Introducing 'Endless Dread,' Spooky Stories For Your Ears

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"The Canyon Dwellings," by Evan Rowland
"The Canyon Dwellings," by Evan Rowland

TL;DL (Too Long; Didn’t Listen):

We kick-off this year’s series of spooky stories in the lead-up to Halloween with tales about a frightening curse and a memorable first date.

Reddit Links: 

Ben's story: Bubareddit's post
Amory's story: A bone-chilling first date

Thanks to Evan Rowland for this week's artwork. It's called, "The Canyon Dwellings." You can find more of his work on Twitter @adrawnnovel.

Full Transcript:

This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text. 

Ben Brock Johnson: Alright.

Amory Sivertson: OK.

Ben: I got a snack.

Crunching sound

Amory: It sounds like a...

Ben: It’s a cookie.

Amory: It does sound like a cookie! I was going to say specifically a Milano.

Ben: You're not wrong.

Amory: Really?

Ben: Well, my cookie is oval. It's very Milano-like. It's a chocolate dipped cookie with marshmallow pieces in it and chocolate coating.

Amory: Wow.

Ben: Yeah. What do you got for me?


A different crunching sound

Ben: What is it?

Amory: It's spooky cookies, halloween.

Ben: Oh my God, Oreos?

Amory: Yeah, man!

Ben: Halloween Oreos?

Amory: Yeah they have spooky designs on them.

Ben: Cool.

Amory: Time for some spooky stories. Oooooooooo!

Ben: Oooooooooo! Last year we called our set of episodes that were also scary stories “Screamtime.”

Amory: Screamtime. But then a handful of Redditors said, “Hello! Endless Dread!” So that’s what we’re calling it.

Ben: Endless Dread! Welcome, dear listeners, to Endless Dread.

Amory: Dun dun dun.

Ben: Huh, that was three. Anyone who has seen Star Trek knows it's four "duns."

Amory: Alright. And everyone else, even the people who have seen Star Trek, know that we now have accepted that that fourth "dun" is unnecessary. Dun dun dun!

Ben: Hey, I mean, I say treat yourself with "duns." That's all I'm saying.

Amory: Well, can you treat us now with an Endless Dread story, Ben?

Ben: I can. This is from the subreddit called “The Truth Is Here.” This is a subreddit that's like, this really happened to me and I'm telling you this story.

Amory: OK.

Ben: The user is bubareddit. This was posted one day ago. Title: "A voice that knew my name." "I live alone in my grandparent's old house and sleep in my grandmother's room." Are we freaked out yet?

Amory: Thanks. I hate it.

Ben: Yeah, thanks I hate it, I'm already freaked out by this. An aunt and uncle apparently live in this house as well actually in other isolated parts of the house. So, "I'm now 25. I moved in three years ago." She, I'm gonna make an assumption, she moved in to be closer to her workplace. She's had some scares at night so, "Sometimes," she writes, “I felt someone was watching me from the window. So on other nights the exact moment I was falling asleep I felt voices and presences around me. And it was scary and uncomfortable.” Apparently these things were common. So this person bought two amulets and placed them on the bed. And these things subsided. These kind of voices that this person was hearing and feeling the gaze waking up in the night and feeling the gaze through this window, basically stopped. "Fast forward to four months ago, trying to shut my mind off and fall asleep with my face to the wall when I felt a presence behind me and I felt it extending its hand to touch me. "

Amory: Oh!

Ben: "This feeling of movement jolted me alert when I heard its voice, a feminine, but deep and raspy voice, said, 'Name Last Name, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.'" And name last name, This person is obviously not saying their name. It's just the voice knew this Redditor’s full name. And said it and then said, "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you." So, the person gets terrified, doesn't really remember how they reacted, just remember calling their brother and telling him this story and reading with the lights on until they fell asleep. The same weekend, in this person's parents house, they go back for the weekend sometimes, to visit and also to sleep there apparently because they don't want to sleep in the house that they live in.

Amory: Yeah.

Ben: A mirror that has been hanging in the first floor bathroom in their parents house since the house was built broke in the weirdest way. An uncle that lives far away had come to visit and stay in the house and we went out for breakfast. As we went out the mirror was whole. When we came back the mirror was broken inside the shower as if someone had picked it up and thrown it in there. It was not possible that it had simply fallen off its perch because the shower was quite far away from where the mirror was perched. That same day, essentially, the family calls a priest so that he would bless the house and me because I told them my story. We've had weird happenings in the house before and blessings by priests but nothing as strong as this. Basically, the OP says at the very end of this, "I think that someone has cursed me somehow. I think that because the voice knew my name."

Amory: Well, and whatever this is, it's not specific to the grandparents house it's followed this person to her parents house.

Ben: It followed her. Pretty creepy, right?

Amory: I don’t like that. Yeah. Do we know any more? Have they gotten any suggestions?

Ben: Let’s see, "Does this only happen when you are asleep recently awoken are about to fall asleep? This could be sleep paralysis or another sleep-related hallucination. They're very common and no cause for alarm. If you're hearing these voices during waking hours that would be more concerning. Either way, please speak to a physician," said somebody. And then someone commented “I hate you, bubareddit. And I watch you sleep.” It’s just like, thanks a lot man.

