We’re back and we’re heading off to the seaside. People might tell you that Suffolk can be bleak at this time of year, but what do they know? There’s plenty to enjoy here. The hotel is pleasant enough, although we’re not sure why they gave us a private sitting room. Our shoes have never looked so shiny thanks to the boots and all his elbow grease. That nice old man at the curiosity shop keeps showing us wonderful things that belonged to dead people. And while the sand is too fine for making sandcastles, it’s nice and soft for digging. Everything here is rather idyllic. If it weren’t for the hideous ghost following us and the sense of impending doom, this would be the best holiday ever. Four stars on TripAdvisor.
Main Topic: A Warning to the Curious
While we’ve wrapped up our discussion of ghosts, we haven’t quite left the spectral world behind yet. Or maybe it refuses to leave us alone. Once these spectres set their sights on you, they can prove vexingly dogged. We’re going to keep away from any Martello towers, just to be safe.
This episode explores M R James’ classic English ghost story, “A Warning to the Curious”. England has an enduring love for ghost stories, and James is the towering figure in the field. We spend some time talking about the man himself and how his work has retained its appeal. Then we go digging for treasure in one of his best-known tales, looking for inspiration for our Call of Cthulhu games. We’re sure everything will be fine.
Things we mention in this episode include:
- M R James
- Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968)
- A Ghost Story for Christmas (BBC TV series)
- A View From a Hill
- Number 13
- Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)
- The Tractate Middoth
- Martin’s Close
- Aldeburgh in Suffolk
- Martello towers
- “A Warning to the Curious” read by Michael Horden
- Redacted dates in fiction
- A Podcast to the Curious
- “The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral”
- “The Treasure of Abbott Thomas”
- The Coat of Arms of East Anglia
- Rendlesham crown
- The BBC Adaptation of “A Warning to the Curious”
- A Ghost Story for Christmas playlist
- No Diggin’ Here
- Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange by Adam Scovell
- Our folk horror episode
- “Three Crowns” by The Triple Tree from their album, Ghosts
- The Lost Crown video game
- “An Amaranthine Desire” from Nameless Horrors
- Dunwich in Suffolk
Ain’t Slayed Nobody
Paul recommends Ain’t Slayed Nobody, a relatively new Call of Cthulhu actual play podcast focusing on Down Darker Trails. They are up to three episodes now and may branch out into other Cthulhu settings in subsequent shows.
One Cut of the Dead on Tear Them Apart
Our good friends Evan Dorkin and Paul Yellovich at the Tear Them Apart podcast recently released an episode about the marvellous Japanese horror film, One Cut of the Dead. You should seek this out even if you have no interest in found-footage or zombie films (especially if you don’t). It is full of surprises and pure joy. You should also go into it with as foreknowledge as possible of what you are about to see. And then you should listen to the Tear Them Apart episode about it.
Voluminous: The Letters of H P Lovecraft
And we have yet another newish podcast to recommend: Voluminous. Our good friends at the H P Lovecraft Historical Society are discussing Lovecraft’s copious correspondence, with each episode focusing on a single letter. And, as Paul mentions, who could be a better choice to present such a podcast?