This Halloween, YR’s Adult ISH podcast host Dominique French celebrates her favorite way. By giving her friends a little fright! Follow along as Dom leads co-host Nyge Turner and producer Georgia Wright through a spooky Choose Your Own Adventure. Will they make it out in one piece or become their very own ghost story? Tune in to find out!
Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. Be sure to follow all our socials @yrAdultISH!
Dom: Mwahahaha [coughs]
Nyge: That’s spooky. That’s really spooky. (Laughs)
Dom: I’m alright! (laughs)
Dom: Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX. I’m Dominique French.
Nyge: And I’m Nyge Turner.
Dom: And this week, we did something spooky.
Nyge: Yo, why are you always trying to do something spooky?
Dom: Because I love it! (Nyge laughs) What you are about to hear is a scary story that I told good ole Nyge and producer pal Georgia Wright. But this terrifying tale has a little something special — Nyge and Georgia were given the opportunity to make choices along their journey to create a unique experience in this “Choose Your Own Adventure” spooktacular! Alright, Nyge, you’ve already been through it. Is there anything you want to tell the people before we send them off?
Nyge: I mean, just, I don’t ever want to hear from y’all that I don’t love y’all. (Dom laugs) I don’t want to ever hear from any listener that I don’t love them. Like, any other reason, I would have been outta here. So, I just — I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear it.
Dom: We know that we are loved (Nyge laughs) and we love you too. And with that, turn down the lights, get a cozy cup of something…
Nyge: Pull out that candy…
Dom: And have a (voice turns to echo) chilling good time….
(summer sounds of cicadas)
Narrator: You walk through a large, ornate wooden garden, greeted by the smell of summer roses and a girl wearing a lot of tie-dye.
Katie: Welcome to Camp Quiet Hollow. My name is Katie and I’m your camp counselor. What are your names?
Katie: Who’s ready for an adventure?
(introduction of a subtle tone foreshadowing evil)
Georgia: What kind of adventure, Katie?
Katie: (Laughs ominously) The memories you make here will stick with you forever. (Summer sounds sneak back in) No need for cell phones. Thank you very much. Grab your bags and let’s get down to your cabins.
(Marching through leaves and sticks with cicadas in background.)
Katie: On your left, you’ll see First Aid.
Katie: Everyone stay on the trail. Don’t want anyone getting lost. Not this summer. (laughs) Single file! Georgia!
(Ominous tone starts)
Georgia: Yeah, yeah.
Katie: Get back on the main trail. We never go down that path. It leads to the… (voice echoes) To the Cursed Cabin.
Georgia: The what now?
Katie: (whispers) The Cursed Cabin.
Georgia: Cursed how so?
Katie: No one’s been in there for 30 years. Let’s keep it that way. Okay?
Katie: Onward! (Whistles) We are here! Cabin 12. (Opens creaky door.) It’s a little dusty and there may be a spider or two, and the floorboards definitely creak. So if you try to sneak out, I will know about it. (Laughs ominously.) But it’s full of love and light and a lot of people would kill for Cabin 12. It’s got the biggest bathrooms. I’m gonna check on the time for the bonfire. You two settle in! Be back in a jiffy.
Narrator: You have a choice. (Serious music comes in) Do you talk to each other about what you’ve seen so far? Or do you explore the counselor’s bunk? You have 30 seconds to decide.
Narrator: You must come to a consensus.
Georgia: I’m going to explain to the counselor’s bunk. Nyge, do you want to join?
Nyge: Nah, I’m cool. (laughs)
Georgia: Oh, we have to decide together?
Nyge: Ahh!!! No!! Georgia, I’m not trying to do that.
Georgia: Come on, let’s do it. Why not?
Nygel: (Laughs) We can…
Georgia: What could happen???
Nyge: Nah alright, alright! Fasho fasho fasho fasho.
Georgia: Alright! I roped Nyge into it. (laughs)
Nygel: Let’s uh …. Let’s check it out. Let’s check it out. Let’s check it out.
