SBR 1.4: Spotless

All mimes are wizards, but not all wizards are mimes. Welcome back, faithful listeners. Yes, it’s still your temporary host, Sam Enfield, here, and this is the Spirit Box Radio Advice and Community Segment.

[INTRO MUSIC]

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

But of course, not all ghosts are so considerate, and some of them really stomp around, and they can even leave a mess behind. Which is why I’m pleased to tell you this edition of Spirit Box Radio’s Advice and Community Segment is sponsored by Stykler and Stykler, Ablutionary Specialists, here to take care of all your cleansing requirements both physical and spiritual. Roxy from Pensarn says she had an excellent experience with Stykler and Stykler following a period of hauntings in her home which left large muddy footprints across the walls and ceilings. Roxy said ‘after the exorcism I tried everything from baking soda to holy water to get the stains out – I even painted over them but they just kept showing through.

‘I called Stykler and Stykler and they came around within a week and treated the whole house. The footprints and lingering sense of dread has gone and been replaced with a minty freshness and sense of tranquility that’s honestly the best I’ve ever experienced, even better than in houses where I’ve experienced no paranormal activity at all!’

Shining endorsements from Roxy from Pensarn there! I’m so excited to be working with Stykler and Stykler today. My first sponsored episode! How exciting. Of course, it wasn’t clear if they realised Madame Marie was gone. I’m not sure they actually even listen to the show… they kept calling us ‘Sandwich Box Radio’, how funny! I can see why they got on with Madame Marie so well. Useful, given how much she herself has used their ablutionary services.

In the spirit – not the sandwich! – of ablution, I’ve been through some un-answered correspondences with you, faithful listeners, regarding cleaning up in all a variety of different ways and forms!

First, I would like to address the outpouring of support I’ve been receiving over the past few weeks. I’m extremely pleased you like my tarot reading, and thank you to regular listener Beth for the pro-tips, they’ve been really helpful. I’m also very grateful for the kind words you’ve offered regarding my hosting the show. I’m so glad it’s not too much of a let down to hear me instead of Madame Marie. It’s a relief, to be honest. I have such respect and admiration for Madame Marie, as she well knows, and I can’t wait for her return, but it has been so fun to host the show in her absence! I hope that she’ll let me return to do some hosting alongside her when she gets back from wherever it is she has gone to. Still no news on that front, by the way. And of course, I’m still certain she will be back very soon. Imminently, I’m sure of it. Everything is fine, though. It will be fine. I’m sure she’s absolutely fine!

Now. The topic at hand. From these unanswered correspondences, it seems like a lot of you are after general tips and pointers for how to keep your home footloose and fairy free during the winter months. Spring cleaning is something that we’re all very familiar with but it is just as important to keep your spaces spick and span throughout the rest of the year, especially during the long winter months. Stykler and Stykler have sent me their handy Winter Cleaning pamphlet which has loads of helpful general tips and pointers.

Now the nights have truly drawn in here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s a good time to start yodelling to cleanse your emotional palette.

Leaving crystals out during these long nights can help you manifest a more central and powerful space in your home for casting, according to the guides I’ve been consulting. But you’ll want to watch out for any bad vibes you’re putting out. If you’re stressed about who you can and can’t see over the festive period it’s probably an idea to keep that away from the crystals if possible. It’s cruel to argue in front of them and you’ll only upset them, and that’s not fair. It’s not the crystal’s fault, is it? Especially quartz. What have they ever done to you?

Stykler and Stykler also suggest that sprinkling salt around your doors and windows will stop bad spirits from coming into your home. This is a simple and effective method and any old table salt will do, it doesn’t have to be fancy. The pamphlet does warn that salt lines are absolute terms and they don’t do nuance, so make sure you only buy the good vodka if you’re going to try and bring it over the line.

One of the easiest cleaning tools to use is a clump of sage. Simply buy a bundle from your local green grocers, apothecary or arcanist shop and light with a match, lighter or open flame. If you walk around your house wafting it about this will clear your home of nasty spirits and general ill intent. It’s called smudging! Just make sure you stay away from the smoke detectors and any family urns.

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Sage is also a core tenet of the Christmas or yule-feast, being a key component of stuffing. This is of course to make sure the entire meal has as good a vibe as possible. It might be wise to add a little extra sage if that uncle is coming this year.

