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:
- Moral panics
- The Appeal of Horror
- Extreme Subjects in Gaming
- Scream Unseen at the Odeon
- A Very Nervous Person’s Guide to Horror Films by Mathias Clasen
- Danse Macabre by Stephen King
- Disgust in Horror
- Content warnings
- Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
- Video nasties
- Snuff films
- Snuff (1975)
- Man who died laughing at The Goodies
- The Goodies
- I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
- William Castle
- The Tingler (1959)
- Macabre (1958)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- William Peter Blatty
- Moral Outrage: Why We Attack Each Other in Psychology Today
- Pascal Boyer
- Fredric Wertham
- Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham
- Albert Fish
- Robert E Howard and Conan
- The Satanic Panic
- Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons
- Livets Ord
- Jack Chick
- Razors Through Flesh blog article about Kult panic
- Confirmation bias
- Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape (2010)
- Mary Whitehouse
- National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association
- Nationwide Festival of Light
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover obscenity trial
- Grand Theft Auto
- Simon Whistler YouTube
- Gothic literature
- William Wordsworth
- Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- Penny dreadfuls
- Moral panic over penny dreadfuls
- Hays Code
- British Board of Film Censors
- ‘H’ Certificate
- Frankenstein (1931)
- Dracula (1931)
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.
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!
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.