Welcome to Night Vale
Welcome to Night Vale is a fictional news podcast. It is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and narrated by Cecil Baldwin.
Welcome to Night Vale is set in the fictional town of Night Vale. Located in a remote desert somewhere in the southwestern United States, Night Vale is a town where unexplainable supernatural events are commonplace and part of daily life.
All quotes are by the narrator unless stated otherwise.
Episode 2: "Glow Cloud"
- But listen: it's probably nothing. If we had to shut down for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we'd never have time to do anything, right?
- Here’s something odd: there is a cat hovering in the men’s bathroom at the radio station here. He seems perfectly happy and healthy, but it’s floating about four feet off the ground next to the sink. Doesn’t seem to be able to move from its current hover-spot. If you pet him, he purrs, and he’ll rub on your body like a normal cat if you get close enough. Fortunately, because he’s right by the sink, it was pretty easy to leave some water and food where he could get it, and it’s nice to have a station pet. Wish it wasn’t trapped in a hovering prison in the men’s bathroom, but listen: no pet is perfect. It becomes perfect when you learn to accept it for what it is.
- Remember: if you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget.
- The Sheriff’s Secret Police have apparently taken to shouting questions at the Glow Cloud, trying to ascertain what exactly it wants. So far, the Glow Cloud has not answered.
- The glow cloud does not need to converse with us. It does not feel as we tiny humans feel. It has no need for thoughts or feelings of love. The glow cloud simply is.
- All hail the mighty glow cloud.
- The glow cloud, meanwhile, has moved on. It is now just a glowing spot in the distance, humming east to destinations unknown. We may never fully understand or understand at all what it was and why it dumped a lot of dead animals on our community. But, and I'm going to get a little personal here, that's the essence of life, isn't it? Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community. While they're happening, they feel like the only thing that matters and you can hardly imagine that there's a world out there that might have anything else going on. And then the glow cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you. And you may find, as time passes, that you remember it less and less. Or absolutely not at all, in my case.
Episode 3: "Station Management"
- Look, I’ve probably said too much. I can see down the hall that an envelope just came flying out. I pray it’s not another HR retraining session in the Dark Box. Uugh!
- Your daily shades of the sky forecast:
Wednesday: Robin’s egg
Friday: Coal dust
Saturday: Coal dust with chances of indigo in the late afternoon
- The City Council has asked me to remind everyone about the new drive to clean up litter. Night Vale is our home. And who wants to leave trash all over their home? Put it in the garbage can, listeners! And if you see any trash around, pick it up and throw it away. Do your part. Unless the trash is marked with a small red flag. The Council has asked me to remind you that any litter marked with a red flag is not to be picked up or approached. Remember the slogan: “No flag? Goes in the bag. Red flag? Run.”
- Listeners, we are currently fielding numerous reports that books have stopped working. It seems that all over Night Vale, books have simply ceased functioning. The scientists are studying one of the broken books to see if they can understand just what is going on here. The exact problem is currently unclear, but some of the words being used include “sparks,” “meat smell,” “biting,” and “lethal gas.” For your own safety, please do not attempt to open a book until we have more information on the nature and cause of these problems. The City Council has released only a brief statement indicating that their stance on books has not changed and that, as always, they believe that books are dangerous and inadvisable and should not be kept in private homes.
- [in apprehensive voice] Hello, radio audience. I come to you live, from under my desk… where I have dragged my microphone and am currently in the fetal position.
Episode 4: "PTA Meeting"
- Our top story. Last night, our PTA meeting ended in bloodshed.
- It’s election season again, and you know what that means! Sheriff’s Secret Police will be coming by to collect certain family members so that everyone votes for the correct council seats and there’s no confusion. These family members will be held in a secure and undisclosed location, which everyone knows is the Abandoned Mine Shaft outside of town. But, don’t let the name fool you, listeners: it’s been used for years for so many kidnappings and illegal detentions that the Abandoned Mine Shaft outside of town is actually a pretty nice location these days, featuring king-sized beds, free wifi, and HBO. Also torture cubicles, but I don’t think anyone’s going to make the Council use those. Remember, this is America. Vote correctly, or never see your loved ones again.
- The noisy portal and subsequent dinosaur attack that brutally interrupted the discussion about swing sets on the playground...
