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A Trap Full of Monsters:
Responses to Last Week’s Mystery

“Well then, I suppose that leaves us no choice but to enter through the devil’s door.” — August LaFleur, “A Trap Full of Monsters,” Act I

Since our previous episode of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre concluded with August LaFleur suggesting that the only way into the New Towne Theatre is through something he called a “devil’s door,” we posed the question: What is a devil’s door and how might it have anything to do with a theatre that used to be a church?

Among the responses we received was one from David Pascal, a producer and creative director from southern California. He’s the owner of Pascal Records and producer of such bands as The Blue Hawaiians, Jetpack, The Vanduras, and the upcoming Pearly King and the Temple Thieves. In addition, he evidently knows a thing or two about church architecture and medieval history, since his response to our question was right on target. He writes that a devil’s door is “a door situated on the north ‘heathen’ side of a church. Many have been bricked up to prevent the Devil from reentering.”

Also right on the mark, and expanding greatly on David’s response, is Dr. Gina Wisker. She is the author of over two-dozen academic books (including Margaret Atwood: An Introduction to Critical Views of her Fiction), numerous articles, and six poetry collections; she also co-edits Dissections: A Journal of Contemporary Horror. Moreover, although she currently teaches at the University of Bath – she is formerly of the University of Brighton in Sussex, a county in England known for its devil’s doors!

She writes:

Legend has it that in the Middle Ages, babies were exorcised in the church porch. This happened before they were baptized to banish the devil from the newborn so the baby could be brought safely into the church. Popular folklore tells us that the north door was left open during baptism so that, once it left the baby, the devil would quickly exit from the church.

You can read Dr. Wisker’s entire response to our question here.

But devil’s doors are not just to be found in southern England. Best-selling Mexican writer Sandra Becerril assures us of that. Sandra’s latest book La Soledad de los pájaros (The Loneliness of Birds) has just been published by Cazador. She listens to Mystery Theatre in Mexico City, where she tells us: “there are some doors like that in Mexico. The interesting thing is what can happen after crossing them.”

So it seems August LaFleur will want to be careful if he does indeed plan on entering such a portal, as one might wonder what he will find waiting on the other side.

Of course, you won’t need to wonder long. The latest episode of “Trap Full of Monsters” is up now at Prime Stage Mystery Theatre. Check it out, and remember — you don’t need to be a record producer, college professor, or bestselling author to play along. New questions await you at the end of Act II.

Click the player below, give it a listen, and send us a comment. We’ll be waiting … right inside the devil’s door.

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