Cerwin Vega Speak(er)s From the Grave

What does it mean to you to be scared?

Was it an unexpected event like someone sneaking up behind you and yelling “Boo”?  Probably not, I don’t think that has ever worked on anyone.  The word “boo” itself is an indicator that this is not a real cause for alarm.

Was it self induced like a roller coaster ride or a haunted house? Would you, for a night, join a group of ghost hunters and spend a night in a cemetery looking for shadow people? Have you ever had a white noise experience?
A friend of mine did.

First, let me start by saying; When I say “friend” I mean someone whom I can personally vouch for. He’s currently deployed and only in the military to pay for college tuition for a degree in microbiology. He is in school because of my influence but that’s another story.

His name is Cory.

Cory and I worked together in construction for many years and became friends out of mutual interest. He was into much of the stuff I liked. Computers, Sci-Fi, he was a gamer and played guitar, and after a while he had really ingratiated himself with my family. Cory played mostly metal, extremely loudly through a Crate half-stack. (If you’re a player you’ll know what that means. If you are not, it is not important.) He was a serious musician and very talented. We played a ton of Pink Floyd and classic rock together.

Cory lived in a house that had once been a logging cabin some hundred years before. On top of a mountain located on the backside of Hobbs State Park, a national forest in Arkansas. The house was almost at the end of a road long after you left black top. The roof leaked, windows had been busted by storms and plastic now covered most of them. An old stuffed owl, draped in cobwebs and dust had hung on the living room wall since the 1960’s. The wallpaper peeled back like old, rotted skin to reveal moldy blisters on plaster underneath. Years of the roof leaking indiscriminately had festered the house like a wound. But the advantage of living so far from anyone was that no one was close enough to come between him and his love of playing  Slayer and Pantera and DragonForce three in the morning. In fact he spent a good portion of this time searching for Cerwin Vega speakers as these are the speakers used to create rumble effects in theaters. The speakers are enormous with large magnets and are almost impossible to blow. Exactly what someone who plays blaring metal at three in the morning needs.

CerwinVegas 80s

Living down the end of a long dirt road has many advantages besides never worrying about a noise complaint being filed against you. The only traffic on your street is either lost or coming to visit you. No door to door salesmen, no Jehovahs Witnesses, no flyers on your door, and when you see wild life they are not just about to become road kill. The disadvantages though include people who dump unwanted animals and furniture like couches or mattresses, cats and dogs because they don’t want to pay the cost at the pound or dump ground fees. So Cory wasn’t surprised to see a couple of boxes in the ditch one night on his way home. What did surprise him though was the fact the boxes were nice wooden home speaker cabinets. Old but in nice shape and with a twist of irony. Cory searched the internet and traveled several hundred miles when he found an old theater closing and auctioning the contents of the building in the hopes of obtaining a Cerwin Vega speaker. Here in the ditch, not far from his house, were two vintage Cerwin Vega speakers, in custom built cabinets. Well crafted with a knowledge of cabinetry and electronics. He felt the universe must have been giving him a gift that night when he got home found out not only did they work, but sounded like they were built yesterday. With a set of new speakers for toys Cory did what any metal head guitar player would do, he jammed as loud as he could till 1a.m.

Now I lived on top of another mountain at the time, also inside the park. I played a Marshal half-stack myself. Sometimes, when the amp was in stand by mode it would pick up Hispanic radio frequencies and I could barley hear a station from Mexico bleed in and out just audible enough to make out what it was. I would have to go through inconvenience of powering it down to kill the noise. My Marshal was much older than Cory’s Crate amp so he never experienced this annoyance.

So at first I had my doubts when he told me that he had heard a voice come from his speaker. After cranking through the speakers at full volume for a bit more than an hour, till he was drenched in sweat. (Guitar, especially heavy metal, can be a workout, by the way.) He told me the second he stopped, in a clear loud male voice he heard the words, “Let me out.” He said that he thought there was someone outside and yelled “Hello?”

The response didn’t come from outside, it came from the speakers. Through the persistent hiss of the white noise it screamed this time, “LET ME OUT!”  In an adrenaline rush, Cory unplugged the speakers from his amp and tossed the cords down. The white noise stopped, the voice didn’t repeat itself again. He put the speakers in the bed of his truck and the next day took them to the dump ground. This might sound like another “someone told me” story except I know Cory.  He had goose bumps on his skin, he didn’t tell many stories like this. And then he never spoke of it again.

An updated version of this story is available for Free on Google Play Books under the title Metal Noise.  by +RevJamesJones


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