- If you notice strange auras around any of the following objects in your house: blender, shower head, dog, husband, wife, table, chair, doorknob, baseboard, vacation souvenirs or photos, collectibles of any kind (especially those depicting or involving horses), DVDs (especially Cliffhanger, There’s Something About Mary, and The Wire 4th season), and any bagged lettuce from California or Mexico, please, report to the Council for indefinite detention.
- Night Vale is an ancient place. Full of history and secrets, as we were reminded today. But it is also a place of the present moment, full of life, and of us. If you can hear my voice, speaking live, then you know. We are not history yet. We are happening now. How miraculous is that?
Episode 5: "The Shape in Grove Park"
- Close your eyes. Let my words wash over you. You are safe now. Welcome to Night Vale.
- opening words
- The Night Vale Green Market Co-Op announced today that, after fifteen years, they will begin selling fruits and vegetables. Green Market Board President Tristan Cortez said that recent customer surveys indicated that shoppers have grown tired of empty pickup trucks and vacant tents lining the City Hall parking lot every Sunday morning in the summer and fall. Cortez said that research indicates that consumers are more likely to buy products if they are available and for sale, and that Green Market and Grocery shoppers tend to purchase food items. Cortez said that the decision to sell food at the Green Market was a controversial one, as many board members and Co-Op shareholders feel fruit and vegetable sales will interfere with their ongoing secretive domestic espionage operations.
- Sandero could not be reached for comment. Probably. We didn't try.
- It has occurred to me that I may be the only one able to see it. Now that I think about it, I have also never bothered to check whether this mic is actually attached to any sort of recording or broadcasting device. And it is possible that I am alone in an empty universe, speaking to no one, unaware that the world is held aloft merely by my delusions and my smooth sonorous voice.
- Update on the green market situation from earlier in our broadcast: Everything is exactly the same as when we last reported on it. There is no new information.
- The Night Vale School District has announced some changes to the elementary school curriculum. They are as follows:
- In response to parent feedback, history class will focus more heavily on textbook readings and traditional exams, rather than live ammo drills.
- Geology is adding a new type of rock on the grounds that it's been a while since anyone has done that. The new type of rock is "vimby", and it is categorized by its pale blue color and the fact that it is completely edible. Points will be awarded to the first student to discover a real-world example of it.
- Math and English are switching names. Their curriculum will stay exactly the same.
- Astronomy will now be conducting stargazing sessions only with blindfolds on every participant, in order to protect them from the existential terror of the Void. Also, Pluto has been declared imaginary.
- All classrooms will be equipped with at least one teacher physically present for the entire instruction period. Astral projection will no longer be used in any classroom situation.
- Finally, in addition to the current foreign language offerings of Spanish, French, and Modified Sumerian, schools will now be offering Double Spanish, Weird Spanish, Coptic Spanish, Russian, and Unmodified Sumerian.
- And now, a continuation of our previous investigation into whether I am literally the only person in the world, speaking to myself in a fit of madness caused by my inability to admit the tragedy of my own existence. Leland, our newest intern, recently brought me a cup of coffee. He is no longer in my field of vision, but I do still have the cup of coffee, which is well made and is giving me the needed pick me up to continue considering this terrifying possibility. Is it possible that I only imagined Leland and forgot making myself this cup of coffee? But then, who would have grown this coffee? Where was this cup procured from? Oh. Leland’s back in the room. He’s waving at me. Hello Leland
- The moon’s weird though, right? It’s there, and there, and then suddenly it’s not. And it seems to be pretty far up. Is it watching us? If not, what is it watching instead? Is there something more interesting than us? Hey, watch us moon! We may not always be the best show in the universe, but we try.
- Hello Listeners. In breaking news: the sky. The Earth. Life. Existence as an unchanging plain with horizons of birth and death in the faint distance. We have nothing to speak about. There never was. Words are an unnecessary trouble. Expression is time wasting away. Any communication is just a yelp in the darkness. Ladies. Gentlemen. Listeners. You. I am speaking now but I am saying nothing. I am just making noises, and, as it happens, they are organized in words and you should not draw meaning from this.
- We do not have answers. I am not certain we even have questions.