Narrator: You edge closer to the counselor’s bunk. You notice that there’s a drawer. (Eerie music starts) You pull it open slowly. Inside you see photos of different children, various ages, each with a little red checkmark in the bottom right-hand corner.
Katie: BOO! (Ominous tone) Oh, did I scare you? (Laughs) Come on, it’s time for marshmallows and ghost stories.
Georgia: Uh. Uh …. Is she mad?
Georgia: Okay. Okay, Katie.
Nyge: Yeah. We got caught.
Narrator: You got caught.
(crackle of a campfire)
Narrator: You look around and you notice outside by the campfire that there are no other people your age. Just Katie and another counselor wearing a shirt that says “Biff” in all capital letters.
Biff: What’s up, my dudes? My name’s Bradley, but you can call me Biff, and I’m here to throw some marshmallows and maintain proper fire safety.
Katie: Who’s ready for a ghost story?
Georgia: Uh, what about, like, a like a fairy tale? Like a not ghost story. Like just a regular story.
Katie: (Laughs) Oh, don’t be silly, Georgia. How about the horrible tale of the Cursed Cabin? (Voice echoes, then clears throat.) 31 years ago, it was a cabin just like any other. Kids played and laughed. But one night something strange happened. One by one, everyone in the cabin went missing. First the counselor. (Ominous tone starts) Then the campers. Everyone except PJ Jenkins. He says they screamed for help, then all the windows and doors were locked from the outside and no one came in or out. They each just vanished. I heard they found PJ Jenkins sleeping like a baby the next morning with the most peaceful look on his face. No trace of the campers was ever found. But they say the ghost of PJ Jenkins returns every year looking for new children to take.
(Snap of a large twig)
Katie: Did you hear that?
Katie: What was that?
Georgia: What do you mean, what was that?
Biff: Probably just an animal.
(Snap snap snap, and a whirling gist of wind)
Katie: That’s no animal.
Narrator: Katie stares into the w oods behind Biff, her face melting into sheer terror.
Katie: Oh, my God. Run! Run!
Narrator: You both turn around. Behind Biff a shadowy figure stands tall, looming right behind him. Quietly and slowly. Biff whispers.
Biff: Don’t trust Katie.
Narrator: For a split second. You both look in the opposite direction. The way Katie ran when he turned back, Biff is gone. Nothing but silence in his place.
Narrator: You now have a choice. Do you search for Biff in the woods or do you run in the opposite direction? You have 20 seconds to decide.
Georgia: Something tells me neither of these are good options.
Nyge: That’s what I mean, like, this is kind of like: why would I search for Biff? Like, what emotional attachment do I have to Biff? I didn’t even like Biff that much.
Georgia: I don’t like either of them. Yeah. And also, like, shadowy figure feels like … maybe going in the direction of where the shadowy figure came from, bad idea, I think.
Georgia: I’m down to just make a break for it.
Nygel: Yeah, but I think that’s what they expect us to do.
Georgia: Okay. What do you think? It’s up to you.
Narrator: 5 seconds left.
Nyge: I think we should look for Biff.
Georgia: You want to look for Biff? Oh, my God. All right, we’re looking for Biff. We’re looking for Biff.
Nyge: All right, we’re looking for Biff. We’re looking for Biff.
(Eerie nighttime sounds start)
Narrator: You go toward the direction that Biff must have gone. The direction that the shadowy figure was behind him. You hear nothing. You see nothing. What do you do now? Where do you go now? All of a sudden, you hear something.
Narrator: From the edge of the woods, you see the shadowy figure. You stand paralyzed for a moment. And then he begins to run toward you.
(Ominous tone starts)
Narrator: Faster and faster. You have no choice but to run in the opposite direction. You run as fast and as far as your frightened, wobbly knees will take you. You look around. It’s cabins as far as the eye can see. It seems endless. You now have a choice. Do you go in a cabin for help or hide in the tree line? (Music starts) You have 30 seconds to decide.
Nyge: I’m hiding in the tree line.
Georgia: I want to hide in the tree line. I don’t think there’s anything good in those cabins.
Nyge: Yeah, I’m not trying to go in a cabin. I’m cool off that.
