Transcript: Episode Seven – The Rulebreaker

The word transcript in blocky marker style script, over a background of greenish turquoise brick.

The Way We Haunt Now

Episode Seven – The Rulebreaker

Courtney: Hey there specters and spectators, this episode contains live animal sounds [7:03 – 7:27] (specifically a dog barking) and traffic sounds [20:35 – 20:40] that may be alarming. So, if either of those things are likely to bother you, please check the transcripts before listening. 


SFX: Hospital monitor beeping and ghost house ambiance (floor boards creaking, a spooky breeze, and windchimes) in background throughout scene…

MARY: I’m going to have to insist that you stay away from the hospital and the apartment until we’re absolutely sure the danger is past.

FRANKIE: Of my becoming a poltergeist?

MARY: Right. I’m making inquiries to see if a… Well, I said I’d be frank and I will. To see if a poltergeist formation has ever been successfully averted. I might be away for the rest of the day. But I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Josie and Lota. 

FRANKIE: Thank you for going to all of this trouble.

MARY: It’s nothing. Just promise you’ll stay away from the apartment and the hospital. At least for now.

FRANKIE: Of course. I promise.

MARY: Okay, then. I’m off.  I’ll just…

SFX: Mary knocks

JOSIE: (off) Come in!

MARY: …leave you with Josie. I believe she has something to discuss with you.

SFX: A whoosh as Mary leaves.

FRANKIE: Thank you again… (Muttering to self) oh, you’re already gone. 

SFX: Doorknob rattles and door creaks as Frankie opens Josie’s door. 

FRANKIE: Hello? You wanted to speak to me.

JOSIE: Oh, hey Frankie. How do you feel about pants?

FRANKIE: Good morning to you, as well. And… Uhmm.. You mean trousers? Like yours?

JOSIE: Sure. Trousers.

FRANKIE: I was never allowed to try them when I was (PAUSE) when I was alive. What are they like?

JOSIE: (incredulous and a little stumped) What are they like? What are pants like? 

FRANKIE: Yes, what are they like?

JOSIE: Well, for one thing, they’re a heckuva lot lighter than that gown you’re wearing. There are fancy pants and work pants and lounging pants. And all of them–every single kind, except maybe slacks––are like…freedom. They let you move pretty much however you need to. 

They have deep pockets and they keep your legs warm and they show off your figure and they mean you’re ready to jump or run or hang upside down at a moment’s notice. When they fit right, they’re like old friends––they make you feel safe but also make you feel like a million dollars. And believe me, if I make ’em, they’ll fit just right.

FRANKIE: (a little stunned) Oh. Well, in that case, I’d like to try them. If it’s no trouble.

JOSIE: It’s what I’m here for.

SFX: Theme music (simple guitar with spectral oohs and ohs and occasional cymbal crashes) fades in…

COURTNEY: (V.O.) This is The Way We Haunt Now, Episode Seven: The Rulebreaker

SFX: Theme music fades out.

JOSIE: I’ll just need your measurements. And then we need to talk about tops. Are you more of a blouse, t-shirt, or tunic woman?


JOSIE: Who am I kidding? We’ll do one of each and see what works. Stand taller, will you?


JOSIE: All right. This just goes around your waist.

SFX: Josie stretching out a measuring tape.


JOSIE: (Laughs) Oh yeah. I keep forgetting you’re old school and you’ve had clothes tailored before.

FRANKIE: Old school?

JOSIE: It means…

FRANKIE: Something like old-fashioned, I’d wager. I’m not sure I appreciate being called antiquated. 

JOSIE: That’s…I didn’t mean…(sighs) I apologize. All I meant was that you lived in a different time, and some things I usually need to explain to folks who died more recently might actually be normal for you.

FRANKIE: There is something I still need explained, though.

JOSIE: What’s that?

FRANKIE: The rules. They’re…well, a bit opaque, aren’t they? I suppose I understand the “do no harm” bit, given my recent haunting experience. But…

JOSIE: You’re hoping for some clarification. I feel you. I was there once myself. Ask any one of us what the rules mean, and you’ll get a different answer. Heck, ask me again in a day or two and I might say something different depending on the situation. But I’ll give it a shot.

Do no harm doesn’t just mean “do no harm to humans,” way I see it. I’d say it means do no harm to humans or yourself or your fellow spirits. But does that mean don’t haunt at all? Hard to say. Sometimes harm can be in the doing, sometimes harm can be in the not doing. Do you follow?

FRANKIE: Maybe? Not really?

