The Storage Papers is a pseudo anthology horror audio drama that is created in a found-footage style. The story begins in July of 2019 when a man named Jeremy decides to go to his storage unit.
Once at his unit, Jeremy notices an auction getting ready to begin. Now, Jeremy has never been to a storage auction before and is curious to see what it’s all about. So, he walks down to the unit only to find that the only other person there is the actioner waiting to start. Weirdly, no one else shows up for the auction, so Jeremy places the minimum bid of $5 and inherits all the unit’s contents. As he explores the storage unit, he finds boxes full of old case files that are a compilation of police reports and witness statements that all have to do with strange paranormal occurrences that are unexplained and unsolved. After going through some of the files, Jeremy decides to create a podcast sharing some of the documents and their interweaving connections.
When I first listened to The Storage Papers, I must admit it took me a couple of episodes to realize that it was a fictional audio drama. When I first talked with the creator Jeremy, who just happens to share the same name as the main character of the story. I asked him if I was the only one who thought that this was a true story because of how realistic it comes off in the first couple of episodes? I was relieved to find out that I was definitely not the only one. Jeremy, who is also a paranormal investigator, said, “a few people who knew me reached out and said, we’ve been on investigations together. Why didn’t you tell me about this storage unit? I had to say, look, this is fiction.”
It is always interesting for me to find out the origin story behind the podcasts I listen to and their creators. Jeremy’s origin story stems from his childhood and his own personal experiences with the paranormal. Jeremy grew up a military brat, and by the time he was in high school, he had been enrolled in 13 different schools. Those journeys landed him in a few haunted houses along the way, and one in particular, that was much more active than the rest. When asked about his experiences there, Jeremy had this to say.
“I have had a lot of experiences, and I lead a professional life, and I lead a very private personal life when it comes to the paranormal. So, talking about this stuff is relatively new for me within the last couple of years. I do not usually mention it publicly because people look at you sideways; it is like you are the weirdo in the room, but when you talk to people, everybody has got one thing they cannot explain. “
“I was a latchkey kid. Both my parents worked, and I was the first one home after school. So, from age seven through the end of high school, I was the first one home. I would walk in, and all the cabinets would be open in the kitchen, or the fridge door would be open, and it would have been open for hours because the stuff’s warm inside. I was the last one to leave for school too. So, I knew that I locked the door when I left. Unless my landlord’s sneaking in there, which does not make sense.”
“Then back in, I want to say 2005, 2006 it became common for me to see things regularly, I could be at work, I am in radiology, I am in all areas of the hospital, and I would see things and obviously people that were not alive. I was also very sleep-deprived at the time, so I always leave room for scientific explanation. I had kids with some health problems and were just up all night for months and months at a time. I thought, maybe that’s feeding into it, but it didn’t explain anything before that period.”
“I did go see a counselor, and they basically said it is hallucinations due to sleep deprivation. I can certainly attest to that. I am sure that a percentage of it may have been and that it can explain everything in my life. Just after that period, my kids got through those medical issues I started researching things. I started listening to podcasts about hauntings and things like that. I started listening to one I really enjoy called Into the Fray with Shannon Legrow. I have been on her show. I think it was episode 68 or 69, and I talked about an experience I had during that period. But I found it so comforting to hear so many other people sharing those experiences. It was validating.”
Initially, I thought that Jeremy was using his own paranormal experiences in the Storage Papers. But when I asked him about it, it turns out that that is not the case Jeremy explained, “aside from shadow figures, I try to make an intentional decision not to use personal experiences because I take the paranormal stuff very seriously. I know what it is like to be very scared by it. I know what it is like to feel like there is no solution to this problem. It is frightening, and it can be traumatic. It was for me as a child, so I’m conscientious not to use any of my own experiences as fictional material.”
The first episode of the series is called Baby Cries; it starts out with a man is running through a nature trail who becomes startled when he hears what sounds like a baby crying in the woods. Like most people, curiosity, and concern drives him into the darkness of the woods to search for what he thinks is a baby lost and alone, only to find out, well, you are just going to have to listen to the episode. It’s such a unique take on an old tale that I was curious about the story’s inspiration. When I asked Jeremy about its origin, this is what he had to say.
