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Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Attic Window

On the top floor of that long-abandoned house with the shady history is a coffin-shaped window. The house has an ill reputation; its last owner supposedly practised black magic and was murdered in the room behind that curious window 30 years ago. The murder was never solved.

The window itself is supposed to be haunted. It is whispered that the dead owner is sometimes seen in it, and strange lights shine from it by night.

An urban legend says that if you look through the window from the inside, the world outside would look strange and wrong.

Breaking into the house and looking through the window has now become a teenage rite-of-passage. But be careful, for you can go mad if you are unlucky...


1 The windows glass has a strange, but unmagical, ability to store images (and to a degree, sound). The images are replayed from time to time, sometimes long after they were imprinted. Some images are repeated time after time, others appear only once. (This is how the long-dead owner is seen.) If you look through the window from the inside, you can might see the street as seen long ago.

And at some point, if you are looking in from the outside, you will eventually see the murder.

2 The window is not made of glass, but from an unknown material made by a pre-human civilisation. It stores images over a nearly infinite time. Under normal circumstances, it looks like a normal window – but things can look wrong (as latent images beneath the surface merge with the normal view).

Looked through in certain angles and light it shows aeon-old images of the laboratory that created it.

The former owner found the glass and learned much forbidden knowledge by looking through it. Unfortunately, he attracted the attention of one of the hounds of Tindalos...

3 The former owner dabbled in black magic and as a side effect trapped a weak astral entity in the glass. The entity is bored, and hates humans. It has learnt how to alter and corrupt the view through its glass prison and uses this ability to confuse and scare humans.

© Stefan Jonsson

The Crate

A character receives word from the post office that they have received a package and need to come and claim it. It is a large rectangular crate; six feet long, two feet wide, and quite heavy (it weighs about 250 lbs.). The crate is well-packaged and there is no shipping label or return address.


1 The crate contains a mannequin; a perfect wax copy of the character. It is a flawless duplicate of the original, but its origin is a mystery. Then, when the character has been left alone with it, the wax figure animates and attempts to kill it’s “twin.” If it succeeds, it comes to life and replaces the original.

2 The box contains a body, still fresh and well-preserved. The face is that of a stranger, but who sent it and why was it sent to the character?

3 The box contains a body, remarkably well-preserved. The face is unfamiliar, and the cause of death is not readily apparent. When the sun sets, the vampire awakens and seeks sustenance after its long journey from Europe.

© John Grigsby

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Preacher Man

Seemingly from nowhere, a preacher shows up in town, easily noticeable on the street with his filthy black cassock and white collar, living off the charity of passers-by.

Nobody knows where he came from but one day he just started showing up on street corners preaching about the end of the world. It has also been noted that the priest seems to have some obvious mental problems and some very odd ideas about Christianity.


1 Benjamin Corwin used to be a priest until he turned to the worship of the Outer Gods. Becoming a cultist, Corwin decided to try and enlighten the public about the Cthulhu Mythos by simply telling people about it on the street. Corwin has a mystical ability which allows him to plant the seed for mind control in anybody who passes by and makes eye contact with him.

2 The priest was once Benjamin Corwin, an investigator of the supernatural. Corwin became an investigator after one of his practitioners asked for help (which lead to discovering that the next-door neighbour was sacrificing children in his attic to something awful). Since then Corwin has been investigating the occult wherever he can find it.

It was on his last outing that he encountered something so horrific it shattered his sanity and reduced him to a homeless, rambling derelict. In his mad ravings, clues to his final investigation can be discerned by a careful listener.

3 One night the homeless priest is murdered and left dead on the street. It is not long after that more priests start turning up dead, and it appears a serial murderer of holy men is operating in the area.

© Paul Hebron


You are staying in a small rural hotel. You awaken at night to a strange sound, slow, even footsteps. Bright moonlight streams in through the partially open window. Bright enough to penetrate the thin curtains and illuminate the face of the alarm clock. It reads three o’clock, you rise and peer through a gap in the curtains. Below you, crossing the cobbled yard at a slow, almost funereal, pace are two men.

Both men are dressed in dark clothing, their faces muffled. They carry what appears to be a coffin, and for several heart-stopping moments you watch them as they make their slow way across the hard surface. They stop, their backs to you, as if aware of prying eyes, then their heads turn towards you. Still unable to see their faces, you feel a cold wave of fear run down your spine as one of them points in your direction then motions toward the coffin.


1 You are seeing a premonition of your death. How and when? There is no clue.

2 The two figures are smugglers moving a wooden crate of illegal goods. They are unaware of you and are merely gesturing to an accomplice at a window further along.

3 The ‘coffin’ contains the gagged and bound body of an investigative journalist who got too nosey. The ‘gesture’ is a warning that you have been seen, and that if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go back to bed and forget what you’ve seen. The ‘coffin’ is being transported, with its cargo, to the small cliffside cemetery where it will be disposed of.

© Andrew Parfitt

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Tales of Terror 1990 - Contents

Introduction to Tales of Terror 1990

During the course of a Call of Cthulhu campaign the constant demands of inventive Investigators can prove to be quite a strain on the poor Keeper. A booklet crammed full of easily adaptable ideas can be invaluable.

Tales of Terror was conceived with this in mind. The 'Tales' can be quickly and easily dropped into any game. While preliminary investigations are being conducted the Keeper has time to decide which (if any) of the three possibilities apply. Further details can be created by the Keeper as required.

