Ep 11 | TRANSCRIPT



00:00.610

For information on upcoming episodes, merch, and other ways to support the podcast, follow us on Instagram @JacobsStanleypodcast or on Twitter @InappropriateF and check out our website, jakobstanley.com to submit your own story to the podcast.


00:24.750

NARRATOR

In October of 2011, 4 college students disappeared in the woods near Porter Township Pennsylvania while researching a documentary on children’s author Jakob Stanley. They remain missing to this day. Last month their recordings appeared online. In an effort to aid in the investigation, the families of those missing have agreed to release the following sound files. If anyone has information on those missing or the identity of the person or persons who uploaded these files, please use the contact information provided. Anything submitted may be used in future episodes. Certain materials referenced in this podcast, including the published works of Jakob Stanley, are currently protected under U.S. copyright law and may be redacted. For legal reasons, some names have been withheld and voices altered. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of the podcasters and participants, and do not represent the official policy or position of the Iphigenia County Police Department of Porter Township Pennsylvania or its associates. This podcast contains adult themes and language. Listener discretion is advised.


SFX: Transition Sting


01:32.110

PROFESSOR WHITAKER

Time's up. Bryce. Folder labeled: “011 Rough Cut, Episode 11 - Tell Me a Story: The True Life of Jakob Stanley.”



01:50.690

SFX: Mic cuts on. Inaudible mumbling, some words peek through.


AVERY

Well, listeners, if you haven’t guessed, we appear to have a flat tire.


[RJ laugh snorts.]


AVERY (CONT’D)

They’re not gonna help change this are they?


RJ

No.


AVERY

Great.


SFX: Mic cuts off.


SFX: Avery and RJ are sitting on the hood of the car as Chuck approaches. The mics are damaged from the rain and cut off and on.


02:31.570RJ

Microphone check, check, check. ...


RJ (CONT’D)

Aw, fudge... the mic’s messed up.


SFX: Chuck kicks the dirt.


AVERY

The prodigal son returns!


CHUCK

Yeah, yeah.


SFX: Chuck leans against the car.


RJ

We changed the tire.


AVERY

You’re welcome.


RJ

Where’s Tolen?


CHUCK

How would I know? I’ve been over there.


AVERY

Huh, he never came back this way.


CHUCK

Well, I didn’t see where he went.


AVERY

Neither did we.


RJ

It’s starting to get dark. Should we be worried?


CHUCK

He’s fine, I’m sure he...has to be... right over...


SFX: Chuck walks towards where Tolen stormed off.


CHUCK

Over here...


AVERY

Where else could he have gone? That doesn’t lead anywhere.


SFX: Chuck walks back to the car.


CHUCK

Leads to the woods.


RJ

Everything here leads to the woods.


03:18.490

CHUCK

Oh, shit, what do we do?


RJ

Ah, we look for him.


CHUCK

But, that’s the only way he could have gone? We should find him right there.


TOLEN

Hey guys.


SFX: Tolen appears out of seemingly nowhere.


RJ

TOLEN.


AVERY

Where the hell were you?


SFX: Tolen opens the car door and sits in the driver seat with his legs out the door.


AVERY (CONT’D)

Ah, Tolen?


RJ

Where’d you go?


TOLEN

The ridge, over the quarry.


RJ

The one we were just at? Before the storm?


TOLEN

Yeah. Same place.


RJ

But how?


AVERY

Tolen? Earth to Tolen?


TOLEN

Yes, sorry, yes.


RJ

How did you come from the quarry?


AVERY

You would’ve had to pass us and we haven’t left the car.


04:09.850

TOLEN

I followed the map.


RJ

What map?


TOLEN

The map from book one.


AVERY

The “Ferryman’s Map”? ... From "Under The Bed That’s Over My Head?"


TOLEN

Yeah, I took the “Sea Dragon’s Passage.”


CHUCK

What are you talking about?


SFX: Tolen pulls out the book and flips through the pages.


TOLEN

Here. It was hidden by underbrush, but I found it... There’s a small stone tunnel that leads to right under the ridge we were at. And then I just followed a series of cut stone steps that took me right up the side.The ridge sticks out so far you can only see the steps from underneath it.


AVERY

Holy shit.