Georgia: Tree line.
Narrator: You get in the tree line, all of a sudden, it feels as though you’re being watched. Nyge, you look toward the path. Georgia, you look toward the woods. For a moment. It’s eerily quiet. Then. You hear… Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. (Heavy footsteps) You look to each other and say:
Georgia/ Nyge: Run for it!!!
Narrator: The closest cabin seems to call to you like a beacon of safety. What little bit of starlight seems to guide you toward Cabin 6. Seems safe. Looks inviting. Outside the words read “Happiness lives here.” You go to the door. Nyge, you fling it open. You push the large oak door (creaks) inwards and see no one. You walk in. Check every bed twice. Each pristine, crisp like no camper had yet stepped foot inside. (Music starts) You now have a choice. Do you try another cabin or search this one for useful supplies? You have 30 seconds to decide.
Georgia: I feel like there could be something hidden. Do you want to just search it? Do you want to just do a quick search?
Nyge: Yeah, I think we should do a quick search.
Georgia: Why are you making that face? I don’t like that face.
Nyge: That’s not like — (laughs)
Narrator: You locked it in, you locked it in, you locked it in!
Nyge: Something just told me that I think we should go to a different one.
Narrator: In this cabin, there is a dresser next to the counselor’s bunk, a chest in the supply closet, and a key box hanging on the wall next to the door. You can explore two of these three options. You have 45 seconds to decide.
Nyge: Well, I think we have to look in the, in the chest, right?
Georgia: I was going to say, I don’t want to look at the chest — it’s going to be bones. You know it’s going to be bones. Maybe. Or like a person. I don’t know! I don’t know! We could look at the chest if you want.
Nyge: Well, what if it’s like a flame thrower or something? Like…
Georgia: Alright, let’s look at the chest. (Nyge laughs) And also the key box. I think you may be overestimating our potential for like succeeding in this scenario. I feel like it’s a — it’s going to be a lose-lose-lose-lose-lose.
Nyge: Okay. Key box and dresser. We’re not going to look in the chest.
Georgia: No, we can look in the chest. Now, I want to know…
Narrator: You have 10 seconds left.
Georgia: Chest — chest and dresser?
Nyge: It’s going to be PJ. It’s going to be PJ. PJ’s in the chest.
Georgia: But then who’s the shadowy figure? If PJ is in the chest?
Nyge: His ghost. I don’t know.
Georgia/ Nygel: You think PJ? So you think his body in the chest is his ghost?
Narrator: Five seconds left to decide!
Georgia: All right, chest — chest and uh, key box. Chest and key box. Yeah? (Nyge: Yeah) No? I don’t know.
Narrator: Chest and key box.
Nyge: Dang. Shoulda looked in the dresser.
(Fun, soft spooky-ooky music starts)
Narrator: In the chest, there are batteries, a first aid kit, and rain jackets.
Georgia: Aye. All right, all right. All right. (Nyge: Aha!) Okay.
Narrator: In the key box.
Georgia: All right.
Narrator: There are keys to a golf cart, large, unmarked keys and keys to the mess hall. You now have time to go through these findings. Ask me three questions and formulate a plan. Three minutes. Decide how you will utilize these tools to escape Quiet Hollow by returning to the gate through which you came to this terrible place without being caught or worse. Your time starts now.
Nyge: Alright, keys to a golf cart. We got keys to the mess hall. And we have…
Georgia: And a mystery. Big, spooky keys.
Nyge: Yeah, unmarked keys. Well, I think for sure we got to just take the large, unmarked keys, because maybe they’re to the gate.
Georgia: Mm hmm.
Nyge: Dom said there was a gate. So maybe there are gate keys.
Georgia: You’re so smart.
Nyge: And we don’t want to get to the gate and then be like, “Oh, Dang, we shoulda took the keys.” (Georgia: Yeah, yeah, yeah.) So, yeah, we got to take all the keys with us.
Georgia: Unless they’re like, somebody will be like, “You took my keys,” you know? But I don’t know, maybe. Well, I think you’re right. We should just take them. Okay, my — Can I ask a question?
