The Stone Tape

We’re back and we’re watching in helpless terror as echoes of the dead past haunt us, screaming endlessly. This is our look at the classic 1972 British horror film, The Stone Tape. Fittingly, the BBC originally broadcast it as a ghost story for Christmas. We may be a day late on that front, but the nights are still cold and dark, and the air filled with ancient menace.

And weird dancing lights, for some reason.

Main Topic

Although not explicitly Lovecraftian, The Stone Tape shares some themes with Lovecraft’s work, especially in its scientific investigation of the unknown. This is not too surprising, considering the script was written by Nigel Kneale of Quatermass fame _who we mentioned in episode 5). His work is always easy to mine for Call of Cthulhu inspiration, and we cheerfully do so in this episode.

“If you can write a stat block for the Colour Out of Space, you should be able to manage a bunch of spooky lights.”


At the time of posting, you only have around 24 hours to back the Idol of Cthulhu Kickstarter Campaign. This features a new scenario from our very own Matt Sanderson, adding new layers of horror to Lovecraft’s tale, The Call of Cthulhu.

And speaking of time-limited offers, you have less than a week to act if you would like a copy of issue 3 of The Blasphemous Tome, the 1980s-style fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. This is the first issue to be licensed by Chaosium and features a brand-new, fully statted scenario for Pulp Cthulhu. If you would like a copy, simply back us at any pledge level by the end of 2017. The Tome will then find its way into your hands, as if by eldritch and unwholesome magic.

Our good friends over at Chaosium have announced an exciting new scheme. The Miskatonic Repository allows Call of Cthulhu fans to publish and sell their own material, subject to editorial approval. Chaosium have even provided templates and art packs to make the process easier. The first publications are already available, with many more in the pipeline.

And, in a Christmas miracle, Patreon have cancelled the changes to their fee structures. Backers will not be charged extra processing fees, and will continue to pay only the amount they pledge. Even so, we will continue to investigate alternative options for backers. Watch this space for updates.

Other Stuff

We are still working our way through a long list of people to sing our thanks to. This is our hideous way of praising those brave people who back us on Patreon at the $5 level. For reasons of basic human decency, we limit ourselves to two songs per episode. The recent surge of backers brought on by the new Blasphemous Tome means shall we be singing for many episodes to come.

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3 comments on “The Stone Tape

  1. Great episode guys! Yes, I’d love to hear another ‘Nigel Kneale’ episode, please.
    I found the BBC Radio play (in 3d sound) that Paul mentioned:
    It does add a new slant on things, with the scientific breakthrough sought is for ‘sonic mining’ – I think the Mi-Go have a patent for that.

    I agree, ‘The Stone Tape’ is really creepy and the acting over done but the scene in which Jill met her death is quite scary in a surreal way – especially when climbing the stone steps turns into scrambling up the side of a standing stone column (menhir?).

  2. It’d be fun if you would do a show about Amando de Ossorio’s “Blind Dead” series sometime. It would also be interesting to hear your take on Lucio Fulci’s unofficial “Gates of Hell” trilogy.

  3. Evan Dorkin Jan 28, 2018

    Really, really enjoyed this episode. I’d first read about The Stone Tape in fan magazines back when it was impossible to ever hope to see it in America, and only recently caught up with it on Youtube (after nearly 40 yrs). I also enjoyed the radio play Paul mentioned, which I listened to before I watched the movie, it does a very good job of attacking the story through audio and playing up those aspects of the story. It’s creepier, and jolts a few times and comes off as even more tragic, I think.

    The movie made me think of Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness a bit, with a group inside a troubled location using computers and technology to deal with the supernatural. Also made me think of The Yellow Wallpaper, in regards to the woman being beaten down by the men around her, who won’t listen or aren’t capable of listening to her.

    I vote “yes” for a Kneale episode, esp. Quatermass. And would actually love to see you tackle Prince of Darkness someday, which I think is underrated, genuinely scary, full of terrific imagery and more Lovecraftian in tone than In The Mouth of Madness (and more successful, although a lot of folks don’t agree). The mixed group of specialist professors/scientists, along with a priest and several students way out of their element, offers plenty of possibilities. As does a big jar of green goo Satan, etc.

    Anyway, belated happy new year to you all. Having fun catching up on the last few episodes.

    P.S. I finally have my first CoC game book (only about 35 or so years wait for that). My brother-in-law gifted me with a 7th Ed Rulebook for the holidays which I’ve been reading and enjoying. My 13-yr old daughter loved the insanity lists, btw.

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