Sunday, October 10, 2021

Some Ghastly Presence Constantly Haunted Him [HOUN]

It's October, and even though the stores have their Christmas decorations out, there's no denying that it's spooky season in America.  Theme parks turn into scare factories, the Muppets have a Haunted Mansion special out, and all of this makes me look at the Sherlock Holmes stories just a bit differently.

Holmes said in SUSS: "This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain.  The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply."  And reason wins out over superstition in all of his cases.  

Spectral hellound?  Nope, murderous lost relative.

Vampire? Nah, just a mother's love.

A devil-ridden parish?  No, a jealous brother.

So other than the obvious fact that family is more dangerous than otherworldly creatures, is there any other takeaway from Sherlock Holmes and mysteries of the unknown?

Maybe they are all lies.

Think about it, Sherlock Holmes is the most rational man alive.  If he were to ever give any credence to mystical creatures, the whole world may run amok.

Now, I'm not talking about all of the pastiches out there that have pitted Holmes against Dracula, Martian invasions, or other fanciful tales.  I'm talking about the Canon.

What if those 60 stories are really covering up some horrifying cases that the world isn't ready for?

Many people are familiar with Ray Betzner's masterful talk that proposes young Edward Rucastle had something more sinister running through his blood than an aversion to cockroaches.  But is that the only hidden tale out there?  

Brad Keefauver may have uncovered the truth behind Sir George Burnwell in "The Beryl Coronet."

And Heather Hinson has found that Baskerville Hall was once home to worshipers of Gozer.

So what else is the Canon hiding?  Is Mr. Hyde or the Invisible Man roaming the streets of London in one of our favorite tales?  Is there proof that Mrs. Hudson was really a witch?  What the hell was really going on in "The Creeping Man"?

As kids transform themselves into ghouls and goblins over the coming weeks, look at the Canon through a new lens.  Maybe there are some ghouls and goblins hiding in your favorite tale.  What horrors lie in wait behind the veil of rationality?  

No ghosts need apply, because they are already here.

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