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Author Topic: PC650: Luella Miller  (Read 103 times)


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on: October 28, 2020, 10:58:21 PM
PodCastle 650: Luella Miller

Author: Mary Wilkens Freeman
Narrator: Jen R. Albert
Host: Dominik Parisien
Audio Producer: Peter Behravesh

This story is in the public domain and was published in Wilkens’s 1903 collection The Wind in the Rose-Bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural.


Show Notes
Rated PG.

Close to the village street stood the one-story house in which Luella Miller, who had an evil name in the village, had dwelt. She had been dead for years, yet there were those in the village who, in spite of the clearer light which comes on a vantage-point from a long-past danger, half believed in the tale which they had heard from their childhood. In their hearts, although they scarcely would have owned it, was a survival of the wild horror and frenzied fear of their ancestors who had dwelt in the same age with Luella Miller. Young people even would stare with a shudder at the old house as they passed, and children never played around it as was their wont around an untenanted building. Not a window in the old Miller house was broken: the panes reflected the morning sunlight in patches of emerald and blue, and the latch of the sagging front door was never lifted, although no bolt secured it. Since Luella Miller had been carried out of it, the house had had no tenant except one friendless old soul who had no choice between that and the far-off shelter of the open sky. This old woman, who had survived her kindred and friends, lived in the house one week, then one morning no smoke came out of the chimney, and a body of neighbours, a score strong, entered and found her dead in her bed. There were dark whispers as to the cause of her death, and there were those who testified to an expression of fear so exalted that it showed forth the state of the departing soul upon the dead face. The old woman had been hale and hearty when she entered the house, and in seven days she was dead; it seemed that she had fallen a victim to some uncanny power. The minister talked in the pulpit with covert severity against the sin of superstition; still the belief prevailed. Not a soul in the village but would have chosen the almshouse rather than that dwelling. No vagrant, if he heard the tale, would seek shelter beneath that old roof, unhallowed by nearly half a century of superstitious fear.

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Reply #1 on: November 09, 2020, 04:34:14 PM
I think I would have enjoyed this story if I had been able to listen to it all. Jen Alpert's narration was clear but I felt as though she was racing to finish reading in the shortest possible time.
It's an atmospheric story that needs to be saviured and the narration seemed to be halfway through the third paragraph before I'd had time to absorb the first couple of sentences.
Perhaps it was the contrast with the slow cadence of the introduction, but I found myself wishing they had swapped roles to allow Jen to host the episode and Dominik to narrate it.