JOSIE: It’ll come. Some things you have to learn as you go.

FRANKIE: What about “leave no trace”? Isn’t haunting a trace? 

JOSIE: Yes, it is. But that rule is more about evidence than anything. Recordings. Photographs. Videos.

FRANKIE: What are “videos”?

JOSIE: Films. Moving pictures. We have lots of fun new technologies today, and some folks just want to use them to capture evidence that ghosts are real. Which is a really bad thing.

FRANKIE: Because of the ghost hunters?

JOSIE: Right. Now, hold still. I need to get the rest of your measurements.

SFX: Measuring tape, pencil scratching as Josie writes down measurements.

FRANKIE: What sort of fabric do you use to make clothing for the spirits of the dead?

JOSIE: Dead fabric. Selvedges, scraps, recycled bits and bobs. When things die, figuratively or literally, they usually manifest in this…place…at least for a few moments. If I’m fast and I’m lucky I can catch hold before they disappear. (Breathes). Look, I know you have about a million more questions. But I have work to do.

FRANKIE: Of course. Thank you.

SFX: Sewing machine fires up, slowly winds down.

JOSIE: (off) Was there something else?

FRANKIE: I’m just… You didn’t say anything about the third rule. The one about the rosemary?

SFX: Ghost whoosh as Josie moves rapidly across the room.

JOSIE: There’s nothing ambiguous about it, Frankie. Promise me––if you smell rosemary, you run. No hesitation. No questions asked. You may have died, but there are worse things.

FRANKIE: (confused, a bit scared) I promise?

JOSIE: Good. Now, if you don’t mind, I have some sewing to finish. Lota should be around somewhere.

FRANKIE: Right, yes, of course.

SFX: Sewing machine fires back up, fades out…


SFX: Ghost dog barking. Traffic and birds chirping in background throughout scene. Hospital monitor beeping faintly throughout scene.

LOTA: It’s okay, girl. We’re here to help.

SFX: Ghost dog barking and growling tentatively. 

FRANKIE: I don’t think she wants help.

SFX: More barking…

LOTA: Oh, she wants help. She just doesn’t know if she can trust us, yet. That’s why I brought these.

SFX: Treat bag rustling.

SFX: Ghost dog barks one more time and runs away.

FRANKIE: Food? How is that even possible––oh wait, don’t tell me. They’ve just gone off in the living world. And because of an enormous cosmic loophole, that means they’re technically “dead.”

LOTA: That’s right. How’d you know?


LOTA: (Laughs) I should’ve known. Yes, the cosmic loophole did it’s thing and I just happened to be haunting the pet store when it did and voilà: treats for the stray spectral labradoodle. One of these days, she’ll be ready.

FRANKIE: (exasperated) This is all so much more complicated than I thought it would be. 

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick clicks and motor whirs… 

LOTA: Rescuing ghost dogs? Or the afterlife?

FRANKIE: (laughs)The afterlife. Back in my day, one was stuck in the clothes one died in and basically floated around in the aether without recourse to food or other material goods. 

LOTA: Was it really like that? Or is that what the living assumed must be the case?

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick clicks and motor stops… 

FRANKIE: I––hmm.

LOTA: At my funeral,  there were a few well-meaning, awful people who stood up and gave speeches about how I was “free” now. “Free” from my disability. “Free” from my wheelchair. As though my disability isn’t part of who I am. As though my wheelchair isn’t one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Her name is Sally, and with her I could go pretty much anywhere I wanted when I was alive. Provided there were ramps. She––She’s part of me, so of course she’s here with me in the afterlife.

FRANKIE: How awful of them.

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick clicks and motor whirs… 

LOTA: My point is, people like to talk a big game about things they don’t understand. Sometimes, they get lucky and say something that’s not completely wrong. But for the most part, you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. 

The afterlife is big and weird and, you’re right, complicated. I think it’s probably always been this way. Because the dead have always had to grapple with their ties to the living. 

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick clicks and motor whirs… 

LOTA: We’ve always needed ways to reach out, to do our best to make sure the folks we left behind––human and animal alike––are going to be okay. And, since we’re still thinking and feeling and doing in close proximity to all of that warm and bustling life, we still need to feel like we have a purpose here. A way to make meaning.

FRANKIE: And that’s why you have the rules?

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick click and motor stops… 

LOTA: Yes. To protect ourselves and the living from that proximity, that need.


