Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals

Teaser 11: Shirley Jackson

Episode Summary

Shirley Jackson tells "The Tale of the Haunting of the Haunted House on Haunted House Hill". Full episodes begin releasing on October 31st.

Episode Notes

Mary Shelley brings Shirley Jackson to the campfire to tell her iconic spooky mansion story, The Tale of the Haunting of the Haunted House on Haunted House Hill. This is the second-last of our mini-episodes leading to the launch of our first season on Halloween. Our first full episode, The Tale of the Frankenstein, will also be streamed on Twitch in a special premiere and cast hangout on Sunday 29th! See our social media for details.  


Script by Robin Johnson, adapted from tweets by Bitter Karella. Production and music by Robin Johnson. The Midnight Pals is created by Bitter Karella. All characters are fictitious, especially the real ones. Elements of existing works are used for purposes of parody and comment. 

Shirley Jackson was a prolific author of horror and mystery novels and short stories. Her breakout piece, The Lottery, a short story about the violence lurking behind the facade of small-town American life, resulted in reams of hate mail being sent to Jackson and her publisher from exactly the sort of people it was about. Her novel The Haunting of Hill House substantially defined the modern haunted house subgenre, and has been described by (the real) Stephen King as one of the most important horror novels of the twentieth century. Jackson's work is still in copyright; some can be read or listened to online at

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A transcript of this teaser is available at

Episode Transcription


VOICEOVER: Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals, created by Bitter Karella.


MARY SHELLEY: Listen up, fuckers. My girl Shirley Jackson here’s got a story.

SHIRLEY JACKSON: (NERVOUSLY) Um. It’s just this silly thing I—

SHELLEY: Stop bloody doing yourself down, Shirley. (TO OTHERS) This is the badass that wrote—tell them what you wrote, Shirl.

JACKSON: The, um. The Tale of, um, the Lottery.

DEAN KOONTZ: The Lottery? That doesn’t sound scary.

JACKSON: Um. But in this Lottery, like, instead of winning a million dollars or whatever. If you win, they, sort of, stone you. And your family. Um, to death.

CLIVE BARKER: Whoah. Count me out, I am not buying any tickets. I don’t care what charity it’s for.

STEPHEN KING: The Tale of the Lottery? That was great! So cool to meet you, Shirley!


HP LOVECRAFT: The Tale of the Lottery? Ooh, I’m still really mad about that story.

JACKSON: ...why?


JACKSON: Um. Submitted for the Approval of, um, the Midnight Society, I, um. I call this story the, um. [MAGICAL SPARKLE, MUSICAL MOTIF] The Tale of the Haunting of the Haunted House on Haunted House Hill.

KING: Oh boy, I love a good ol’ haunted house story!

JACKSON: So there’s this, um, eccentric millionaire paranormal investigator. And he invites a ragtag group of unconnected misfits from across the country to spend a week in his haunted house.

BARKER: Bit of a trope, but OK.

SHELLEY: It’s a trope ’cause Shirley made the tropes. Don’t listen to him, Shirley, your story rocks.


JACKSON: (GAINING CONFIDENCE) Built in 1881, this picturesque haunted house features everything from traditional horrors such as (SHIVERING) f-fre-e-ezing mists and otherworldly noises, to staples of modern adaptation including infinitely long corridors and... [MUSIC BUILDS TO CRESCENDO, THEN STOPS] ...fake jump scares. Far from local amenities, this isolated residence—

KING: Yeah, spooky! So, what happens when the misfits get there?

JACKSON: From the moment you pull up in the haunted house’s unnecessarily long and winding driveway to be greeted by the surly caretaker, Haunted House Hill House exudes that familiar feeling of outlandish mystery.

KING: Let’s, uh, let’s focus on this group of misfits for a second.

JACKSON: With its constantly shifting internal layout, at any given point in time, the house contains enough bedrooms to accommodate six to eight misfits!

BARKER: So that’s what, two beds?


BARKER: Come on, it’s a haunted house. People go there to party.

KING: What, uh, what does happen when these misfits arrive, Shirley?

JACKSON: The ominous creeeeaak of the front door heralds you into a neo-Gothic hallway with a vaulted ceiling and elegant sable ceramic floor tiles laid in strange alien geometries...

LOVECRAFT: Ooh. Are the geometries non-Euclidean?

JACKSON: (GIGGLES) Excellent question, Howard! The house has been recently checked by an independent surveyor and I can assure you there is not a square inch of Euclidean geometry on or in the property.

LOVECRAFT: Great! I hate Euclidean geometry. So nouveau-riche!

KOONTZ: Uh, are we gonna get to the ghost?

JACKSON: I’m glad you asked, Dean! The creepy forest in which the haunted house is located is indeed zoned for ghosts!

BARKER: Shirley… is this really a story, or are you just trying to sell us a house?

JACKSON: (PAUSE) Um. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you, um, meddling kids.

POE: Hold on. Does it have a cellar?


VOICEOVER: Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals, coming Halloween 2023 to wherever you find podcasts. Find us at