TOLEN

It goes along with the poem The Water Was So Cold -


SFX: Tolen is interrupted by a low toned BEEP.


04:53.390

NARRATOR

Unauthorized material redacted.


SFX: Low toned BEEP


SFX: The wind whips through the car.


TOLEN

After RJ brought it up, I started looking at it and... yeah.


RJ

I don’t even know what to say about that.


TOLEN

Uh...uhm... There’s more.


AVERY

What?


TOLEN

That map being real and the secret passage being real made me... review... some other things, in the other books... and I’m not feeling very well right now.


CHUCK

Just because that secret passage was real doesn’t mean he actually did ... We were just fucking around before, man?


RJ

Put in context though it’s pretty damning.


CHUCK

RJ. You are not helping. - Look, Tolen-


TOLEN

- No, she’s right. You were all right. Something’s wrong. ... I need your help. I think I might know where the unpublished manuscript is hidden. But, it means breaking back into Stanley’s house. - I know it’s asking a lot, but we have to find it. It’s the only thing that makes any of this worth it. So, what do you say?


06:11.430

RJ

We’re with you.


AVERY

Yeah.


CHUCK

Yeah.


TOLEN

Okay. Okay.


AVERY

Uh, Tolen what other connections did you make from the books?


TOLEN

Well-


SFX: Tolen is interrupted by a low toned BEEP.


NARRATOR

Unauthorized material redacted.


SFX: Low toned BEEP


PODCAST INTRO SEQUENCE


NEWS ANNOUNCER

WN [BEEP REDACTED] TV New York.


MUSIC: [80’s NEWS INTRO THEME]


NEWS ANCHOR ‘83

If your child has been to a school book fair recently, chances are they came home with one of this author’s scary books-


MUSIC: [80’s SUNDAY TALK SHOW THEME]


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

Our guest’s first anthology leapt to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list -


MUSIC: [LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW INTRO APPLAUSE]


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Thank you. Thank you! Over the past few years, he has become a household name -


MUSIC: [PODCAST THEME]


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Bridging the gap between Alvin Schwartz and Stephen King -


TV PREACHER

- The devil is among us, friends.


CONGREGATION

AMEN!


TV PREACHER

He’s among us, in the form of a writer. -


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- The book might have struggled during it initial release in 1977, but now “Tell Me A Story: Under the Bed That’s Over My Head”, has skyrocketed -


ALSC COMMITTEE REP

- So many parent organizations complained that his work was too sophisticated for children-


TV PREACHER

- He has infiltrated your homes, and your children’s minds-


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- His second macabre anthology “Tell Me A Story: Moonless Sky and Other Friends” sold out from bookstores in mere minutes. Becoming a controversial -


NEWS ANCHOR ‘83

- Stanley's books ranked on the American Library Association’s “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” from 1981-1993 -


TV PREACHER

- Stanley’s books promote disobedience, violence and the occult! Lord have mercy -


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- The 3rd volume in his “Tell Me A Story” collection “The Floor That Creaks, the Closet That Speaks and the Tip Toes That You Walk On” was released in 1986 to mass acclaim -


ALSC COMMITTEE REP

- All that fussing, just made his work more popular -


TV PREACHER

- Check your children’s rooms, check their bookshelves, check their back-packs! -


YOUTUBER

- I do think his final book, released in ‘99, “TMAS: The nightmare, The Dream and the Places Between,” was by far his best work.-


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- His work has been described as “subversive” and “dark,” I simply describe it as genius.


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- It is my pleasure to introduce -


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Please welcome -


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Ladies and gentleman, please welcome -


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- Jakob Stanley.-


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Mister Jakob Stanley.


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Author, Jakob Stanley.


[Applause.]


MUSIC: [POD THEME SYNTH]


AVERY/NARRATOR

Little to nothing is known about the life of this elusive author. And since 1999 Jakob Stanley seems to have completely dropped off the face of the earth. Until a short two-line obituary appeared in a small town paper, over a year ago.


TOLEN/NARRATOR

From BOO Labs and Red Cup Media, I'm Tolen Reid -


AVERY/NARRATOR

And I'm Avery Fischer, this is TELL ME A STORY: THE TRUE LIFE OF JAKOB STANLEY.


SFX: The mic pops on, it cuts in and out a few times. It is being manhandled as levels are adjusted. The volume fluctuates, the mics are still a bit damaged by the rain.


08:53.350

RJ

Microphone check, check, check. ... These batteries are about to die.


SFX: The house is a bustle of the team flipping through stacks of debris to make an easier pathway through the house.


AVERY

I found outlets over there and there.


RJ

Thanks. Chuck, can you-


CHUCK

I’m not leaving this window... But, I will play look-out.


RJ

Fair enough.


AVERY

Sorry for keeping the lights off, I know you don’t-


CHUCK

Look, I’m more afraid of drawing attention at this point, so don’t worry.


RJ

So, I’m gonna -


TOLEN

Yes, excellent, thank you.


SFX: The team continues to make room in the house.


09:25.030

RJ

Uh. We are in Jane Stanley’s house. There was no need to break in, the door was unlocked. - I would have thought it would be closed off with police line, but it wasn’t. ... Uh, cops really tossed the place, so we are just moving some things to make it easier to get around. Uh... we’re here to search for Jakob Stanley’s unpublished manuscript. Tolen thinks there is a chance it might be here. But has yet to go into detail as to what exactly makes him so confident.


TOLEN

Okay, so hear me out. You said before, that the only drawings you saw in Stanley’s journals were like line drawings, right?


RJ

Yeah. They were kinda simple, but really ornate at the same time. Hard to describe.


AVERY

Up close they seem almost like just squiggles, but when you pull back the whole picture comes together.


RJ

It’s like he drew them by never lifting the pencil off the page.


TOLEN

Like the one in his final book?


AVERY

Oh shit.


CHUCK

Hell, even I know that one.


RJ

Yeah, it’s super unsettling.


AVERY

And it always stood out because it didn’t match any of the other illustrations in that book.


10:34.232

RJ

I can’t believe we didn’t make that connection already?


TOLEN

The illustrations in his first 3 books were all different styles and done by different artists, so in context with his other work it’s easy to see how it could get lost in the mix.


RJ

So we’re thinking, Stanley must have drawn that one illustration himself.


TOLEN

And L.L. Randolph did the rest... in the last book, at least. I have it here, hold on.


SFX: Tolen starts rummaging through his bag.


AVERY

Oh, that shit’s burned into my brain. Full page... outline of a human body. Up to the neck, the body is underground, like a basement with the pipes as intestines. And the head is the house, and the top part of the head is tilted open, like it’s tipping its hat, and the hat is the roof... oh, wait.


TOLEN

YES! You get what I am saying?


SFX: Tolen finds the book and flips it open to the picture.


AVERY

Shit.


RJ

What?!


TOLEN

Look, look at the roof. Remind you of anything?


CHUCK

Oh damn.


TOLEN

That is the roof of this house. Alright, see the chimney, it's missing 3 bricks and has moss on the side, and right there, a lightning rod weathervane thing, but instead of it being a rooster or some shit, it is in the shape of the moon.


11:35.758

AVERY

It’s this house.


RJ

That is definitely the roof of this house.


TOLEN

Now, look inside the tipping hat.


RJ

Which we’re assuming is the attic of this house.


TOLEN

Exactly.


AVERY

Oh, the creepy old man attic monster looking over its shoulder, about to attack.


TOLEN

Okay, but, here’s what I’m thinking. What if it isn’t turning towards us? What if it is turning away? So, okay. The way the lines are behind the figure, as if something is glowing behind him? Something important? Something he’s trying to hide? Couldn’t it be interpreted like that?


CHUCK

Maaybeee?


RJ

I’ll play along. And you think, this is supposed to represent Stanley hiding the manuscript?


TOLEN

Yes.


TOLEN

This illustration is in the final book he published, so well after the whole rejected manuscript thing would’ve occurred. AND it is the only full page drawing ever done by Stanley himself in one of his books.


RJ

We’ve gone a lot further on a lot less.


TOLEN

And the poem beside it-


SFX: Tolen is interrupted by a low toned BEEP.


12:34.790

NARRATOR

Unauthorized material redacted.


SFX: Low toned BEEP


AVERY

Don’t need to hard sell, we’re here, might as well head up to the attic.


RJ

We just have to figure out how to get to said attic.


CHUCK

Once again, I’m not leaving this window, so y’all have fun with that.

SFX: RJ rummages through her backpack. We hear a walkie talkie being turned on.


RJ

Here. Let us know if you see anything.


SFX: RJ hands Chuck a walkie.


CHUCK

Copy that.


RJ

Shall we?


SFX: The mic cuts out.


SFX: The mic pops on accidentally, it cuts in and out a few times. The volume fluctuates, the mic is still rain-damaged.


13:01.210

RJ

Is that it?


TOLEN

Here, help me... move this.


SFX: A slight moan of wind outside cuts through like a warning.


TOLEN

Well there it is.


SFX: The house creaks like it is issuing a second warning to not enter.


AVERY

I don’t think it wants us up there.


RJ

Don’t be a weenie.


SFX: The house creaks again with another ominous warning.


AVERY

Nope.


TOLEN

Who are you? Chuck?


AVERY

Fine, I’m Chuck, I’ll be Chuck all day long. No way.


TOLEN

Oh, come on.


AVERY

Uhg! Fine. Creepy-ass pull, flip down ladder... motherfucker.


13:39.490

TOLEN

I think I can reach it if I stand up on the...


SFX: Tolen attempts to climb the pile to reach the hatch, but it all comes crashing down, slamming Tolen to the floor.


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

You guys okay?


SFX: RJ grabs the walkie-talkie. The walkie button clicks.


RJ

Yeah, We’re fine. Tolen just tried something stupid.


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

Copy that.


RJ

You need to use this pole thing with a hook to open it-


SFX: And with that the attic hatch springs open of its own volition with a violent snap, hurling the ladder down crashing on top of the pile beneath it. The team squeals with fright.


MUSIC/SFX: A creepy out of tune music box is heard faintly in the background.


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

You guys okay?


SFX: Avery grabs the walkie-talkie. The walkie button clicks.


AVERY

Yeah, we’re fine. But, I’m pretty sure the attic is going to try to eat us.


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

Copy that.


SFX: With several grunts of effort, Tolen slowly gets up.


14:25.690

TOLEN

Let’s move this shit so we -


SFX: The mic distorts and pops off and back on.


RJ

Can’t see shit up here. Check, check, check. ... This battery is about to go too. Damn it-


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


AVERY

-Moving all this junk is taking fucking forever.


TOLEN

I’m getting rid of all of my possessions the second we’re back.


RJ

Amen. Screw stuff. Who needs stuff?


AVERY

I think I’m gonna convert to that “only wear one thing” thing.


RJ

Oh, I thought you already did that.


AVERY

Really?


TOLEN

I haven’t seen you in anything other than black jeans and a black hoodie since freshman year.


AVERY

It’s a navy blue hoodie, and I wear different t-shirts?


TOLEN

Oh. Okay.


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


15:02.430

TOLEN

We’ve had to clear out a significant area in the attic to be able to move around.


AVERY

Uhg, what’s that smell?


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


TOLEN

Now... if we base our search on Stanley’s illustration, the manuscript should be somewhere near there.


AVERY

That leads straight into the eaves.


RJ

It’s not solid enough to walk out on.


TOLEN

Well, that’s where the manuscript is, so we’re gonna have to try.


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


AVERY

We need to stay on the beams.


TOLEN

Do I look like Gabby Douglas to you?


RJ

I’ll try. Let’s see if any of Mrs. Carter’s kinder gymnastics has retained itself in my body.


AVERY

I’ll spot you.


SFX: Avery and RJ cross to the eaves.


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


15:39.810

TOLEN

There’s something... wooden-


AVERY

Everything is wooden!


TOLEN

It’s a box? It’s leaning, kinda tucked near that beam, to the left... see it?


RJ

I see it.


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


SFX: The beam creaks, RJ desperately reaches out to the wooden box.


RJ

Come here... you... little... mother... fucker.


TOLEN

Almost there.


SFX: The beam creaks.


AVERY

I got you, don’t worry.


RJ

So... close.


TOLEN

Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on.


RJ

GOT IT.


SFX: The beam creaks loudly, Avery pulls RJ off of the beam with a grunt, guiding her back from the eaves. They slam back on to the solid floor of the attic.


TOLEN

YAS!


SFX: Tolen grabs the box from RJ and begins to shake it.


AVERY

Jesus, Tolen.


SFX: Tolen tries to open it, he cannot.


RJ

You’re not gonna be able to open that easy.


TOLEN

What, why?


RJ

It’s a Japanese puzzle box.


AVERY

Oh, I had one of those.


RJ

Yeah, so, it’s gonna take forever to get open.


[Tolen starts to laugh.]


AVERY

Tolen?


16:32.810

TOLEN

Of course it’s in a puzzle box.


[Tolen keeps laughing.]


RJ

Tolen, you okay?


TOLEN

I’m fine. It’s, it’s - I’m great actually... because I am now 100% sure this is the manuscript.


AVERY

Okay?


TOLEN

And of course, of course, it would be in a puzzle box.


AVERY

Or, it’s just more hoarded junk?


TOLEN

NO. No way. It’s the right size and shape. And listen:


SFX: Tolen shakes the box and there is a slight knocking inside.


TOLEN

It even sounds right! There is a book in here. I can feel it.


RJ

That’s good enough for me.


SFX: Tolen struggles with the box, trying to make it open.


TOLEN

Just ... have to... figure... out... how-


MUSIC/SFX: A creepy out-of-tune music box is heard faintly, it seems to be coming from the puzzle box.


AVERY

Oh no.


RJ

Weird. Must be built into the box.


MUSIC/SFX: The music stops.


AVERY

Why does that sound familiar?


SFX: Walkie Beep, everyone jumps.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

Hey.


RJ

What?


CHUCK

(over walkie)

There’s a car coming up this way.


AVERY

What the fuck?


TOLEN

Shit, we gotta get out of here. I’m not losing this now that we found it.


AVERY

If we found it.


SFX: Walkie button click.


RJ

Can we make it to the car? Are they far enough away to not spot us?


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

Sure we could get to the car, but the second we turn on the headlights and/or drive right past them, we’re fucked.


TOLEN

So, we don’t put on the lights.


AVERY

There is one road. No headlights doesn’t make us invisible.


RJ

Maybe they will just keep going?


TOLEN

Took a wrong turn?


AVERY

What have I been saying since day one?


SFX: Walkie button click.


RJ

Where is the car now?


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

Uh, now the headlights are off. They are just sitting there right down the road.


18:02.910

AVERY

Can you tell who it is?


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

How the hell - What? No.


SFX: Walkie button click.


AVERY

I mean - it’s not the cops is it?


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

There isn’t a light bar across the roof, but I wouldn’t be able to tell from here.


RJ

Fuck. Why are they just sitting there?


SFX: The mic quickly cuts out and after a few beats it clicks back on.


TOLEN

So what if we drive over the back hill into the field, until we hit the fire road.


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

In the dark... without headlights?


AVERY

With a donut on the car?


SFX: Walkie button click.


TOLEN

Or, we just wait here until daylight so everyone can see us leaving?


RJ

We could wait them out, see if they leave?


SFX: Tolen shakes the puzzle box.


TOLEN

I am not losing this.


AVERY

Okay, okay. Can we take a breath here?


RJ

Yeah, we’re not thinking clearly. We haven’t slept in 2 days.


AVERY

And haven’t eaten since waffles-


TOLEN

Look, it’s gonna be daylight soon, if we wanna use the dark to our advantage it’s gotta be now. And I know I can find it.


18:50.310

AVERY

Okay.


TOLEN

Okay?


AVERY

Are you 100% positive you can get us to the fire road?


TOLEN

85%.


AVERY

Shit.


RJ

Better than 84%?


SFX: Avery grabs the walkie-talkie back. The walkie button clicks.


AVERY

Ok, vote: stay here until daylight or fire road now?


RJ

Fuck it, fire road.


TOLEN

Fire road, Chuck?


SFX: Walkie Beep.


CHUCK

(over walkie)

I want out of this house immediately.


SFX: The walkie button clicks.


AVERY

Okay, so fire road, in the dark, with a spare tire it is-


SFX: The mic cuts out and back on.


SFX: The team has just opened the car doors and are quietly sliding in.


19:18.810

CHUCK

Oh, shit... can’t believe we are really doing this?!


TOLEN

Is that car still there?


SFX: They each quietly close their car doors.