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🤓 Ep. 127 - A Welfare Christmas

transcribed podcast:


Welcome back to Go Forth and Nerd this is Jesse Bray also know as Mr. Bray and I'm your resident nerd. Today is a particularly special episode because it's both very personal to me and one that I think many may benefit to hear.


I'd like to share strangely one the happiest holiday stories I've ever had. The title of this story is:


A Welfare Christmas 🎄 


For those that are long time listeners they know that I've been no stranger to hard times: both as an adult and as a child I experienced homelessness.

Before I met Katie I was the biggest bah humbug Scrooge you'd meet during this time of year. I was cynical, jaded. I felt the season was just a commercialized parody outlining an array of pagan symbols. As little to do with the real meaning of Christmas as the historical Saint Patrick was about drinking green beer. I was no fun to be around during Christmas to say the least. I had a chip on my shoulder and that chip was heavy.


However, it wasn't heavy without cause. You see as I mentioned earlier when you grow up poor a holiday celebrating material wealth, warmth and comforts just rubs you the wrong way. When your mentally ill mother sporadically decides that she's allergic to pine trees so we staple and tape the shape of a Christmas tree on the living room wall hopefully expecting Santa to know where to place the gifts your heart breaks when you awake to the disappointment or the cold replies of your mother saying you were brats so you didn't get what you asked for. Luckily we were often fortunate to receive gifts in the mail from our grandparents or we would try to visit them. This saved our mother from having to deal with all the holiday hassles as she saw it. 


Yet Christmas 1994 we were living some 3500+ miles away from all our family and they had little to no idea that we were living in a small town outside Portland, Maine. My mother was in a rare form she wanted to go caroling and chum it up with volunteers at the shelter- it was her normal routine to appear put together in front of religious folks. That Christmas we had moved out of the shelter into a special housing provided for homeless families. The program provided us with food and multiple organizations came by with wishlists asking us what we would like for Christmas. Not expecting anything I dreamed out loud on the pages a simple request. Drawing and arts supplies. That Christmas morning I awoke to the most magical thing I could possibly imagine! There was a feast fit for kings and the most presents I had ever seen! I had easily got 10 to 20 times more gifts than I had ever received in entire my life! Gift after gift after gift I was overwhelmed! The simple request for drawing and art supplies was like a craft store had mistakenly sent their inventory shipment wrapped them in my name and dropped it off for me. Additionally I hadn't seen so much food in my life. The generosity of spirit of all the local churches and organizations was like a flood. Years later that sweet memory was buried by the sting of following Christmases however my cynicism melted away during mine and Katie's first Christmas. She insisted on us getting a tree, she baked some cookies and we sat to watch a muppets Christmas Carol. As the credits rolled I walked into our kitchen with tears in my eyes and said to Katie "how dare you! How dare you make me love Christmas". 


I know for many this is a tough time and for many years it was for me. However looking back it was the generosity of spirit that this season inspires that gave me a feeling I was loved by complete strangers and it was "A Welfare Christmas" that made me believe in the hope to dream. And finally it was the warmth of my wife's cookies and a singing frog that made me learn what it means to say Merry Christmas. 🎄 


Thank you all so much for listening I wish you all health and love and a happy holidays please remember to Go Forth & Nerd!




Music is courtesy of Kevin MacLeod

Bethlehem - Christmas by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

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🤓 Ep. 115 - Poltergeist vs Ghosts

Poltergeist vs Ghosts

The differences between the legends that started the scary stories

essay by: Micah Tindage


 Poltergeist and ghost have been part of the Halloween experience for as long as anyone can remember. They also haunt the realities of others as far back as ancient times where the sighting of a spectres was considered a bad omen that something was about to happen to the living witness.

As time went on ghosts came to be known as people that died a mysterious or violent death and by appearing they were inviting the assistance of the living to help solve their mystery or revenge their death. The appearance of ghosts of the departed, even those of loved ones, was rarely considered a welcome experience. The dead were supposed to remain in their own land and were not expected to cross back over to the world of the living. When such an event did occur, it was a sure sign that something was terribly wrong, and those who experienced a spiritual encounter were expected to take care of the problem for the ghost to return to its proper place. This understanding was so prevalent that ghost stories can be found, with very similar themes, in the ancient cultures of MesopotamiaEgyptGreeceRomeChina, and India as well as regions of Mesoamerica and the Celtic lands of Ireland and Scotland. Ghosts are also depicted in the Bible in much the same way as they were in earlier Roman works. 