Narrator: Of course.
Georgia: I want to use up one of our questions.
Nyge: Okay. I have another question.
Georgia: Where’s — No, wait. Actually, I don’t want to ask you yet. I want to ask Nyge. Nyge, do you know where the golf cart is? Because I don’t.
Nyge: Do I know where the golf cart is?
Georgia: I don’t know where the golf cart is.
Nyge: Did we see a golf cart?
Georgia: No, I don’t think so.
Nygel: I don’t think we saw a golf cart.
Georgia: That’s why I want to use up a question to ask about where the golf cart is.
Nyge: Okay, go ahead.
Georgia: Grandmaster Scary, what is? Where’s the golf cart?
Nyge: Grandmaster Scary? (Laughs)
Narrator: You’ve already seen where the golf cart is.
Georgia: What? Ughhhhh!
Nyge: And you told us? Nah, that’s not a question!
Nyge: We’ve seen where the golf cart is? I have a question. You might think it’s silly, though.
Georgia: Me or Dom?
Nyge: Yeah. You.
Georgia: All right, just as long as you — it’s strategic.
Narrator: Whoooo’s Dommm?
Georgia: Strategy. Strategy. Oh, yeah. Sorry, Grandmaster Scary.
Nyge: Is the gate unlocked?
Nyge: Got to bring the big keys.
Georgia: Gotta bring the big keys. Is the shadowy figure our enemy?
Georgia: Ayyyye, instinct! Instinct! Survival instinct. I feel like the shadowy figure is a decoy. And the real danger is Katie.
Nyge: For sure.
Georgia: I mean, and or Biff.
Georgia: Maybe both.
Nyge: I don’t trust both of them. Both of them are kind of like strange.
Georgia: Okay, wait! We need a plan. We need a plan. We need to go find the golf cart.
Nyge: All right, so there’s raincoats. There’s raincoats, and there’s what? Like are you — can you?
Narrator: You have batteries. A first aid kit. Rain jackets. Keys to a golf cart. Large, unmarked keys and keys to a mess hall.
Georgia: Do you want to go to the mess hall and see if we can find any more clues?
Nyge: I think that that’s, uh, I don’t, I don’t like that.
Georgia: What’s your alternative? I don’t hear any good ideas coming from you.
Nyge: (Laughs) I feel like the mess hall is where, is where it’s going down. Um…
Georgia: But we need some sort of plan.
Nyge: Well, we have to. We have to go get the go-cart. Do we have to tell you like where we’ll —
Georgia: It’s not a go-cart, it’s a golf cart.
Nyge: get the go-cart from — I mean the golf cart from?
Narrator: You have to figure out where you’re going to get it from.
Georgia: Yeah. See? We don’t know where the golf cart is, so I think we need to go find the golf cart. I think we need to —
Nyge: But if we’ve already seen it, we already have what we need to. We already know what we need to know to know where the golf cart is. So we need to like. What do we know so far? So, like, we’ve gone down this path. And…
Georgia: The Cursed Cabin?
Nyge: There’s like the Cursed Cabin.
Georgia: Maybe the Cursed Cabin isn’t cursed. And actually, it’s where they store the getaway supplies. So we need to go to the Cursed Cabin.
Nyge: We have to go to the Cursed Cabin, because why would she be like, “Don’t go there?” Yadda yadda yadda?
Georgia: Right. When she’s the evil one.
Nyge: “Don’t trust, don’t trust Katie.” Yeah, we have to go. To the Cursed Cabin.
Georgia: We have to go to the Cursed Cabin. We’re going to the Cursed Cabin.
Nyge: And I don’t know why we have rain jackets, but we’re wearing them.
Georgia: We’re wearing them. We’re bringing them.
Nyge: And we’re bringing the batteries for the, for the golf cart.
Georgia: Or whatever else might need battery energy.
Narrator: You venture out into the chilling night.
(Sharp lightning strike followed by a deep roll of thunder and the pouring of rain)
Narrator: A crack of lightning strikes overhead. The sky opens up, letting the rain wash over you in huge cool drops. You continue on putting on your rain jackets, slipping slightly in the mud.
