PODCAST SPOTLIGHT: LOREMEN.

  Do you hear it? It’s on the wind. It is echoing across the empty valleys. The sound of screaming and despair. The Banshee has come for us all… Nope. I was wrong. That will be the sound of me and many many other parents screaming in frustration as we try to home school our kids. Pass me the whiskey… 

 Anyway! Welcome to the Folk Horror Revival Podcast Spotlight. Where I help ye get your fix of ghosts, pixies, goblins,strange customs and whatever else fellow Revivalists might find yourself into. The podcast world is a massive black hole so sit back and let us do the work for you. 

 This week we have Loremen. An odd podcast from two comedians Alasdair Beckett King and James Shakeshaft. The about me describes them both as two tall white men (You can get a picture of how this podcast is going to be already) and with their podcast they ‘investigate’ local legends and folklore along with other guest comedians. Looking through the subjects of episodes we find a wide range of topics such as sheep murders, dusty places, monsters, mass hysteria, prophets and lots of other less well covered phenomena. But if the obscure doesn’t appeal to you they also discuss the more well known like The Lambton Worm, Sawney Bean, The Mabinogian, Geff the talking Mongoose and lots of others. They have you covered basically.

 This is an extremely entertaining podcast. A nice break from the usual more academic discussions and serials that we have had so far. Each episode clocks in at just under an hour and they fit in quite a good bit saying that they have a tendency to go off on unrelated tangents for minutes at a time. The episode ‘Everything happens for the best and the pickled parson’ with guest Sindhu Vee is a great example of this as we are told all kinds of anecdotes and stories that may or not have anything to do with why everything happens for a reason. I don’t mind though as it is always funny.      

  So when you have no hair left to pull out from trying to solve your kids maths assignments take a break and tune in to this for a bit for a nice bit of stress relief.  

http://www.loremenpodcast.com

http://www.jamesshakeshaft.com/

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Podcast Spotlight: Bone and Sickle.

Good evening my fish god obsessed cultists and welcome back to the Folk Horror Revival podcast spotlight. Firstly, I must apologize for being away so long. Christmas gluttony, frontline worker levels of tiredness and a weird case of podcast rabbit holes has kept me away. I’m back now so let’s see what we have this week: Bone and Sickle.

I believe that this particular podcast will be quite familiar with a lot of us already but for those of you who don’t know here’s a little background. Presented by folklorist Al Ridenour with his co-host Sarah Chavez, Bone and Sickle tackles stories of folklore and horror that pulls information from a wide variety of sources to give you a unique look at topics from multiple perspectives. Al covers historical, mythological, cultural and contemporary angles as he explores subjects of ghosts, devils, fairies, possessed nuns and other phenomena. I listened to a few episodes but the once concerning Banshee’s is a great example as I also covered The Irish Folklore Podcasts episode about her as well. Whereas the Folklore podcast was a fantastic academic discussion of the Banshee with lots of discussion on its history and theories on its evolution we have something totally different here. Al discusses the mythology surrounding her and Sarah does some great readings of some interesting stories and legends involving her. The episode wraps up with The Banshee on film, which to be honest I’d never given much thought to but it was great to hear especially with the audio clips included. I must watch that old Disney film one day.

On a side note I must comment on how good the presentation of this show is! You can tell that a lot of work goes into each episode. Not only through all the research and audio clips but the sound and production quality is great.

https://www.boneandsickle.com

https://instagram.com/boneandsickle?igshid=jmd48trcybf3

Vanishing Faces

Duo Joanne and Andrew Walker have been busy over the last twelve months with three separate releases to tempt Revivalists.

Foretold E.P.

First up was the Foretold E.P. which was released in April . I was lucky enough to receive a physical copy of the limited edition CD, one of only 78 copies released. The album is beautifully packaged, featuring some lovely artwork from Joanna herself. As you can see from the photograph below it is obviously designed to fit perfectly with the stories of the songs, which is something I really love about it. Alongside the fantastic cover art we are treated to some really nice little extras, stickers, a badge and a tarot card, the Ace of Wands in my case. This is a great card to receive in this instance as it represents creativity, passion and enthusiasm, all things that are abundant in this release.

