Episode 26 – The Specter of Sam!

Oct 30, 2020

Visit us on Patreon.com/iit

Support The Show

When you support the show by donating at Patreon.com/iit you don’t just keep the show going—you get interested exclusives like unique stories, episodes of 4 More Beers, outtakes and more!

Perhaps most importantly you enable our support of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity working to provide assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS in the state of Wyoming, and we can’t thank you enough. Find out more about the work they do at WyoAIDS.org

Follow Us

Don’t forget to follow—and share—us on the socials. If you’re feeling extra generous, we love 5-Star reviews wherever you listen!

Welcome to Interesting If True’s very special Halloween edition. Where the scariest thing ISN’T the fact that we have microphones.

I’m your host this week, Jenn, and with me are:

I’m Aaron, and I’ve learned that married life and coupled life isn’t really all that much different… except the paperwork. So. Much. Paperwork.

I’m Shea, and this week I learned that every Sarah is descended from a single trisarahtops dinosaur. If we go off air, it’s because ancestry.com doesn’t want you to know this and they are trying to shut us down.

The 70s were a different time… and let’s not visit the Isle of Wight.

Ok, folks, today I bring you a story of the magic of childhood. And by magic I think I may mean nightmarishly bizarre.

A few things to keep in mind whilst I regale you with my story. Remember being a little kid? Perspective is different. Ever heard of the 70s, LSD was in the tap water and falling from the sky. You know the British? All lunatics.

So to begin: this story was first reported in the January/February 1978 edition of The BUFORA Journal. What bastion of journalistic strength is the The BJ? Well, for starters it’s an acronym for The British UFO Research Association. (It’s at this point in the story Steve has left the building.) But let’s not be hasty, this is definitely not your mother’s flying saucer story.

This is the story of 2 children, a young girl of about 8 who is known only as ‘Fay’ and an unnamed boy of about the same age and their experience with… Sam the Sandown Clown.

The setting is the Isle of Wight, one of the smaller of the British Isles, at Lake Common in the little town of Sandown. While walking around a golf course they heard a noise similar to an ambulance siren. They followed it across the golf course and through a hedge leading to a swampy field adjacent to Sandown Airport. The noise stopped.

https://www.cracked.com/pictofacts-1939-the-sandown-clown-wooden-astronaut-from-isle-wight/

Hut description: The being invited the children into his hut. The children crawled into the hut through a flap. The hut was divided into two levels. The lower level had a blue-green wallpaper and covered with a pattern of dials. Also, it had an electric heater and some basic wooden furniture. The upper level was less spacious and had a metallic floor. He told them that he fed on berries that he collected in the late afternoon without indicating where but indicated that he had a camp or a base in the mainland he could go. As far as drinking is concerned he drank water from the nearby river once he had cleaned it.

The children talked to the being for about half an hour and after saying goodbye they rushed out to tell the first person that they had seen the ghost. The man they spoke to just laughed assuming it was all just made up. Most probably lacking any other reference to their experience the children labeled the being as a ghost.

Episode 26 - The Specter of Sam! 1

A few weeks later, the girl (Fay) told her father of her experience. At first he did not pay too much attention but started to be convinced due to the extraordinary level of detail of the account. The boy also supported the girl’s description of the incident.

So…WTF, right? A few potential suspects tossed out include:

  • A fairy, ghost, or other type of paranormal or supernatural creature
  • A robot
  • An extra-terrestrial
  • A hoax
  • A shared hallucination, or folie à deux
  • A mentally deranged man-child in a hideous space marionette costume attempting to befriend a pair of unsuspecting children for unknown reasons

Mid-Show Bumper

Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more!

You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com

Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating.

A Sexy Series Of Competitive Interrogatives

Interested in what we have to say about this story?
Good news, it’s available right now to
subscribers at Patreon.com/iit!

As we gear up for Halloween—such that it will be with a plague on—I’ve dug out my Finn The Human onesie for its… I think the sixth, annual “getting me out of a real costume” celebration. But that’s not to say I didn’t look for a new costume…

Unfortunately, they were all sold out of Sexy Pear-shaped onesies. Which is just as well, those skimpy costumes probably aren’t the best call considering it’s 35 degrees below zero out right now. On the other hand, what is a stiletto in the winter if not one, giant, cleat? AmIRight ladies?!?

Speaking of ladies, this article isn’t meant to sexy shame. If you’ve got it and want to flaunt it, that’s great. Basically, you do you!

Still, the Halloween section of most stories is ready to go by mid-July these days because since the early 1970’s when capitalism realized that selling kids candy is as easy as… taking candy from a baby… except backwards… the commercialization of Halloween has exploded.

