Episode 407: Haunting

 

October is full of ghosts, but in our show we will not be talking about little kids who wear white sheets. We're embracing the unseen, and talking about haunting: how things we can't see nonetheless press upon us, affect our choices, our actions, and sometimes even our beliefs. We'll be talking about the ghosts that inhabit California's highways, about a spirit who is very hungry, about the ghosts of our past selves that persist inside each of us, and finally, we'll bring you "What Can Be Named," the story of a young man haunted by a country.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman

Host: Christy Hartman

Featuring: Dr. Nicholas Jenkins, Dong-Nghi Huynh, Dr. Joshua Landy, Nina Foushee

Music: California Ramblers, Neuroleptic Trio, Coda, Sunhiilow, Dan Friel, Broken Gadget, Zoë Lidstrom, Carnivorous Snowflake, Gist, Jason Marey,Owen Callery and Silvio Rodriguez.

Note: The Proust passages from In Search of Lost Time were translated by Enright, Kilmartin, Mayor, and Moncrieff.

 

Story 1: Shadows in Gold

When he first came to America, Professor Nicholas Jenkins rented a Chrysler Park Avenue and set out on a leisurely drive through the hills of California, the Golden State. Then, he slammed his car into a bridge, and began a very different kind of journey - into the shadowy reality of California's highways.

Producers: Will Rogers and Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Dr Nicholas Jenkins

Music: California Ramblers, Neuroleptic Trio, Coda (courtesy of elementperspective), Dan Friel, Sunhiilow

 

Story 2: The Possession of Chi

In the summer of 2009, Stanford student Dong-Nghi Huyhn returned to Vietnam to mourn the death of her aunt. Her family observed a hundred day funeral ritual, which was interrupted when her aunt suddenly returned in the form of their housekeeper.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Andrew Todhunter

Featuring: Dong-Nghi Huyhn

Photo by C. Frank Starmer

 

Story 3: Yanked by their Noses

Marcel Proust had a theory about the past - that our former selves don't die, but live like ghosts inside of us, and can be reawakened suddenly. Re-awakening these ghosts is the best thing that could ever happen to you, because for a moment you live outside of time, and you discover your true self - the one that lives in both the past and the present. Dr. Joshua Landy reads passages from Proust and explains that this frequently happens through smell. Producers Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman take this a little too literally, and decide to perform an experiment with unsuspecting pedestrians.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg, Charlie Mintz, Christy Hartman

Featuring: Dr. Joshua Landy

Photo: Jacques Emile-Blanche - Portrait de Marcel Proust

 

 

Story 4: What can be Named

Nina Foushee shares her fiction story "What Can Be Named", about a couple - Ellen and Thomas - on their first trip to Arizona, and what happens when the ghosts inside them unexpectedly come to the surface.

Photo by Robin Stevens

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman