7 episodes

The Beacon Jar is a supernatural horror anthology podcast written and produced by Doryen Chin. Each episode contains a brand-new thrilling short story written specifically for the show, presented with minimal sound design and thoughtfully chosen music.

The Beacon Jar Podcast Doryen Chin

    • Fiction
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

The Beacon Jar is a supernatural horror anthology podcast written and produced by Doryen Chin. Each episode contains a brand-new thrilling short story written specifically for the show, presented with minimal sound design and thoughtfully chosen music.

    pod

    pod

    The captain of a deep space freighter stumbles upon the salvage of several lifetimes. 


     


    Credits: 


    Narrated by Rebecca Gambino-Harris 


    Written and produced by Doryen Chin 


     



    ----more----


    Music: 


    "They Call It Nature" 
    "Raise Your Hand If You Think Evil Is Increasing in This World" 
    "I Used to Need the Violence" 
    "Last Night I Dreamt I Saw True Love in Your Eyes" 
    by Chris Zabriskie 
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License 
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 


    "Awaiting Return" 
    "Departure - Ghostpocalypse" 
    "Echoes of Time v2" 
    "Heartbeat of the Hood" 
    "Lightless Dawn" 
    "Magic Forest" 
    "New Direction" 
    "Thunder Dreams" 
    "Tranquility" 
    "With The Sea" 
    by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

    "Sad Past" 
    by Silent Partner 
    https://soundcloud.com/silentpartnermusic 


     


    Transcript:


     


    My name is Evelyn Parr.


    The date is December 29th, 1484.


    I've been an operator for T.K.I. for eight wake-years.


    For the last three, I've run internetwork shipping lanes through colonial systems.


    Primarily towing petroleum barges and the like.


    My operational record and qualifications aside, I've passed every single quarterly C.T. scan, amyloid screening, and telomere checkup with flying colors.


    So let there be no doubt whatsoever that I am of sound mind, regardless of what you may think after hearing this report.


    ---


    I was on a wake cycle returning from Chiron.


    I'd already checked all the Trident's operational systems.


    It was nearly time to go back on ice when we picked up the signal.


    By "we" I mean me...


    And my ship.


    Long-range scanners detected an A.S.O.S - automated distress beacon.


    Per Network contract, I was obligated to respond under penalty of forfeit.


    ---


    When you pick up any sort of distress call, the system is designed to make sure you know.


    They say it's because the company "values every human life," but we all know the odds of live rescue out here in the black.


    ---


    The alarm came out of nowhere.


    I was doing last-minute spot checks on my crasket -- cryogenic sleeping pod -- when all of a sudden there's this odd... rumbling sensation in my chest.


    The cabin goes black.


    Emergency lights come on.


    Klaxons ringing in my ears.


    And it startles me so bad I bust my head on a railing.


    I climb over to the nearest terminal.


    It's flashing an all-hands bulletin.


    "S.O.S. detected. Procedural intercept in progress."


    That rumbling I felt was the inertial dampers straining against the main engines.


    The Trident was already en-route to answer the call.


    ---


    When I got to the bridge, I disabled the alarm and checked the sit-rep.


    Depending how far off this thing was, I might've had to go back into cryo for several weeks before we even reached it.


    I couldn't believe it when I saw that we only had six hours until intercept.


    Six hours.


    Something that close would be well-inside visual range.


    Do you know what the odds are?


    Astronomical is...


    an understatement.


    ---


    The Trident had a periscope.


    I never used it.


    I forgot it was even there.


    But, apparently when the Salvage Protocols kick in, the periscope automatically deploys and orients straight to the source.


    I could barely make out the object, even at full zoom.


    A pale fleck drifting against the endless void.


    An escape pod.


    Not much more than a crasket.


    ---


    The rendezvous would be done by remote.


    A repair drone would deploy, fly out to the pod, then guide it straight into the Trident's path as we fly by.


    That way we don't waste any fuel trying to match its velocity.


    ---


    I consulted the Protocol Binder and refreshed myself on the recovery procedures.


    First, the recovered article -- in this case an escape pod -- must be checked for known contaminants.


    Radiation, toxic materials, and biological hazards.


