Department of Post-Mortem Communications

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The Department of Post-Mortem Communications is first encountered in Making Money, this is not, and this is important, in any way, shape, or form to be confused with necromancy, which in these enlightened post-dribbly-candles days, is frowned upon by the Faculty, who wish to present the image of a forward-looking University, which is confidently grasping opportunities to change.

Do NOT read anything into the fading gilded letters "NEC..M...." that are still visible on the door. As the Department Head, Professor John Hicks, will be first to tell you, they are absolutely insignificant and mean nothing at all.

Just pull on a spare robe, please, we need you to make up the numbers, and stand just here. Just hum it if you don't know the chant, you'll soon pick it up....

This Department is well sought-after by post-graduate students because it's cool - you get the hooded all-black robes and the skull ring. Many students, such as Goatly and Barnsforth believe these will make them "babe magnets". Seeing as wizards have traditionally been banned from fraternising with members of the opposite sex for fear of Sourcery, this is either a far-fetched hope or the Faculty hope that students will get so into talking to the dead and knowing secrets that mere females will be nothing but an unwelcome frivolity (or they consider the possibility that such a liaison would produce eight sons is sufficiently remote as to be negligible--a sourcerer is the eighth son of an eighth son).

By Unseen Academicals there is only Dr Hix (the x, of course, is cooler) and Charlie working as a skeleton staff. A very skeleton staff, in Charlie's case...


An echo of the "dialling chant" used by Zaphod Beeblebrox, where both his heads chant in counterpoint to each other, to summon up the spirit of his dead great-grandfather Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth (there was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine, just don't talk about it, right?) in a time of stress. (The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, original radio series by Douglas Adams.)

And according to Hicks, all the stuff in the Department filing cabinet once filed itself under "W", for a reason he never worked out. Well, Robert Anton Wilson again... the Illuminatus! cycle makes much of the occult and mystical significance of the number 23, and of course "W" is the 23rd letter of the alphabet... and an occultist and necromancer who appears in the Illuminatus! books is Adam Weishaupt, a Jesuit priest who was defrocked for meddling with the occult. (then again, "Anton Wilson" has the same initials and he also dabbled in necromancy and the occult. Or so he claims...)