|Did you know there's a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home? It's true. She's there now. She's always there, just out of your sight. Always just out of your sight.|
The Faceless Old Woman who secretly lives in your home. Who doesn't know about the Faceless Old Woman who lives in all of our homes? She was first mentioned in an advertisement for gulping.
She does "lots of things," including Bing searching for "pictures of dead wolves" and "the melting point of birds" and notating your copy of Infinite Jest. She came to public attention when she issued a statement revealing that she was confused by the way you organize your fridge, had changed your sheets, and wanted your wifi password. At first, the Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency seemed upset that she had alerted you and the media to her presence, and their agents surrounded your home. However, perhaps in response to the Faceless Old Woman's second statement, they soon retreated and did not use deadly force, regardless of how dead you might feel inside. The Faceless Old Woman apologized for the trouble. Also, she set your fridge on fire. It was upsetting her.
The Faceless Old Woman once told a story about a young woman with a face who tried to change her own life, and soon there became less and less of her every day until she died. (It turned out she wasn't talking about herself, but about someone she secretly lived in the home of.)
Life Before Night Vale[edit | edit source]
Little is known about the origins of the Faceless Old Woman, but in "The April Monologues", she says:
"I haven’t begged since I was a child aboard that wicked ship. Those men didn’t listen either, Chad, which is the reason I lived at the bottom of the ocean for so many years before this place, this desert, this town, this apartment…"
A book has recently come out called The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home that is about her life from her childhood to her settlement in modern Night Vale. More details on this are coming soon.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home[edit | edit source]
Homes in which she secretly lives[edit | edit source]
During her opening statement for the mayoral debate, the Faceless Old Woman described herself as "liv[ing] secretly in the home of every single resident" of Night Vale. Later on, she implied that she even lives secretly in Hiram McDaniels' cave.
Cecil once introduced the Faceless Old Woman as "someone I've known my whole life, and you have too." In a tape recording he made at age fifteen, Cecil mentioned interacting with the Faceless Old Woman who secretly lived in his family's home.
Name[edit | edit source]
Once, when Cecil called her "Faceless Old Woman," she told him, to his astonishment, that she had a name. He apparently found it kind of awkward to ask. Later, she gave her name as simply the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home. She has no birth certificate.
Personality and relationships[edit | edit source]
Cecil describes the Faceless Old Woman as "probably harmless," adding, "But maybe you shouldn't sleep in your home anymore, just in case."
She describes herself as motivated by "curiosity and concern." Most of her interactions with Night Vale citizens seem well-meaning, if creepy. She advises you to change your sheets more often, to relax and stop worrying, and, if your name is Mike Nominen, to discipline your children more. She cleans, reorganizes, and even installs a faster browser for you. Even Hiram McDaniels, who grew up outside of Night Vale, calls her "vaguely familiar and unsettlingly comfortable."
After accidentally provoking the Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency to almost kill you, the Faceless Old Woman issues a public apology. When dangerous condos arrive in Night Vale, she warns Cecil to beware them. However, after Cecil leaves to deal with the condo situation, she refrains from telling his radio audience what's happening to him, because, in her own words, she is "slightly malicious."
She often takes sharp likes and dislikes to things. She is easily upset by disorder, in particular the lack of organization in your fridge. She likes orderly things, such as old food stains with a distinct topography. She dislikes Hiram McDaniels' cave and the deep rumbling sound in the desert. She likes some of the bugs in your home, but not others. She feels strongly that Cecil's dining room table looks better now she's made it half a foot shorter. If your name is Felicia Jackson, she wants you to change clothes slowly.
Despite the tensions of the mayoral race, the Faceless Old Woman is on civil terms with her opponent, Hiram McDaniels. During the debate, they both described each other as beautiful because they both do beautiful things. After Hiram was sentenced to death, she was involved in his plan to escape the prison .
She once said, "Nothing ever really happens to me. I am completely safe from harm, and this is a great burden."