    Then the interior of t

    • 29 min
    eyes

    eyes

    Snowed in and cutoff from the world, a trapper and his wife cling to hope while their son slowly succumbs to an unsettling ailment. 


     


    Credits:


    Narrated by Soren Narnia


    Written and produced by Doryen Chin


    Sensitivity Reader: Katie Anna Ellis


     


    ----more----


     


    "Magic Forest"
    "Medusa"
    "Long Note Two"
    "Unseen Horrors"
    by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


     


    [content warning: missing child, animal death, child death, mild gore, unreality]


     


    Transcript: 


     


    Note: The audio you will hear is slightly altered from the text below, but the transcript is accurate for most purposes. 


     


    EYES


    by Doryen Chin


     


    My name is Amos Mockbee. I do not know what is to become of my family. It has been five years since I took purchase of a homestead in the eastern reaches of the Coconino territories. The land came cheap due to its remote and wild nature. Being a trapper by trade, it suited us fine. In the Summer, I cut many pines to make our home and built it in the clearing where they stood. By Fall, we had taken residence there. The following Spring, my wife was delivered of a son, Lafayette. So named after his mother's father. God rest his soul.


    I have come to the opinion that the trouble began right about three months ago. The boy and his mother joined me in collecting what I feared might be the last traps of the season. Winter came quick and with little warning. A long, dry summer left us wanting for rain. In return for our thirst we were buried under six feet of snow fall in the second week of November. We scarcely made enough on trade to last our stores till Springtime. Eudora reminded me that the Lord keeps those who keep to His Word. And so we prayed.


    It is not the winter which troubles me now, though it is a growing burden. Despite my warnings about the cold and quickening night, my wife did not return with Lafayette until after sundown. The boy wandered while she was busied with a trap and, finding him, lost her way home in the wood. I swore in my anger, though it was mainly fear that burrowed in my heart. The boy ate little and slept long the following day. We made his bed by the fire.


    There came a break in the weather, and I was obliged to make use of the sun while it stayed. Many traps remained unchecked, and I had little hope of seeing them all. My wife watched over our son in my leave, and I promised to return home before the dark came.


    I was dismayed to find that most of the traps remained empty, and collected as many as I could so they would not rust in the snow. By midday I was forced to stop to eat and rest. I did so on a felled tree, where a gap in the canopy allowed the sun to come through. While I sat and ate, I saw in the distance what I took to be a queer branch or tree root. Its odd shape struck me so that, after a minute, I stood to see it better. But it made little difference. I was forced to approach the thing, which I was now certain was neither branch or root. When I got to near about four or five yards, its nature became obvious. A creature. Larger than a steer. I believe the northerners call it a caribou. I do not know. It was very large. The protrusions I saw were its antlers. It was dead.


    This I knew, for its eyes were open and its black tongue hanged from its muzzle. I found no trace of injury or disease on the beast. It was my best guess, due to how it lay and the condition of the carcass, that this poor creature had froze to death. Caught unawares in the cold snap. I wept, for our prayers had been answered. Then I fetched the saw.


    With the help of Eudora, I was able to carve the animal into pieces small enough to carry, and we filled up most of the cellar with the meat. The cold and the dark would preserve it well through the wintertime. That night we ate hearty, and had lively spirits for the first time in recent memory. Even the boy enjoyed some of th

    • 14 min
    vacancy

    vacancy

    A teenage girl is left alone and terrified after the sudden reappearance of her abusive mother. 


    Narrated by Céline Guild 


    Written and Produced by Doryen Chin 


     


    ----more----


     


    "Aftermath - Madness Paranoia" 
    "Deep Noise" 
    "Departure - Ghostpocalypse" 
    "Echoes of Time V2" 
    "Inner Sanctum" 
    "Long Note Two" 
    "Medusa" 
    by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 


     


    [content warning: parental abuse, drug abuse mention, police, hunger]


     


    Transcript: 


     


    Note: The audio you will hear is slightly altered from the text below, but the transcript is accurate for most purposes. 


