Archive for October, 2017

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Join Jamey, Adam, Sam and John for a Halloween themed Las Vegas Special.  Just some of the topics will be the Ghost of  Elvis, rotting corpses under hotel beds and the Science of Horror…why we get scared.  Also included will be the Headless Report, Nerd Alert, Brain Grinders and Area 52…plus Haunted Houses to visit in Las Vegas, Stranger Things 2 Launch Review and a Haunted Clown Motel.

…plus a New Segment by – John Thorpe

Horror Stories to Read on Halloween…by John Thorpe

In Episode 34, Jamey, Adam, Sam, and I discussed, in keeping with the Halloween theme, our favorite horror films, Halloween candy, and even our favorite horror-themed games. What got left out of the discussion was a list of horror stories for those who prefer to have their goosebumps delivered from printed words rather than from visual images. I’ve chosen three stories that are personal favorites of mine. There are countless others I could have selected, but I’ve chosen these three. They are all in the public domain—meaning that their copyrights have expired—and can be found in numerous places online and downloaded for free.

“The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood

If I had to choose a non de plume under which to write horror stories, I can’t think of a better one than “Algernon Blackwood.” Except that was the real name of a real writer. Born Algernon Henry Blackwood in 1869 (making him even older than me), Blackwood is one of the most important writers in the history of weird fiction. Although many of his stories are outstanding, if I were to pick a personal favorite, it would be his 1907 novella, “The Willows.” If you like plenty of gore and explicit description of murder and mayhem, then go read something else; there’s little of that in this story. Instead, Blackwood creates an incredibly creepy, frightening vision of nature as experienced by two men riding down the Danube in a canoe. You knew that Mother Nature could be a real bitch, as evidenced by the earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, typhoons, and other natural disasters that befall us, but you didn’t know that she might possibly harbor something even more evil as well. As the narrator notes, “Our only chance is to keep perfectly still. Our insignificance perhaps may save us.” And “us” extends beyond the narrator and his companion. You can download (or read online) “The Willows” at Project Gutenberg:

“The Music of Erich Zann” by H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft is arguably the most influential writer of weird fiction in the 20th century. Yeah, the guy was a pompous snob, a blatant racist, and an all-around asshole, but his contributions to the field are undeniable. Many critics and aficionados cite “At the Mountains of Madness” as their favorite Lovecraft story, and although I like it, I much prefer his older stories, such as “The Music of Eric Zann” (1922).

Both this story and the one I’ll discuss below are told by unreliable narrators—a traditional and effective literary device in horror fiction because the reader can’t quite tell for sure whether the events described actually happened in real life, or only occurred in the batshit-crazy narrator’s tortured mind.

“The Music of Erich Zann” is one of the most atmospheric horror stories I’ve ever read. The narrator’s depiction of the sights and sounds he experiences are unnerving, perfect for a Halloween night reading. I remember on more than one occasion being in an unfamiliar city in Japan, wandering down nameless streets and alleys that didn’t quite run parallel, walking (okay, staggering), it seemed, in circles, trying to find the train station that was right here a fucking minute ago (Disclaimer: I admit to having had a beer or three. Did I mention how effective the unreliable narrator can be as a literary device?) It was during those drunken, aimless wanderings that I would think of this story and understand the narrator’s hopeless search for the Rue d’Auseil. Lovecraft’s fiction often involves glimpses of other worlds or dimensions too terrifying to fully perceive, comprehend, or describe. “The Music of Erich Zann” was Lovecraft’s personal favorite story because it was not overly explicit. Although some have criticized the story for that very reason—that it’s not explicit enough—I think the restraint works, and the mood, atmosphere, and themes are well served as a result. You can read the story here:

“The Rats in the Walls” by H.P. Lovecraft

If you’ve been thinking about hocking a glob of spit and sending it to 23andme to find out about your ancestral lineage, you might want to reconsider after reading “The Rats in the Walls.” The themes of forbidden knowledge or the perils of discovering the true nature of your past stand out in this exemplary supernatural tale. And if you don’t like to read and would rather listen to a dramatized telling of story, you can’t do any better than the superb 1964 Black Mass production. The squeals of vermin help to make this a wonderfully creepy 30-minute broadcast that pairs with The Pod Bay Door’s Halloween special like champagne and caviar. You can listen to the Black Mass production at either one of these sites:

As I mentioned at the outset, I could have selected countless other stories but chose these three. Two others that quickly come to mind are “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers (contained in his collection The King in Yellow, considered by numerous critics to be a masterpiece of the genre) and “Orange is for Anguish, Blue is for Insanity” by David Morrell (he wrote First Blood, the basis for the Rambo movies, but I won’t hold that against him and neither should you). This is one of my favorite horror stories published in the past 30 years (it was written in 1988).

