same.
I know it doesn't make sense, none of this does,
but again, I was me but also not me.
I felt like I was playing out a part
of someone else's life.
- [Lindsay] I, I think I understand.
No, I don't. I don't understand at all.
I have no idea what's going on in your story, Cameron,
but, please, keep telling it.
- [Cameron] Anyway, there was a door
I had passed by earlier without opening.
But now I had to.
Even before I got it pulled
open, I knew what lay beyond.
It was the way to the cell block,
where Virgil would have been locked up, then freed,
and where he would have confronted the monster.
So that's where I had to go.
Against all my better judgment, I went inside.
But first I had to get through this weird,
revolving gate thing.
- [Lindsay] A what now? Gate thing?
- [Cameron] I'd never seen one before.
It was a cylindrical gate with only one open side.
It's hard to explain.
So, you had to get into it
and then turn the thing around
to move from one room to the next.
And it wasn't easy.
The gate was really heavy
and rusted after all these years.
Took a lot of effort to get through.
But I did. Eventually.
- [Lindsay] Okay, so then what? You were in?
You were in the cell block now?
- [Cameron] Yeah. I tried to take it slow.
Tried to stay quiet.
I've never been hunting before,
let alone when something was hunting me back.
I was scared, but I guess that goes without saying.
I really just wanted to run away, but again,
I was compelled to continue.
I wondered then if maybe this
event had already happened,
like, in the past, you know?
And that's why I was being forced to relive it.
- [Lindsay] Oh, like you were stuck in a time loop
or something like that?
- [Cameron] Yeah, yeah, maybe.
Except that's not really how
this worked, I was to find out.
- [Lindsay] Wait, wait, you actually found out
what caused all this?
- [Cameron] Yeah, we'll get to that.
For now, well, I heard Old
Scratch, moving through the jail.
Heavy steps and deep breaths.
It was the noise Virgil described from the woods.
Old Scratch was still looking
for Virgil, looking for me.
- [Lindsay] Eeee, it's getting scary.
What happened then, Cameron?
- [Cameron] Then, finally, I saw him.
I ducked into one of the cells before he saw me, though.
Thankfully he was distracted.
- [Lindsay] By what? Distracted by what?
- [Cameron] The creature was probably more confused
than I was.
Old Scratch was looking out the window,
baffled by the modern world outside.
I knew I had to take my chance.
This may be the only one I'd get, I couldn't waste it.
So, I mustered up my courage, or my sand,
as Virgil would have said, and moved out of the cell.
- [Lindsay] You, you've got sand, indeed.
- [Cameron] I crept up on Old Scratch.
The monster had his back to me.
I, I could put him down before he even knew I was there.
- [Lindsay] You were just gonna bang-bang
and light's out for Old Scratch?
- [Cameron] Again, I don't know much about guns,
but I know enough to point and shoot.
But it didn't work.
- [Lindsay] Cameron? Are you still-what happened?
- [Cameron] I gave myself away.
Old Scratch came after me, so I fled back to the gate.
- [Lindsay] Wait, why didn't the gun fire?
- [Cameron] I knew from the journal
that one bullet remained,
but I didn't know where it was in the spinny thing.
- [Lindsay] The cylinder?
- [Cameron] I guess. Again, not a gun guy.
So I was more or less playing Russian Roulette.
I tried again to shoot Old Scratch,
but there was just another empty click.
He wasn't too happy with me trying to kill him. Again.
The thing started turning the gate,
so I closed the door on him.
I wasn't able to lock it, though.
My impulse was to run out the front door,
of course, but-
- [Lindsay] But Virgil couldn't do that.
- [Cameron] Which meant I couldn't either,
but also my fleeing the
building wouldn't fix my problem.
I was still Virgil Hobbs,
and Old Scratch would never stop hunting me,
even through the modern world.
It was the spell or whatever that I had to be free of.
I thought maybe if I put the Doomsayer back
where I found it,
then everything would go back to normal, you know?
So I made my way back into the dungeon.
I had to go slow, though.
It was harder to see in the dark with an old lantern
than it had been with my flashlight.
So I went creeping through the shadows,
trying to remember the way from earlier.
You see, when I first got into the jail,
it was through a basement door
that no one had bothered to secure.
- [Lindsay] And you just let yourself in?
Urban exploring sounds so dangerous.
But I guess you know that now, huh? Anyway, then what?
- [Cameron] I'd then found this long corridor,
at the end of which was a hole in the wall.