    VACANCY


    written by
    Doryen Chin


    My name is Jeanette Vaughn. I was sixteen years old when I ran away from home. Almost sixteen. They say that addiction is a disease. But living with an addict isn't just living with a sick person. You're also living with the addiction. I had been living alone with my mother for several years. I think I was maybe, seven or eight when dad left. I know. Same old story. But as mad as I am at him for leaving, I can't say that I blame him. I just kinda wish he'd taken me with him. I'd run away a few times already, before the big last one. At first it was just to like, teach my mom a lesson. If she didn't get clean, if she didn't get better, she'd lose me. It didn't work, of course. I think she knew I was full of it. Even with all the junk in her brain, she could tell I wasn't serious. Until the last time. The last time was different.


    She'd just had a huge breakup. For months she was seeing this guy. All sunshine and rainbows. I even got to meet him a few times. And she never brought guys back to our place. I don't think she wanted them to know she had a kid. So whenever she was seeing a guy, she'd disappear. Sometimes for weeks. When they inevitably moved onto something better, she'd suddenly be home all the time. And we'd fight. The fights were always bad, but at least fighting was easy. When you're in a fight, you know what side you're on. It's the in-between times that are the hardest. They remind you there's a person in there. Behind the hateful face, behind the humiliation and constant belittlement. Sometimes I'd pick a fight just because I couldn't stand the silence.


    But this one was bad. I was doing my homework on the kitchen table after having spent the entire day cleaning the apartment. My mom's boyfriend was supposed to be coming over for dinner and she kept talking about how this was going to be the one. I think she really thought he was gonna propose to her. So she called my school and told them I was sick so she could make me stay home and clean up for her. I had a friend from school drop off my homework. Well not a friend-friend. Just a person from school I talked to sometimes. Sorry. It was getting late and my mom hadn't showed up yet. The company shut off her phone so I couldn't call or anything. So I just waited. It got dark. Eventually I was too tired and hungry to wait so I just heated up some leftovers and went to bed. We lived in a one-bedroom apartment. For all her faults, she let me have the bedroom and she slept on a foldout in the living room. That meant that when she came home in the middle of the night, I knew I'd find her there. Crashed out. But the next morning the couch was empty. It hadn't even been touched. When she wasn't home that night after school, I called the cops.


    Sheena didn't have a great relationship with the cops. She had a record. When I called and told them what happened, they went through the motions. Five foot seven. Long, curly black hair that goes down to her waist. Last seen getting high with some a*****e behind a Circle K. It was pretty obvious that they weren't going to do anything. People like my mom go missing all the time and in most cases they're just off somewhere getting so high they forget to come home. They told me to follow

    • 25 min
    metro

    metro

    A late-night commuter witnesses a chilling event outside the window of their subway car, and becomes obsessed with solving the mystery which surrounds it. 


     


    Credits:


    Written, Narrated, and Produced by Doryen Chin


    Sensitivity Reader: Auden Granger


     


    Transcript and Content Warnings under the cut:


    ----more----


    Note: The audio you will hear is slightly altered from the text below, but the transcript is accurate for most purposes.


    [content warning: suicide mentioned, workplace sexual harassment]


     


    METRO


    by Doryen Chin


    My name is Tracy Urnwight. It's been almost a year since the last time I took the train. I'm moving upstate next week, because even the low-pitched rumble of the subway beneath the street makes me break into a cold sweat.


    It was the last week of October, and I was on my way home after working my second double in a row at a lounge in Soho and I was scheduled to open the next day. I needed the money.


    I think it must've been almost three in the morning. At that hour, there are fewer lines open. I had to go half an hour out of my way just to get home, but it was either that or walk all the way to the nearest direct route. At the time, walking those dim streets alone just wasn't worth the trouble.


    So there I was, sitting by myself in the last car on the train, my head against the window. My phone was dead, so I was forced to read all the cheesy ads plastered all over the car just to keep myself awake long enough not to miss my stop.


    Near the end of my commute, there's a long stretch of tracks that run above ground. As the train emerged from the tunnel, I glanced out the window to look at the skyline that was visible beyond an old warehouse district. Neon skyscrapers flashed between the rows and rows of passing warehouses and old mills.


    It was right about then that I caught a glimpse of something that made me sit up in my seat. You know that thing where the human eye finds faces in everyday objects? Para... Para-doll... whatever. Apparently it works that way for things that look like human bodies too. There's nothing quite like the shock of seeing a person where you don't expect there to be one. You can imagine then how it felt, as my train passed the last of the warehouses and I saw there, on the roof of the warehouse at the very end of the row, standing right on the ledge -- easily a hundred feet off the ground -- was a person.