The stories of poltergeist taking over the residence of the living throwing items, slamming doors, causing things to appear that are not there has been the basis for many movie plots that are still in debate as to whether they were based on true events. The Amityville horror is based on alleged events of a home occupied by a Ghosts or poltergeist that haunted whomever dared to occupy the home and then cause blood to stream down the walls and loud banging coming from the basement among other terrible occurrences that plagued the residence.

Ghost and poltergeist seem to go hand in hand when one describes their experiences without realizing they have vast differences. Even horrifying differences that, if you believe them to be of real existence, can cause you harm.

Ghost are those that have lived at one time and have passed. They only make an appearance and unable move objects or cause any physical effects on the living world. They only haunt the location and not the person so if one does witness the appearance of a ghost it must do with the place itself rather than the person witnessing them. Ghosts are spirits of the deceased human beings, who still refuse to leave the realm of the living. 

They may have had a mysterious death but the mystery is not to them but only to the living so the remaining has nothing to do with mystery but truth or unsettling of these or business of what they needed to accomplish in life but where denied that by death.

Poltergeist however, are a completely different theory. They are not a person that once lived and has unfinished business on Earth or died mysteriously and now hasn’t that same location where they died or their life hit a dramatic peak. Instead, it is an entity that does not occupy a location it follows a person. In folklore and parapsychology, a Poltergeist (German for "noisy ghost" or "noisy spirit") is a type of ghost or other supernatural entity which is responsible for physical disturbances, such as loud noises and objects being moved or destroyed.

Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) is a phrase suggested by parapsychologist William G. Roll to denote poltergeist phenomena. Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus (typically a prepubescent female).

The poltergeist is an invisible entity that moves objects, slams doors and creates other audible, kinetic disturbances. It has been reported in many cultures and there is a strong association with the places where young people, especially adolescents, are living.

They seem to appear in different forms like complete bodies, transparent entities and foggy mists. Poltergeists are forms of energy, which a living person controls unknowingly.


While ghosts are linked with specific places where certain gruesome activities like murders have taken place. To be more specific, Ghosts may haunt a house where he or she might have been murdered or may visit the house he had lived long ago. Ghosts are also known to haunt the places where the deceases used to visit before his or her death. But Poltergeists are not confined to any area. They are usually associated with specific objects and persons. But there are some theories that say that poltergeists can be linked to multiple objects and multiple people.

Though the appearance of a ghost can cause mental terror, they are not violent in any sense. Meanwhile, a poltergeist is dangerous, inflicting both physical and mental terror.

While Ghosts can be sent away, it is difficult to send away a poltergeist. Religious ceremonies are conducted for sending away the ghosts to the other realm. For sending away a poltergeist, the correct agent must be identified. The emotional and physical attitudes come a long way in handling a poltergeist.


Ghosts are passive souls of the dead and poltergeists are aggressive souls of the departed



 Written by: Prabhat S. and updated on October 8, 2009 

Read more:  Difference Between Ghost and Poltergeist | Difference Between


Mark, J. J. (2014, October 30). Ghosts in the Ancient World. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

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🤓 Ep. 114 - Night Terrors

Night Terrors

by Allen Brown

What if I told you that I could prove the Boogeyman was real? Would it frighten you or would you shrug it off as superstition?  Would you look over your shoulder before exiting a room or double check that slightly ajar closet door?

It’s the boogeyman that wakes you up at midnight and then keeps you awake out of fear.  You’re familiar with these moments. You fall asleep peacefully just to suddenly awake sometime after one for no reason. Some may tell you that it’s the pizza or the Colonel’s greasy chicken you had for dinner or the stress of some late notice you received in the mail. You then stay awake for the next couple hours tormented within your own thoughts by the feeling of some presence in the house. Hearing a door across the house close because of a draft certainly doesn’t help. Was it just a draft that closed it? It certainly wasn’t your favorite Colonel. Maybe it was your favorite Colonel that walked across the house, that would at least answer the question of what made the wood floor creak.    

What about those chills you get, when you are lying in bed and you have a leg or arm outside the covers that suddenly become cold, as if a ghostly presence has just entered the room.  Now you are self-conscious and begin to pull the blanket over your exposed body, only to discover that you are not warming up at all.  Now the fear sets in and you wrap yourself tighter into the blanket.  Maybe you even roll towards your significant other in hopes of finding some consolation; which you don’t. That’s the Boogeyman.