Physical form[edit | edit source]
The Faceless Old Woman's origin is lost to distant history, but she claims to have been a human child hundreds of years ago. She speculates that she may someday outlive the world itself and become "the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives Nowhere." She describes time as "weird, because it doesn't exist for [her] in the same way."
Most of the time, she goes almost totally unseen. When she visited Cecil at the radio station, he described her as "a fleeting image of someone just over my shoulder, [a] flicker of movement from the corner of my eye." When she came to his studio for the mayoral debate, Cecil remarked, "I can hear you, but I can't see you." "I wish you could see me," she complained once on the air. "If you would just glance left or right every so often, you'd see me."
She is apparently capable of being in more than one place at once. While giving her closing statement at the mayoral debate at the radio station, she also claims to be "actually in your home at this very moment."
She has been known to leave "long silver hairs on the pillow next to you."
She has the ability to skitter silently across your ceiling.
She possesses "thin, gnarled fingers" and "bony, skin-taut arms that have a surprising animal strength."
Facelessness[edit | edit source]
The Faceless Old Woman is generally acknowledged to have no face. Cecil admits he doesn't understand how someone without a mouth can speak as clearly as she does, or how someone without eyes can read.
When she met Kevin, he claimed, to her shock, that he could see her face. He called it "a beautiful face, a memorable face!" He described her as having deep hazel eyes, "proud lips," and an archaic jaw. "It's unlike any face in history," he said. Later, she stated that even she had never seen it before. She later reaffirmed that she has no face.
Mayoral candidacy[edit | edit source]
The Faceless Old Woman first announced her candidacy for mayor of Night Vale on Night Vale Community Radio. She said she had some good ideas to help the town, including a way of increasing school funding while still lowering taxes.
Later, she released a statement that was mostly about how she had replaced all the books in your home with other books, the covers remaining the same but the content being altered -- changing every single word of some of the books, in others only a single comma on a single page. She doesn't think you read enough, but that's not why she did it. She also criticized her opponent, Hiram McDaniels, claiming he had been exchanging emails with corn lobbyists wanting to elbow in on the Night Vale imaginary corn market.
As part of her campaign, she left leaflets inside the wiring and pipes of your appliances, to be found when the sparking and shaking becomes too much and you must a hire or capture a repair person. These leaflets are described as being "tastefully designed." They contain an anatomically detailed drawing of a sparrow's heart and the slogan "You are fragile, and blind, and wanting, and stepping alone into the great darkness of the future," as well as the Faceless Old Woman's five-point policy platform, which is mostly interesting facts she has learned about bees.
During the mayoral debate, she faced off against Hiram McDaniels and Marcus Vanston. She proposed "selling off unused items from our homes to raise money for our schools." She also said, "Children are our future. They are a terrible and less enjoyable future than the future we all represented, but they are a future nonetheless."
After Dana Cardinal was announced as the new mayor, the Faceless Old Woman and Hiram agreed to contest the results. The two of them declared the election botched, and they filed for a recount by shouting their complaints into the side of a canyon wall they thought might be Hidden Gorge. They both also worked together in attempt to assassinate Dana Cardinal, but ultimately failed.  Later, the Faceless Old Woman said she considered herself "presumptive mayor" of Night Vale.. In the episode "Faceless Old Woman," she is upset by the Sheriff's Secret Police's arresting of several old woman with no faces. She is now a fugitive for several attempts to murder Mayor Cardinal (including one in which her co-conspirator was arrested) and disrupt the town by releasing the Antiques.
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References[edit | edit source]
- Episode 14 "The Man in the Tan Jacket"
- Episode 26 "Faceless Old Woman"
- Live show "Condos"
- Live show "The Debate"
- Episode 33 "Cassette"
- Episode 53 "The September Monologues"
- Episode 43 "Visitor"
- Episode 49A "Old Oak Doors Part A"
- Episode 97 "Josefina"
- Episode 31 "A Blinking Light up on the Mountain"
- Episode 37 "The Auction"
- Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B"
- Episode 50 "Capital Campaign"