LOTA: You’re a kind of unique case, but most of us…

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick click and motor whirs… 

LOTA: (Deep breath) Most of us still have family and friends living when we pass. And it can be hard to know how to handle that. Because there’s a new distance there, no matter what your relationship to your family was before. But there’s also this tantalizing closeness. This ability to watch and listen and haunt. The temptation to reach out. To manifest. To speak. Some people can handle visits from a dead loved one, but most can’t. And it’s easy for us to lose ourselves in the grief, to lash out at the living because we feel so helpless…unless we can find something else to focus on. I––It’s just as rough when your family eventually passes. Because not everyone stays here. 

FRANKIE: You’re saying my family could be out there haunting? 

LOTA: That’s not wha… 

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick click and motor stops… 

LOTA: I? Yes, they might. But it’s unlikely. 

SFX: Power wheelchair joystick click and motor whirs… 

FRANKIE: And I could find them and talk to them again? 

LOTA: …yes, possibly.

SFX: Power wheelchair motor whirring gets higher, lots of joystick clicking as Lota navigates… 

FRANKIE: I could look into my mother’s face, wearing these…pants…Josie is making me and tell her that her rules were harmful and ridiculous and wrong?

LOTA: M…hmmmm?

FRANKIE: I could tell my father that he should’ve intervened, instead of burying himself in the newspaper and hiding at the club? And I could see my brother and sister. Tell them that I’ve missed them. Find out what their lives were like.

LOTA: (muttering to self) I’m clearly not needed in this conversation anymore.

FRANKIE: (off) I could track down Sarah Melmotte and tell her that the only thing worse than her patronizing visits were her horrible pamphlets. Oh! Oh! Oh! Maybe Bow-wow is haunting with my family. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

SFX: Power wheelchair and Frankie’s voice both fade out…


SFX: Typing and outgoing text message sound.

DANNY: Any word on the poltergeist?

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

CAS: Not yet. But the signals were so strong. I sort of think we should head out there, just in case. Poke around a bit.

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

MYRTLE: I’m game. Just got out of my last class of the week.

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

NICK: Same here.

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received


SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

CAS: Gather your supplies and meet at my place at 2?

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

MYRTLE: Aye, aye Captain!

SFX: Typing and outgoing text message sound.

DANNY: See you soon

SFX: phone vibrates as an incoming text is received

NICK: Don’t forget the cheese crackers!!


SFX: A ghostly soundscape of crows cawing, cicadas and frogs singing, and an occasional thunderclap fades in...

NARRATOR: We thought everything was going well. Frankie was settling in, haunting alongside Lota and Josie, learning the parameters and possibilities of her new existence. She’d shown no inclination to return to the apartment. There’d been no poltergeisty outbursts. So, we started to relax. That was our first mistake. (Bitter laugh) Who am I kidding? That was the only mistake we had time to make.

SFX: Ghostly soundscape fades out…


SFX: Hospital monitor beeping and ghost house ambiance (floor boards creaking, a spooky breeze, and windchimes) in background throughout scene…

FRANKIE: So this is what pants feel like. I have a sudden understanding for the New Women.

JOSIE: Sorry, the who?

FRANKIE: Women who wore masculine clothing and rode bicycles everywhere and smoked and… (Whispers) Had relations with men. Without marrying them first. (Normal voice) They caused quite a scandal in my day.

JOSIE: (cackling) That’s pants alright. A gateway garment to free love and scandal. (Laughs) So, I take it you like them?

FRANKIE: Oh, yes. And this blouse. And the pockets. Thank you! I can’t wait to show Lota and Mary.

JOSIE: They won’t recognize you at all. 

FRANKIE: I don’t quite recognize myself. I could do…anything in these clothes.

JOSIE: That’s the idea. Your afterlife is what you make it.


SFX: Hospital monitors beeping in the background as always become suddenly more prominent. then, the sound of flatlining. Franki’s voice sounds suddenly crackly, and we hear the sound of Frankie hyperventilating in the background.

JOSIE: Hello? Earth to Frankie? Are you still in there?

FRANKIE: Huh? Wha–– Oh, sorry. I must’ve gotten distracted.

SFX: Sound of defibrillator charging and being used.

JOSIE: You think?

FRANKIE: What was I saying? Oh, yes. It’s so liberating. I just hope my family is out there haunting somewhere, so I can find them and…

SFX: Sound of defibrillator charging and being used.

FRANKIE: I––I’m sorry, I’m not feeling quite myself.

JOSIE: Is it the… Mary thought you might feel the call of the apartment? Are you??

