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More Ghoulish Tales From The Offices Of WESA & WYEP

Everyone has that one Halloween they remember -- sleeping with one eye open after a terrifying movie, gorging yourself on trick-or-treating loot and that one embarrassing childhood costume you just can't get over. Here are some tales from the WESA and WYEP offices of Halloweens past. 


How an unexplained recording can make you internet famous

Brian Siewiorek – WYEP Production Director

In a previous life, Brian worked as a reporter.

“One day I was doing the history of this old, abandoned mental asylum that was in this town in rural Illinois that I lived near. And it had this big, creepy building. I went out there one day with a paranormal investigator. It was kind of funny because I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but I went out with this guy anyway.”

The paranormal investigator was a very religious former cop.


“We go out and he has supposedly helped like 80-some spirits escape from this mental asylum, former patients. But there are two left, is what he says. We can’t go into the building because it’s all boarded up and it’s abandoned. So we walk around this building and he starts talking to the spirits and they’re talking back to him, but I can’t hear anything. I’ve just got my tape rolling the whole time. What I found out later that night, when I got back into the studio to listen to what this all sounded like, I found out I have a mysterious voice, I guess if you want to call it, on tape.”  

On second listen, Brian said the paranormal investigator was almost tormenting the spirits.

“Now, I can’t come in the building, I’m not allowed in there now. But I’ll come in and get you some time, I’ll guarantee ya,” the investigator said.

In the recording you can hear a light humming sound. In the studio the next day, the paranormal investigator said that was, indeed, the voice of a ghost.

So, is Brian convinced? He’s not sure. But he’s kind of famous in parts of the internet for having this sound.

“It’s a really strange thing that, this is 12 years ago that this happened now. The fact that they are destroying that building now is a little sad – very strange place.” 

Listen to the full tale here.


The amazing cleaning power of leaves

Greg Joseph -- Bassist for The Clarks 


Greg’s best Halloween party happened his senior year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


“My three roommates and I got the brilliant idea that our apartment on 11th South 10th Street needed to be covered in leaves. We had oak trees out in the back of the apartment, so we raked all the leaves in, probably 3 feet worth of leaves for the whole apartment. And a friend of mine, roommate, drove down to Johnstown, got some dry ice and we buried it under the leaves so when people came in, the whole place looked like it was smoking and on fire.”  

In addition to looking good, they realized there was an added benefit to having a house full of leaves.

“At the end of the night, we realized that the benefit of having the leaves in the apartment was that we didn’t have to clean anything up because the beer was soaked up by the leaves so we just swept everything out and the apartment smelled fall fresh.”  


When your best Halloween is the one you can't remember 

Russ Loyd – WESA & WYEP Director of Technology


Russ’ most unmemorable Halloween took place at a Phish show in Las Vegas in 1998.


“I traveled to Vegas, stayed at the Bellagio, it was like the first week it was open. It was amazing, had Chihuly lights at the top, it was great. I dressed up like Elvis and walked around Las Vegas. Went to the Phish show, and for that year, in ’98 they covered the Velvet Underground … I can’t really remember too much of it, other than that.” 


You don't need a horse to be the Lone Ranger, just your dad

David Lesondak -- Pittsburgh Musician


The first Halloween David can remember was when he was 3 or 4 years old, obsessed with the Lone Ranger.


“Here was this good guy who wore a mask, I just thought that was cool. And then it was a ritual, we would watch the Lawrence Welk show and it was the Lawrence Welk Halloween special when somebody dressed up as the Lone Ranger, was singing ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, I know what I want to be for Halloween. I want to be the Lone Ranger.’ And there was also the double whammy of somebody took something really cool into ghosts, which I also thought were very cool, and combined them into the same thing. I didn’t know such a thing was possible. Anyway, I dressed up as the Lone Ranger that thing for Halloween, it was kind of a cold and slick night, so my father insisted that I ride on his shoulders so that I wouldn’t slip and hurt myself. And I can just remember coming over the rise in our backyard and seeing the houses of my neighbors lit up by jack-o-lanterns, other trick-or-treaters with their flashlights. And the night was dark, but sparkly and somehow full of magic and I knew that Halloween night would always be my favorite night of the year.” 

Sarah Kovash previously worked as a web producer for KDKA-TV, as a freelance journalist for the Valley News Dispatch covering local government throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley and at NPR station KPBS in San Diego.
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