We’re back from Halifax! We went to the Devil 2024 conference in King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, an international, interdisciplinary conversation about Satan, demons and demonizing, modern religious movements and right-wing insanity, and (because we were there), Hell. What a wonderful experience! The audio is predictably somewhat sketchy, Jamin’s microphone barfed and his primary audio and Jacob’s audio whenever he’s facing to the left is pretty murky, but hopefully the presentation is still enjoyable and amusing. Also, there’s a guy on a riding lawnmower, so that’s a thing. Onto the notes!

Hell News! Jacob is very excited by Vincent Price’s album, “An Adventure in Demonology,” which he learned about over on dangerousminds.net in their review of same. It’s a treat. Check the album out on Youtube. And the New York Times has an article on the death of Bennett Braun, one of the perpetrators of the bad psychology in the Satanic Panic. Jacob threw in a joke about Gerald Gardner, the father of Wicca, and how much he likes a good flogging, which is accurate, the guy may well have helped create a religion to embody his BDSM kinks, but I can’t point out a good article about that side of the man. No judgment though. 

Anyway! Settle back with a Corpse Reviver #2 and enjoy the trip! The video for this one is a work in progress, we’ll post it here soon!

Visio Tnugdali/The Vision of Tundale

 The Visio Tnugdali is a 1150 AD-ish Irish hell-journey vision, arguably one of the two most detailed and fully realized texts from that genre (the other being “Inferno.” It was written by Brother Marcus, and is in the form of a sermon or read-aloud poem (which we did, Jacob forced Jamin to listen to the poem all the way to the East Texas Paranormal Conference.) 

There are a few different online versions, the copy we were working from was the Middle English/Modern Translation from Gray Area Press, and having the auld and the new together does help make the language sing a bit more. 

Vocabulary word: Suffrages! A short prayer said to benefit the dead. This comes up once or twice, but we like a good vocabulary word.

The Latin Rule – I’d love to find a reference to it that wasn’t Wiki. The Latin Rule was 72 fundamentals for the behavior of a Templar Knight. If 72 seems like a lot, later it became 609 articles, which seems excessive by any measure. 

Callout to Mickey’s Inferno! And another callout to Birk & Sandow’s paper-puppet Inferno.

So about Asmodeus – for a deep lore dive, you’ll have to read Chris Pramas’s “Guide to Hell” for D&D 2E. Though the short form is in the articles on Jazirian and Asmodeus on the Forgotten Realms wikipedia. I suspect this was the only callout to D&D2E this conference. Deep cut.

Who would win?

Long-time students of Dispatchist lore would know that from day one the question of “who would win in a fight: Tundale or Dante?” has been on the forefront of our conversation, or at least on our web page. So this was finally the chance to get that question out and take it for a walk. Tundale, obviously, was the winner. Though with this specific vision of Dante, it was a fairly balanced fight.

What’s Your Hell Journey?

A question was asked of the hosts: What hell journey would you most want to take?

Jacob votes for Betty Boop’s “Red Hot Mamma” and White Wolf’s “Wraith: The Oblivion” (2nd ed, obviously.) Also it’s our closing theme, so good chance to organically integrate this into the conversation.

Jamin votes for Dante, who’s more audience than participant. 

Victoria opts for That Poppy’s “Lowlife,” video available on Youtube.

Various Sources:

Jacob started with “Tundale’s Vision: Socialization in 12th Century Ireland,” by Michael Deike, which was an undergraduate thesis but was a nice introduction to the cultural stew that brought “Tundale” to life.

We reference several times the introduction to “Vision of Tundale” in “Three Purgatory Poems” by Edward Foster, which has a delightful “damned by faint praise” intro and then goes on to legitimately compliment the work, but structurally this was definitely one of the big influences in this episode. 

We cover the Testement of Nicodemus in some “depth” in E13 of the Dispatchist: Kicking Down Hell’s Door.

Reference to Megan Henning, Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability, and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christian Literature.