Welcome to Nightvale- NPR From the Twilight Zone

By Isabella Baldoni

It’s Monday, and Cecil, the local radio announcer for the town of Nightvale, is reading the news: our high school football team is preparing for a big game against our rivals, the Desert Bluffs, road crews will begin repainting street signs this week, Wednesday has been cancelled due to a scheduling error, and a mysterious glowing cloud raining animal carcasses all over the downtown area.

Welcome to Nightvale.

The podcast Welcome to Nightvale has quickly shot to #1 on iTunes since its beginning in June of 2012. It is presented as a local radio show for the fictional town of Nightvale- “A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep.”

Welcome to Nightvale straddles the fine line between small-town appeal and oddly intriguing horror- the show has been described as “the news from Lake Wobegon as seen through the eyes of Stephen King”- that is to say, charming, yet very, very creepy. Within the first episode, Cecil, our friendly radio announcer, goes from warning parents to keep their young ones hydrated in the heat, to cautioning listeners to beware of strangely marked helicopters that will take their children.

Here in Nightvale, ghosts, angels, monsters and hooded figures are part of ordinary life- Joseph Fink, co-creator of the podcast quotes, “Not only is it a small desert town where everything’s weird, but the weirdness is just part of day-to-day life. It’s not weird for the people who live there.”

A smoothly written podcast full of vivid imagery, great music, and a delightful cast of characters, WTNV is creepy, eccentric, delightful, gripping, clever, sinister, and the list goes on. There are currently 33 episodes of Welcome to Nightvale on iTunes. New episodes are released on the 1st and 15th of every month, and are free for download.

image © choodraws

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