Tag Archives: urban legends

115 – Deadly Candy: Legends and History of Halloween

Since it’s our favorite time of year, we thought we’d spend an episode talking about the history of Halloween, our favorite Halloween legends, Halloween costumes, and share some personal Halloween stories.

wendy2
Speak of the Devil… Sunspot’s 2000 Halloween costume was positively “horny” nyuk nyuk nyuk
Halloween 2000 Ben
Have no fear, friends, that’s not a real cobweb!
And for Halloween that year, I went as a guy with two chins!
And for Halloween that year, Mike went as a guy with two chins!

From the ancient Celts of the British Isles  and theirAutumn Samhain festival which they believed was the time where the veil between the worlds of this life and the next was super thin to the origin of the world Halloween (think All Hallow’s Eve, the night before All Souls’ Day!), we cover all you need to know about everyone’s favorite dressing up holiday (and how that holiday used to be on Thanksgiving instead!)

Scottish Sunspot on Halloween 2000!
Scottish Sunspot on Halloween 2000!

We’ve gone as a lot of group costumes for Halloween and talk about some of the best costumes we’ve seen at the various shows we’ve played to celebrate the holiday. The Sunspot Witch Project, which was our Halloween costume in 2001 was a fun one because all we had to do was recycle our flannels that were left in our closets from living int the mid-1990s. Just add a hat like Doug or Bob McKenzie and instant Halloween costume, ya hosers!

strange brew
Looking’ good in your toques, eh!

mike1 sunspot2 wendy1

Of course we have to delve into the urban legends of Halloween, including the truth behind the needles and pins in candy rumors that traumatized our trick or treating as youths as well as the “dead person mistaken for a Halloween decoration” (spoiler alert: both legends have a real basis in fact!)

Have you seen this boy? Halloween 2004.
Have you seen this boy? Halloween 2004. Wow, and if Mike’s face was any rounder he could have gone as the Pillsbury Terminator!

Mike shares a real-life ghost story and adventure from an abandoned supposedly haunted hotel in Mukwonago, Wisconsin called Rainbow Springs and everyone discusses their favorite Halloween-related shows, from The Great Pumpkin to the unexpectedly terrifying Garfield Halloween Adventure.

Super Sunspot Bros and The Princess!
Super Sunspot Bros and The Princess!

So, sit back and enjoy the episode if you wanna learn all about the history of Halloween and how it became the awesome holiday we celebrate today.

And last but not least, here’s Wendy and Mike as a coupla rockin’ zombies from The Raven’s Ball at this year’s Milwaukee Paranormal Conference.

For this week’s track, we took inspiration from the usual cable TV network Halloween programming, which loves to run specials about Satanism. Satanists embrace Halloween as a time when the rest of the world explores its own darkness and it’s their biggest holiday (besides a Satanist’s birthday!) One of the most talked about Satanic magic spells is the Destruction Ritual, a meditation based on cursing an enemy. It’s their most dangerous rite, and we thought it would make the perfect subject for a song. Take a listen to “Destruction Ritual”.

Hail Satan!
Hail Satan!

Is such a silly cliche.

Vengeance is mine!
Vengeance is mine!
And you can have it anyway.

Let’s play the game where you were never born.
I’d love to watch your demise.
Through these very eyes,
on fire with spite and scorn.

Hail Satan!
Hail Satan!

It just sounds stupid when you say,

Vengeance is mine!
Vengeance is mine!

Cause all this hate will rot your brain.

Let’s play the game where you were never born.
I’d love to watch your demise.
Through these very eyes,
on fire with spite and scorn.

Mind your thoughts and where they tread,
Be careful where you leave your head,
These words are better left unsaid,
Be careful where you leave your head.

Happy Birthday Ed Sheeran, Is There A Ghost Voice In “Thinking Out Loud”?

It’s a big week for famous singing ginger, Ed Sheeran. First, “Thinking Out Loud” wins the Grammy for Song of the Year and then it’s his birthday on February 17th. I first heard his music during the end credits of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and liked it and I figure if the guy is alright with Peter Jackson, then he’s alright with me.

But the reason that we’re talking about “Thinking Out Loud” today is that people were hearing a “ghost voice” in the track. The moment happens at about 44 seconds into the song.

So, the Internet being the Internet, the rumor quickly went around that the “ghost voice” was actually a spirit who never found love and is sadly singing from the other side.  Or that the studio that the recorded it in was haunted and that it was the spirit who was singing along with Ed in the vocal booth.

This trended on Twitter last year and became a big topic of speculation for his massive teenage fanbase. Kids love ghost stories, cute singers,  and gossiping with their friends about it, so this was kind of a perfect storm.

And of course, when a topic is trending, there’s no reason not to have a little fun with it, here’s a video with over 100,000 hits purporting to analyze the track and find the ghost voice (but it really just contains a jump scare at the end.)

And this weird speech-synthesized video actually explains the whole issue as just an effect of the reverb.

Reverb? I doubt it. Sounds just like he was putting a little extra inflection in his voice with the word, “heart”. I can’t even hear a harmony background vocal in there on the verse. But when you tell people there’s a ghost voice in there and you can only hear it with headphones they start to convince themselves that it’s in there, especially if they listen to that section repeatedly.

I’ve been in the recording studio and have had that same effect. You’re listening closely to something over and over again and you start to hear phantom sounds. An echo or a weird note can show up that’s not really there when you listen to something repeatedly in a short stretch. Your mind starts playing tricks on you, that’s why it’s always recommended to leave for a little while and studio guys have special tricks to “keep their ears fresh“.

Ed, you’re a Grammy winner now, so you can finally afford that comb you always wanted!

The first studio engineer that Sunspot (Wendy and my band, we write a new song for each podcast episode) worked with was named Ted Weigel and we recorded in his Madison, Wisconsin recording studio that’s now long gone and replaced by the Brink Lounge. We would often start recording sessions in the evening and since we were paying the day-rate and didn’t have a lot of money, we’d record for long spells into the next morning.

Ted would always say “my ears are fried” when needing to close a marathon recording session. We’d always laugh to ourselves about that statement. We were still energetic teenagers and didn’t understand yet how your attention and hearing and senses would just get worn out, like a muscle after a hard workout.

I think the only way to hear the ghost voice in this track is to listen to it over and over and convince yourself that it’s there. So to anyone that can still hear the creepy background voice on the word “heart”, I’d say what Ted used to say in the studio so long ago, “take a break, man. Your ears are fried!”