“I actually had a friend who told me a story of a bear chasing him when he was running. I used to run track and field and cross country in high school, and we would go to Yosemite every summer. A friend of mine came back from a run, and he claimed that he was being chased by a bear for probably a couple of hundred yards. I was one of the faster ones on the team. So, he was behind me, and I was sitting there at the time and was like, no way, dude, a bear can outrun you easy. Who knows, maybe it was a baby bear? I didn’t witness it. “
“I just carried that with me because this guy was almost in tears. He was one of those real macho guys, you know, the type that got around with the girls, and he bragged a lot. He was very much an alpha male that flexed his muscles all over the place, but he was legitimately scared. He was trembling, and when I hear something like that, I always go to this fictitious place where what if it wasn’t a bear? You know, what if it was a distorted combination radiation-induced man bear. I just thought, what’s one of the scariest things that you could think about chasing you alone through the woods, and I kind of just came up with that idea.”
The rest of season one introduces you to the rest of the characters involved, such as Ron and The Grinner. The season perfectly interlinks the characters and the overall anthology of these seemingly random, but maybe not so random files. One of my favorite episodes in season one is The Old Timer, which is based on one of my personal favorite subjects, time travel. So, I asked Jeremy his thoughts on the subject.
“I am so into time travel. as a kid, I saw the movie Time Machine, the old seventies version, and of course you’ve got the one with Kirk Douglas called The Final Countdown where the aircraft carrier goes back to the forties, and they had an opportunity to prevent the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor with a modern-day carrier. That really ignited my interest in time travel. The story, The Old Timer is just a very, very simple overview of the time travel process that we’re going to touch on later in the series.”
For season two, Jeremy reached out on Reddit asking if anyone would be interested in helping write The Storage Papers. He got fifteen responses, and out of those, six sent him stories. After going through the stories, two really stood out. One was by Cody Ditzenberger and the other was by Nathan Lunsford. Both of them came on board. Cody is a writer, actor, and composer, and the voice of The Grinner. Nathan is a writer, graphic designer, producer, and according to The Storage Papers website a possible psychopath. Nathan Is also the creator of the graphics you are seeing in this article.
I was listening to a Storage Papers Q&A on YouTube, and the question was asked, “when you started creating The Storage Papers did you have a set story in mind?” Jeremy replied, “I had probably three or four of the short stories in season one already written in my head at least. I did have an idea for a longer arc story that I was just going to kind of mesh the two with. So, yes and no. I didn’t have anything in writing, but I had an idea in my head of Jeremy. At least where he starts and where he ends. I knew I wanted to start with the first-person point of view from Jeremy’s perspective and it just kind of took off from there.”
Nathan and Cody have helped draft many of the overall arching stories of season 2. So, this got me thinking a bit, and I was curious if bringing on Cody and Nathan changed the story, and how it was being written, or its original premise? “Not at all, I think as new fiction writers probably know, it’s easy to write yourself into a corner. Just talking to these guys about some of the plans I had, and they said, hey, maybe we should do this because we want to avoid this situation. So, it’s really helped me as a novice fiction writer to bring other people on board.”
After finishing season two, which ends on a massive cliffhanger, by the way, I have to say it was put together beautifully. Jeremy’s overall vision and the accompanied writing of Nathan and Cody is incredible, and the story never lulls but keeps building and building with every episode. Just like me, I’m sure anyone who has listened to both seasons has only one question on their mind, and that is, when does season three come out? The good news is…soon. Season three will be released on May 11th, 2021.
I asked Jeremy what his plans are for season three and if he could give me any spoilers. “I’m going to let you hear it first. We are officially going to be launching a Patreon campaign. One of the goals, once we get a certain number of patrons subscribing, is to launch a sort of spinoff side story with one of the main characters. You’re going to see some of the same characters, but we’ve also alluded to a Dr. Patel. She’s going to be more properly introduced in season three, and we’re going to kind of expand her presence as we move forward. I can divulge that Malcolm is not The Grinner, but Malcolm is the person the grinner was inhabiting. He is currently in prison, but we’ll eventually be talking to the real Malcolm. We almost feel like it’s going to be a new character. We haven’t seen him yet outside of being possessed. We’re also going to be introducing a new villain that I think will give everybody the creeps plus a couple, couple of references to some new characters that’ll come into play maybe in future seasons.”
If you want to hear the full story about Jeremy and The Storage Papers, check out the Paranormality podcast and listen to both of my full interviews with Jeremy.