Friends, for the time being the furlough at my day job has come to an end – although with travel restrictions being as they are, I find it very likely the hotel will close once again. While we have guests that are in town on essential business, medical staff and even law enforcement, the truth is amenities that we offer as a luxury hotel have been temporarily halted. Such as preparing breakfast for our guests, it wouldn’t be a good idea when attempting to practice social distancing to have folks congregate in and around the breakfast area. So what this has done is give me quite a bit more free time to sit at the desk and listen to the likes of HorrorBabble – while not being a true Retro Radio offering, I felt it appropriate as they have adapted The Voice in the Night which was originally published in the Blue Book Magazine back in 1907!
The Voice in the Night was written by William Hope Hodgson, an Author perhaps best known for the novels The House on the Borderland in 1908 as well as The Night Land which was published three years later. Both works from Hodgson were commented on by H.P. Lovecraft in his Supernatural Horror in Literature essay almost 20 years later. Which is appropriate as these two novels have a bit of some cosmic horror in them – another creation of Hodgson is Thomas Carnacki, is an occult detective which first saw print in five stories in The Idler in 1910.
Hodgson had a few stories that concerned the dangers and horrors of the sea – supernatural or otherwise. He had apprenticed himself as a cabin boy in 1891 before becoming a sailor for a couple of years – using some of the less pleasant experiences to add realism to his tales. William Hope Hodgson lived an incredibly interesting life, from owning a school for physical culture to penning poetry along with short stories and novels. Although it appears his work was well received at the time, he was never able to make a living from it – passing away in 1918 during World War I after being struck by an artillery shell at the fourth Battle of Ypres.
I found this HorrorBabble adaptation of The Voice in the Night to be extremely well done – it is something of a slow burner but when the terror hits, it will sink it’s claws in you. Read by Ian Gordon, the story concerns two sailors on a schooner who are approached by someone in a row boat in the dead of the night. The sailors attempt to use their lanterns to see who this unexpected stranger might be but the light seems to chase away this visitor – on promise of putting away the lanterns the two are told a disturbing story – of two shipwrecked souls and their horrific fate.