There are a lot of deeper concepts that can be discussed in relation to the tradition of John Frum, but the thing I want us all to notice is right on the surface: it took just a couple of generations for an entire community to buy into a whole new piece of folklore. And it makes you wonder: if something new can be that influential, how much more so would a tradition that’s thousands of years older and much more terrifying?
The devils are in the details in the latest episode of the Lore podcast, as host Aaron Mahnke deals with stories of demonic possession throughout history. Refreshingly, Mahnke takes a predominantly non-Catholic approach to the subject. A good portion of the narrative is devoted to John Darrell, an ostensible exorcist working his cures in 16th Century England. High art (a connection to one of Shakespeare’s plays is established) as well as the lowbrow (an accusation of witchcraft via flatulence is somewhat cheekily referenced) are treated here, and Mahnke also invokes pop culture by relating the impact the film The Exorcist had upon him as a teenager. This a strong podcast right through the closing segment, a tale of alleged possession that proves just how appropriate a choice was made for the episode’s title. “Throwing Voices” is an episode that Lore listeners will certainly hearken to with rapt attention.