‘House of Ashes’ And Sumerian Mythology

November 7, 2020

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Fans of the Dark Pictures Anthology games were treated to a post-credits trailer at the end of Little Hope for the upcoming third installment titled House of Ashes featuring Ashley Tisdal (High School Musical). The game will take players to the Middle East wherein the trailer Tisdal’s character is seen lost in a cave with only a torch lighting her way and hearing something scurrying behind her as she passes a large statue of Pazuzu that many will recognized from the “Exorcist” films.






The games Man of Medan, and Little Hope draw from real-world events and tales. Man of Medan took inspiration from a tale from WWII about a ghost ship called the SS Ourang Medan that was lost near Indonesia, all crew on board died mysteriously, to date the tale of the Ourang Medan can’t be confirmed as no ship by that name ever existed and no wreck of it was ever found. Little Hope takes place in Andover, Massachusetts (Little hope is a fictitious village set there) and there was a witch trial held there where people were hanged as witches. The character Mary is depicted in a painting having a fit/seizure during a trial, the painting is a painting from the Salem Witch Trials depicting Mary Walcott having a fit/seizure during a trial.






Now let’s go back to House of Ashes. In the trailer we are shown a beautiful mountainous landscape, these mountains look very much like (or are suppose to be) the Zagros Mountains that are located in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. The voiceover in the trailer mentions “Sumerian Mythology” in which these mountains play a big part as they are the entrance to Kur, the Sumerian underworld, or land of the dead. The people of Sumer (now modern-day Southern Iraq), believed that the souls of the dead go to Kur, a bleak and dark afterlife described by scholars as a “Shadowy version of Earth” where your actions in life don’t determine where you go after death as everyone ends up in Kur, and the only source of food is dust. Mortals were not safe from the horrors of Kur as it was believed that Gallu, demons that reside in Kur, would stalk and drag mortals to the underworld.



Gallu - Wikipedia



Kur is home to many creatures and demons in Sumerian lore, one of them most likely being… Pazuzu. Fans of The Exorcist would recognize this winged demon right away and like many others unfamiliar with this guy, see him as a satanic deity. Pazuzu is just part of the normal chain of life seen in ancient times as early humans believe that for every action there’s an opposite one, in other words, there’s a god of rain that waters crops and then there’s a demon of drought. Ironically, in this case, Pazuzu is the demon of Southwest wind which in that part of the world when the southwest wind blows, drought comes bringing famine during the dry season, and brings locusts in the wet seasons.



Statuette of the demon Pazuzu with an inscription | Louvre Museum | Paris



Ironically, Pazuzu is also a protective entity as his otherworldly foe is a malevolent goddess that causes harm to mothers and babies during childbirth. Pazuzu is also believed to be so powerful that he frightens other demons and monsters thus making him a sort of protector against other possible misfortune, an anti-hero in a way.



Pazuzu - Ancient History Encyclopedia

Pazuzu Amulate



Now onto the final part of the trailer that’s intriguing, depictions of US Soldiers encountering otherworldly beings in the darkness in caves in Iraq. This is actually close to many stories that come from the warzone in the Middle East. It should be noted that stories, as fantastic as they sound, come up among soldiers as it’s a wartime tradition to hear ghost stories and rumors. In Lon Strickler’s book Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters there’s a section of a retelling of an eye-witnessed account from a member of the Army CID who while embedded with a platoon of soldiers near the Iraq/Iran border, went to investigate a string of murders at a nearby Iraqi village.


A Ghoul depicted in the Persian epic poem The Shahnameh




The villagers claimed that a “Ghool” (Ghoul), a very tall humanoid creature with freakishly long arms and legs was attacking people out at night and in some cases even during the day. One night while staying at the village, the platoon heard bizarre screams and howling coming from the mountains near the village and went to investigate resulting in them finding nothing. The authenticity of the story is questionable especially when they end the story with the “the military/government is hiding things” narrative.



the x files ! on Twitter: "this is the best part of the simpsons/x files  crossover… "



Hopefully, with all that said, some light was shed in the darkness of the caves seen in the House of Ashes trailer your interest has been peaked, and questions answered to the possibilities of what horrors are in store for us in the next installment coming from Dark Pictures Anthology.



The Dark Pictures Anthology Continues With 'House Of Ashes' - Game Informer

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