This, their debut release is also sonically very good, and features 5 tracks of glitchy electronic folk infused with their love of traditional British folklore and the esoteric. The mix of traditional and modern instrumentation works really well and one can’t help but hear the influence of the likes of Current 93 rising to the fore every now and again, however it must be noted that they do possess enough of their own sound to keep it from turning into a pastiche. Overall, Foretold is an excellent debut release and one the duo can be very proud of.

Two Songs for the Summer Solstice

This was a two track single released to coincide with the Summer Solstice, on 20th June. Both tracks were heavily inspired by previous solstice celebrations that took place at Stonehenge and Avebury, and were a reaction to the current situation with regards to the Covid-19 lockdown, and the fact those sites were not accessible during the 2020 solstice.

‘To the Day’ represents the duo’s fond remembrance of past solstices, whilst Midsummer’s Dream entwines their own song with the fairy’s poem from the beginning of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Both tracks take the listener down a tangled acid folk drenched pathway that winds its way through the British countryside. This is a perfect midsummer release.

Wolf Moon E.P.

Released at the death of 2020, Wolf Man is a three track E.P. that the duo began composing under the wolf moon, the first full moon of 2020.

Opener, ‘Wolf Moon’ is a spoken word track that again mixes traditional instrumentation and modern technology, perfectly capturing the mood of the piece. This is followed up by ‘Cold Moon’ an instrumental with its feets firmly planted in ambient electronics. Beautiful and atmospheric, the track is perfect for laid back listening sessions. The final track is a remix of ‘Wolf Moon’ by Grey, it’s a fascinating amalagamation of drum and bass and ambient electronica that works really well. The band themselves have labelled the track ‘dub folk horror’ and who am I to argue?

All of their work can be heard and bought from their bandcamp page at:

https://vanishingfaces.bandcamp.com/

A Taste of Urban Wyrd Cinema

Urban Wyrd: A mode not a genre. A sense of otherness within the narrative, experience, image or feeling concerning a densely human-constructed area or the in-between spaces and edge-lands bordering the bucolic and the built -up: Or surrounding modern technology with regard to another energy at play or in control: be it supernatural, spiritual, historical, nostalgic or psychological. Possibly sinister but always somehow unnerving or unnatural.

This is not an exhaustive list of Urban Wyrd films but merely a taster, concentrating on cinema releases rather than television offerings.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

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Directed by Roy Ward Baker.
No Urban Wyrd list would be complete without the featuring the work of writer Nigel Kneale and in cinematic examples this tale of the eminent scientist Bernard Quatermass and his research into ancient alien artefacts found beneath London is a neat fit. Beyond simply being hidden in the English capital’s subterranea, the influence of the extraterrestrials is discovered to be nestled deep within humankind’s psyche.

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

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Directed by Peter Strickland. A quiet British sound engineer accepts a job at an Italian film studio specialising in violent cinema. As he becomes immersed into a world of sound and intense working practice, he also finds himself immersed into the brutal world unfolding onscreen.

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

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Directed by Shane Meadows. Returning to his home town, a hardened soldier tracks down the gang who tormented his vulnerable brother whilst he was away. A brutal kitchen-sink revenge thriller with a twist in its tale.

The Apartment Trilogy:
Repulsion (1965)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The Tenant (1976)

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Repulsion
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Rosemary’s Baby
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The Tenant

Directed by Roman Polanski. Polanski’s career and creation has been overshadowed by the heinous crimes commited by him and there is no morally sound defense of the man. Whether art and artist can be divided however is a personal decision, yet films are a sum of parts – cast, crew, director; and The Apartment Trilogy is a significant element of cinema invoking the Urban Wyrd mode.
In Repulsion we see madness envelop and absorb a young woman within her apartment in London, whereas in Rosemary’s Baby (shot at the Dakota building in New York that has its own real-life urban wyrd history) a young couple move into a building where the husband falls under the spell of his overbearing elderly neighbours whilst his wife falls pregnant but all may not be fine with her baby.
The Tenant is the least known and possibly weakest of the trilogy, but this tale of a man moving into a Parisian apartment where the neighbours are somewhat off, is certainly well worth a watch, but as it does star Roman Polanski himself, some viewers may choose to bypass this one.