Both are worthy of your attention.

Show #34 Rundown

Coming up on this episode we will discuss

–  Elvis, Rotting corpses & the science of horror

–  Favorite movies, candy and games

–  with the Halloween Themed  Headless report, Nerd alert, Brain grinders and Area 52

Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –

– Jasonsmask90 commented “Hello from Canada…love the show…What is the best Haunted House in Vegas?”

Asylum & Hotel Fear, Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror & Escape or Die (Apocalyptic Escape Room)

 –  Cindykins45 commented “What is the most haunted hotel in Vegas?”

Consistently, based on reports by guests, it is the Westgate Hotel-formerly the Las Vegas Hilton-formerly The International…Elvis has apparently not left the building.

The Headless Report! Where are they haunting now…

–  Rotting Corpse under the Hotel Bed – Urban Legend or not!?

Did not actually happen in Vegas but in Kansas City, KA-Pasadena, CA & Atlantic City, NJ

 –  Haunted Swings of Foxridge Park

Henderson, NV – Boy hit by car it’s said he now haunts Foxridge, with people reporting they’ve seen his ghost quietly using the swings. He doesn’t disturb anyone, but if you approach him, he suddenly turns demonic and disappears. 

 –  Water Babies of Pyramid Lake

Long ago, indigenous Paiute people threw premature or deformed babies into Pyramid Lake in order to keep their tribe strong. The spirits of these infants were angry at being cast aside and now haunt the lake, taking revenge on lake dwellers who dare cross their paths. For some reason, they are active only in the spring, and like to drag people to a watery grave. 

Nerd Alert (Adam)

–  What are your top 3 Horror films and why?

–  What are the top Horror games?

–  Stranger Things 2 launch review

–  What is the best/worst Halloween candy?

–  Science of Horror – Do people love to be scared?

Tension, relevance & unrealism

Fight or flight response

Thalamus – where to send fear

sensory cortex – what is the fear data

hippocampus – memories of fear and stimuli context

amygdala – decodes emotions

hypothalamus – activates fight or flight

Concierge Chronicle – Halloween Memories

–  Slimer pees in the hotel fountain

–  He-Man and She-Ra having sex in the elevator

–  Way too many Topless girls to count…Yay!

 Brain Grinders – Las Vegas

–  Partying until you Puke…every time…realy!?

 Area 52 (Jamey)

–    coulrophobia (the clinical term for fear of clowns)

Bob Perchetti’s motel next to a historic cemetery, be prepared to look after the 600 clowns inside.  Hundreds of clowns staring at you with lifeless eyes — but for the owner, employees and visitors, the Clown Motel in the small mining town of Tonopah is a refuge.

The Pod Bay Door Podcast

Welcome Back Everybody!  Join Jamey, Adam, Sam and John for discussions on what to do when you finally get to your room in Las Vegas .  Also on tap are talks of the best steak in town, Nude Poker, The Mummy(in the …And This is Why Review), Giant Robots and Lost Games of Vegas…with the Topless Report, Nerd Alert, Gear Grinders and Area 52.

Don’t forget to check back in with us next week for our Las Vegas Halloween Special!!


…AND THIS IS WHY! (Movie Review) – The Mummy

I am well aware that Tom Cruise has a spotty history as it regards the roles he has chosen to play.  Of course, the cyclical nature of his career can be directly correlated to his personal life.  Leaving aside the specter of Scientology that constantly looms over Mr. Cruise, one can then focus on his body of work…and frankly I have enjoyed most of it…because of the plain fact that Tom Cruise makes screen filling, fun escapist films.