Amory: Oh well, bubareddit, I hope you're out there and okay. And maybe write to us just to be sure.

Ben: Yeah, let us know you're okay, bubareddit.

Amory: Alright. Good story, Ben.

Ben: Thanks.

[Sponsor Break]

Amory: OK I have one for you. I'll start by asking you this, do you know the story of your parents first date?

Ben: Oh man. You know, I don't. And I should.

Amory: OK, because this involves the story of a person's parents first date.

Ben: And we should say just, full disclosure, I do technically know this story. But you know it much better than I do.

Amory: Yeah. And I've done a little digging on it. So this was originally posted on Reddit seven years ago, it was a comment to an Ask Reddit post that said, "Reddit, what is the creepiest true story someone has ever told you?" So it's posted by this Redditor R. W. Bingham. And they're writing about a time, it's around Halloween time. He's with a bunch of friends telling ghost stories and a friend of his tells this story about her parents first date. And she says she doesn't even like telling the story because it's true and it freaks her out but she does. And so the story goes like this. Her parents go on their first date. It's kind of awkward, as first dates are. And then around the time that you would normally say good night and you know call it. The guy, her future dad has an idea to go on a midnight hike of Provo Canyon in Utah.

Ben: He's like, oh man this hasn't gone well. I got to take one more shot here before we part ways and never speak again.

Amory: Yeah it may not have gone poorly it's just, you know first date jitters. That being said, if I were a part of this equation I don't think I would have gone on a midnight hike with someone at the end of a first date.

Ben: You're not hiking into the mountains with some dude who you're hanging out with?

Amory: I don’t think I’d go on a midnight hike with my husband. I'm sorry. But this woman, the storyteller's future mother agrees. And the guy says that he knows Provo Canyon really well, he's really familiar with it. He's done a mountain rock climbing in the area.

Ben: Yeah takes all his first dates there.

Amory: But none of those first dates ended quite like this. So they drive up the mouth of the canyon. They park the car and they're hiking just under the light of the stars supposedly, it was a new moon. So it's pretty dark out there, which makes this more of a bad idea. And the man starts to get a bad feeling. He ignores it. You know he's like first date, gotta impress, can't show that I'm scared.

Ben: Keep it chill, keep it chill.

Amory: So they keep going. A minute later, this feeling creeps in again that maybe we shouldn't be here. They go a little further and they're going like under some trees where it gets even darker. And the guy feels something soft hit his foot in the middle of the path. And that's it. He draws the line right here. This is like the pinnacle of bad vibes. He and the woman, his future wife, hightail it out of there. That's the end of the story, or so they think, until years later, they're married, that first date turned out OK, apparently, and they see an interview on TV with the serial killer Ted Bundy.

Ben: Oh God.

Amory: And he was asked to describe the time that he felt the closest to being caught. And he tells the story of a night in which he lured a girl into Provo Canyon and he had just killed her. When he heard some people coming up the trail. He hides in the trees. And then he sees a guy walk right into the body. And then he says for some reason they just turn around and walk away.

Ben: Oh my God.

Amory: And so the TLDR of all of this is that the OP’s friend’s parents supposedly stumbled upon a fresh corpse left by Ted Bundy.

Ben: Literally.

Amory: Yep. On their first date. Now, this is hard to believe for many reasons, I get that. And so I was doing my best to fact check this story, starting with could I find this news clip in which Ted Bundy refers to you know, almost being caught in Provo Canyon.

Ben: Yeah.

Amory: And I have not found it yet. It's possible it's still out there, it's in some archive of tapes that just has not surfaced for me but I have not been able to find him recounting specifically killing someone in Provo Canyon. Or feeling like he was really close to being caught anywhere near there. The second thing is, I think there were eight young women that he killed in Utah that we know of. There may have been more. And there's a detail from this story that I was using to try to figure out if I could identify which of his victims, his known victims, this may have been. Can you think of the detail from the story Ben?

Ben: He had just killed her...probably the new moon?

Amory: Yes! Very good. So I was I was trying to find a victim of his who was killed close to a new moon. And the closest I found was a girl named Melissa Anne Smith. She was 17. She disappeared from Midvale, Utah, which I think is about an hour away from Provo Canyon, it's an hour southeast. Now her body was found in Summit Park, which is northeast of Midvale, so this wouldn't necessarily make sense unless the crime happened in Provo Canyon and then the body was moved somewhere else. But there was a new moon on October 14th through 16th and she disappeared on October 18th of 1974, when the moon was a waxing crescent, and it was only 11 percent visible so the new moon had just passed. So all of this is chilling and terrible, some of it may be true, all of it may be true, but I guess my conclusion is you know, of course I hope none of this is true because it's terrible, but I don't think we can definitively say that none of it is.

Ben: Get ready for more Endless Dread. We've got a full episode coming at you next week.

Headshot of Josh Crane

Josh Crane Producer, Podcasts & New Programs
Josh is a producer for podcasts and new programs at WBUR.



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