    I stared as the train pulled away, and just before the warehouses winked out of sight, my stomach lurched as I saw them jump.


    Immediately I stood and craned my neck to get a better look. Unable to see anything, I ran to the back of the car and crammed my face against the window, my hands cupped around my eyes against the lights, but I saw only darkness, and the pale orange glow of the city against the sky.


    My phone still dead as it was an hour before, I ran ahead to the next few cars and found, that, the only other people on the train this far down the line were, an old Vietnamese couple and a junkie passed out on the bench seats.


    Funny how there's always a guard nearby whenever you lose your pass, but never one when you need any help. I don't think I got any sleep that night.


    I spent the next day with one eye glued to the news. Checking Twitter, local stations, anything I could think of. By the end of my shift, I had mostly convinced myself that I must have imagined the whole thing. I hadn't exactly been getting any actual real sleep lately, and it was entirely possible that I didn't see anything at all.


    But that night, as my train once again emerged from the tunnel, I held on white-knuckled to the seats in front of me as I found myself staring out at those old decrepit warehouses. I expected to see them dark and abandoned, like they always were. Of course they would be. They had to be.


    I should have been dead tired, but instead I found myself wide, painfully awake. Unlike when you're dreaming, when the world is slightly dulled, I could fee

    • 19 min
    mountain

    mountain

    In terms of sheer hostility to human life, this remote and little-known range is second to none. One unlucky climber finds out why a third of all who summit The Mountain do not return to tell the tale.


     


    Credits:


    Narrated by Marissa Chin


    Written and produced by Doryen Chin


    Sensitivity Reader: Auden Granger


     


    "Deep Horrors"
    "Deep Noise"
    "Departure Ghostpocalypse"
    "Echoes of Time v2"
    "Medusa"
    by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


    "Spirit of the Dead" by Aakash Gandhi


    The Beacon Jar - Copyright 2018 Doryen Chin


     


    Transcript and Content Warnings under the cut:


    ----more----


    [content warning: gaslighting, descriptions of corpses, descriptions of mental illness]


    Note: The audio you will hear is slightly altered from the text below, but the transcript is accurate for most purposes. 


     


    MOUNTAIN


    Written by Doryen Chin


    My name is Agatha Bembridge, and it is by pure, dumb, terrible luck that I am alive. So that no one will go seeking to verify my account for themselves, I will keep the name of The Mountain a secret. Some of my peers may be able to guess its identity by deduction through any clues I unintentionally provide. But, it is my sincere hope that my reputation and this warning alone will be enough to give them pause.


    The two-week hike up to Base Camp was as slow and arduous as I'd heard, even after eighteen months of training and planning. I was traveling with a handful of guides who were native to the region, as well as a wealthy European couple making their second attempt at the summit. We had to stop several times along the way to visit various temples and villages, so that our guides could pray for safe passage into these barren lands. On the evening of the twelfth day, we arrived.


    Normally, the first night at Base Camp is spent in relatively good spirits. Just getting here is a small miracle in its own right, and it's rightly celebrated by most who make the trip in one piece. However on the night of our arrival, we were greeted by ashen, solemn faces. News from a party descending the summit had just come in. One of their climbers had died. The party leader, Helen Schwarzschild, had lost her son, William, shortly after they began their downward climb from the peak. We sat in relative silence, our dinners growing cold on our plates as the remaining survivors emerged from the darkness.


    The fact is, nearly a third of all climbers who reach the summit of The Mountain do not return. In terms of difficulty, there are several more challenging peaks in the world. But in terms of sheer hostility to human life, this remote and little-known range is second to none. The thing which makes the mountain so deadly is a subject of contention, however. You see, most deaths which occur on The Mountain aren't the result of a bad fall, or an avalanche, or an injury of any kind. Though, that does happen on occasion. No, most people who die on The Mountain, simply stop climbing, sit down, and never get back up again. They call it, “Mountain Sickness.” According to Captain Schwarzschild, the manner of her son's demise was congruous with the others. He was tied to her life line when he perished, and she had to cut him loose with her own knife.


