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Author Topic: PseudoPod 703: Dream House  (Read 265 times)

Bdoomed

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on: May 15, 2020, 06:43:06 PM
PseudoPod 703: Dream House

Author: Orrin Grey
Narrator: Orrin Grey
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

“Dream House” was first published in Gothic Lovecraft in 2016



Show Notes
Escape Pod turns 15! Preorder the anthology! Check out the other news here: https://mailchi.mp/e7810b939179/escape-pod-turns-15

Creepy Podcast
https://www.creepypod.com/

Channel Zero: Candle Cove
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candle_Cove

Kris Straub
https://twitter.com/krisstraub



It was the last night of the Festival, and we were all sitting around one of the long tables out behind the Moon and Sixpence. It was cold enough that my feet were freezing and my hands were shoved into the pockets of my jacket when not gesturing or picking up a drink. Above us, a suitably gibbous moon dipped in-and-out behind clouds that would’ve otherwise been invisible.

There were still a couple of movies playing, so the back patio wasn’t too crowded yet, but I’d talked Simon out of watching Curse of the Crimson Altar on account of it being five minutes of awesome and an hour-and-change of people walking around in dark houses, so we were staking out the table ’til the Festival ended and the last movies let out. Simon was telling me about some French movie he’d seen this year that came off as a poor man’s John Carpenter, one that seemed to get worse every time he mentioned it.

As the table gradually filled up, the conversation twisted and turned—as conversations like that, in places like those, always do—and somehow or other we got on the subject of Lovecraft in old TV shows. Maybe there was a panel on it, or someone was suggesting one for next year. They’d showed the Stuart Gordon “Dreams in the Witch House” that year, and Nick mentioned that “Pickman’s Model” episode of Night Gallery, which I’d always loved. I told him it was my favorite adaptation of the story, and someone else—probably Ross—agreed. Sooner or later, of course, somebody brought up Dream House.




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« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 02:48:42 AM by Bdoomed »

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Metalsludge

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Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 06:47:38 AM
Like Alasdair, I love video archaeology of this sort. I have some half remembered lost series of my own from childhood. Naturally, the most creepy ones are the ones that still make me want to seek them out and find them today, as those are the ones that tend to haunt one. Sometimes, I find a needle in a haystack through the scavenger hunt, and rediscover how weird it really was, realizing that my childhood memory was not faulty after all. It really WAS that strange. But some items have sadly remained lost in time.

Oddly, our supposedly more sophisticated modern world actually both broadens and limits what one can expect to find on TV now. When I was a kid, our local public broadcasting occasionally had some nudity on some shows from overseas, and some domestic art shows, but now pixelates such things to obscure it. Not saying whether that is good or bad, I don't know, but what changed culturally since then such that we actually censor things more now in certain ways? Rated G cartoons from my childhood also had things like mild cursing, and even body counts, that I don't think you would see in a kids film today that managed to get a G rating. Again, what changed?

This is partly what makes video archaeology so fascinating though, as the past often holds things we wouldn't allow for today in contexts we would now consider odd. Likewise, the MC of this story wonders if something bondage related could have somehow made it into a 60's TV show.

I like how the characters in the story are at first dismissive yet still curious about the show, but then are drawn further into its mystery. Such is often the case upon examining again something that you thought you understood the first time, but later realize, perhaps with the benefit of more experience and a more patient mind, may have had more to it after all.

That said, like with the creepy pasta stories that led to stuff like Candle Cove, the challenge of these kinds of tales is to somehow end the thrill of the archaeology chase by taking the story somewhere both interesting and conclusive, and I think this one has more mixed results there. Admittedly, it's a hard thing to pull off for this kind of story, but I recall at least one time when it was done, with a story about an old children's show, (not Candle Cove) that the MC had a personal connection to. Sadly, I can't recall the name of the story right now though. But wow, did that story have a solid set of twists and an ending. I realize that erring on the side of mystery can have its charms too. But I think it's good to strike a nice balance.



Umbrageofsnow

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Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 09:37:53 PM
Am I the only one who reads this as a Tulzscha story, like HPL's "The Festival?" I know the toad-like statue with the tentacle face throws it off, but the other imagery of the dream just remind me so much of "The Festival."

EDIT: And I just noticed Grey opens the story with "the last night of the Festival." Ol' Green Flamey has always needed more love I think.

I think it's neat how Grey uses the snippets of old TV to insert horrific images into the story before anything horrific is happening. It keeps everything very realistic while building up the atmosphere anyway. I've always been a sucker for that technique when it's used well, and I really think it is here.

Sometimes, I find a needle in a haystack through the scavenger hunt, and rediscover how weird it really was, realizing that my childhood memory was not faulty after all. It really WAS that strange. But some items have sadly remained lost in time.

Oddly, our supposedly more sophisticated modern world actually both broadens and limits what one can expect to find on TV now. When I was a kid, our local public broadcasting occasionally had some nudity on some shows from overseas, and some domestic art shows, but now pixelates such things to obscure it

I love this feeling of finding the half-remembered oddity that was on TV late at night years ago. Often my imagination/faulty memory is better than the reality and that's kind of great. I worry this is also something we lose with the Netflix/Amazon/etc. algorithms: you can (often) find what you want, but you're pushed towards the most "standard" things which creates a sad homogenization, even as it makes it possible to see all the episodes of some show you truly love instead of hoping to catch them in reruns.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 09:40:26 PM by Umbrageofsnow »