Sunday, February 23, 2014
Crossover of the Week
THE SNOW SCULPTURES OF XANADU
Charles Foster Kane Jr. invites Orson Welles to his father’s decaying estate, Xanadu. In 1949, there were reports that an American black marketeer found dead in the Vienna sewers was Kane Sr.’s illegitimate son. Welles meets Dr. John Montague, whose published account of his investigation into the notoriously haunted Hill House in Connecticut Welles has read. In parapsychology texts, Xanadu has replaced Borley Rectory, the Loren Home, the Frieburg Tanz Akademie, the Overlook Hotel, and the Belasco Mansion as the world’s most haunted house.
Short story by Kim Newman in Interzone #51, David Pringle and Lee Montgomerie, eds., September 1991; reprinted in Best New Horror 3, Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell, eds., Carroll & Graf, 1992, and Famous Monsters, Pocket Books, 1995. Charles Foster Kane is from Welles’ film Citizen Kane. The American black marketeer is Harry Lime from Carol Reed’s 1949 film The Third Man. Both Kane and Lime were played by Welles himself. Dr. John Montague and Hill House are from Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. Borley Rectory is a real Victorian mansion that has been dubbed the most haunted house in the world. The Loren Home is from William Castle’s film House on Haunted Hill. The Frieburg Tanz Akademie is from Dario Argento’s film Suspiria. The Overlook Hotel is from Stephen King’s book The Shining. The Belasco Mansion is from Richard Matheson’s novel Hell House.