Similar to many museums of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau was originally tasked with collecting and classifying information, rather than investigating it.
But in 2013, the Bureau started to evolve toward greater transparency and deeper investigation. This eventually lead to the development of the STRANGE FAR PLACES podcast. The Name of the Podcast
The name of our show comes from the opening of Lovecraft's story "The Picture in the House
" (1920): Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and desolate mountain are their shrines…. But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous.
Regarding the paragraph above, Joyce Carol Oates writes
"In Lovecraft, as frequently in Poe, style and self-parody are indistinguishable." Perhaps.
The phrase "strange, far places" was especially resonant when this podcast was exclusively focused on New England.
However, it continues to be apt because all of the mysteries investigated on the show appear to share a connective thread leading back to New England.
Are we "searchers after horror?" Not exactly. But we do feel the pull of the "haunted wood and desolate mountain."
The pull of stories exploring STRANGE FAR PLACES.Producers Note
The producers of STRANGE FAR PLACES feel it's important to note that H.P. Lovecraft held views on race that were ignorant and repulsive. Some might say "it was a different time," but that's not our belief. We hope to advance the work of The Providence Bureau without ignoring this negative aspect of Lovecraft's personal belief system.