I'd crawled through it. And I had to do so again.
Beyond this was a series of narrow passageways
that led to a chamber,
that's where I'd found the journal and gun.
I had to get back there. I
paused to catch my breath when-
- [Lindsay] Oh, no, you should never stop.
Old Scratch caught up to you?
- [Cameron] He reached for me through the hole.
I tried to shoot him again and again and again.
But still nothing.
(gun clicking)
Then he started crawling through after me, so I fled.
Went running through the dark as fast as I could.
I heard Old Scratch behind me.
He was a bit too large for those tight passageways,
and it slowed him down.
But not by much. He was still gaining on me and fast.
I could feel his breath, he was so close.
- [Lindsay] Oh, man, that sounds absolutely terrifying.
I wasn't even there and I'm shaking.
- [Cameron] He'd nearly taken hold of me
before I reached the chamber,
but instead of putting the gun back,
I turned it over my shoulder
and squeezed the trigger.
My one and only bullet finally fired.
(gun fires)
- [Lindsay] And you?
- [Cameron] Right between the eyes.
- [Lindsay] (sigh) Okay, so you put the Doomsayer back
and everything was right as rain?
- [Cameron] That wasn't the solution after all.
So I headed back to where I'd read the story.
- [Lindsay] Because that's where this really began.
Not with you finding the
diary but with you reading it.
So what did you have to do, Cameron?
- [Cameron] It was so simple.
I should have realized it earlier
when I was testing this phenomenon,
when I was picking things up.
All I had to do was put them down again.
- [Lindsay] You had to what?
I don't follow, Cameron. Put what down again?
- [Cameron] The journal, I'd returned to it,
because I thought it was the source of all this,
but it wasn't.
- [Lindsay] Well, what was, Cameron?
You clearly figured it all out. So what was the answer?
- [Cameron] The curse is on the gun itself.
All I had to do was drop it.
I hadn't actually let go of the stupid thing
since first picking it up.
So I let the Doomsayer slip from my grasp
and as soon as it was out of my hand, everything reset,
(intense music)
went back to how it was before I touched the gun.
That wasn't my only revelation.
Hobbs had not finished his story
because Old Scratch had killed him.
No, it was me. I'd stopped him.
I had pulled them both out of the past
before they could even fight.
So they did so in the present.
But having been Hobbs, I knew I had to finish his story,
what was now my story, too.
- [Lindsay] So maybe in the same way
you were compelled to confront
the creature as Hobbs would have,
you were then compelled
to record the event as Hobbs would have?
- [Cameron] I scribbled it all down,
but before I leave, I'm gonna put the journal
and the gun back in the dungeon,
where, hopefully, no one will ever find them again.
- [Lindsay] But, Cameron,
why bother finishing the story only to hide it?
- [Cameron] I'm hid the journal, not the story.
I mean, why do you think I called your show, Lindsay?
- But you've also just told everyone
where they can find this cursed weapon.
Cameron? Hello?
Sylvia, did he hang up?
Hmm. Maybe I should try to find it myself.
Hide the Doomsayer somewhere
where it won't be found again.
Okay, I think it's time for a commercial break.
We'll be right back with more scary stories,
Circle City, stay tuned.
(gentle music)
- What's your deal tonight?
- What?
- You keep talking like you should be doing something
about these calls.
- It feels like I should be.
- That's not your job, Lindsay.
- Your job is to listen to the stories,
not get involved with them.
- There's something wrong with this place.
It seems like somebody should
be doing something about it.
Don't you think?
- Maybe.
Yeah. Someone. Not you though.
- Why not me?
- What would you do about it?
You really think you're gonna go battle
the forces of darkness?
Remember, you're not actually
a warrior woman, Lindsay,
you just went as one for Halloween.
(gentle music)
I am gonna run to the bathroom.
- Okay.
- You good?
- Yeah, I'm fine.
- Alright then.
(gentle music)
(upbeat music)
(skeleton laughing)
(dramatic music)
(suspenseful music)
- [Lindsay] And just like that, we are back.
Hope everyone is having a
fun and frightful Halloween.
We are certainly enjoying ourselves here.
(Lindsay chuckles)
You've really outdone
yourselves tonight, Circle City.
But do keep those calls coming
as we're going right back to the phones
because the night, well, the night isn't over yet.
And there's still plenty of stories left to be told.
And maybe, just maybe, the best one is coming up.