Georgia: Hell yeah, we do.
Narrator: Clouded vision by the heavy rain. Nevertheless, you both run as fast as you can. You’re making good time. You’re approaching the Cursed Cabin. Running and running. Finally, Nyge, something catches your attention. From the corner of your eye you see a particularly rundown cabin barely withstanding the rain. Something sits outside of it. Not one something, but one, two, maybe five somethings. Large, square, with wheels. You catch Georgia’s arm and stop dead in your tracks. Finally, the golf carts.
Georgia: Heck yeah!!
Narrator: You go to the golf carts and see if the key fits. It does. You try to get it started. (Car failed startup sounds) It’s not working. Something’s missing. What could it be?
Georgia: Batteries! Batteries!
Georgia: Unfortunately, this is not a battery-operated golf cart.
Narrator: You must now figure out where they might keep the gas. (Nyge: Ugh!)
Georgia: Can we investigate the cabin?
Nyge: No. Okay. There was a supply shed. Right?
Georgia: Uhhh, I don’t like this.
Nyge: We need gas. Where would they have like liquid gas? There’s a large rundown… You said there was a large rundown cabin?
Narrator: Mm hmm.
Georgia: But that’s what we’re outside of right now. So I’m saying we should look inside the cabin to see if there’s gas.
Nyge: Yeah. We have to.
Georgia: We gotta…
Nyge: Cause if it’s parked outside…That’s got to be where they have the gas.
(The sound of two failed attempts to open a door, finally succeeding on the third try. Door creaks)
Narrator: It takes all of your weight thrown against the door to get it open. You look around and see ripples from warped floorboards, a collapsed bunk bed and water dripping (sound of drops of water on wood floor) through what’s left of the roof.
Georgia: My heart is literally pounding. What the heck?
Narrator: You spot the gas. But as soon as you do…
(Wooden door shuts and metal lock latches)
Narrator: You hear the door latch closed with an eerie sense of finality. You both turn. And see Katie.
Nyge: Dang. We fell into a trap. Yikes.
Nyge: Nygel. Nygel jumps through the roof! (Laughs)
Georgia: Georgia, does a kick, kick, twirl and busts through a window!
Nyge: Nygel throws the gas on Katie. (Both laugh)
Narrator: Katie frowns. Both of your stomachs drop. (Eerie music)
Katie: Awww, They all went missing. First Biff, then Georgia. Then Nyge.
Georgia: No! No!
Katie: And no trace of them was ever fou —
(Latched wooden door forced open)
Narrator: Before she could finish the words, the front door burst open. The shadowy figure entered the room like a chill. You both made the most of the commotion, each diving under a bunk bed on either side of the room. From your hiding spot, you can see the fear on each other’s faces and hear Katie say.
Katie: Ugh, you again.
Narrator: From there, her words become distorted, muffled…
The next thing you hear sounds like her voice being thrown from the cabin across the yard, disappearing into the distance. (Scream in distance) She’s gone. You each breathe a sigh of relief. Until, you hear… Stop. Creak. Stomp. Creak. Stomp. Creak.
(Heavy footsteps and creaky floor boards)
Narrator: From your vantage point, Nyge, you can see the shadowy figure crouched down in front of Georgia’s bed.
Nyge: PJ, baby!
Nyge: What’s goin’ on, bro?
Narrator: Georgia, from your point of view. The figure offers you his hand. (Music starts) You now have an individual choice. Georgia. Will you take the shadowy figure’s hand or make a break for the back door? Nyge, will you stay with Georgia or make a run for it? You have 30 seconds to decide, and you may not confer with each other.
Georgia: I am going to take his hand because I know he is not my enemy, even though every fiber of my being is telling me to run.
Nyge: I’mma stay with Georgia ’cause, you know what I’m sayin’? I’m built like that.
Georgia: Excuse me? (Both laugh)
Nyge: I’m built like that. I’mma stay with Georgia. It’s my homie.
Georgia: Thanks, Nyge.