Possum (2018)

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Directed by Matthew Holness. Following a scandal, a puppeteer moves back to his childhood home where his past and present continue to haunt him. A child vanishes whilst the marionette maker is tormented by one of his own creations. The shooting locations and Radiophonic soundtrack of this psychological thriller add to its dank unsettling atmosphere.

Eraserhead (1977)

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Directed by David Lynch. Henry, a nervous quiet man discovers that his girlfriend has given birth but the baby is deformed, sickly and incessantly crying. In a mix of domestic strangeness and factory surrealism, Henry is caused to confront life in Lynch’s weird and grotesquely beautiful cinematic debut.

Under the Skin (2013)

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Directed by Jonathan Glazer. This loose adaption of Michael Faber’s book of the same name quite possibly owes more to Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth as it does the source novel, concerning itself with an alien on earth with a purpose but discovering more about itself whilst discovering humankind. One of the oddest road movies out there, this film features some atmospheric and impressive photography and sound work.

Crash (1996)

Crash (1996) | JPK's Adventures in Cinema

Directed by David Cronenberg. A good portion of Cronenberg’s films have an urban wyrd edge, so which to go for here? Let’s opt for 1996’s Crash which has perhaps the most unconventional narrative, dealing as it does with the world of symphorophilia – the kink of being sexually aroused by observing and even orchestrating disasters – most pertinently in this film in the form of automobile accidents. Based on a novel by maestro of the urban wyrd JG Ballard, this is perhaps not the most joyful or comfortable watch but is an intriguing shard of cinematic history.

Themroc (1973)

Themroc (Claude Faraldo, 1973) - obscure objects of desire

Directed by Claude Faraldo. The 1973 French movie Themroc is another curious piece of cinema. It follows a day in the life of titular character Themroc, but not just any day. It is the day that he grows weary of his humdrum job and his apartment block existence and turns instead to incest with his sister, the cannibalism of a policeman and destruction on a scale that soon extends beyond anarchy but into a chaotic riotous regression into a primitive existence.

Films selected by Andy Paciorek
See more here




Podcast Spotlight: Folklore.

 Happy Christmas all you Goblins and Wraiths out there in internet land. I hope you are all keeping well and not letting the Christmas cheer turn you into piles of ash. We have a special treat for you this week as we were given the opportunity to hear a new podcast that is due to be released soon. It’s name is Folklore and is from Tamsin Wheatley……Or is it? 

  I’ll be honest. Much like the structure of the podcast itself the way this has come about is just as mysterious. We get a message informing us of this new podcast and were offered a chance to hear it before it’s unleashed upon the public. Who is this Tamsin? Why does she want us to hear it? (If another review doesn’t get posted next week you’ll know it didn’t end well.) Anyway… Tamsin is a radio presenter and an avid fan of crisps. (Whether she is a harbinger of doom for blogger ups remains to be seen.) This is her first foray into the world of podcasts and by what I heard it’ll be a grand one too.

Or is she any of this at all? I honestly don’t know what’s real and what’s fictional about this. But you know what? That plays in its favour. Go on to Tamsin’s Twitter account and you’ll see requests for ghost stories and weird tales you have to be submitted and a countdown of excitement for it’s release. And then you sit down and listen to it….. 

 From the description on its website I was expecting to hear a discussion on local Wiltshire based folklore and hauntings but instead of that I was surprised to find I was listening to an audio drama about a mysterious set of tapes and the impending investigation that goes on around them. I don’t want to give the plot away too much but we follow the narrator retracing the footsteps of her old college professor and the locations of incidentshe documented on the tapes. If you are a fan of The Lovecraft Investigations, The Black Tapes and The White Vault you are going to like this and it easily holds up to the production levels of those as well. 

