We’re back and we’re skulking around the old ruined abbey. Sure, the place is lousy with ghosts, but they’re not really that important. We’re far more concerned with the weather. If reading Gothic horror has taught us anything, it’s that storms are caused by our own inner turmoil. Or is that the other way around? Maybe we could figure it out if all these bloody ghosts would just shut up. Why won’t the past just stay dead?

Main Topic: Gothic Horror

This episode is our attempt to understand what exactly Gothic horror is. We’ve often mentioned how Lovecraft’s early work was rooted in the Gothic, but we’ve never really explained what that means. Gothic horror is one of those genres that you know when you see it, but actually defining it can be tricky.

Happily, Matt has a degree in English, and part of his studies involved the history of Gothic literature. We imposed upon him to dig out some of his dusty old texts and explain what elements go into Gothic horror and how the genre stands apart from other forms of horror literature.

Things we mention in this episode include:

mill of the stone women poster

News

Illusion Horror Con Seminars

Matt and Scott recently attended the Illusion Horror Con, taking part in seminars discussing horror GMing techniques, how to take inspiration from horror media, and the cosmology of the Kult RPG. All of these are now available for your streaming pleasure.

Paul’s Substack

Paul has started his own substack over at paulfricker.com, talking about the various projects he has on the go.

Rivers of London Launch at Dragonmeet

Paul attended Dragonmeet last month to promote the new Rivers of London RPG. He took part in a seminar on the topic, alongside Lynne Hardy and Ben Aaronovitch. While this was apparently recorded, it has yet to appear on YouTube. We shall update the show notes should this change.

The PDF of Rivers of London is out now, with printed copies due in the spring.

Our 2023 ghost story for Christmas concludes with part 4 of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Viy”.

Good friend of the Good Friends, Mike Perceval-Maxwell (host of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories), has once again organised a suitably eerie performance on our Discord server. He is joined by guest readers Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Sarah Dovey, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage.

We have broken the story up into four parts. Part 1, part 2 and part 3 are also available for download.

So fortify yourself with some brandy, listen for the cock crowing, and, whatever you do, don’t look into the Viy’s eyes!

The Viy by Nikolai Gogol

Shchedryk” (Carol of the Bells), performed by the choir “Solomiya”, is used here under a Creative Commons Attribution Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence.

If you would like to read along at home, you can find “The Viy” on The Literature Network.

There is also a fantastic film adaptation of “The Viy” available on YouTube.

You can also read Scott’s review of the film, from his 2013 October Horror Movie Challenge, on this very server.

And if all this has put you in the mood for Christmas ghost stories, please check out our previous readings:

Our 2023 ghost story for Christmas continues with part 3 of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Viy”.

Good friend of the Good Friends, Mike Perceval-Maxwell (host of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories), has once again organised a suitably eerie performance on our Discord server. He is joined by guest readers Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Sarah Dovey, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage.

We have broken the story up into four parts. Our plan is to release them all as bonus episodes in the run-up to Christmas. You can download part 1 and part 2 here.

If you would like to listen to the final part live, you can hear it on our Discord server. We will be reading at 22:30 GMT on the Friday the 23rd of December.

So light some candles, mutter a protective prayer, and duck before that coffin smacks you in the head!

The Viy by Nikolai Gogol

Shchedryk” (Carol of the Bells), performed by the choir “Solomiya”, is used here under a Creative Commons Attribution Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence.

If you would like to read along at home, you can find “The Viy” on The Literature Network.

There is also a fantastic film adaptation of “The Viy” available on YouTube.

You can also read Scott’s review of the film, from his 2013 October Horror Movie Challenge, on this very server.

And if all this has put you in the mood for Christmas ghost stories, please check out our previous readings:

The Viy part 2

Our 2023 ghost story for Christmas continues with part 2 of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Viy”.

Good friend of the Good Friends, Mike Perceval-Maxwell (host of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories), has once again organised a suitably eerie performance on our Discord server. He is joined by guest readers Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Sarah Dovey, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage.

We have broken the story up into four parts. Our plan is to release them all as bonus episodes in the run-up to Christmas. You can download part 1 here.

If you would like to listen to the remaining parts live, you can hear them on our Discord server. We will be reading at 22:30 GMT on the following evenings:

  • Part 3 – 20th December
  • Part 4 – 23rd December

So grab a fortifying drink, kiss the nearest Cossack, and get ready to be reunited with old friends!

The Viy by Nikolai Gogol

Shchedryk” (Carol of the Bells), performed by the choir “Solomiya”, is used here under a Creative Commons Attribution Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence.

If you would like to read along at home, you can find “The Viy” on The Literature Network.

There is also a fantastic film adaptation of “The Viy” available on YouTube.

You can also read Scott’s review of the film, from his 2013 October Horror Movie Challenge, on this very server.

And if all this has put you in the mood for Christmas ghost stories, please check out our previous readings:

We are delighted to offer you another ghost story for Christmas. Good friend of the Good Friends, Mike Perceval-Maxwell (host of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories), has once again organised a suitably eerie performance on our Discord server. He is joined by guest readers Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Sarah Dovey, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage.

This time, it’s the turn of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Viy”. While this tale of witchcraft, the unquiet dead, and the king of the gnomes may not seem like a classic Christmas ghost story, it has more than enough chills and evil spirits to fit the bill. It’s also very funny in places.

We have broken the story up into four parts. Our plan is to release them all as bonus episodes in the run-up to Christmas. If you would like to listen to the remaining parts live, you can hear them on our Discord server. We will be reading at 22:30 GMT on the following evenings:

  • Part 2 – 16th December
  • Part 3 – 20th December
  • Part 4 – 23rd December

So grab a nice, greasy sausage, say your prayers, and prepare for the ride of a lifetime!

The Viy by Nikolai Gogol

Shchedryk” (Carol of the Bells), performed by the choir “Solomiya”, is used here under a Creative Commons Attribution Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence.

If you would like to read along at home, you can find “The Viy” on The Literature Network.

There is also a fantastic film adaptation of “The Viy” available on YouTube.

You can also read Scott’s review of the film, from his 2013 October Horror Movie Challenge, on this very server.

And if all this has put you in the mood for Christmas ghost stories, please check out our previous readings: