The Dreams in the Witch House

Walter Gilman, a mathematics student at Miskatonic University, takes up lodging in Arkham's legend-haunted "Witch House." Before long, the room's weird architecture, dark history and disturbing sounds invade his psyche, and even his friends and fellow students can't help him. Is he going mad, or are his horrifying dreams somehow becoming reality?

Inspired by an academic lecture Lovecraft had attended about the size of the universe, The Dreams in the Witch House uses the supernatural forces of witchcraft and religion to tell a scientific story of dreams and dimensions and differential geometry. Written rather late in HPL's career, it includes many of his favorite themes—New England history and architecture, Arkham and Miskatonic University, the Necronomicon, Elder Things, Yog Sothoth and Nyarlathotep—and embodies Lovecraft’s cosmic vision and colossal imagination. After it was published in Weird Tales in 1933, editor Farnsworth Wright asked Lovecraft for permission to adapt it for radio. HPL rejected him outright, saying “What the public considers ‘weirdness’ in drama is rather pitiful or absurd... They are all the same—flat, hackneyed, synthetic, essentially atmosphereless jumbles of conventional shrieks and mutterings, and superficial mechanical situations.” But people have adapted it anyway, including several motion picture versions, and recently the HPLHS’ own Mike Dalager turned the story into a massive rock opera.

Lovecraft's expansive view of the universe is one in which science and magic and religion can all exist simultaneously, interacting with each other in complex, incomprehensible, and often disastrous ways. We hope that if HPL had the chance to settle into an arm chair with a cat on his lap and listen to our treatment of “The Dreams in the Witch House,” he might have felt a bit more hope for the potential of radio drama.

Get it now!

Props

To enhance your listening pleasure, the HPLHS has packed the jewel case for The Dreams in the Witch House with carefully created props from the story. You'll have

  • A page torn from Gilman's notes, with a sketch of the standing stones he found on the mysterious island in the Miskatonic river, mathematical equations, and his attempts to correlate them with the Necronomicon.
  • An accession card from the Miskatonic University Exhibit Museum, complete with a photo of the remains of Brown Jenkin and notes from scientists attempting to understand them.
  • A page torn from the transcript of Keziah Mason's 1692 trial for witchcraft.
  • A 1931 clipping from the Arkham Advertiser, with the story of the demolition of the house and the horrible things found in the wreckage.
  • Track Listing

    1. Opening 2:27
    2. The House 14:00
    3. The Dreams 21:59
    4. The Witch 22:06
    5. The Sacrifice 12:27
    6. Closing 1:15
    Total Runtime 74:14

    Cast and Crew

    Sean Branney...Frank Elwood
    Dan Conroy...Erskine Blackwell, Dombrowski, Polish Neighbor Man, Cook, Dean Bell
    Mike Dalager...Brown Jenkin
    Chad Fifer...Robertson
    Alaine Kashian...Keziah Mason, Mrs. Krupski, Polish Neighbor Woman, Waitress
    Andrew Leman...Walter Gilman
    Jacob Lyle...Angry Neighbor
    Barry Lynch...Mazurewicz, Prof. Armitage
    David Pavao...Prof. Upham, Desrochers
    Josh Thoemke...Announcer
    Time Winters...Fr. Ivanicki, Prof. Ward
    David H. Brown, Leigh Carr, Kimmy Hale, Tamara Hembree, Ruth Horne, Tristan Jusola-Sanders, Tobias Nilsson...Neighbors, Diner Patrons, Students, Cultists

    Based on the story by H. P. Lovecraft
    Radio adaptation by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman
    Original music by Troy Sterling Nies
    Theme from "The Sleepwalker" by Mike Dalager and Anders Ringman,
    from Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera
    "Bub-L-Pep Jingle" written by Andrew Leman
    arranged and performed by Harald Lindell and Kathleen Demarest
    Additional music cues by Reber Clark
    Audio engineering by Chris Horvath
    Cover and disc illustrations by Darrell Tutchton
    Bonus props by Andrew Leman and Sean Branney
    Scenic Miniature by Fred Manchento, Jason Voss, and Andrew Leman
    Stone Circle Sketch by Martin Schlierkamp
    Produced by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman

    Script, Liner Notes & More

    Rock Opera

    Our dear friend and esteemed collaborator Mike Dalager, who appears as Brown Jenkin in this episode, has produced a lavish rock opera adaptation of "The Dreams in the Witch House" featuring major talents like Bruce Kulick, Douglas Blair Lucek, Chris Laney, Alaine Kashian, and more. We worked with Mike to produce a music video for one of the tracks of his album, "No Turning Back". Check it out on YouTube! And be sure to visit the show's independent website!

    For your enjoyment, we present free PDF downloads of the final recording script and liner notes of The Dreams in the Witch House. Note: this script is only for use for reading along with Dark Adventure Radio Theatre; no performance of the script may be made without written consent of the HPLHS.

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    Episode 10
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    The Horror at Red Hook
    Episode 11
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    Dagon: War of Worlds
    Episode 12
    Dagon: War of Worlds
    Liner Notes
    Liner Notes
    The Dreams in the Witch House