Click for Content Warnings
- Spoilers and mentions of death!
Hi it’s creator of Spirit Box Radio, Eira, here! This is the second part of Yuletide Spookies, the Dear Magpie event from 2022, where faithful listeners just like you wrote into the show with their letters to Sam. Just want to let you know that there’s a special offer on our patreon at the moment which will be running until next week, so, next Thursday, the 29th December.
Without further ado, here are some wonderful letters written by faithful listeners just like you.
Hi Sam! Happy belated birthday! I’m so glad you’ve continued to host the show, and I hope your birthday was wonderful.
I’m not writing just to say happy birthday, however. Unsurprisingly, I have an arcane problem.
So, my friends and I live in this really small town, right? And like a lot of small town, it has its own urban legends and folklore. So we were just hanging out late one night, and Jae brought up one of the town’s biggest legends: The Ghost of Spring. The story goes that sometime in the early days of this town, there was this man that loved the spring, and this town. But he was supposedly murdered near this lake out in the middle of the forest – the reason why kinda changes. Some say it was because a neighbour wanted the secret to his success with his crops, others say it was due to him being a witness to a murder. I’m not sure how much the backstory matters, because either way he was supposed to be terrifying, and too determined to ever leave this town for good. The rumour goes that he’s willing to exterminate the people who he thinks aren’t good enough for this town. And somehow, Mari thought it would be a good idea to suggest summoning him.
Because I am a reasonable person who actually listens to this show and knows how dangerous certain types of ghosts can be, I tried to convince my friends out of it. But Mari was determined, and xe’s kinda the ringleader. So I figured if we were going to do this, I could at least help them do it safely. Not, ah. Not my proudest moment, afterwards. I should have tried harder to stop them.
So we walked out to the lake in the woods. Unfortunately, Jae’s parents own one of those really small rowboats, so the three of us were able to row out to the middle of the lake, and we spread the flowers we’d brought across the lake. Jae whispered his name three times – as dramatically as possible, of course, because Jae’s a classic theater kid. And then, of course, the Ghost of Spring appeared.
He was horrifying. He had flowers growing out of every orifice I could see – eyes, his mouth, his ears. I could swear I saw some growing out of his skin, too. His skin was the colour of brand new grass, and the parts of his eyes that weren’t flowers were a deep, deep brown. I’m…I’m not so sure he was a ghost anymore.
He let out this awful scream, and started racing towards us, the vines and flowers in and around his skin reaching for our boat. He managed to get a couple bits of the greenery growing out of him attached to our boat, but thankfully we were able to smack those off before they could do real damage.
We started booking it, obviously. I don’t think I’ve ever paddled so fast in my life. Once we got to shore, we sprinted out of the forest, but the next time we turned around, he was gone.
We all ended up sleeping over at Mari’s house that night.
I’d be willing to write this off as a singular terrifying experience…except for the fact that a couple of nights, there were flowers and grass growing through the floorboards of my room. Jae and Mari say the same thing happened to them. I keep on hearing whispers, and smelling that signature spring smell – damp and earthy, And last night, I could swear I brushed grass out of my hair. I’m not sure if more is going to happen, but I’m scared. I think – no, I know – we might have messed with something way above my power level. Do you have any advice? I think we could really use it.
Faithful Listener Cass
Hi Sam, i need help, my old rats (i had around 30-35, they were great company) but one day i blinked they all died :(. anyway now they are all haunting me and i don’t know what to do, my wife and kids are terrified, MY wIFE AND KIDS DON’T EVEN EXIST!!!! i think i notice BENNIS (like dennis but with a b) the most but theres also long rat.
please help we get the rat ghosts out of my house. thanks, Gonzlah
Greetings. I do not often listen to this show, but I find myself in need of advice. Recently, I have acquired a rather old grand piano – I saw the advertisement in the local paper, and leapt at the chance. Usually, pianos like that go for 5000 to 10000 dollars, and when I saw it was only 1 dollar, well. I rather leapt at the chance.
Admittedly, I perhaps should have been more suspicious when I saw the price tag, or looked at the …details of the advertisement. It saying “played by human hands” most likely should have been a give-away. But it was a deal that was really once in a lifetime.
When I went to go pick up the piano, the former owner seemed rather odd. He had bags under the bags under his eyes – really, he looked like he hadn’t slept in weeks! His eyes kept darting around, and when he loaded the piano into my car, he let out a sigh of relief.
Needless to say, I was slightly more concerned about actually bringing the piano home now, but it really was in quite good condition. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it on the side of the road.
Of course, that night, the haunting started. And I really wouldn’t mind that much – I’ve been practicing arcanism for some time now, and things getting knocked over and chills down my spine really aren’t that bad. Except…I’m starting to get why the previous owner was so tired all the time.
The ghost plays piano at night. Every night. And I love piano, I do – but no one can fall asleep while someone plays Heart and Soul terribly on repeat all night! I haven’t slept more than a hour for about 5 days now.
I’m not sure I want to banish the ghost – they seem relatively harmless besides the piano playing, and I did buy their home. It seems rude to banish them. Maybe I could teach them to actually play piano? Do you know the best way to interact with this ghost?
I’m not really looking for advice, more to share a story. I’ve got this friend you see, and I really just think he really deserves more people to know about him. You’ve talked before about the arcane being made up of intent and memory and all of that stuff, which I don’t really understand – but I think it means that if you read this on the radio for me, he might just get a little stronger, or get to stick around when I’m not here anymore.