Another plant which gets a lot of attention this time of year is the fir tree. I love an excuse to drag a tree wholesale into the living room and cover it with glass and bone decorations. It’s such a delight. A highlight of every winter since I was very small child was cutting the tree free of the ropes looped around it for transportation and letting it’s spiny branches hang out in their evergreen glory. Whilst fir trees are very beautiful and can help ward off bad spirits when treated correctly, always make sure your tree has not been marked with any curses or mould spots before you bring it inside. If there’s one you love that’s been committed to the will of something less than savoury, filing it off will usually do the job of getting rid of it. Fir trees are incredibly hardy things, just ask that guy who had one growing in his lung! Hysterical. Definitely the best sense of humour of all the non-deciduous trees. Not great in a crisis, though.

There are loads more fabulous tips for cleaning and cleansing your home from Stykler and Stykler, Ablutionary Specialists and you can read them for yourself in their great ‘Winter Cleansing’ pamphlet. To get a copy of your very own simply whisper your intent into the void in the dead of night and one will arrive within 3-4 working days. Pamphlets cost £3 each and will be charged in loose change down the back of your sofa at the most inconvenient moment.

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It’s been a busy week on the Spirit Box Radio message boards as more people have bene trying to contact their loved ones in the lead up to the holidays. It’s been great to see people using the boards properly to avoid doubling up on their communing attempts, and it seems like loads of people have been able to get through to their relatives, which is wonderful news! I must remind you, however, faithful listeners, that the Spirit Box Radio channel should only be used to contact inane or mundane spirits, like dead people you knew or presences in your home, and should never be used in an attempt to contact beings of a truly arcane nature. Spirit Box Radio will not be held responsible for any possessions, property damage or death which may occur as a result of this. So board user covenbabe666 please stop trying to organise a group séance using our service and message boards. Thank you.

It’s been a quiet week for the PO Box; we have had several requests for tarot readings but they’ve been about the forthcoming new year and I think it’s a bit too far in advance to do that. Otherwise we have received a thank you letter from regular faithful listener Beth, who successfully used our service to cheat on her maths A-Level resit. Congratulations, Beth!

We have also had several telegrams this week, most of them being quite inane communications, several asking me to turn off the radio in the office, but like I say, there is no office in the recording studio and there is no actual radio set in the studio itself, though we do broad-cast from in here, of course. Whoever is sending these telegrams, please stop. It was quite funny once or twice but forty seven really is too many.

Speaking of excess, does anybody else keep a dream diary? Madame Marie told me it was a great way to keep a clear head. Writing out your dreams as soon as you wake can help declutter your head and allow you to move on with your day. This advice was particularly helpful to me as for as long as I can remember I have suffered from terrible nightmares. This week I actually had a nightmare I’ve not had for years. It’s a pretty strange one really;

It’s about what I can only describe as the rose room. Rose wallpaper, rose curtains, rose bedsheets, little teacups with roses on the side, a rug, printed with roses. And the smell, a thick, heavy smell, the smell of a grandmother’s neck, old face powder that was not quite white, not quite pink, and smelled of cloying, saccharine, imitation rose.

The smell filled my head, mingling with the stink of my skin, the pinks bled from the paper, smattering on my arms, petals and blooms across my chest. The thorns scratched their way down my throat, clawing at my stomach, puncturing my guts. The leaves scraped against my eyes, sucking out all the moisture, rustling and crunching at the corners, leaving a trail of musty green dust. The more I fought the more tightly thorn vines dug into my flesh. When I woke up, my arms were covered in scratches.

Isn’t that funny?

No, I’ve never been a fan of floral wallpaper. I do love actual flowers though, which reminds me; I I must give my thanks to Oliver from the Hatfield Karpos florists for the beautiful bouquet you sent, although from the card tied to the stem of one of the roses I think there has been a little bit of information lost in translation; I’m not taking over from Madame Marie as the host of the Advice and Community segment; I’m just stepping in. Temporarily. Until she’s back.

As you seem to know Madame Marie, Mr Oliver, if you have any information about her whereabouts, once again I implore you to get in touch. Send an email, write to us. Even send another bouquet if that’s the only way you feel comfortable communicating with me.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I do truly appreciate the bouquet, although I’m not entirely sure what some of the more unusual blooms you have included are. I would love if you could include a description of them next time! Assuming there is a next time, that is. Not that there would be. No reason there should be. It would be lovely if there was though! I would order a bouquet and pay for it myself, only I couldn’t seem to find any Hatfield Karpos online locally and whilst the name is printed on your cards there is no address. If you were to get in touch, Olvier, I’d love to order more flowers from you. I’ve put the new bouquet next to my bed, but it would be nice to have one in the entrance hall and the kitchen. I do love fresh flowers.