The Mummy of course, like most big box-office today, drops the flag on a potential franchise of films.  In this case it is the beginning of a reboot and mixture (The Dark Universe) of the classic horror films brought to us by Bella Lugosi and Lon Chaney during the 1930’s.  Good Idea?  I’m not sure but the films of the 1930’s (sorry cinephiles) are unwatchable to me probably due to the fact that my brain needs the technology, visuals and direction of today’s films.

Is The Mummy a good film?  Ignoring the fact that this is a completely unfair and leadingly negative question, I will say yes.  Does it have the intellectual underpinnings of a Kafka film while sifting thru your psyche for the meaning of life?…no.  Does it slog thru our emotional baggage waiting for the odd trigger word to enact our innate need to identify vicitimization?…no.  But it does have monsters – and Russell Crowe!

The Mummy is big, and loud and tosses around as much sand as it does portly dialogue.  But it does it with a childlike enjoyment akin to watching a puppy attack his favorite stuffed monkey.  It even has Tom Cruise again trying out his comedy chops which often falls flat with an “AWWW he tried to tell a joke again” response.  Cruise just hasn’t nailed the comedy timing in my opinion as, for example, Brad Pitt does with his quirky Ocean’s irreverence.  However, his delivery is always helped by the beaming and forever young smile that is Cruise’s signature.

If you have not seen The Mummy…see it…you will come away not having watched an Oscar contender but having escaped our tragic world for 1hr 51min…and said to yourself…hmmm, I wonder  who’s going to play the Wolfman?


[The Pod Bay Door Show – Episode #33 – Rundown

“Coming up on this episode we will discuss

–  What the hell to do once you get to Vegas!

–  Steaks, Nude Poker, The Mummy, Lost Games of Vegas

–  with the Topless report, Nerd alert, Gear grinders and Area 52

Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –

– Danjam9 commented “Coming to Vegas baby!…Where is the best steak?” – Anthony’s (M), Carnevino(Palazzo), Golden Steer, Texas De Brazil (honorable mention)

–  KrisGw1 commented “How is the Virtual Arena at MGM really?”

-Multiple comments – #vegasstrong memorial at Welcome Sign

 The Topless Report!!Where are they naked now…

Pool Season coming to a close…

-Man sues after getting penis stuck in pool filter

-Mothers  Group starts campaign against topless pools

-Poker by the Pool at BARE – Mirage

 Nerd Alert (Adam)

–  Kilonova – how gold is made

–  Giant Robot dual outcome

–  Blade Runner/Foreigner


The Concierge Chronicle (Jamey)

This Week we have:  You’ve Arrived, Checked in…now What!?

–  You must focus…Don’t get Cold Stone Syndrome

–  Pick a Pool and stay there…get out tip money and be a VIP

–  Call the concierge and get your dinner/show res

–  Eat Like a European – Drink like you’re in a marathon-Hydrate

–  Set aside gambling money/play with winnings/walk away

–  Take 1 day to be a tourist – See Vegas in the morning

 Gear Grinders – Las Vegas

–  Having recently spent some quality time abroad recently, I have come to realize the negative and deleterious effect the human race has on its natural and manmade monuments.

-Graffiti, theft, trash, racist thoughts…for God’s Sake Stop!

 Area 52 (Jamey)

–    Bellagio has more rooms than residents in the original town of Bellagio, Italy(3950).

–  Vegas is the home of the largest piece of the Titanic ever salvaged.  Dubbed the “Big Piece” it rests now at the Luxor along with many other pieces of memorabilia from the classic ship.

–  A lost Vegas game – FaroPharaoh, or Farobank is a late 17th-century French gambling card game. It is descended from basset, and belongs to the lansquenet and Monte Bank family of games due to the use of a banker and several players. Winning or losing occurs when cards turned up by the banker match those already exposed.


Made a bit more famous by the movie Tombstone starring Kurt Russel and Val Kilmer (Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday).

Now found only at the Clark County Museum – Last place to run a Faro table was the Bingo Palace now Palace Station in 1978-1979.  Not enough percentage wins for the house and very easy to cheat.  The box that dealt the cards could be rigged in favor of the house so players began to grab the deck and drive a nail into it in the middle of the table to assure a fair deal.]