To tell this properly, I’m going to have to go back to how I first met Loki. I’d been living in London for a few years, but my firm moved me to a different office. I ended up moving to a new area to try and avoid spending my whole life stuck on the tube, which meant I needed to find a new local pub. Now, I work with some pretty pretentious people, so outside of work I generally try to frequent places that are a little less fancy than “central london” usually attracts. It took me a few weeks, and many failed attempts, to find The Gilded Bat, but I really felt an instant connection to the place. It’s pretty much your standard dive bar, but there’s really just something about it. I don’t know if it’s the specific way your shoes stick slightly with every step, or the way the street light turns amber through the dusty stained glass windows. Or maybe it’s just Loki’s love for the place, soaking up into the peeling wallpaper.
Anyway, that first evening was pretty uneventful. I drank some cheap whiskey, ate some greasy fries, and struck up some friendly conversation over darts. I honestly didn’t think too much of it, but I felt much more at home in these new streets on my walk back to the flat. I didn’t get the opportunity to go back too often to begin with, life as a lawyer doesn’t lend itself well to week-day drinking, but every time I did, I felt right at home again in seconds. It wasn’t too long before the bartender would set a drink and a bowl of peanuts on the bar for me as soon as I pushed in through the doors.
I knew about Loki before I ever knew he was still around, his battered orange cap hung over the liquor bottles with far more pride than it looked to deserve, so it’s no surprise that anyone that visits The Gilded Bat more than a few times asks after it eventually.
Whenever they do, they get told a friend of the bar passed away a few years ago, and nothing much more than a quiet hum and a spattering of raised glasses pass around the room. Loki’s answers to the probing questions seem, lets just say a little over creative, but he’d love for them to be immortalised on radio. He worked in the bar for years, but the way he talks about it you wouldn’t know, I can’t say he’s ever told me a story that really involved him doing any real “work”. He was great friends with the owner, but he was late to work often enough that he eventually moved into the flat little flat upstairs so that he could just pour himself into clean clothes when his shifts started. His golden retriever smile and propensity for terrible dad jokes made him a favourite with the regulars, and he spent more time judging darts games than pouring drinks.
He loved learning about all the regulars’ lives, knew everything there was to know about who’s kids are causing trouble, who’s up for a promotion at work, even who’s building up the nerve to propose. One night a regular returned from a trip to Japan with a shiny new engagement ring, with gifts of fancy sushi and saki for Loki. The way Loki tells it he ate something he shouldn’t have, and woke up a shade of himself, lost except his connection to the place he’d come to think of as home. I like to imagine he thought it was just a terrible hangover, but he was absolutely delighted to explain all about the effects of puffer fish poison, almost as soon as he worked out I was going to be able to understand them.
To tell you the truth the first time we chatted, I didn’t get his name, and he was so real I didn’t even know he wasn’t just another customer drinking away the stress of the week. He barely made an impression, and I walked away thinking he was sweet, and maybe a little dumb. That wasn’t really wrong, but I didn’t get a chance to form any more of an opinion until the next time I made it back to the bar. I’d been working late all week, and was honestly just relieved that I’d wrapped up the case while The Gilded Bat was still open. When I poured myself into a booth, whisky in hand, I scanned the room and spotted the himbo in the orange cap watching me. He looked nervous as he picked his way across the room, and I started getting this sinking feeling in my stomach that he was going to ask me out. So what he said next took me completely by surprise:
“Can you still hear me today?”
He explained that he’d been hanging out in the bar pretty much all the time since he’d died, and I was the first person who ever seemed to even see him, let alone strike up a proper conversation with him. He’d been helping out where he could, but moving things really took it out of him, and no one had ever really questioned the little odd jobs he got done when the bar was closed. He wasn’t complaining, you’ve got to understand this guy is loving his life. Well his afterlife I suppose. He spends his entire time in his favourite place; he gets to watch his friends grow and still knows everything there is to know about them. He spends hours spectating darts or pool, and just listens to people’s stories all day long. I think some of his regulars still come in just to tell him about their lives, even if they don’t know he’s listening. Though, he was pretty excited once he’d worked out he could tell stories back to me, I guess it gets a little lonely when no one knows you exist.
At first we’d talked alot about his friends from the bar, little messages he wanted me to find ways to pass on, encouragement to go for their dreams mostly. And he still asks me every time I see him if I’ve worked out how to find the cactus from his flat yet. As weeks turned into months though, I realised that Loki was just becoming my friend. We talk about everything now, he tells me stories about the bar and I tell him about my failed dates, or my work stress. I don’t really know how it happened, but now I spend every friday night in what I’ve started thinking of as ‘our booth’, and Loki sitting at the table across from me feels more natural than anything in the world.
That’s why I’ve decided to write to you really, I don’t understand a lot of what you talk about, but I helped a cute girl fix a tire a couple of months back, and she wouldn’t stop talking about your show. Some nights, I can’t help thinking what might happen to Loki if I couldn’t come by anymore. I know he loves that bar, and I couldn’t bear it if he started fading away because no one asked after his battered orange cap in a few too many days. He deserves to get to stay. So I’m putting as much intent into this letter as I can manage, and if any of your listener’s want to take a minute every now and then to remember Loki, it would really mean everything to me.
Letter One was written by Cass. Letter Two was written by Gonzlah. Letter Three was written by Jonathon. Letter Four was written by Tal (with some inspiration from the forums ghosts!)