 Folklore is released on 26/12/2020 so keep your eyes and ears peeled and definitely give it a subscribe. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/TimTamWheatley

In the bleak Midwinter: Films for Winter Nights

Want to avoid Mrs Brown’s Boys, The Queen’s Speech and whatever else TV throws at us this Christmastide? Of course there’s the great Ghost Stories for Christmas drama series and re-watching childhood favourites such as The Box of Delights but here we take the snow shovel and dig up some other possible additions for your alternative winter watching on the cold dark nights …

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Valkoinen Peura (The White Reindeer) – 1952

The White Reindeer (1952)

Original title – Valkoinen Peura. Directed by Erik Blomberg, this Finn classic concerns itself with a newlywed woman Pirita (played by Mirjami Kuosmanen) who visits a local Sami Shaman for help in spicing up her love-life. The spell cast indeed turns the woman not only into a seductress – but into a true femme-fatale as she now has a vampiric hunger. The White Reindeer’s star has shone brighter again in the advent of the folk horror revival yet this beautiful dark tale deserves to be seen more widely still.

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The Curse of the Cat People – 1944

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Directed by Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch, The Curse of the Cat People is a sequel to 1942’s Cat People, though it can be watched in isolation as the film differs quite differently from its predecessor (which is certainly well worth a watch also). Less of a ‘horror’ than its antecedent, Curse centres on Amy (Ann Carter) the 6 year old daughter of Ollie Reed (Kent Smith). Amy is a dreamy child who finds herself different and therefore somewhat alienated by her peers. In her solitude she finds an ‘imaginary friend’ who just happens to be the late first wife of her strict and rather arrogant father. In addition to Irena (Simone Simon) – the ghost or daydream first wife and cat person (although cats do not feature in this film), Amy also befriends an old woman – a reclusive former actress with dementia, much to the envy and upset of the woman’s own daughter.

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Morozko -1964

Морозко (Father Frost / Jack Frost) (1964)

Directed by Aleksandr Rou, Morozko or Father Frost is based on Russian folk and fairy tales and follows the trope of a young girl, Nastenka (Natalya Sedykh) who on the cusp of coming of age is ill-treated by a mean and jealous stepmother. Meeting a potential suitor Ivan (Eduard Izotov) doesn’t exactly bode well when a spell turns Ivan’s head into that of a bear. (Looking like a surreal, mangy version of Bungle from British kid’s show Rainbow is one of the reasons this children’s film ends up on a darker film list as it is potential nightmare fuel for some). Folkloric figures such as Morozko – a Russian winter spirit who has traits of both Father Christmas and Jack Frost and witchy favourite Baba Yaga also serve to make this film a weird watch.

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Wind Chill – 2007

Wind Chill (2007)

Directed by Gregory Jacobs. When a university student accepts a car share lift at the start of the Christmas holidays she soon realises that the driver is not exactly whom he claims to be, yet as they are driven off the road in a remote area in sub-zero conditions there is more still to worry about as both the present and the past threaten to claim their lives.

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Kwaidan – 1965

Kwaidan (1965)

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi and based upon Japanese ghost stories and folk-tales collected and translated by the folklorist Lafcadio Hearn is a classic of Japanese cinema. Though the whole portmanteau film is a visual delight, it is the Yuki-Onna tale that most concerns us here today. In this segment two men are caught out in a winter blizzard and seek refuge in a fisherman’s hut. During the night, their shelter is violated by a beautiful yet deadly woman of the snow. One man loses his life but their supernatural assailant takes pity on the other due to his youth and good looks. She warns him never to speak of what happened that night, but his life remains haunted by the strange encounter.

Blogging By Cinema-light: The Fearless Vampire Killers
The Fearless Vampire Killers – 1967

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Also known as Dance of the Vampires and Pardon Me, But Your Teeth are in My Neck is directed and co-written by and stars Roman Polanski. Polanski is understandably and justifiably a difficult figure due to the crimes he has committed in his off screen life. Whether to divorce art from artist or to bypass the work of contentious or criminal figures is a personal choice, but within the realm of film it is a case that the output is a communal effort of many members of crew and cast. And together they have produced a strange addition to the many Vampire films out there. Set in the dead of winter, this comedy -horror film has the look and feel of Slavic fairy-tale cinema and has a great soundtrack by Krystof Komeda. It is notable also for starring Sharon Tate – the former wife of Polanski and tragic victim of the Manson Family Murders.

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Troll Hunter – 2010

Troll Hunter / Trolljegeren (2010)

Directed by André Øvredal, the Norwegian found-footage / mockumentary telling the tale of a young film crew investigating a man (Otto Jespersen) whose occupation is that of a Troll Hunter sounds like it could be a disaster but it is actually well worth giving a chance to. It is a fun atmospheric jaunt into an aspect of horror folklore that is generally less widely explored in cinema than other monsters. And in the final segment you can almost feel the cold.

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Ravenous – 1999

Ravenous (1999)

Directed by Antonia Bird and set in the Sierra Nevada in the 19th Century, we witness both the hard conditions of weather and war that may set a person on a desperate path but also we see the unfolding of a supernatural curse. Seeking inspiration from such tragic real historical events such as the Donner Party migration and the folklore of first nations people, Ravenous shows us what happens when people become afflicted with the curse of Wendigo-possession.

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November – 2017

November (2017)

Though November may technically be regarded as autumn, this Estonian film is cold and dark enough to make our winter watch-list. Directed by Rainer Sarnet, November tells the tale of a 19th Century Estonian village that is beset by spirits of pestilence. In a bid to survive the harsh conditions, villagers turn to theft involving nefarious and esoteric means but it becomes an obsession outweighing their needs and no good can come of that. November boasts some especially stunning cinematography.

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The Lodge – 2019

The Lodge (2019)

Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala and produced by the revived Hammer studios, The Lodge in keeping with Hammer’s revival has no resembelance to their campy gothic output of the 1950s, 60s and 70s but is instead as dark and chilling as its intense wintery setting. Following the suicide of their mother, a pair of children accompany their father and his new lover, Grace, to a remote lodge for a Christmas holiday. Whilst their father is called back to the city by work commitments, the children, who resent Grace, discover that she was the sole survivor of a death cult. As strange events occur within the isolated chalet, their survial, mortality and existence come into grievous question.

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Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka – 1961

Evenings on A Farm Near Dikanka / Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки (1961)

Based on the story ‘ The Night Before Christmas’ by Nikolai Gogol ; Evenings is directed by Aleksandr Rou and shares the same visual and atmospheric strangeness of his later more well known film Morozko. Amid the seasonal revelry in a snowy Ukrainian village a blacksmith Vakula, (Yuri Tavrov) seeks the aid of the devil to transport him to St. Petersburg in Russia so that he may obtain a pair of slippers belonging to the Empress, in a bid to woo a local maiden Oksana (Lyudmyla Myznikova).

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Black Robe – 1991

Black Robe (1991)

Directed by Bruce Beresford and though not a horror film as such the aesthetic, setting and grim events portrayed in this Canadian film should likely appeal to many fans of folk horror. In it we journey with a Jesuit priest Father LaForgue (Lothaire Bluteau) and his mostly Algonquin travel party across the wilderness of New France in winter as he intends to establish a new Christian mission in a far-off village. In addition to the terrain and hard weather, prophetic dreams, old faith and hostile strangers mar their way.

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Winter’s Bone-2010

Winter’s Bone (2010)

Again not a horror film, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone will nonetheless appeal to some fans of the Backwoods and Midwestern Gothic sub-genres. A 17 year old girl. Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is struggling in impoverished circumstances to look after her troubled mother and her brother and sister in the absence of their father imprisoned for the production of meth amphetamine. Survival is paramount to Ree who strives to teach her siblings how to live off the land but more troubles still fall upon the family due to the missing patriarch’s involvement in the meth trade.

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Let The Right One In – 2008

Let The Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in (2008)

Adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, Tomas Alfredson’s movie is a beautiful piece of cinema. When a strange young gir Eli ( Lina Leandersson) moves into a Stockholm apartment complex in the early 1980s, she strikes up a friendship with a 12 year old boy Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) who is something of an outsider himself and a target of school bullies. However there is a lot more to Eli than meets the eye as we discover in this atmospheric slow-burning tale.

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The Blackcoat’s Daughter – 2015

The Blackcoat’s Daughter / February (2015)

Directed by Osgood Perkins, The Blackcoat’s Daughter centres around a Catholic girls’ boarding school in upstate New York. Whilst most of the pupils have headed home for the winter vacation, Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) find themselves left behind and despite their difference in school age and personality types, they find their lives fatefully entwined and to that of a young woman called Joan (Emma Roberts) who escapes from an insane asylum some years after the girls’ stories unfold.

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning – 2004

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

The third of the Ginger Snaps franchise (this time directed by Grant Harvey) differs from the coming of age contemporary-times werewolf tale of the first two of the film series by taking the story back further to the early 19th Century but again starring Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins as sisters Ginger and Brigitte. This tale of lycanthropy follows an ill-fated winter trading excursion to the Hudson Bay, whereupon the girls find their way to an abandoned camp and then to a fort, where they find shelter but only the start of their troubles.

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Black Christmas -1974

Black Christmas (1974)

Directed by Bob Clark and also known in the USA as Silent Night – Evil Night has less connection to folk horror than others mentioned here but arguably could fall under our remit as urban wyrd (but who really cares about labels unless they are attached to Christmas presents?) Included because not only is Black Christmas one of the best Christmas slasher horror films, it is quite possibly one of the best Christmas films and Slasher films too. Simple and straightforward yet eerie and rather tense in its execution it tells the story of college girls in a shared accommodation that during the festive season are gifted first with dirty phone-calls and then with a more deadly Christmas presence.

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The Shining – 1980

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same name, needs little introduction – both a classic of winter horror and urban wyrd, this story of Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) a caretaker and aspiring author succumbing to cabin fever and / or possession whilst holed up in a remote Colorado Rockies hotel over the heavy winter with his wife Wendy (Shelly Duvall) and psychically gifted (or cursed) young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) has a habit of getting under the skin. In it we bear brutal witness to how Jack’s own buried alcohol-induced violence resurfaces towards his family but how also how violence is embedded into the very foundations and sinuous recurring history of the building itself.

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Морозко – 1964

Selection chosen by Andy Paciorek

PODCAST SPOTLIGHT: WIDDERSHINS.

 Good evening Ghouls and Goblins and welcome again to The Folk Horror Podcast Spotlight. Put the fire on, get a glass of hot whiskey, light a candle and switch off the lights because this week we have a spooky storytelling from The Widdershins. 

 Widdershins is composed of narrator Ashley Nunez and musician Joe Saburin. Ashley is the owner of Old Growth Alchemy and describes herself as ‘purveyor of botanical libations and sensual ephemera.’ Her shop sells all kinds of potions and concoctions for your local occultists, witches and anyone interested in the old ways. Joe teaches music and musician in his own right with an album called Dead Leaves. He can also be heard on lots of different musical projects. 

Each episode they pick a tale of folklore, legends, fairies, monsters and ghosts and compose their own telling of the stories. With a wonderful added touch Joe composes a soundtrack with his guitar for each episode. At the end of the episode they get together to discuss the story and the development of the presentation. I am always interested to hear hot takes on what the meaning of a story could be (blame Blindboy!) and it is also cool to hear Joe talking about the composition he performed. If you want to hear a great example of this then tune into the Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti. As a narrative poem you get to hear Ashley performing quite an animated retelling as she keeps up with the prose while Joe creates a song to keep up. The discussion afterwards is another episode in itself! 

 Looking through the episode list they have so far chosen tales from the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, M.R. James, The Brothers Grimm, Amelia Edwards, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Shelley. With only twenty one episodes so far there is lots more to come too.

https://www.oldgrowthalchemy.com

https://www.joesabourin.com/

 Until next time…

PODCAST SPOTLIGHT: Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments

Hey Folks. Sorry for the lack of post last week but life, mainly work, chose to wear me down and put me through a spot of being under the weather. The joys of being a Social Care Worker! No matter though as this week we have a real gem of a podcast to share with you all. 

