More black magic, strange visions, swarms of satanic flies and is that Beelzebub hiding in the closet? Or is it just R. Kelly? One things for sure, you’ll never look into your underwear draw in the same way again!
- William Oldys (wikipedia)
This English antiquarian and bibliographer provided James with the inspiration for Dr Oldys in ‘Residence at Whitminster’.
- Sir Walter Scott – The Talisman (wikipedia)
This is the book which Mary is reading in ‘Residence at Whitminster’ that puts the idea of talismans and scrying into her mind.
- Ichneumonoidea Fly aka Sawfly (wikipedia)
Is this the strange species of insect that the inhabitants have such difficulty conclusively identifying?
- Anna Seward (wikipedia)
Anna Seward, the ‘Swan of Lichfield’, is the English romantic poet whose prose style James parodies in Mary Oldys’s letter to her friend Emily.
- Beelzebub – The Lord of the Flies (wikipedia)
Could the sorcery of Lord Saul have literally summoned up Beelzebub, the devil? In various texts Beelzebub appears in the form of a swarm of flies.
- M.R. James – The Fenstanton Witch (Ghosts & Scholars)
Simon McCollough describes M.R. James’s unpublished short stoy ‘The Fenstanton Witch’ as a prototype for ‘Residence at Whitminster’. It also features a pair of young necromancers whose naive sorceries summon up a terrible winged creature, and also namechecks the Witch of Endor. ‘An Evening’s Entertainment’ by M.R. James also features a horrible swarm of flies, which a sexton describes as “Lord of the Flies, sir”.
- Salem’s Lot (1979) (youtube)
This is the ‘window’ scene from the 1979 Stephen King adaptation which reminded Will of the ghost of Saul tapping at the villagers windows on cold winters nights.
- R.Kelly – Trapped in the Closet (youtube)
The Oldys family are not the only ones with some closet trouble, check out R.Kelly’s magnum opus, his epic 22-part ‘hip-hopera’ “Trapped in the Closet”!