This is probably only going to be one that fans of either Rice or Star Trek are going to bother reading, but it’s something I’ve thought of on and off for years now.
The TNG episode “Sub Rosa” has Beverly Crusher inheriting an heirloom candle from her grandmother upon her death. The candle houses a “spirit” (really an “anaphasic alien lifeform”) who has appeared to almost all of the Howard (Bev’s maiden name) women for generations, mentoring them and acting as a lover. Crusher finds all of this out from her grandmother’s journal and tries to figure out what’s going on, while simultaneously being stimulated (so to speak) by this being (“Ronin”). Eventually, Crusher destroys the candle and escapes the being’s influence, returning to the Enterprise.
I don’t really remember all the details, but I know I was struck by the similarities to Anne Rice’s first Mayfair novel, “The Witching Hour”. Multiple generations of women under the spell of a spirit being, keeping the same last name despite marriage (and we’ve seen that our current tradition of changing the name to the husband’s is still prevalent in the 24th century in humans, at least), the family’s (and spirit’s) origins in the Scottish highlands, the fact that the spirit can control weather, the fact that the last heir to inherit the candle and spirit is a doctor, the spirit materializing flowers for the Howard women, the “merging” with the women (though in the book it’s the doctor’s fetus he merges with)…the list is long.
The official word on the episode is that was, in no way, inspired by “The Witching Hour”. Which is laughable, but that wall is stone. It’s one of the minor controversies of TNG and has been around since the episode aired.
So, fellow fans of Rice and/or Trek, what’s your consensus on this debate?