A smooth voice akin to the whir of distant highway traffic rumbles: “Hello, listeners.”
It’s the voice of Cecil Baldwin, the host of popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which centers on a quirky desert town located in the Southwestern United States. It’s a place where dark-hooded figures lurk, a faceless old woman is always just out of sight and dog parks occupy different dimensions.
Think of it as somewhere between Twin Peaks and The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Or, more simply, a place where all conspiracies are real.
Created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor in 2012, episodes of the fictionalized podcast are released twice a month — on the first and 15h — and run just under 30 minutes.
It first exploded into popularity in 2013, rocketing to the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ most downloaded podcasts in August of that year. Since then the show has produced hundreds of episodes, six books — three in 2021 alone — and multiple live shows. Fink’s and Cranor’s production company, Night Vale Presents, expanded in 2016 to include other original podcasts: Alice Isn’t Dead, I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats and Sleep With Me, to name a few.
Their current live show tour, “The Haunting of Night Vale,” will come to Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre on June 21, 2022. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 18 (2021) via ticketmaster.com and the Taft Theatre box office.
The crux of "The Haunting of Night Vale" — which will only be performed for a live audience and never on the podcast — is described as such on the Night Vale website:
Cecil and Carlos are building a new house for themselves, but strange occurrences and ghostly encounters are plaguing the construction process. It's probably nothing. After all, how could a house be haunted before it's even done being built?
With original tunes by Disparition, the show features Cecil Baldwin, Symphony Sanders and Meg Bashwiner.
For more information or to find out how to listen to Welcome to Night Vale, visit welcometonightvale.com.