Episode 6: "The Drawbridge"
- One critic, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We don’t even have a river or bay in Night Vale. There would never be a boat to necessitate a drawbridge!” He continued to… You know what? Forget it. I can tell you right now that that was Steve Carlsberg who said that, and he is such a spoilsport, that Steve! Have you ever noticed how he never replaces his hubcaps? It’s laziness, pure and simple. Laziness. I just can’t let him ruin our town by denying Night Vale a drawbridge when he can’t even care for a tan Corolla!
- Notice: there is no digital, static-y hum coming from the Dog Park, Mayor Pamela Winchell announced today. The mayor stressed repeatedly in her 90 second impromptu press conference that there is no unbearable, soul-tearing sound that rips at the sinews of your very being coming from the Dog Park. Mayor Winchell continued with a plea for all Night Vale residents to understand that there could not possibly be a deeply coded message emanating from a small, fenced-in patch of municipal grass and dirt. Citizens are not even supposed to be consciously aware of the Dog Park, so they could not possibly be receiving a menacing and unearthly voice instructing listeners to bring precious metals and toddlers to the Dog Park. “Dog Park,” she repeated. “That could never, ever be real,” the mayor shouted, pounding the podium with her bleeding fists.
- Here are this week's horoscopes:
Scorpio: Curse you. Curse your family. Curse your children. And your children's children. Vile, vile Scorpio.
Capricorn: Those were not contact lenses you put in this morning. Best not to think about this again.
Pisces: You've won a brand new car!
Gemini: You will meet someone today who will have no effect on your life. And you will immediately forget.
Leo: It's better that I don't read this aloud. Better that you not know. Tell your family that you love them.
That has been this week's horoscope.
Episode 7: "History Week"
- The Night Vale Tourism Board asks that whoever is telepathically assaulting the tourists please stop.
- The tourism board is offering puppies as a reward for information on this case. Or, even if you don’t have information, the city asks that you come get a puppy or two anyway. Seriously. Downtown municipal offices are overrun with them. In the trees, walls, carpentry…the exterminators are completely stymied by this infestation. Please help.
- So please watch for working crews this weekend, lower your speed, and don’t forget to tip the DPS shift leaders. 20% of your current mileage is standard. Lack of tipping is the leading cause of sinkholes in the U.S.
- The School Board says that school shootings can only get in the way of a quality education.
Episode 8: "The Lights in Radon Canyon"
- Silence is golden. Words are vibrations. Thoughts are magic. Welcome to Night Vale.
- opening words
- Night Vale school superintendent Nick Ford, announced today that the Glow Cloud has joined the School Board. The Glow Cloud passed over the entirety of Night Vale several weeks ago — dropping small and large animal carcasses, controlling our thoughts and tertiary muscle groups, and erasing every last recording device. We’re still unsure the Glow Cloud even existed, as no one remembers it, nor has any digital record of it. If not for a few intrepid citizens who used old-fashioned pens and pencils to record the event in their diaries, we would have no remaining knowledge of that day. I, of course, can only thank those journal writers anonymously here on the air, as the Night Vale City Council long ago banned writing utensils — along with margarita glasses and bar code scanners — and I don’t want to get my fellow reporters in any trouble with the Sheriff’s Secret Police.
- There are many things I wish I could remember.
- Superintendent Ford offered the following statement of support for the newest school board member: "All hail! Kneel for the Glow Cloud. Sacrifice. Pestilence. Sores. All hail the Glow Cloud!”
- And now a word from our sponsor:
Step in to your nearest Subway restaurant today, and try their new six-inch mashed potato sub. Top it with a delicious assortment of fresh vegetables, like french fries and Nutella. They'll even toast or poach it for you.
- A life of pain is the pain of life, and you can never escape it.
Episode 9: "PYRAMID"
- Weird at last, weird at last, god almighty weird at last.
- I will place within some of you questions. Within others, I will place answers. These questions and these answers will not always align. The questions I provide may have no answers, and the answers I provide may have no questions.
- Broadcast via radio signal by a pyramid
- Death will be the last action you undertake.
- The pyramid
- Stay tuned now for an hour of dead air, with the occasional hiss and crackle.
Episode 10: "Feral Dogs"
- Regret nothing, until it is too late. Then, regret everything. Welcome to Night Vale.
