Comments and Questions about The Leather Funnel

Below are some comments and questions about the story.

If you wish to respond send a message to:


1. Is there a belief among occultists that an object

does yield memories to a ‘sensitive’ whether in a dream

or directly? If so, is there a term or word for the



2. I’ve read only Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

This was a new experience for me and a bit spooky.

Do you find similarities in the writing style of the canon 

and this story?


3. Do we know if the description does, in fact, reveal the

likely origins or a probable use of the very old torture, 



4. Is the dreamer a victim of Dacre? Is the horror the 

experience of the dreamer?


5. What are your reactions to the story The Leather Funnel?

What comments do you wish to share or questions to ask?

Mail them to:




4 thoughts on “Comments and Questions about The Leather Funnel

  1. Yikes! Remind me not to pick up any old leather funnels!
    I had not read this story before. I assume this is an early tale. It shows a very clear influence of J.K Huysman’s Au Rebours, or perhaps just the decadent movement in general. The description of Dacre’s rooms is quite similar to that of Des Essainte’s, (he’s the one with the gilded tortoise) while Dacre himself has a certain resemblance to Mycroft Holmes.

    • I checked in Pierre Nordon’s book ‘Conan Doyle’ and he gives the date of ‘The Leather Funnel’
      as 1903.

      And I found this in support of your spot-on insight about J.K. Huysman in Andrew Lycett’s ‘Conan Doyle:
      The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes’: “More likely Dacre was an imaginative literary composite
      drawn from the central chaaracters in J.K. Huysman’s novels A’ Rebours and La’-Bas.”

      • Interesting that the story was written at such a late date. I assumed earlier largely because it does seem like a bit of a ripoff of Huysmans. Speaking of that, I was an English Major many moons ago and some of it at least has stuck with me. It’s probably been 30 years since I read Au Rebours, so it obviously made quite an impression.

  2. The Leather Funnel creeps me out. The thought of gagging on the funnel really go to me when I first read it -about 1976 or so.
    I don’t know if the sensation is like waterboarding, though. Although its a sort of drowning, its more from the inside out than the outside in – if that makes any sense. I wonder if pleurisy has the same effect?

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