Ghostly Voices by Deb Jennifer

My secret indulgence?  Late night AM talk radio.  The indulgence of insomniacs.  I love scanning the dial to pick up obscure little stations from far away.  Listening to the weather in Pittsburgh.  Traffic reports from New York City.  French speaking stations from across the border in Quebec.  But mostly, what I love are the call in shows.   The talk radio psychologists offering advice to the broken hearted and confused.  The right wing talk show wackos, the left wing talk show wackos.  I love it all.  I even used to listen to a show for truckers – the format was just the host chatting with truckers who called in from runs across the country to discuss all aspects of the job, the benefits, the hassles and tell their tales.  They told where they were, what the weather and traffic were like, how long they’d been on the road and what they were hauling.  Doesn’t sound very exciting, but it was great stuff (or seemed that way to my sleep deprived brain).

But what I love most, are the tales of the strange.   The shows, like the wonderful, Coast to Coast that discuss UFO abduction, demonic possession, and ghosts.  There is nothing at all like listening to a show on EVPs (electronic voice phenomena – recordings made in graveyards and haunted houses that pick up the supposed voices of ghosts) at three in the morning when the house is still and it feels like me and the terrifying ghost voices are the only ones up in the world.  The recordings I find the most upsetting are the ones of little children.  (As the author of Promise Not to Tell, you know I’ve got a thing for little girl ghosts!)  Whether you believe they are truly voices from beyond or not, it’s downright creepy stuff.  I dare you to listen to a few and not get chills.

Some other wonderful topics I’ve heard discussed on late night radio: the difficulties of living as a vampire in this day and age, famous people who’ve made pacts with the devil, astral travel, and how the earth was once populated by a race of giants who had three sets of teeth and spoke in shrieks (this last one gave me nightmares for weeks!).

Peppered between the host and guests and callers are the wonderful commercials for herbal supplements (Lose weight! Increase stamina and sexual vitality! Cure psoriasis!), short wave radios, ionic air purifiers and the occasional get rich quick scam.

The only trouble with this little indulgence of mine is that sometimes I never do get back to sleep.  Even if I turn the radio off, my mind is racing.  I close my eyes and those giants with threes sets of teeth are chasing me; the voices of child ghosts are calling, and I’m wondering if maybe I should dial that herbal supplement number after all and ask what they’ve got for sleep aids.

Eventually, I give up and turn the radio back on to hear what the ghosts are up to. 

11 Replies to “Ghostly Voices by Deb Jennifer”

  1. Hmm…next time I can’t fall asleep I will definitely turn on the radio! But I hope that your insomnia isn’t TOO bad anymore…

  2. This post is particularly timely as I’m just coming off a week + with very little sleep.

    You’re so brave to get out of bed and DO something. I always just lie there certain that one more minute will do the trick.

    One trick I learned is to repeat a single word over and over like a sleep mantra – it clears the mind of all the rambling thoughts that prevent sleep. Another trick is using a metronome set at 54 or 60. Something to do with the mother’s heartbeat and being back in the womb.

    Anyway, these shows sound great. That EVP stuff is pretty intriguing.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to the world of talk radio. I had no idea these shows existed. I’m not much of a night owl. Pretty boring, actually, so I lived vicariously through you, imagining myself up in the darkness, listening to weird ghostly stories. You must get story/character ideas from all the crazy stuff you hear.

  4. Okay…fine. Give me the willies. I clicked through on the EVP thing, and just reading the information made me shiver. Brrr…

    My mom is a late night radio listener. She’s partial to Art Bell 🙂

  5. Don’t get me started on DST…
    One of my favorite memories is of my mom arguing with the radio during an altercation between the host and a caller. It was kind of a three way- very surreal.

  6. Uh oh. Resetting the time sounds like a job for someone much more tech savvy than I. (Which would be any of the other Debs, I think!)

    And yes, I still do have bouts of insomnia (they’re happening more and more frequently as it gets closer to pub day!). Sometimes I get up to write. Mostly I just stay in bed. I have the radio (with headphones!) next to the bed, along with a pile of books and one of those little booklight things that clips to the book.

    Tish, the metronome sounds like a great idea. I’ve tried counting, but never repeating one word… I’ll try that one too.

    Maia, I do get all kinds of ideas listening to this stuff. (Now, if I can just figure out a way to work those giants with three sets of teeth into a book…)

    Marianne, I love Art Bell, too, though he’s not on much anymore.

    Pat, I’ve been known to argue with the radio, too. (Though I try not to be too loud about it in the middle of the night!)

  7. I’m like Tish, I just keep my eyes closed and hope for the best.

    And Jennifer, you’ll get some sleep soon. April is almost here, and you’re going to feel great!

  8. Jennifer, I am so excited for your debut and you are going to love life post-publication. In the meantime, I consider your time listening to late night radio as a form of information gathering … maybe an idea might spark for future novels, not that you’re short on ideas!

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