(Editor’s note: this article was written by our good friend, and resident Walking Dead expert, Matthew Mason)
“The Arctic is lit by the midnight sun. The surface of the moon is lit by the face of the Earth. Our little town is lit too, by lights just above that we cannot explain. Welcome to Night Vale.”
This is one of the many introductions to Welcome to Night Vale, written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Set in a desert town full of strange hooded figures, Angels, a five headed dragon, mysterious glow clouds and many more odd citizens and unexplainable happenings. This dark comedic/sci-fi/horror podcast is presented in the form of a news broadcast from the local radio station.
Our narrator Cecil, voiced by Cecil Baldwin, keeps the citizens of Night Vale up to date with all of the local news and announcements such as the PTA meeting that “ended in bloodshed, as a rift in space-time split open in the Main Street Recreation Center Auditorium, setting loose several confused and physically aggressive pteranodonsas.”, and How you should try not to look at the newly opened dog park, and especially do not look for any period of time at the hooded figures. The dog park will not harm you. On special occasions we get to learn all the best gossip from Cecil’s own personal relationship with local scientist, Carlos, who saves the town from eminent doom on multiple occasions. Many reports come in from recurring roles such as old woman Josie and her alleged angel friends, that bastard Steve Carlsburg, and The Apache Tracker who is actually just a white guy who wears the huge and cartoonishly inaccurate Indian headdress.
This podcast from Common Place books can be difficult to explain without speaking a bit of gibberish that you won’t really get until you’ve had a listen. I like to say it’s like the Twilight Zone & Tales from the Crypt meets NPR, and set in a Midwestern desert town. It’s other worldly aura gives the sense that you’ve entered a town outside of Area 51 that’s been lost in the Bermuda Triangle, where conspiracy theories are true, ghosts exist, and a faceless woman is visible only in your mirrors.
As the report reaches the half way to three quarter mark Cecil takes time out to fill you in on the weather. Which is not the weather as we know it. It’s actually a spotlight for a song by bands or artist from all different genres of music.
WtNV started in 2012 and currently has 58 episodes available all roughly 20-30 minutes long. Perfect for a quick listen on your way to work or something to kickstart some crazy dreams before you fall asleep. You can find them in the podcast section of iTunes, YouTube, or just about any podcast site available. If you are a fan of dark comedy, and creative writing this is definitely worth checking out. And remember if you see anything, say nothing, and drink to forget.