Loremen Podcast

Loremen Podcast

Join the Loremen (James Shakeshaft and Alasdair Beckett-King) as they "investigate" local legends and forgotten folklore.


May 25, 2023 38 mins
In April 2022, the Loremen recorded their shortest episode ever: Dame Creswyke’s Spectre. Did you think one haunted hotel was all Moreton-in-Marsh had to offer? Well, you were wrong!

That sleepy Cotswold town on the Fosse Way is a veritable horn of plenty. Plenty of ghosts, that is. Expect spectres, mists, coughs, sensations and a bevy of airborne phenomena.

Loreboys nether say die!

Check the sweet, ...
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England's best "true" vampire story springs from the pages of the prolific hob-nobber Augustus Hare. Bleh! Alasdair tells James a blood-soaked Cumbrian legend, gleaned from Hare's (ludicrously long) autobiography. Sorry, autobiographies.

The walrus-faced Hare had a gift for extracting dubious ghost stories from minor aristocrats. And tales seldom come taller than that of the Croglin Grange vampire. An isolated bungal...
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Could this be our most respectful episode yet? Inspired by the crowning of Charles 3: Return of the King, the Loremen recap the entire King Chuck franchise. James recounts Charles I's ghostly premonitions and the much more boring Charles II is briefly mentioned as well.

In devastating news, James discovers that he was mispronouncing the word "chrism" throughout the entire coronation. Like the history of Britain's mona...
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Duchess, Poisoner, Spectre, Spy. James and Alasdair leap back to the English Civil War and meet the two-timing royalist schemer Elizabeth Murray. Her Richmond home is haunted by stories of intrigue, betrayal and ghosts. And a little dog too.

The gloomy pile that is Ham House was Elizabeth's lifelong passion. Some believe that she never left. Visit Ham and maybe you will hear the old duchess rapping.

(With her...
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Horace Walpole was the O.G. Goth (Original Goth Goth). He was an eccentric 18th Century writer, who transformed a modest cottage in Twickenham into a plaster and papier-mâche fantasy. Join James and Alasdair as we venture into the gloomsome, vaulted hallways of The Gothic.

Sorry, Gothick.

This episode features Strawberry Hill ghost stories from Patsy Sorenti and a chilling tale from the unwary prankster Davy...
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James takes Alasdair on a tour of the 'summer lands' - Somerset - and the wee folk that dwell there. They live inside stones, beneath mounds and under at least one castle. (It's not there anymore, don't look for it.)

We are talking fairies, faeries and indeed, the fae. You've got to be careful with these temperamental critters. They'll just as soon give you a golden nugget as turn into a cloud of bees and have your e...
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In an old Tudor house near Marlborough there is a chamber that legends call the justice room. Evil-doers beware! The spirit that lingers in that old "Oaken Place" is determined to wring the life out of any villain that spends a night there alone.

That is, if we are to believe the tale of a long-dead actor, an elderly maid and a still-living podcaster who went to mime school. (The last one is James "I'm acting like it'...
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The Denham Tracts might sound like the pamphlets of choice for James “Double Denim” Shakeshaft. In fact, they were the work of a County Durham folklorist with an ear for proverbs and an eye for the weird.
Does King Arthur sleep beneath the Castle of the Seven Shields? Do Hedgehogs engage in nocturnal milk-larceny? And if you live anywhere near Leeds, are you prepared for the Puddening?

These questions - and ...
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Brighton and Hove: quiet, peaceful, serene... that is until Shrove Tuesday comes round! The Loreboys discover that while Brightonians are a forward-thinking and open-minded bunch, they have real issues when it comes to one particular bird.

(It's chickens. You guessed that.)

This is a tale of Vikings and fowl play, and it may be our most controversial episode yet. James makes enemies of The Danes, red heads, ...
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Stoke your Brams and Bram your Stokers, because James and Alasdair are joined by Sacha Coward: escape room designer and author of the upcoming book Queer as Folklore. Taking us from Lilith to Lord Byron (stopping off at Tom Cruise for a layover), Sacha unearths the LGBTQ+ subtext of the Vampire.

