Friends, it has been quite a few months since we’ve last shared an audio offering from the talented Ian Gordon and HorrorBabble. As the sun is beginning to set above the Vault however, my choice for entertainment as usual turns to dark and devious tales. Which “The Polar Vortex” delivers upon, with Gordon narrating a story by Malcolm M. Ferguson – which was originally published in the pages of Weird Tales magazine back in September of 1946.
Doing a little research online, it certainly appears that Ferguson was not what you would describe as a prolific author of weird fiction. As a matter of fact it seems that he wrote only five stories for Weird Tales – writing and submitting a story once a year for a span of a demi-decade. While “The Polar Vortex” would be the first story submitted for publication in the iconic magazine, it would be followed over the next four years with “The House of Cards”, “Croatan”, “Terror Under Eridu”, and “Mr. Hyde-and Seek”. The latter of which has no connection to the 1886 tale “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. In the case of Ferguson’s story, it turns out that the supernatural threat is that of a Poltergeist (You can read the entire story here)!
The story for “The Polar Vortex” begins with the auction of the personal belongings of the late Leopold Lemming, a renowned real estate mogul and scientist. Of particular interest are the objects located in an old chest, containing a Dictaphone wire recording, a casebook, as well as a series of notes on an experiment that took place at Lemming’s observatory – that he had built in the South Pole. All of which details the devious plot by Lemming in convincing a willing subject into acting as the sole occupant and custodian of the observatory – completely alone for a month – with no outside communication or relief from a solitary existence beyond his own passion for astronomy. The question is of course, what will be the result of this forced isolation?
Without further ado, huddle under a warm blanket and turn down the lights if you are able as you listen to “The Polar Vortex” – courtesy of Ian Gordon and HorrorBabble!