An Irish podcast about why people believe weird things. A critical look at cryptids, UFOs and conspiracies. Enter the Cabin In The Woods with Cian and his guest... More
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The Cryptids of Nigel Kneale: The Abominable Snowman (1957) with Blake Smith & Dr Karen Stollznow
We're chuffed to welcome the esteemed hosts of MONSTER TALK, Dr Karen Stollznow and Blake Smith, to the cabin to talk about the 1957 movie THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. Written by the tremendous, influential British writer Nigel Kneale, this has got to be one of the best, and most interesting, cryptic films ever made. The fact that it hails from the days of 1950s yeti-mania makes it an important marker of a cultural cryptozoological moment - but even so, Kneale finds ways to put his own stamp on the monster. Our conversation includes:
-The work of Nigel Kneale
-Orientalism in the film
-the trope of psychic relict hominoids
-pelts & paws cryptozoology vs mystical interpretation
-the character ‘Tom Friend’ representing the real-life monster hunter Tom Slick
-real-life expeditions that inspired the movie
-Yetis as understood in their own countries
-Cryptozoology and colonialism (again!)
-when to show the monster?
-Cryptid movie recommendations
Monster Talk: Yeti Stories You've Never Heard Before (a listening must!)
Karen’s Stollznow's books
In Research Of podcast
The Horror Podcast
Bigfoot: Life and Times of a Legend, Joshua Blu Buhs, 2009
Creature From Black Lake
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Howard Bury’s Footprints: a WAW episode about the origins of the term Abominable Snowman
The Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Take That, Bembridge Scholars: Orientalism, Pulp Cinema, and The Mummy (with Lauren the Gothic Bookworm)
Lauren the Gothic Bookworm opens the tomb of maybe-classic The Mummy from 1999 as we discuss action movie tropes, Orientalism in Hollywood, the golden age of Egyptology in the popular imagination, and Arnold Vosloo. Digressions include:
-The horror-centric directions the film almost went in
-The lure of the ‘golden age of Egyptology’ in Western storytelling
-Creative use of dodgy CGI
-The mummy as an Indiana Jones clone, and Orientalism in lost race fiction
-Inconsistent geography in the movie
-the gothic bookworm on Twitter
-Mummy Mania Mondays on Twitter
-The Anatomy Shelf on Twitter
-International Society For The Study of Egyptomania
The Mists Clear Away: Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger and The Land Of Mist (with Professor Christine Ferguson)
Professor Christine Ferguson visits the cabin to discuss the later adventures of Professor Challenger! In 1925, Arthur Conan Doyle's serialisation of 'The Land Of Mist' began in the Strand magazine. This novel was the author's great attempt to make his decades-long interest in spiritualism palatable to the widest audience possible. Did he succeed? Did he portray the world of 1920s London accurately? And why did he choose Professor Challenger, the maverick of the scientific world, to play the stodgy establishment character? All this and more, in The Mists Clear Away!
-All about the Edinburgh Edition of The Land Of Mist
-Arthur Conan Doyle’s own spiritualism
-Why did ACD turn to Professor Challenger for his great spiritualist novel?
-Spiritualism as a specifically feminine or masculine movement?
-Challenger as the Establishment, rather than the Maverick
-ACD’s use of real-life Belfast researcher William Jackson Crawford
-ACD’s actual apocalyptic spiritualist messages
-Lord John Roxton goes ghost-hunting! What was ACD’s inspiration for this episode?
Beyond Belief: Literature, Esotericism Studies, and the Challenges of Biographical Reading in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Land of Mist. Professor Christine Ferguson, Brill, 2021.
Dinosaurs, Disintegration Machines and Talking to the Dead: The Wild World of Professor Challenger. Dr Stephen Carver, Wordsworth Editions.
The Lost Worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger Series, Conor Reid, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 2017.
Edinburgh University Press New Critical Editions
Hesketh Hesketh Pritchard Hunts the Mylodon (with Dr Edward Guimont)
How many Lost World connections can we make in this episode about turn-of-the-century ghost writers searching for extinct animals in South America? Dr Edward Guimont is at hand to tell the tale, bringing essential palaeontological and colonial context for South America in 1900. Hesketh Hesketh Pritchard, creator of Flaxman Low, was sent on this expedition for news mogul C Arthur Pearson. Featuring:
-a potted history of the Occult Detective genre
-Hesketh Pritchard himself as a product of Empire
-Hesketh Pritchar visits Haiti, cringe ensues
-Playing cricket with Arthur Conan Doyle and other literary links
-The theory of ‘American Degeneracy’
-A seemingly fresh Mylodon skin sample is brought to London, scientists astounded!
-A link to the Piltdown Man hoax
-Various expeditions to search for evidence of the Mylodon
-Politicians trafficking in paranormal ideas - some things don’t change!
-And euhemerism returns! (see last episode)
Edward Guimont on Twitter
Buy Me A Coffee
On The Track Of Unknown Animals, Bernard Heuvelmans, 1955
The Terrible Occult Detectives, Grady Hendrix
The Chronological Bibliography of Early Occult Detectives, Brom Bones Books, Tim Prasil
Casting The Prunes: Flaxman Low Triumphant, Grey Dog Tales
Through The Heart of Patagonia, Hesketh Hesketh Pritchard, 1902
Flaxman Low, The Story of Baelbrow, Hesketh Hesketh Pritchard
For Fear Of Little Men: Euhemerism and Secret Fairy Peoples (with Justin Mullis)
What if 'fairies' are a memory of a squat race of mysterious pre-humans who lived in Europe before modern humans arrived?
Justin Mullis brings a LOT to the cabin in this episode. We cover: the origins of euhemerism and 'explanations' for Norse gods. Bernard Heuvelmans and euhemerism, our first (but not last!) connection to cryptozoology. Early famous supporters of a mystery race include Sir Walter Scott! Euhemerism used to explain troll legends in Sweden. Disenchantment and the changing attitudes towards folklore in the 19th century. David MacRitchie and the idea of the mystery fairy race. Encounters with African pygmies giving confirmation to this idea later in the 19th century. Connections to fantastic Victorian literature. Our boy Sabine Baring-Gould claiming the fairy race still exists. H. G. Wells' use of the trope. Madison Grant and the Passing Of The Great Race. E. F. Benson and (my favourite) The Horror Horn. And finally a deep-dive into the use of this trope by the heavy-hitters Arthur Machen, Lovecraft and Robert E Howard. The Hobbit, Homo floresiensis, and more connections to modern cryptozoology. You won't want to miss this one!
LINKS & REFERENCES
-Justin Mullis on Academia, including Cryptofiction and other writings
-Kaiju Transmissions (Podcast)
-Arthur Machen: Critical Essays, Antonio Sanna
-Conan And The Little People, On An Underwood No 5, Bobby Derie
-Deep Cuts In A Lovecraftian Vein, Bobby Derie
-The Paranormal And Popular Culture, edited by Caterine & Morehead
-Strange and Secret Peoples, Carole Silver
-Goblinlike, Fantastic: Little People and Deep Time at the Fin de Siecle, Emily Fergus
-Pallinghurst Barrow, Grant Allen
-Fians, Fairies And Picts, David MacRitchie