So what does late stage capitalism have to do with sexy Halloween costumes? Well, for that we need to remember that capitalism and feminism are frequently at odds with one another, and that the gays love a good scantily clad street party—who doesn’t really?

A brief, pre-70’s history…

Nicholas Rogers, a history prof at York University who has written about the history of Halloween connected sexy Halloween costumes to pre-Victorian Hollow Masses. From a Time.com article:

“There is a long tradition of costuming of sorts that goes back to Hallow Mass when people prayed for the dead, […] But they also prayed for fertile marriages, and the boy choristers in the churches dressed up as virgins. So there was a certain degree of cross dressing in the actual ceremony of All Hallow’s Eve.”

So there’s a bit of a historical precedent for all of this but it didn’t really take off until some fantastic queens fabuloused it all up.

From Halloween expert and author Lesley Bannatyne:

“There started to be these outrageous gay Halloween parades in the Castro District, Greenwich Village and Key West,” Bannatyne says. “Combine second-wave feminism with outrageousness and a general atmosphere of freedom, and you have this perfect storm of more outrageous costumes.”

Of the expressions our historian Rogers says:

“There was a general attempt to capitalize on what seemed transgressive, and because it’s a night of transgression you can get away with it without it being seen as particularly offensive in any way.”

Pausing, he continued:

“Except for the Christian right, but they think everything is transgressive anyway.”

So how did it happen?

Juliet Lapidos of Slate.com echoes Bannatyne’s comments by with the following:

The Halloween parade in New York City’s Greenwich Village began in 1973 as a family-and-friends promenade from house-to-house organized by a local puppeteer and mask-maker. It quickly became a neighborhood-wide party, however, and since the Village was New York’s de facto gay district, the gay community cottoned to it. The event, with its drag outfits and otherwise rebellious costuming, became famous in New York and across the country, as did similarly bawdy Halloween parties in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood and in West Hollywood.

So now we’ve got a sorted history of sexing up Halloween. Some Queens making it fab fun time for adults, and the Halloween industry realizing that those adults have more buying power than the average 12-year-old.

In her 2012 thesis, “The Rise of Slut-o-ween,” Elizabeth A. Greer explains how

“marketing began to increasingly target adults as stores sold both costumes as well as other Halloween products like carving pumpkins and house decorations to attract a broader audience with increased purchasing power.”

Mix this with your standard Boomer sexism and you get things like the 2006 THE PINK DRAGON IS FEMALE, Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers by Aide Nelson. This paper is… ok… but not heavily cited. What I’m more interested in are her raw numbers. Of the 469 children’s costumes they looked at the ones girls were nearly all princesses, queens, or cheerleaders and all of them designed to make your daughter look like one of Netflix’s Cuties.

Toys’R’Us sells costumes of 82 different “occupations”, 44 of them typically female but nearly all of those include mini-skirts.

So naturally the generations that came after the late 70’s grew up with Halloween being little more than a hyper-commericalized, and for most girls and young women, hyper-sexualized “holiday.”

And how that we’re all caught up to date on why Halloween has become so sexy… capitalism and sexism… let’s play# Slut-o-ween

As we gear up for Halloween—such that it will be with a plague on—I’ve dug out my Finn The Human onesie for its… I think sixth, annual “getting me out of a real custom” celebration. But that’s not to say I didn’t look for a new costume…

Unfortunately, they were all sold out of Sexy Pear-shaped onesies. Which is just as well, those skimpy costumes probably aren’t the best call considering it’s 35 degrees below zero out right now. On the other hand, what is a stiletto in the winter if not one, giant, cleat? AmIRight ladies?!?

Speaking of ladies, this article isn’t meant to sexy shame. If you’ve got it and want to flaunt it, that’s great. Basically, you do you!

Still, the Halloween section of most stories is ready to go by mid-July these days because since the early 1970’s when capitalism realized that selling kids candy is as easy as… taking candy from a baby… except backwards… the commercialization of Halloween has exploded.

So what does late stage capitalism have to do with sexy Halloween costumes? Well, for that we need to remember that capitalism and feminism are frequently at odds with one another, and that the gays love a good scantily clad street party—who doesn’t really?

A brief, pre-70’s history…

Nicholas Rogers, a history prof at York University who has written about the history of Halloween connected sexy Halloween costumes to pre-Victorian Hollow Masses. From a Time.com article:

“There is a long tradition of costuming of sorts that goes back to Hallow Mass when people prayed for the dead, […] But they also prayed for fertile marriages, and the boy choristers in the churches dressed up as virgins. So there was a certain degree of cross dressing in the actual ceremony of All Hallow’s Eve.”