Nyge: Can’t break for the back door.
Georgia: I would be, I would, we would, we would have, we would have beef if you had chosen to run like, like real — like real life beef, just so you know.
Nyge: I got to stay. I got to stay.
Narrator: The figure grabs Georgia by the hand, gently taking her out from under the bed. (Eerie music and rain sounds come in) Nyge crawls from under his bed and joins him. He goes to the back door, opens it. And you run for the first time towards something and not away. As you go, you get closer and closer to the gate. It didn’t seem this big on the way in. Stands high and tall, menacing as you get to the large gate. You notice a giant chain around it. Even bigger padlock. How will you open the gate?
Georgia: We got those keys. Big keys. Big keys. Big keys.
Georgia/ Nyge: Big keys. Big keys. Big keys. Big keys. Big keys.
Narrator: The large unmarked keys fit the padlock.
(Sound of metal keys hitting each other)
Narrator: The shadowy figure reaches out and removes the large chain. As he does so you see that his hands are not the hands of a figure, but of a man. As he pulls one side of the gate open. Nyge, you pull open the other.
(Creaking of large wooden gate]
Narrator: And Georgia, you turn back to look at what is not a void where nothing seems to be. But a man’s face in his forties. Maybe his fifties. Nyge, you grabbed George’s hand. Telling her to run, run with you, run to safety, run to help. And as you make off into the distance, the man waves Goodbye. One year later, you’re both home safe with your families. But not too far away at a place full of the smell of summer roses and a girl covered in tie-dye. You hear someone say…
(Summer sounds of cicadas)
Katie: My name’s Katie. I’m your camp counselor! Who’s ready for an adventure?
Dom: You did it! You both made it out alive!!!
Georgia: Quick question: were there scenarios in which we didn’t make it out alive?
Dom: Oh, Yes…How do you both feel? (Laughs)
Nyge: I was actually really scared the whole time. And I had actively to fight the urge in my body to just be like: I’m just going to sit there quietly and turn my volume off and pretend like I’m listening to this story. But now that we made it out I kinda have a rush of energy.
Georgia: I honestly went in not expecting to get creeped out. But then you told us to turn out the lights. And something in my deep childhood brain – I forgot that I am essentially a four year old when the lights are out. Going through this whole thing in the dark really, I don’t know, really got to me. By the end, I was fully immersed. I was like “Get me outta this camp.”
Dom: I appreciate y’all allowing me to frighten you during this, my beloved spooky ooky season. I know it’s not y’alls favorite thing in the world. But it is mine. And that is what friendship is all about: scaring your friends.
Nyge: Well I’m glad at least made your day, Dom. That means the world.
Georgia: We’ll get you back. One day. Muahahah!
Dom: Oh my God I would love that!! (All laugh) We here at Adult ISH wish you a safe, chilling, and fun holiday if you celebrate. May your costumes be comfortable and your hearts be light. Happy Halloweener!
Georgia: Why are you saying Halloweener?
Dom: Because it’s funny! (Laughs)
Georgia: My grandfather’s favorite joke – it’s very inappropriate – is: Why couldn’t the ghost get the witch pregnant? And the answer is because he had a Halloweiner! (All laugh)
Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by Y-R Media…(pause)….a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. Our show is produced by Georgia Wright, Dominique French, and by me, ya boy Nyge Turner.
Dom: Our executive producer is Rebecca Martin.
Nyge: YR’s director of podcasting is Ray Archie.
Dom: Our engineer is James Riley. Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, and Sean Luciano Galarza. Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler.
Nyge: Art for this episode created by Ariam Michael. Art direction by Marjerrie Masicat and Brigido Bautista. Creative direction by Pedro Vega, Jr.
Dom: Special thanks to Eli Arbreton (Are-burr-ton)
Nyge: We are also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX…(pause)…an independent listener-supported collective of some of the most amazing shows in all of podcasting. Find them at Radiotopia.fm. And if you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple podcasts, please be sure you do. Five stars is much appreciated.
Dom: You can follow us on all the socials @yradultish and on that note, we will see y’all later.