Alex Reagan: Last week, Richard Strand revealed a black tape that contains undeniable physical evidence that Tall Paul is real and manifests in front of children, most likely because he needs to devour their flesh and feast upon their souls in order to bring about the apocalypse. But we'll get back to that in a minute!
Richard Strand: Hey Alex! So I think the guy mentioned in the prophecy of the Horn of Tiamat is the Protestant reformer John Calvin! He was the oldest of four brothers, killed a heretic, and brought his religion to a new land, Switzerland!
Alex Reagan: And you just happen to have a talk scheduled for Switzerland next week! How convenient!
Richard Strand: I know! Why don't you come with me! The hotel is very nice, and the beds are easily big enough for both of us!
Alex Reagan: <3 <3 <3
Alex Reagan: So yeah, about the toe-licking witch demon. Basically I didn't sleep for like fifteen days straight, and I had what Richard calls a hallucination and I call a vision of an old woman molesting me with a dead cat who turned into a shadow monster and gave birth to an oily monstrosity that threatened to climb into my womb and turn me into the mother of abominations. You're welcome.
Alex Reagan: Do you wear socks? Or underwear? Do you brush your teeth? WHY? Why do you bother? Why, when the world as we know it is about to come crashing down? Why, when the Adversary shall rise and the light shall die and the final song shall play? Why, when all hope is lost? Why? Why? Why?
Nic Silver: ...um...
Alex Reagan: So about the Babadook in your video?
Richard Strand: Well, with modern equipment, access to the highest-quality CGI animators working today, and an unlimited budget, this would be fairly easy to reproduce.
Alex Reagan: And the fact that this was shot in 1989?
Richard Strand: That does make this one harder to hand wave, I have to admit. Also, the fifth child that shows up in the window, the one with the black and soulless eyes that somehow scream that the end is upon us while saying nothing? That caught my eye, too.
Alex Reagan: And how does this connect to John Calvin and the demon with the foot fetish?
Richard Strand: Oh, you've never heard the old Swiss legend about how John Calvin was condemned by the Pope and sent to Hell, where he became a demon who prowls the night looking for children to devour and feet to suckle?
Alex Reagan: ...No, no I have not.
Gordon Hughes, University of Maryland: So it's really very simple. There's a demon called the Helvetian, which just means "he's from Switzerland." According to most legends, that's either John Calvin or Calvin's arch-enemy, Michael Servitas. During the sixteenth century, the Church was losing influence and struggled to regain its prominence. In order to do this ...
Twenty minutes later
Alex Reagan: I literally have no idea what the shit you are even talking about.
Gordon Hughes, University of Maryland: Okay, let me sum it up:
- John Calvin was an enemy of the Church
- Michael Servitas was a member of the Order of the Ceonophus
- The church sent Servitas to Geneva because they knew Calvin would have him executed for herasy
- The church wanted Servitas executed because he claimed the Axis Mundi was in Geneva, not Rome
- Someone sent me a VHS of either John Calvin or Michael Servitas, who has ben transformed into a demon, threatening a family in Minnisota
- I sent that VHS to Richard Strand, because lulz
- Howard Strand was super into this occult shit, and Richard is probably a spawn of Satan
Alex Reagan: That is all very useful information that I wish you had just sent me in an email.
Nic Silver: Hi Alex! So I've been doing some research, and discovered that Me Undies, Bombas Socks, RocketSound, Blue Apron, and Audible are all subsidiary entities of Daeva Corp, the vague yet menacing shadow corporation that is trying to build a machine that either destroys or empowers demonic entities! Also they're the ones that are paying for Richard to go to Switzerland.
Alex Reagan: Oh my god Nic! Do you know what this means?
Nic Silver: Yeah, it means that Richard Strand's entire life is a carefully constructed lie, that his sense of free will is a mere illusion, and this monstrous organization has puppeted him around the world, using his own skepticism to bring about their occult aims!
Alex Reagan: It means Richard's expense budget is going to be fucking huge!
Alex Reagan: Hi Jen! What can you tell me about Daeva Corp's involvement with CERN?
Jen Perkins: Well, back when we were designing the Large Hadron Collider, Daeva Corp provided a bunch of the funding, but with one caveat: they sent guy named Howard Strand to oversee construction, and insisted that we modify a bunch of our circuit diagrams to resemble ancient occult symbols, the names of several fell gods, and a handful of spells meant to allow evil men to leave their bodies and wander the earth as terrible shades. You know, wacky billionaire stuff!
Richard Strand: Alex, that story is patently ridiculous. My father did not believe in ghosts!
Alex Regan: How can you be so sure?
Richard Strand: Let me give you an example of just how much he did not believe in the paranormal. One night, he woke me from a sound slumber and told me we were going camping. He took me deep into the woods, and we built a fire inside a small cave. There he told me the story of a native tribe that was murdered by white settlers, and taught me the ritual that would allow me to see their tormented souls in the shadows on the cavern walls. And then he told me that if I looked even deeper, I could see the faces of the demons who craved the taste of innocence, and warned me not to look away, lest they emerge from their eternal prison to dine upon my soul. He left me there, staring through the fires into the black world of the damned, while he slept, untroubled and undisturbed.
Alex Regan: And how exactly does that prove he didn't believe in the supernatural?
Richard Strand: Because the next morning he told me it was all a joke! And then he muttered something about how our family traced its lineage back to the eugenics movement of the Oneida Community and how my blood had been prepared as the ultimate sacrifice to the Hungry Ones... my father probably shouldn't have had children.
Jen Perkins: Hi Alex! I wasn't able to get you any videos of Howard Strand's work for CERN, but I did find these photos of three men in black suits, working in the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, and the glowing black clouds that were summoned when we broke the laws of physics and allowed the demons that seek to possess our souls to enter this reality and meet with their master Thomas Warren!
Alex Reagan: The Black Tapes podcast is a production of Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale. Join us next time, when Richard Strand is one-hundred percent going to die, because there is no fucking way we can wrap all of this up with just one more episode. Bye!