So there’s a bit of a historical precedent for all of this but it didn’t really take off until some fantastic queens fabuloused it all up.

From Halloween expert and author Lesley Bannatyne:

“There started to be these outrageous gay Halloween parades in the Castro District, Greenwich Village and Key West,” Bannatyne says. “Combine second-wave feminism with outrageousness and a general atmosphere of freedom, and you have this perfect storm of more outrageous costumes.”

Of the expressions our historian Rogers says:

“There was a general attempt to capitalize on what seemed transgressive, and because it’s a night of transgression you can get away with it without it being seen as particularly offensive in any way.”

Pausing, he continued:

“Except for the Christian right, but they think everything is transgressive anyway.”

So how did it happen?

Juliet Lapidos of Slate.com echoes Bannatyne’s comments by with the following:

The Halloween parade in New York City’s Greenwich Village began in 1973 as a family-and-friends promenade from house-to-house organized by a local puppeteer and mask-maker. It quickly became a neighborhood-wide party, however, and since the Village was New York’s de facto gay district, the gay community cottoned to it. The event, with its drag outfits and otherwise rebellious costuming, became famous in New York and across the country, as did similarly bawdy Halloween parties in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood and in West Hollywood.

So now we’ve got a sorted history of sexing up Halloween. Some Queens making it fab fun time for adults, and the Halloween industry realizing that those adults have more buying power than the average 12-year-old.

In her 2012 thesis, “The Rise of Slut-o-ween,” Elizabeth A. Greer explains how

“marketing began to increasingly target adults as stores sold both costumes as well as other Halloween products like carving pumpkins and house decorations to attract a broader audience with increased purchasing power.”

Mix this with your standard Boomer sexism and you get things like the 2006 THE PINK DRAGON IS FEMALE, Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers by Aide Nelson. This paper is… ok… but not heavily cited. What I’m more interested in are her raw numbers. Of the 469 children’s costumes they looked at the ones girls were nearly all princesses, queens, or cheerleaders and all of them designed to make your daughter look like one of Netflix’s Cuties.

Toys’R’Us sells costumes of 82 different “occupations”, 44 of them typically female but nearly all of those include mini-skirts.

So naturally the generations that came after the late 70’s grew up with Halloween being little more than a hyper-commericalized, and for most girls and young women, hyper-sexualized “holiday.”

And how that we’re all caught up to date on why Halloween has become so sexy… capitalism and sexism… let’s play

Name That Smeksey Costume

This is a quick quiz. I’ll ask a host to identify a costume from the manufacturer’s “please don’t sue us, this isn’t copyright infringement we promise” description. If you mess it up another host can steal your treats!

Now, I will say at the outset that not all of these are specifically sexy costumes. The search for quiz-fodder was for weirdly named costumes but you can’t search for any costumes anymore without at least seeing the sexy version of it.

We’ll go in track-order because it will make editing easier, so, Steve, Shea, then Jenn.

Shea, what is the “Evil Midweek Cutie” costume?

Wednesday Addams

Jenn, what is the “Pubescent Frog of Silent War”?

TMNT

Shea, giving you the first properly sexy one, what is “Sexy Dead Assassin”?

Lady Deadpool

Jenn, what is a “Speedy Mouse” costume?

Not Speedy Gonzales, it’s Sonic

Shea, if your wife dressed up as a “Sexy Factory Girl”, what would the costume be?

Sexy Oompa-Loompa… yeah.

Jenn, who is the “Supporting Burger Wife”?

Linda Belcher of Bob’s Burgers

Shea, if you were to dress up as a “Hot Zone Honey” how excited would Jim be? I mean, what would you be dressed as?

Sexy Firefighter

Jenn, if you were to dawn a “Candy Factory Cutie” costume, who would you be?

Gender bent, sexy, Willy Wonka

Shea, if you were to dress up as a “Pretentious Pup Snatcher” who would you be?

Sexy Cruella Deville

Jenn, you’re a content maker, but if you dressed up as a “Creationary Woman” who would you be?

Sexy Eve

Shea, let’s say you dressed up as “Donna T. Rumpskaker”, who are you?

Sexy, gender bent, Trump

Jenn, if you “Notionless” who would you be?

Sexy Cher from Clueless

Shea, if you dressed up as “Space Walker” who would you be?

Yep, Sexy NASA Astronaut bodysuit…

Alright, that does it for our sexy-weird Halloween quiz. I hope you all enjoyed it. Tonight’s victory, and the treats, go to… and the tricks are on… and…

Outro

Transition to outro…

I’m Jenn, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts.

Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com.

Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission.

The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms.
All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020.

Join The Discussion

To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from!