Dark Histories

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The Dodleston Messages: Ghost in the Machine

June 23, 2019

On Dark Histories, we hear the words of people lost to history, echoing through the writings of labourers, servants, judges, juries, maids and mistresses exactly as they were written in decades and centuries past. This one way communication with history is always limited by it’s very definition and no matter how much we dig, we can never ask the writers what were they feeling as they wrote each line, and whilst we judge them by the information they give, we can never invite them to ask what they make of the people and things of today in our alien, modern world. In 1984, an Economics teacher living in the small rural village of Dodleston found he had the opportunity to do exactly this, when he was thrust into a strange link that tied him across centuries with a past inhabitant of his home via an early model personal computer and it’s word processing software EDWORD. Both accused the other of trickery, poltergeist activity, witchcraft and devilry, but eventually, a bond between the two was formed. Cross-century communications are never easy, however, especially when the future gets involved.

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Webster, K. (1989). The Vertical Plane. London: Harper Collins.

Hall, William J. & Petonito J. (2018) Phantom Messages: Chilling phone calls, letters, emails and texts from unknown realms. Disinformation Books.

Out of this World. (1996). BBC One Television.

Mercurius Politicus (2010, 1 November). Ghost in the Machine [Article, comments]. Retrived 14 June, 2019, from https://mercuriuspoliticus.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/ghost-in-the-machine/


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Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.