We’re back with the second half of our discussion of Lovecraft’s story, The Dreams in the Witch House, slightly later than planned. We should have posted this last week, but our consciousnesses have been trapped in nightmare realms beyond mortal imagining, chased by hideous rat-like entities with the faces of deadlines.

Brown Jenkin

Like this, but twice as terrifying and three times as fast moving.

This is the episode where we discuss all the stuff you wanted to hear us talk about last time. In particular, we take in Stuart Gordon’s television adaptation for Masters of Horror, the sort-of-but-not-quite film version, Curse of the Crimson Altar and the rock opera. Yes, there’s a rock opera. Of course there is. Do you really want to live in a world where such a thing does not exist?

witch house

If you do want to live in such a world, our guide here will show you a handy short-cut through the corner of your bedroom.

We wrap up the episode by talking about the gameable aspects of the story, as that’s really the whole purpose of the discussion. Sure, it took us over an hour of rambling to get to this point, but in our defence we’re really not very good at this.

[SCM]actwin,0,0,1280,800;Adobe Flash Player chrome.exe 16/11/2009 , 14:49:25

Don’t judge us! Especially not if you’re going to be all creepy about it.

Until next episode (which will be here sooner than this one, honest!) we’ll let Keziah Mason sing you to sleep. Happy dreams!

In this latest episode, we discuss Lovecraft’s story, The Dreams in the Witch House. As usual, we talk a bit about the history and content of the story to set up our analysis of how to cannibalise it for gaming. Also as usual, we spent so long waffling that we ran out of time, so the gaming discussion will be in the next episode.

Knock loudly if you want to buy some pottery

Like the Witch House itself, Paul’s shed does strange things to time and space.

We were surprised when revisiting this story just how much of what we think of as the Cthulhu Mythos was born in it. While few people would list The Dreams in the Witch House as one of Lovecraft’s major stories, it deserves more attention than it gets, and you may find yourself transported by the ideas and imagery.


Just make sure to book a return ticket.

The second part of the discussion will be along soon, and will also include discussion of the various adaptations of the story into film, television, cuddly toys and rock opera. No, really.


Rock opera?

This latest episode is the audio portion of last week’s interview with Malcolm Craig of Contested Ground Studios. The only differences are the addition of our theme music, some slight fiddling with sound balance, a few edits and the fact that you can’t see any of us. This latter point may be the most appealing, but can also be achieved by shutting your eyes while watching the video.


Artist’s impression of the view from behind closed eyes.

Malcolm talks about his influences as a game designer, how being a professional historian influences his gaming, Lovecraft’s views on race and why Call of Cthulhu fails as an RPG. Some of his opinions may prove more controversial than others.


“What do you mean that post-modernist analyses of history are pseudo-intellectual wank?”

We’ve since had a chat with Malcolm about the possibility of having him back on the podcast to elaborate on some of his opinions about Call of Cthulhu in more of a round table discussion. If this sounds like the kind of thing that would interest you, please let us know! We do check the comments here, but we also have a community for just such things over at Google+.