Many scenarios for Call of Cthulhu are too big. Great Old Ones, R'lyeh, Outer Gods, and monsters the size of mountains all threatening civilization as we know it. In the midst of these major conflicts there should be smaller struggles. A nest of vampires, a haunted house, an unexpected death. Tales of Terror is brimming with these low key investigations that put saving the world into perspective.

Tales of Terror is also a source of red herrings and associated leads. On the trail of Deep Ones? (Or Lloigor? Or sinister orientals? Or vampires?) There are Tales here with the potential to confuse, illuminate and terrify.

Ultimately, Tales of Terror is a booklet of ideas. The situations here each have the potential of being expanded into a full blown adventure. A scenario is often the development of one or two isolated ideas. A vision, spark, or something. Tales of Terror consists of these ideas distilled out from the descriptive text.

Use it as you will.

(This is the introduction to the original 1990 edition of Tales of Terror.)



1 The small community is the victim of a strange, cancerous meteorite similar to the one in Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space.

2 The knoll on which the community stands was once behind German lines, and its houses used by the German Army as a makeshift headquarters. The entire area was used as a dump for chemical and gas weapons and a large amount of phosphorous. As they were beaten back the chemicals were buried in preparation for a counterattack which never came.

Over the years the containers have corroded, contaminating the knoll with phosphors and a deadly mixture of poisons, causing the yellow glow. Once in the food chain it killed vegetation, animals and eventually humans.

3 The story is very inaccurate. There is no ‘deathly brimstone light’ and no evidence of a plague on the land. The war years left the land in great neglect, the population suffered under the German Occupation and both have left what was once rich fertile land a virtual wilderness.

© Garrie Hall

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

While on holiday in the Balkans the investigators find that their well-earned rest is not meant to be. As they leave their hotel they are greeted by a detachment of the local militia who ask them in no uncertain terms (despite the language barrier) to accompany them to the station.

The conditions in the jail are inhuman and they are forced to stay in a rancid, overcrowded, cell with cut-throats and murderers for two days. Eventually they are questioned by the regional prosecutor regarding the disappearance of a local girl on the night they arrived in the area.

Instructed not to leave the Balkans, the investigators are released without charge. However, during the ‘interview’ the following facts emerge:

There have been several disappearances of young ladies in the Balkan area. The names and descriptions change, but the circumstances are familiar. Two girls have gone missing in Bulgaria, two in Serbia, three in Albania and five in Romania. Each time the girl is beautiful and disappears at night without trace.

The more superstitious locals are talking of supernatural goings on and the prosecutor is anxious to put an end to these rumours by making a quick arrest and conviction. As the investigators are the only foreigners in the area (and therefore easy scapegoats) he makes it plain that they are at the top of his list.

Should the investigators look into the disappearances they will discover that the common denominator is a Turkish Circus on the return leg of a European Tour.


1 The Turks are using the girls as catalysts for a spell. The circus hypnotist turns their will to Hastur the Unspeakable and they form the coven of witches needed to call Him to the Nameless City.

2 The girls are sold as part of the white slave trade in Turkey. They are kidnapped in the closest countries to Turkey on the return journey so that minimum of care is needed. They are hypnotised and hidden in false compartments in the lion cages to prevent both their escape and discovery by inquisitive officials.

3 The circus has a freak show in which is featured a cannibal from Africa. His twisted keeper lets out his charge who has a taste for young female flesh.

© Garrie Hall

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The de'Vere Pool


1 The pool is haunted by the tormented soul of Charles de’Vere.

A lesser known manifestation is that each time the water turns to blood, the portrait of Charles de’Vere hanging in the hall cries real tears.

2 The soil beneath the pool is on a clay base and occasional natural movement of the earth’s crust brings the clay to the surface, staining the water red.

3 Deep below the de’Vere house a nest of Cthonians festers and seethes. It is their burrowing and worming which disturbs the soil beneath the pool.

© Garrie Hall

The Crazed


1 The riot was an unfortunate, but not sinister, event. The paper is owned by an evangelist called Edward Richards. Mr Richards owns a very profitable business empire and is head of the Cleansing Flame evangelical group. He is not a man to be crossed and can call upon a variety of businesses (including a satellite television channel) to aide his retribution.

The Cleansing Flame has a para-military wing, the Witchfynders. Richards is Witchfynder General and leads them in their cause to destroy evil. However, they will not accept that the Cthulhu Mythos exists as anything other than a form of Satanism.

They believe that they are the only true saviours and that no other organisation has the right to carry the fight. Any alliance with the Witchfynders will be strained at the least as they tend to act before thinking. All traces of Satan must be burnt to cinders, cleansing the Earth of evil.

2 The Karloff’s are using voodoo to further their career, swelling their audiences through manipulation and voodoo frenzy. They do not understand the powers they meddle with and cannot fully control them. A riot and the deaths were inevitable.

3 The Karloff’s worship Nyarlathotep. Using mass hypnotism they enthral the audience. Bit by bit they are building a reserve of psychic energy which is saved for Walpurgis Night. During this massive open air concert the audience will be so frenzied that during the final act, Howl at the Moon, blood will flow and the Crawling Chaos will descend to earth.

© Garrie Hall