Crawley

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Crawley, a fictional small town near Arkham, Massachusetts, created by Scott Dorward for the scenario "Bleak Prospect".


In the Mythos

1920s

Crawley, Massachusetts, is a medium-sized town of 15,000 people, lying 30 miles to the southwest of Arkham. Crawley is pleasant and well maintained, with most of the civic amenities you would expect from a town of its size. Crawley thrives on the textile industry, and outside the town limits, the industrial areas are mild eyesores, though the road out to Arkham passes through green countryside, with farms, fields, woodland, and a number of country houses and estates.

1930s

Before the Great Depression, Crawley thrived on the textile industry, but most of the mills and factories had shut down by the early 1930s, with people leaving town in search of work elsewhere. Crawley itself is still pleasant and well maintained, with most of the civic amenities you would expect from a town of its size, but outside the town limits, the derelict factories turn the old industrial areas into eyesores.

The exception to this is the road out to Arkham, which passes through green countryside, with farms, fields, woodland, and a number of country houses and estates. A small shanty-town of a few-dozen homeless Depression survivors is also located off the road to Arkham, with the camp's population appearing to be unusually bedraggled, hopeless, and listless specimens of the victims of the Great Depression.


Notable Locations

Crawley Police Department

A freestanding grey stone building, two stories tall, located on Ashcroft Street.

Administered through the 1920s and 1930s by an unnamed Chief of Police; Sergeant Eamon MacCoole was also active through the Depression Era.

Bentham Hospital

The Bentham Hospital is on Tanner Street, set back in its own small, well-kept grounds. The edifice is built of brown brick and the arched main entrance is flanked by gray stone columns. Administered through the 1920s until the Depression by Dr. Nathaniel Coombes, a warm, forgiving, bearded man who lost everything in the Great Depression. Administered through the 1930s by Dr. James Cavendish, a friendly, jowly man dressed in tweed; nurse Doris Cain in reception is generally cold to outsiders and those she considers inferiors.

The Crawley Examiner

The Examiner is the newspaper for Crawley and the surrounding area, and focuses on local news. The offices lie in a two-story redbrick building on Hannover Street. The ground floor has large glass windows, which allow passersby to look at the work going on inside. Norman Brunswick was managing editor through the 1920s and 1930s: a short, portly, blustering man with a ruddy complexion and an agitated, frustrated disposition. The newspaper was owned by the so-called "Midas Circle" through the 1930s, during which the paper earned a bad reputation locally for covering up stories relating to the group. Reporters Harold and Agatha Priestly were employed until the Depression forced the paper to cut costs and terminate their employment.

Crawley Grand Hotel

Owned by the "Midas Circle" through the Depression.

Textile Factories

Owned and operated by Thomas Dolan, an Irish immigrant, until the Depression forced the factories to close, and Dolan into poverty. The property fell into the control of the "Midas Circle" through the end of the Depression.

Greenleys Estate

An expensive estate on the outskirts of town, owned by the Melnick family (local lawyers) until the Depression.

Prospect House

An expensive estate on the outskirts of town, owned by Doctor Aston Hawkes, a Miskatonic University physicist, until his disappearance in the late 1920s, after which the estate fell into ownership by the so-called "Midas Circle"; the house and property were burned to the ground by the end of the Depression, and have since earned a bad reputation among the locals as an "unhealthy place".

Ebbet's Cemetery

According to local legend, there are a number of unmarked graves in Ebbet's Cemetery holding people who asked the wrong questions about the "Midas Circle".

Blue Star Diner

The Blue Star Diner, owned by Ina Brodie through the 1920s and 1930s, lies two miles along the Arkham Road from the edge of Crawley, a mile farther on from the Hooverville. The building itself is a pre-fabricated unit, designed to resemble a railroad car, with aluminum walls and a curved ceiling. It has a single counter, with fixed stools; booths line one wall.

"Hoovertown" (1930s)

The "Hooverville" camp of homeless victims of the Great Depression lies one mile from the Crawley town limits, on a scrap of wasteland just off the road to Arkham. There are no homes or businesses in the immediate vicinity, although the Blue Star Diner is about a mile further along the Arkham Road. The camp contains a variety of makeshift structures, ranging from tents and lean-tos, to sturdy shacks made of scrap wood and metal, including a small infirmary staffed by a homeless doctor and sustained by private donations from the local hospital. Though most people fend for themselves, the little community of a few dozen sickly inhabitants are close-knit and generally friendly, and there are communal campfires where people gather and share meals, often accompanied by music and alcohol.


Heresies and Controversies

Keeper Notes

Associated Mythos Elements

  • cult: Midas Circle
  • race: The Faceless Man, a local legend about a frightening specter said to be haunting the woods around the old hobo camp and the ruins of the Prospect House on the outskirts of town; according to locals, the Faceless Man is the restless spirit of one of the many victims of the Great Depression who died from starvation and exposure there; the legend claims that people who have poked too deeply into the ruins there have been drained of vitality by the specter, wasting away just as the specter had wasted away in life.


References