Monday, 6 January 2014

Four Poster Peril!

A few regular news items contain something pertaining to the supernatural tale. Sometimes I search the BBC site for 'ghost' and almost invariably come across a weird little aside or reference. Today's is a cracker.

VisitBritain, the slightly annoyingly-named body responsible for promoting tourism in my fair homeland, has drawn up a list of Dos and Don'ts for hoteliers. And yes, with Germans it is indeed 'Don't mention the unfortunate events of the first half of the 20th century'.

But perhaps the weirdest and most charming bit of advice is not to put people from Hong Kong in four-poster beds, because they associate them with 'ghostly encounters'. The obvious question is, Why Hong Kong? Four-posters feature in any number of ghost stories; horror movies are chock-a-block with them. We all know they're a bit spooky. But they are also lovely period items of furniture.

It occurred to me that perhaps four-posters are uniquely Western, so that nobody in HK saw one before they clapped eyes on old Hammer films or Roger Corman adaptations of Poe stories. Or maybe a particular TV series is responsible. Who knows?

Anyway, I think we can be sure no Hong Kongers will be going near this place.

England's most haunted bedroom


Aonghus Fallon said...

The story that instantly springs to mind is Wilkie Collins' 'A Terribly Strange Bed'.

Sam said...

From memory it appeared with a rather nice engraving in one of those old 1930s anthologies. Will have a look at home

valdemar said...

Old-style US Radio version of that story here...