Sorry, Vampyre. Say it with a Y.

We touch on some slightly more serious themes than our usual fare of decapitation...
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Did the Devil themself come to town on a cold February night in Devon and just sort of wander around? That's just one of the hypotheses put forward to explain the uncanny appearance of prints in the snow all across the county.

Was it Old Nick? Or was it a gang of kangaroos? An acrobatic rodent? Or, like so many things in life, was it simply badgers?
Who knows? YOU DECIDE. We certainly don't.

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The Loremen are joined by loveable Australian podman Nick "Maso" Mason of The Weekly Planet. Naturally, they take their new deputy straight to Northampton, home of comic book legend Alan "Alan" Moore. There, the loreboys attempt to dazzle Maso with two tales.  One is a little bit too stare-y and the other is a very naughty goose.  AND THATS JUST ALASDAIR AND JAMES hahahaha!

Well, that just happened...

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The Loremen return to the Leicester Comedy Festival, and James has brought a triptych of spine-tingling tales from the neighbouring county of Rutland. (Do look for it, it is there.) James's tales boast a credulous chemist, a spectral mist and an old man who liked sitting TOO much. Many thanks to the Lorefolk who turned out and giggled appreciatively.

The whole affair was (incompetently) livestreamed by the Lorebois th...
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February 23, 2023 13 mins
Despite being an obvious promo for our upcoming live show, this minisode delivers a whole load of Leicester lore in a tiny package. Find out what happens when a whole hill vanishes. Plus, James tries to make "don't look for it, it's not there anymore" a thing. Is that really the hill he is going to die on?

TICKETS (feat. the mysteriously frosty image of the Lorebois) HERE -
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It's (just gone) Valentine's day, and the Loremen were planning to stop off at a petrol station to buy you a box of chocolates.

But instead, we bring you Jenny Collier! And a fresh story from the Mabignogion. This year's Welsh valentale is especially romantic. If you think an entire person made out of flowers is romantic.

The lorebois (and lore-gal) brave a challenging combination of dodgy microphones and Wel...
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A manuscript found in a secret drawer sends the Loremen down an especially curious rabbit hole; James relates a close encounter between a Victorian carpenter and multifaceted entities from outer space. (One of which turns out to be a total bore.)
It's the kind of outlandish tale that a cynic might call "obviously fake," but once a legend gets started, it's harder to stop than an armoured fox.

For the comple...
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Beloved semi-sausage Amy Gledhill returns to the pod to meet the Wold Rangers of Yorkshire's East Riding. The wold's green lanes were once famous for Snaffling Jock, Mushroom Charlie, Slapface Ned and more strange, unique characters: nomadic gentlefolk around whom legends grew.

We run into a locked-barn mystery and encounter the haunted skull of Poor Sister Anne. Don't throw it in manure! She hates that.

If ...
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January 26, 2023 13 mins
Yes, it is a minisode! It's advertising a livestream on 8.30 pm GMT, Monday 30th January 2023 (2023). Find the Live Lorebois here: https://www.youtube.com/loremenpodcast 

BUT do keep listening, for a super sneak peek of an upcoming guest. Hear how the Loremen handle an unexpected sausage. Plus, enjoy the riffs and tip top bants about Victorian politicians!

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It's time for a Select Your Own Escapade! (Our non-trademark-infringing alternative to a Choose Your Own Adventure.)

James lets Alasdair decide the route through the county of Bedfordshire and the boys encounter four local oddities: from a lost member of the Blue Man Group (AKA the Cerulean Chaps Team) to Henry VIII's most boring mate.

Loreboys nether say die!

Check the sweet, sweet merch here...
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Crash! And the church steeple crumbles to dust. Parishioners - dead! The sermon - a write off.

This episode raises many questions. Is James Shakeshaft folklore's answer to Quenetin Taratantino? Was The Great Thunderstorm of Widecombe-in-the-Moor the work of ball lightning, or the Devil himself? Can the loreboys go a full episode without a Bowie impression?

(Sadly, only one of those questions is answered. And ...
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