Let’s talk about those dreams you have. You know exactly which ones I am talking about, in fact, you are bringing a few to mind already. Those dreams that are so horrifying, so grotesque, so…real. The ones you don’t tell your friends about because how do you tell your wife or boyfriend that you witnessed them being murdered? It was just a dream though, you realize that after you have come to from the horror you just watched in your mind and you reach over and feel the warmth of their body next to you. If it’s just a dream, then why do you get goosebumps just thinking about it. That’s the Boogeyman.  

Lastly, it’s the Boogeyman that is watching you when you get up to get a drink of water in the middle of the night.  You feel him watching you as you cross the house or open the cupboard to grab a glass for water. Do you think he is watching you from outside, peering in through a crack in the blinds or maybe he is hidden in that dark corner that you have been meaning to get a piece of furniture for or perhaps a potted plant to fill? While we are here, why don’t you look over your shoulder or check under the bed. Open that closet, if you dare.

Now, to prove to you that the Boogeyman is real, in hopes that it’ll give you peace enough to sleep tonight, even if you have to leave every light in the house on, I will leave you with this. Remember back to this morning, after your alarm jolted you awake because you slept like dirt after having roughly fallen back asleep.  You stumbled into your bathroom in that early morning daze. You relieved yourself to feel a little more awake and then came over to the sink. Maybe you washed your hands or maybe you began to brush your teeth. But you couldn’t seem to forget the dream you had or the chills that you couldn’t shake. So, you collected some cold water from the faucet in the cup of your hands and splashed your face. It helped a little, but while rising up from the sink, with cold water dripping off of your face, you took a second and stared at your reflection in the mirror.  Unbeknownst to you, it was in that moment that you came face to face with the monster itself.

You are the thing that goes bump in the night as you lay awake listening to every sound echoing throughout the house.  You are the creature that freaks yourself out over the chills you get when the temperature of the house drops. You are the monster that stays awake tormenting yourself over the disturbing nightmare you had while your loved one is sleeping peacefully right next to you. And you are shadow that watches you while you visit the fridge late at night.

Please, rest assured now, that the creature you fear isn’t hidden in the closet, but rather, hidden deep within your mind. So, feel free to turn off the lights that you left on in the hallway to help you sleep tonight. You won’t be needing them on.


At least, that’s what the Boogeyman would want you to think.


Check out more from Allen Brown here 


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🤓 Ep. 113 - Vincent

Link to Tim Burton's brilliant black and white stop motion animated short:


Also here's the poem in it's entirety:

Vincent Malloy – Transcript

Vincent Malloy is seven years old
He’s always polite and does what he’s told
For a boy his age, he’s considerate and nice
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price


He doesn’t mind living with his sister, dog and cats
Though he’d rather share a home with spiders and bats
There he could reflect on the horrors he’s invented
And wander dark hallways, alone and tormented


Vincent is nice when his aunt comes to see him
But imagines dipping her in wax for his wax museum

He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie
In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie
So he and his horrible zombie dog
Could go searching for victims in the London fog


His thoughts, though, aren’t only of ghoulish crimes
He likes to paint and read to pass some of the times
While other kids read books like Go, Jane, Go!
Vincent’s favourite author is Edgar Allen Poe

One night, while reading a gruesome tale
He read a passage that made him turn pale

Such horrible news he could not survive
For his beautiful wife had been buried alive!
He dug out her grave to make sure she was dead
Unaware that her grave was his mother’s flower bed

His mother sent Vincent off to his room
He knew he’d been banished to the tower of doom
Where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life
Alone with the portrait of his beautiful wife

While alone and insane encased in his tomb
Vincent’s mother burst suddenly into the room
She said: “If you want to, you can go out and play
It’s sunny outside, and a beautiful day”

Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn’t speak
The years of isolation had made him quite weak
So he took out some paper and scrawled with a pen:
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again”
His mother said: “You’re not possessed, and you’re not almost dead
These games that you play are all in your head
You’re not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy
You’re not tormented or insane, you’re just a young boy
You’re seven years old and you are my son
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”

Her anger now spent, she walked out through the hall
And while Vincent backed slowly against the wall
The room started to swell, to shiver and creak
His horrid insanity had reached its peak

He saw Abercrombie, his zombie slave
And heard his wife call from beyond the grave
She spoke from her coffin and made ghoulish demands
While, through cracking walls, reached skeleton hands

Every horror in his life that had crept through his dreams
Swept his mad laughter to terrified screams!
To escape the madness, he reached for the door
But fell limp and lifeless down on the floor

His voice was soft and very slow
As he quoted The Raven from Edgar Allen Poe:

“and my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor
shall be lifted?



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