- opening words
- Also be warned that penalties for overdue library books has skyrocketed to 50 cents per day, and, after 30 days, jaw mutilation.
- Thursday morning, the National Weather Service and National Security Agency have scheduled a giant sandstorm.
- We have nothing to fear except ourselves. We are unholy, awful people.
- from the Night Vale town motto
- Stay tuned for the popular advice program Dr. Brandon. This week, Dr. Brandon offers a step-by-step on how to remove your own appendix without surgery.
Episode 11: "Wheat & Wheat By-Products
- [series of beeps, clicks and other strange mechanical noises]
[in strained voice] Oh dear. [static in background] I apologize, listeners. We at Night Vale Community Radio are experiencing the following technical problems: the need for air, eye movement, and gooey stuff inside. Please… stand by. [long mechanical beep]
Episode 12: "The Candidate"
- Thursday night, the City Council is voting on a new measure that would prohibit breathing as an involuntary muscular action. Historically, the human body has been able to control breathing without the brain having to continuously activate the diaphragm. Under the new rule, all residents of Night Vale would be required to make the physical choice of whether or not (and when) to breathe.
- Dear listeners. Just my voice travelling from this microphone, travelling silent and immediate across sleepy homes and lost souls to your ears. You curl under a blanket, protecting your body from the world, excepting a few clever spiders. And you are listening. Hearing me.
- Sleep heavily and know that I am here with you now. The past is gone, and cannot harm you anymore. And while the future is fast coming for you, it always flinches first and settles in as the gentle present. This now, this us? We can cope with that. We can do this together. You and I, drowsily, but comfortably.
- Stay tuned now for our two-hour special: "Car Alarms and their Variations", brought to you commercial-free by Canada Dry.
Episode 13: "A Story About You."
- "This is a story about you," said the man on the radio. And you are pleased, because you always wanted to hear about yourself on the radio. Welcome to Night Vale.
- opening words
- Some mysteries aren't questions to be answered, but just a kind of opaque fact. A thing which exists to be not known.
Episode 14: "The Man in the Tan Jacket"
- This year's keynote speaker is an audio tape of droning moans leaden with subliminal tips about acheiving personal prosperity.
- Today's program has been sponsored by the physical act of gulping. For thousands of years, gulping has been there for human beings when they needed an expressive gesture of the throat. […] Gulp now, and receive a complimentary prize package, which will be conviently buried in an unmarked spot somewhere in the scrublands. Find it, and it's yours.
- We're all being monitored almost 24/7. So, they'll probably hear you just fine.
- Stay tuned for two commercial-free hours of E sharp.
Episode 15: "Street Cleaning Day"
- Bananas are hardly that slippery. But watch your step anyway.
- opening words
- You too have survived. Survived everything up to this moment.
Episode 16: "The Phone Call"
- Your existence is not impossible. But it's also not very likely.
- opening words
Episode 17: "Valentine's Day"
- More on this… eventually. Probably.
- [regarding a two cent increase in the price of postage stamps] It is not enough, apparently, for the Postal Service to violently assault our minds with visions, but they are also intent on bleeding our wallets dry. For shame.
- Stay tuned next for me saying "Good night, Night Vale. Good night."
Episode 18: "The Traveler"
- Here's a look at the community calendar:
Saturday has been merged with Sunday to create Super-day!
Monday will not harm you, but you should stack up on latex gloves nonetheless.
And Tuesday is hornet-free dining at the Olive Garden.
- Stay tuned next for an exact word-for-word repeat of this broadcast, that will seem to you imperceptibly but unshakably different, although you will never be able to explain why.
Episode 19A: "The Sandstorm"
- Of course the sandstorm was created by the government! The City Council announced that this morning. The government makes no secret that they can control the weather and earthquakes and monitor thoughts and activities. That's the stuff a big government is supposed to do.
Episode 20: "Poetry Week"
- The police remind us that scientists are comedians and that they should stick to comedy.
- Stay tuned next for the sound of some helpless thing being eaten.
- Let’s not dwell on our corpse strewn past. Let’s celebrate our corpse strewn future!
Episode 21: "A Memory of Europe"
- Hang a map of a place you will never go on your living room wall. Draw new streets. Tear off bodies of water. Wait for news crews to arrive.