    There's a saying, popular among many mountaineers and alpinists familiar with the perils of high-altitude climbing. “Those who die on The Mountain, stay on The Mountain.” Despite the best efforts of the local government, most who perish near the summit must remain there indefinitely. Too costly to find, or too inaccessible to reach. But, the attempt must be made. The European couple offered to cover the cost of the extra climbing and retrieval gear for the guides, as well as any incidentals incurred along the way. At first, the grieving mother was reluctant to accept their charity, insisting that the insurance would cover it. But it didn't. The onl

    • 35 min
    widow

    widow

    A solicitor tries to help a young widow sell her remote farmhouse, but begins to suspect that she carries a dark secret. 


     


    Credits:


    Narrated by Rebecca Gambino-Harris


    Written and produced by Doryen Chin


    Sensitivity Reader: Auden Granger


     


    "Shadowlands 1 - Horizon"
    "Shadowlands 2 - Bridge"
    "Shadowlands 4 - Breath"
    Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


     


    Transcript and Content warnings under the cut:


    ----more----


    [content warning: suicide mention, medical abuse, misogyny] 


     


    WIDOW


    written by
    Doryen Chin


    My name is Jennie Greengold. The date is June 11th, 1914. This record is for the use of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office in order to satisfy the subpoena served to my employer, Vandenberg Titles and Holdings. On April 8th our client, Sarah Hoffmoor, contacted us by post for the purpose of selling the estate in which she lived with her late husband, Alister. Built by Alister himself, the house stands on parched farmland in the far southeast of the county. Chosen, no doubt, for its isolation and bucolic landscape. Since his passing, Sarah survived there alone these eight long years with no neighbors and scant visitors to speak of. No matter what else is true, the bad business which ended Alister’s life cannot hold a candle to what came after.


    I left by train the following morning to appraise the property and finalize the contract. I inquired at the station for a driver and finally found one who was willing to make the two-hour trip. None with whom I spoke at the station or the driver pool had heard of the estate, and not many had the need to head out that way for the lack of steady clientele. We arrived at the estate at just past six in the evening when the sun had begun to set behind the hills which lie on the western edge of the property. The first sign that something was wrong was that the front gate of the property was absolutely overgrown with weeds. The bottom crossbeam was so thoroughly caked in dried mud that it was obvious no one had crossed its barrier in some months. With no other way around the long fence that bordered the property, I was forced, with the help of my driver, to mount the fence and pass my luggage along over the top once I was across. He declined to help me carry it to the house.


    Dragging my luggage along the neglected path toward the front porch, I had to bend down to avoid the branch of a large tree which hung ponderously in my way. It occurred to me that some time ago, a storm had likely wrenched the limb away from the trunk but had not finished the job. It would have to be cleared before the house could be viewed, that was for certain. Once I had navigated the limb and brambles I was at last able to take a clear look at the house. From previous examination of the architectural drafts kept in our offices, I had known roughly what to expect. The primary residence would be a two-story building with six bedrooms, a full kitchen, parlor, and study. Below ground, I expected to find some iron contrivance for the heating of water and what must by now be a nearly empty food cellar. However, upon my approach, it became obvious to me that at least a few changes had been made either during construction or afterward. I noted that in addition to a gardener, I should have to hire a carpenter to inspect the modifications. Wary from my long journey, I was perhaps too eager to notice much else was wrong.


    It is our policy to keep photographs of all of our clients on file in order to prevent fraud and provide peace of mind. It is because of that policy that I had an idea of Sarah Hoffmoor’s appearance despite never having met the woman. The portrait, which I believe may be the only one of her in existence, was taken at Sarah and Alister’s wedding. In it, Sarah sits in a small chair with her hands crossed upon her knee and Alister behind; his right hand holding her l

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

matteo9 ,

As good as

Reminds of me Knifepoint Horror and SessionsX

~ Violet ~ ,

Episode “pod” is Fantastic!

Absolutely loved the episode titled “pod.” It was an atmospheric deepspace SciFi story. And the other episodes were plenty spooky.

Sammi Mathur ,

Author

I love to listen to The Beacon Jar to get the creative juices flowing. The stories reach deep inside you and pull out all the visceral fears and feelings. Many times I can't figure out if I should scream or cry at the end of the story... LOVE THE PODCAST.

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