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The Spirits of London

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- A Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook for Cthulhu by Gaslight

The Spirits of London is a supporting softback booklet for Hudson & Brand, Inquiry Agents of the Obscure for 7th edition Call of Cthulhu, and is an official Cthulhu by Gaslight product. This chapbook takes a small part of the setting, that of hauntings and spirits, of spiritualism and the occult, and expands upon it for the benefit of Keepers who wish to add something a little unusual to their games.

The Spirits of London

While there are no chapters, the 19 different sections of the book can be grouped together, roughly, as follows:


Sections 1-4: Introduction. While introducing the shining beacon of culture and learning that London is, these sections also cover:

  • Spirits in Fiction in London covers the era of the Penny Dreadful and authors such as Dickens and Le Fanu.
  • Spirits in London visits sites throughout history, from pre-Roman times, The Great Famine, The Plague, and as recently as the Regents Park Ice Skating Tragedy (and many more), providing Keepers with plenty of ideas for hauntings.
  • Spirit Sites contains several places that would have been known as possibly haunted sites to Londoners in the late 19th century, giving investigators ample sites to check out. 

Sections 5-6: Victorian Era Call of Cthulhu Crunchy Bits:

  • How concerned should you be with getting ALL the details 'just right' for a game set nearly 130 years ago? 
  • Where can you go for more information if you and your group need more accuracy? 
  • There's two full-page tables of 'random encounters' covering spooky street scenes and sinister portents for your investigators to be unnerved by.

Sections 7-10: Spiritualism in Victorian Britain

  • The Gateway to Beyond gives a brief overview of what spiritualism was, various methods used by practitioners around the world, and a few famous people who, despite detractors, so wished to connect with loved ones that they believed.
  • A Brief History of Spiritualism covers its origins in 1840s New York, with the Fox sisters, to when it made the jump overseas in 1852. Various spiritualist societies popped up, with membership across Great Britain, but London was always the heart of such movements.
  • Séances covers different methods that mediums used to commune with the dead. 
  • Spirit Photography began in the 1860s, again in America, but crossed the Atlantic as a more tanglible means of offering proof of the existence of spirits. 

Sections 11-12: The Chester House Society:

  • One of the more respectable spiritualism societies in London, dating back to the 1850s and 1860s. 
  • Written for the investigators who need help or assistance in questioning those who've moved beyond this world, this society can easily be placed into an ongoing scenario or campaign.

Sections 13-19:

  • Engaging in Spiritualism provides a few ways in which the practice of spiritualism can be modeled in Call of Cthulhu, 7th edition. In includes game stats and suggested skill rolls for both true practitioners and fraudulent charlatans.
  • Polybius Van Der Gracht and Dr. Dee
  • No-No's Nasties revisits the Tcho-Tcho crime lord, Namdak 'No-No' Yuying, and a few of his supernatural tactics.
  • Where Mythos Meets Myth presents a few possible crossovers where creatures of the Mythos might be mistaken for ghosts and spirits.
  • Devices and Equipment features a small selection of 'mundane' supernatural and Mythos items that investigators may encounter, including three new Mythos tomes.
  • Additions to the Grimoire list either existing spells but with a more spirit-focus to them, or new spells, for the Keeper's delight in designing and running a Gaslight game featuring hauntings and the ghosts of the deceased.