- As their motto goes "A thousand ways in, no way out. [Subway], eat fresh. Eat so terribly, terribly fresh. Terribly, awesomely, gruesomely, terrifyingly fresh."
- Ask your doctor if right is left for you.
- Time is like wax, dripping from a candle flame. In the moment, it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape. Then the moment passes, and the wax hits the table top and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past, a solid single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held.
Episode 26: "Faceless Old Woman"
- Listeners, stay tuned next for our newest hit program, "Open-Mouthed Chewing".
Episode 27: "First Date"
- Remember, if confronted by a librarian while looking for a book to check out, do not attempt to escape by climbing a tree. There are no trees in the library. And the precious moments it will take you to look around and realize this, will allow the librarian to strike.
Episode 31.5: "Condos"
- Perfection is not real. Perfection is not human. Carlos is not perfect- no, even better- he is imperfect. Everything about him, and us, and all of this is imperfect. And those imperfections in our reality are the seams and cracks into which our outsized love can seep and pool.
Episode 33: "Cassette"
- When we talk about teenagers, we adults often talk with an air of scorn, of expectation for disappointment. And this can make people who are presently teenagers feel very defensive. But what everyone should understand is that none of us are talking to the teenagers that exist now, but talking back to the teenager we ourselves once were – all stupid mistakes and lack of fear, and bodies that hadn’t yet begun to slump into a lasting nothing. Any teenager who exists now is incidental to the potent mix of nostalgia and shame with which we speak to our younger selves.
Episode 46: "The Parade"
- Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not. We never are. But that’s not the right question. The question is are we living a life that is worth the harm?
Episode 68: "Faceless Old Women"
- I like my coffee like I like my nights: dark, endless and impossible to sleep through.
Episode 102: "Love Is a Shambling Thing"
- Love is a shambling thing, gray-faced and gasping. It moves in from the west, the setting sun behind it. Those who see it avert their eyes. Love stumbles and shutters, love grasps but is not grasped. It sees a man, and the man does not look away. Love reaches out a gray hand. The man touches the band just lightly, just on the palm, and the man feels heat inside of him. His heart is on fire. This is not a metaphor. His heart is on fire and so, soon, is his skin, his hair, his teeth become more and more visible as his face shrinks and melts away. Love watches dispassionately. Love does not love what it does, love only does it. Love does not have eyes and neither, now, does the man.
Love is a shambling thing. It climbs through a window into an infant’s bedroom. When one of the mothers comes in to check on her baby son, there is love too in the crib, curled up inside him. Love murmurs, and the baby spits restlessly. The baby does not burn, the baby will eventually burn, but by then he will not be a baby. The woman looks down at the ghastly form of love curled up beside her son and she thinks, “What have I done?” She cries, not because she is happy or sad, but because that is what her body needs to do next. Love rises from the crib and passes her without a glance. Love is a shambling thing. It shambles out of her home. Love, with skin that peels and pops and joints that moan and snap, climbs to the top of a tall building and surveys its surroundings. So many people. It opens its mouth. Its teeth are the only part of its body that look new and healthy. It has so many teeth! It yelps and howls, an inarticulate sermon of lust and loss, and everyone hears it. They hear it as a shudder in their stomach and hitch in their step. Love does not eat or drink, love separates its many teeth and consumes. Love is a shambling thing, grey-faced and gasping. It moves out to the east, the night drawling closed behind it. Those who see it avert their eyes.
- Welcome to Night Vale episodes:
- 1. "Pilot"
- 2. "Glow Cloud"
- 3. "Station Management"
- 4. "PTA Meeting"
- 5. "The Shape in Grove Park"
- 6. "The Drawbridge"
- 7. "History Week"
- 8. "The Lights in Radon Canyon"
- 9. "PYRAMID"
- 10. "Feral Dogs"
- 11. "Wheat & Wheat By-Products"
- 12. "The Candidate"
- 13. "A Story About You."
- 14. "The Man in the Tan Jacket"
- 15. "Street Cleaning Day"
- 16. "The Phone Call"
- 17. "Valentine"
- 18. "The Traveler"
- 19A. "The Sandstorm"
- 20. "Poetry Week"
- 21. "A Memory of Europe"
- 26. "Faceless Old Woman"
- 27. "First Date"