Night Vale Welcomes You

May 6th, 2014Posted by Nancy

Welcome to Night Vale

A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.



NOTE FROM NANCY: Because you may have noticed I’m not exactly … prolific … I have inveigled the talented and funny Toveen into writing a guest post for me.   Enjoy!

Night Vale is a quaint little town in a quaint not-so-little desert. It can be found, yes, though not without some difficulty; merely listen for the whispers in a quiet room—those found beneath the silent buzz of an empty place when you mistakenly think you are alone–and you will find the directions eventually…unless, of course, the whispers find you first.

  If you are a weak-willed mortal being built of sagging sacks of flesh and fluid like many of those reading this, however, it may be more prudent to simply locate the podcast. After all, listening to the news is almost like being there—and you listen to the news, don’t you? Well, even if you don’t, you’ve never heard the news announced quite like this.

Welcome to Night Vale is a creation of Commonplace Books and is written by Joseph Fink. At least, that’s what they tell us. Can we say in any absolute terms that it is not the product of a failed alien experiment on the human mind-brain? No. Can we imply that is? We probably shouldn’t. But is it? Probably not. But maybe. (Probably not, though.)

Now, without further procrastination in an attempt to shield your soul from what is probably not a failed alien experiment on the human mind-brain: should you listen to Welcome to Night Vale?

1. Do you like horror?

WTNV is the podcast that reaches its slimy eldritch tentacles up from the relative safety of your headphones and wraps them around your mind like the slithering octopus of horror it hopefully isn’t. (Hopefully.) It pulls you into its thick embrace and threatens to welcome you as warmly as its title implies–which is actually not that warmly at all, and really more an action of indifference than anything else, but it welcomes you all the same.


Come home,” Night Vale whispers. And you comply. God help you, you comply.

Night Vale seems to be a town pulled straight from the writings of Lovecraft–a beautiful desert Innsmouth where cats float at fixed points in space and where angels never, ever stop smiling. You ignore the angels, of course; angels do not exist, and you are not to know about them. If they were to exist, though–and they don’t–they would still never, ever stop smiling. It is the law. If nonexistent angels and levitating felines don’t interest you, perhaps the science will. Night Vale is a very scientifically interesting community. The most scientifically interesting community in all of America, actually! Cecil Gershwin Palmer, diligent radio host of WTNV, is very into science these days, you know. If you majored in science (no, not biology, or chemistry, or physics, or anything else—science. Just. Science.), this is the podcast for you! On the other hand, if science isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Your friendly neighbourhood Strex Corp will rid you of all your worries. Worry is only a temporary thing; everything is temporary, really, when you think about it. Even your precious, fragile life. Embrace the void that is soon to be your existence! It may one day return the favour.

Desert Bluffs: Proud supporter of StrexCorp Synergists Inc

StrexCorp Synergists Inc. Look around you: Strex. Look inside you: Strex. Go to sleep: Strex. Believe in a smiling God: Strex. StrexCorp Synergists Inc.

2. Do you like humour?

Do you like to laugh? Do you enjoy making mouth noises with your face orifices and scrunching motions with your eyes? Then you will like WTNV. Cecil can go from serious radio host to 90’s movie cheerleader at the drop of the archaic currency form of your choosing. Joseph Fink’s writing is witty and fun and peppered with the oddities only Night Vale and your deepest nightmares can provide. Can humour and horror blend? Yes. Should they? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop Night Vale! At any rate, when Cecil’s soothing tones tickle your cochlea, pedestrian thoughts will be the last thing on your mind. Cockroaches, maybe. Thoughts? No. Succumb to Night Vale’s intoxicating comedy and all will be well.*

Guns don't kill people. Guns are people.

Stand on your front porch and shout “NRA!” to order one today.

*All will probably not be well, but it’s still better than exploring the alternative.

3. Do you like equal representation?

Are you tired of the same old story? Boy meets girl? Girl rejects boy? Boy goes home to summon ancient spirits of his long dead ancestors in a fervent act of revenge? Boy confronts girl with ghostly legion? Girl remains unimpressed and proceeds to unhinge jaw, consuming boy and all things unholy he has wrought upon the world in an instant? Then WTNV is right for you! WTNV features a diverse cast of characters and just enough limitation on its descriptions that you can picture the characters however you want. Is Cecil black? Is he white? Is he an eight-foot-three shadow creature born of the night and stars and sea and sky? He’s whatever you want! Also, he’s gay. But really, when you think about it, aren’t we all? No. When you live in a town like Night Vale, however, it probably ranks on the scale of abnormality right above dirt. Is dirt abnormal? No. Unless you’re talking about the dirt in that little pile over there–that dirt is abnormal. You probably shouldn’t touch it. Members of the LGBTQ+ on the other hand? Perfectly normal, as they should be–or, at least, as close to normal as any of us can hope to get. (Which probably isn’t very.)

4. Do you like awesome things that are also free?

Do you love free things? Who doesn’t! No, don’t answer that. That was a trick question; the answer is StrexCorp. StrexCorp does not enjoy free things, and you owe them $14.00 just for considering it. Thankfully, you are probably not StrexCorp, and so you probably are also in the habit of enjoying free things. Well, you’re in luck! WTNV is free and it’s available on iTunes (among other sites) for download! How does the Night Vale team continue to put out such quality episodes without charging a literal arm and a leg? The answer is demonic possession. That, and donations. They also have a store where you can buy things to put on your body and in your home. Including spiders! Those aren’t for sale, though–they’re hidden in the merchandise. Surprise! WTNV also puts out quality recordings of their live shows at the end of every tour. You can buy these for one whole dollar an episode! (Or more, if you’re feeling generous.) Each of these recordings features a double length episode—double the minutes, double the terror! And fun. Mostly fun.

For more information, ask your local real estate agents hidden inside the bellies of wild deer.

Night Vale condos: the real estate option tailored specifically, terrifically and horrifically for you!

5. Do you like dog parks?

If so, then, no. Welcome to Night Vale is not the podcast for you. Do not enter any dog parks. Don’t even look at any dog parks. If possible, do not think about dog parks. I understand it’s hard—“dog parks” has now been repeated five times in this paragraph already—but you really mustn’t. After all, you wouldn’t want to be committing a thought crime, would you? No, you wouldn’t. City Council would not approve, and it’s for everyone’s best interest that you stay in their favour. The good news is that this egregious misuse of your mind can be remedied by months of painful electroshock therapy, or else listening to Welcome to Night Vale. Wait, what? Yes, that’s right! The ailment is also the cure! Cecil will teach you how best to reprogram your mushy brain through use of fervent prayer, howling chants and bloodstone circles. Just tune in the 1st and 15th of every month for your dose of Night Vale and soon you, too, will forget that dog parks ever existed! Wow!

Dog parks? What?

…what was I talking about again?

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