FRANKIE: No, no. It’s just been an odd day. Lota made me realize my family is all long dead and that it’s unlikely they’re still around and… 

SFX: Sound of defibrillator charging and being used.

JOSIE: You need some time to process. I get it. Let me show you to the guest room.

FRANKIE: No, it’s okay. Mary showed me this morning. I’ll just have a bit of a lie down.

JOSIE: Great. Just call out if you need anything. 

FRANKIE: Thanks, I will. And thank you again for the pants.

JOSIE: Anytime.

SFX: Sound of defibrillator charging and being used.

FRANKIE: (whispering) I’m sorry Josie, and I know I promised, Mary, but I have to check on her. To make sure she’s okay. Or to be there waiting if she’s not. It’s the least I can do, after haunting her like that. It’s…

SFX: Phonograph crackles briefly to life…

FRANKIE: (Clears throat) Stop that. Stay calm. It’s just a quick trip to the hospital. I’ll be back before anyone even realizes I’ve gone.

SFX: Frankie whooshes away and the door slams in her wake.


SFX: Sounds of driving, radio tuning, “Ghosts (Here’s the Thing)” comes in on the radio.

NICK: Hey! I know this one. Turn it up! (Singing along) Oh baby, don’t you worry.

MYRTLE and NICK: (Singing along) Oh baby, don’t you cry.

MYRTLE and NICK and DANNY: (Singing along) Oh baby, don’t you worry we’re all gonna die. 

MYRTLE and NICK and DANNY and CAS: (Singing along) Sometime…

SFX: Song goes into instrumental 

MYRTLE: (Singing along) So here’s the thing about the honored dead…

DANNY: (Singing along) If they don’t lift you up, they fuck with your head…

NIck: (Singing along) Fill your mind with the way things shoulda been…

Cas: (Singing along extra warbly) Spend your whole life chasing for the way things shoulda been…

ALL: (Singing along) Oh baby, don’t you worry. Oh baby, don’t you cry. Oh baby, don’t you worry we’re all gonna die. Sometime. Oh baby, don’t you worry. Oh baby, don’t you cry. Oh baby, baby don’t you worry. We’re all gonna die, sometime…

SFX: “Ghosts (Here’s the Thing)” ends and Jon Harker comes on the radio. Someone turns the radio down.

JON: (on radio) That was Actual Pants with their new single, “Ghosts (Here’s the Thing).” I’m Jon Harker, and you’re listening to KBOU––K BOO–– where the music is all spooky, all the time. 

MYRTLE: How much further, Danny?

DANNY: Just a few more miles.

JON: (on radio) Here’s “Ghost” by Chamomile.

SFX: “Ghost” by Chamomile comes on the radio

MYRTLE: Hurry up, will you? Some of us didn’t bother to shower before cramming into a car full of folks.

NICK: Hey. I shower every other day, I’ll have you know.

MYRTLE: In what? Dirty dog water?

SFX: Electronic clicking sound

CAS: Shut up. I’ve got a signal.

DANNY:  Really?

SFX: Swervy screechy sound. Car honks. Danny and Myrtle scream.

MYRTLE: Keep your eyes on the road, Danny! You wanna hunt ghosts or be a ghost?

SFX: Electronic clicking sound

CAS: (ignoring everything around himself) It’s small but it’s definitely there. It’s almost like… It’s trying to hide from us. To disguise itself.

DANNY: Tricksy emmer effer.

CAS: Try all you want, little poltergeist. We’re onto you. And we’re coming.

NICK: With rocksalt and rosemary.

SFX: Sounds of driving and radio fade out…


SFX: Theme music (simple guitar with spectral oohs and ohs and occasional cymbal crashes) fades in

COURTNEY: (V.O.) This episode of The Way We Haunt Now is written, directed, and produced by Courtney Floyd with voice acting (in order of appearance) by:

KIRA: Kira Apple as Mary Bangs

ELEANOR: Eleanor Grey as Frankie

GEORGIA: Georgia Mckenzie as Josie

BECCA: Becca Marcus as Lota

BRAD: Brad Colbroock as Cas Bromley

TAL: Tal Minear as Myrtle

LINDSAY: Lindsay Zana as Danny

PAUL: Paul H. Rollins as Nick

KIRA: Kira Apple as the Narrator

TIM: Tim Lowe as Jon Harker

COURTNEY: Whether you’re new to the spirit world or simply a ghost in need of some entertainment, you can visit for more episodes as well as information about our cast and crew, content warnings, transcripts, and links to our social media. 

SFX: Theme music fades out

COURTNEY: Remember to haunt responsibly!

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