For a while I tried to keep house plants but I never have much luck with them. They do perfectly well for a week or so and then they sort of shrivel up and crumble into dust when I touch them. I always follow the instructions on the tags to the letter but it never goes very well for me. It was the same with my hamster. Poor Bernard. Oh well.

[bright ringing/chirping sound]

What on earth?

[gets up from desk as noise continues]

[away from mic] It’s not here it’s, it’s on the headphones I—

[chirping continues for a moment and then stops]

Faithful listeners, there is a phone in the recording studio.

It’s on a small, round table pushed against the wall. It’s covered in dust. It’s one of those old timey-looking phones, with a circular dial on the front a receiver attached by a spiralling cord. This cord in particular is very grimy. I think I can reach it from the desk and —

eugh. It’s like. Honey. But it’s a sort of rust red and it smells like. Gah. Sort of musty, almost damp, you know? Like an old bedroom that’s been sealed shut for a really long time.

[chirping begins again]

Faithful listeners. I don’t know what to do. Should I answer? Perhaps not. And yet… And yet. Oh, I’m just going to do it!

[pause]

Hello?

ANNA: Sam, what the hell are you doing?!

SAM: [defensively] I’m on the air!

ANNA: Well I know that, don’t I! I’m listening to you right now!

SAM: You are? How do I sound? Am I doing okay?

ANNA: No you bloody well aren’t. Why the hell have you gone down into the studio? You know you’re not supposed to be down there.

SAM: Well, now, it’s more like—

ANNA: No! Stop it! I’m not bloody Kitty, I will not listen to your excuses, Sam. You know you’re not supposed to go down into the recording studio. It’s for your own safety, Sam.

SAM: What does that even mean, Anna?

ANNA: [flustered] Well. I don’t know, do I?! Something though. It means something.

SAM: Come now, Anna, you don’t believe in any of this supersitious nonsense.

ANNA: No, no, no; I don’t believe in ghosties ghouylies or things that go bump in the night but I certainly believe in knowing what’s good for you and what isn’t. And you need to stay away from this stuff, Sam. Don’t you remember what happened last time?

SAM: [scoffs[ Last time? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

ANNA: You’re impossible, did you know that? I swear to god, when M shows up I’m going to tear her a new one for leaving you in charge.

SAM: Weeeeell…

ANNA: You mean she didn’t even give you permission to do this?! Sam, are you completely off your rocker? Do you have any idea the risk you’re putting yourself in, sealing yourself up underground like that and meddling with stuff when you’ve got no idea—

SAM: She did leave me instructions!

ANNA: You know full well that’s not what I meant.

SAM: Well, what are you going to do? Show up here and pull the microphone out of my hands?

ANNA: If you won’t see sense.

SAM: Good luck! I locked the door before I came downstairs.

ANNA: I can pick locks.

SAM: Ooh, but isn’t that illegal? That’s not very lawyerly of you. What will your fancy lawyer fiance think about that?

ANNA: He’ll think exactly what I tell him to. I’d rather continue this conversation not on the air, if you don’t mind.

SAM: Actually, I do.

ANNA: Sam.

SAM: NO, the faithful listeners have a right to— [disconnection sound] Anna? Anna? Hey, if you’re still listening you better not be on your way over here, Anna!

Even if she is on her way, faithful listeners, we’re actually almost at the end of today’s segment anyway. Sod Anna. Stykler and Stykler have left me with a final message about cleaning to wrap up this very special sponsored episode of the show.

Remember to [static] and really get into the corners of the [static] otherwise you’ll never be sure if you’ve really got out the [static] can leave a really nasty stain. So just make sure if you’re going to [static] only do it outside or on a tarpaulin.

Thank you so much for tuning in listeners, and a huge thank you to our sponsors, Stykler and Stykler, for supporting the show! To get in touch with Stykler and Stykler, simply [static] onto a swatch of cloth, or alternatively [static] into an [static] and they’ll be with you if a jiffy! That’s all for tonight, folks. I’ve been your temporary host, Sam Enfield. This is Spirit Box Radio’s Advice and Community Segment. Thank for listening, and goodnight!