We’re back and we’re starting a moral panic. It’s good to have a hobby. While riling up frightened mobs isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, it certainly helps us unwind after a hard day’s podcasting. In order to start up a good moral panic, however, one really needs something to blame. And if cultural history has taught us anything, it’s that horror makes a terrific scapegoat. So let’s grab the pitchforks and storm the very concept of that spooky old castle on the hill!

Main Topic: Is Horror Dangerous?

This episode, we’re trying to work out why so many people are afraid of horror. No, hang on, let’s clarify that. Horror is supposed to scare you, but does that mean you should be afraid of it as a genre? Is there something dangerous about horror? Can it cause psychological or even physical harm? Does it lead to moral corruption or erode the fabric of society? And won’t someone please think of the children?!

Our discussion takes in such thorny topics as moral panics, censorship, religion, politics, suicide, PTSD, animal cruelty and Mary Whitehouse. You have been warned.

Things we mention in this episode include:


A Weekend With Good Friends

With the latest Weekend With Good Friends having just wrapped up, we take a few minutes to thank everyone who made it happen. Thanks especially to Chris, Martin, Bence and Jack for their sterling work in organising everything on the logistical and technical fronts, and thank you to Rina, Dave, Sue and Max for keeping things running smoothly throughout the convention itself. And thank you, of course, to everyone who attended and who ran games! It was a delightful weekend.

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Root on How We Roll

How We Roll has just started a new mini-campaign of the Root RPG. Joe and Scott join GM Adrian Tchaikovsky, running a scenario of his own devising, with guest players Paul Cornell and Lizbeth Myles (of Big Finish). This was spectacular fun, with cute but larcenous woodland critters caught in the middle of a war. It turned into all the best kinds of chaos!

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Paul on Frankenstein RPG Podcast

Paul made another guest appearance on the Frankenstein RPG podcast. Season 2 sees the panel stitching together the best possible science fiction RPG from pieces of other games. This episode tears strips of GM advice and scenarios from its screaming victims.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 10

Issue 10 of The Blasphemous Tome is about to enter layout! This means we’re on course to ship the first copies to our Patreon backers at the start of December. See either our Patreon page or the page about The Blasphemous Tome on this very website.

With this being another year-end issue, we see the return of a number of regular features. In The Ludomancers, we each share our favourite gaming experiences of 2022. Episodes of Insanity sees us discussing the episodes that most stood out to us this year. And, once again, Matt offers a recipe and a short history lesson in Cocktail Corner. The centrepiece, of course, is a brand new modern-day Call of Cthulhu scenario inspired by Matt’s hair-raising near-death experience early this year.

Covers of Tomes of yore

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One comment on “Is Horror Dangerous?

  1. Perhaps related to this are some Japanese Ukiyo-e prints of yokai.
    For example, “The Earth Spider Conjures up Demons at the Mansion of Minamoto No Raiko” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1843 was banned, supposedly for commenting on government reforms (https://art.seattleartmuseum.org/objects/42435/the-earth-spider-conjures-up-demons-at-the-mansion-of-minamo;jsessionid=C2414290FDEFBFFBE996460DC1BAF625?ctx=79a643d4-7d15-4068-bbb0-d57b8ce17830&idx=963).

    There are a few more examples in this fine book I bought: https://www.amazon.com/Something-Wicked-Japan-Ukiyo-Masterpieces-ebook/dp/B08MFTYDPY

    The idea is that when horror is ascribed to the ruling class, it is a subtle way of using metaphor, possibly for rebellion, especially in repressive governments. I am thinking of John Carpenter’s “They Live”, for example, but there are of course others.

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