 Bluiríní Béaloidis is the podcast from The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. As they put it themselves ‘It explores Irish and wider European folk tradition across an array of subject areas and topics. Host Jonny Dillon hopes this tour through the folklore furrow will appeal to those who wish to learn about the richness and depth of their traditional cultural inheritance; that a knowledge and understanding of our past might inform our present and guide our future.’ 

 As a blow in to Ireland I have a special interest in the lands folklore and traditions. Drive a few minutes out of the urban developments and you can soon find yourself feeling like they are alive and well. Many people still believe in fairies, or at least if they don’t quite believe they think it’s probably best if you don’t do anything that could irritate them anyway. Just to be safe you know? 

  Back to the podcast though. The presentation of Folklore Fragments is quite academic with all the guests being specialists in their chosen field. Each episode casts a critical look at the chosen subject and explores the origins and explanations for why things are the way they were and still are. What is really fantastic is that the episodes are all interspersed with audio clips from the Folklore Archive of people recounting memories of events and traditions. 

 There are so many episodes to choose from as well. Eddie Linehan joins Jonny for one episode to talk about the otherworld of Ireland (Episode 22. Invisible Worlds.) In another we have Professor Patricia Lysaght taking an in depth look at The Banshee (Episode 27. The Banshee.) And then other episodes we see traditions take centre stage such as Episode 9. Christmas customs and traditions and Episode 4. The Luck of the House. 

 I cannot recommend this podcast enough. It is fascinating. Go and have a listen. 

https://www.instagram.com/nationalfolklorecollection/

https://www.duchas.ie/en/info/cbe

https://www.ucd.ie/folklore/en/

Wyrd Kalendar – Vampire Night

“Tonight is Vampire Night. In Romania the Strigoii or Vampires are said to leave their graves to seek out their former homes and victims. So hang out your garlic, put out your crosses… for the vampires are prowling and they’re looking for you. Be safe. And, if you can’t be safe, then dance, dance to these Vampire tunes. Happy Vampire Night!” – The Kalendar Host

With tunes from the likes of The Upsetters, Soft Cell, Gene Page, Rupert Lally, Bauhaus, Vampire Sound Incorporated, The Hues Corporation, Francois de Roubaix, Rob Zombie, Cobra Verde, Tangerine Dream, Gorillaz, Emil Richards, Beth Orton, Jonathan Elias, Radiohead, Gerard McCann, Tito and Tarantula, David Whitaker, Hot Blood, Jace Everett, Dirty Pretty Things, Barenakedladies, Jason Segel, Michael Vickers, Nouvelle Vague, Ministry, Michael Rubini and Denny Jaeger.

Podcast Spotlight: Strange Familars.

Good evening ghouls and goblins! Welcome to the second installment of the Goat Lords podcast spotlight. This week we are showcasing a podcast that comes from all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and into Pennsylvania USA. It is The Strange Familiars podcast. 

 Strange Familiars is a podcast focused on the paranormal, unexplained and folklore and consists of interviews, discussions and on location recordings.There seems to be a particular focus on Bigfoot but that may be down to it being the host Timothy’s special area of interest. I must say that I enjoy the on location recordings. One of the first I listened to was of the hosts walking about a location having a relaxed conversation about the area and its history. Timothy is the main presenter and each episode he has a rotating set of co hosts. Chad, Jon, James and Alison the resident skeptic. Timothy is an illustrator, author, paranormal investigator and a folk musician. His band Stone Breath have released over a dozen albums and the music plays a big part in the show. His art often accompanies the albums and Strange Familiars logos and merchandise. 

 The episode I chose to listen to was episode 137: The Tunkall. In this a lady from Norway recounts her experiences with these Gnome like spirits called the Tunkall. I had never heard of them before so it was really interesting to hear the folklore behind these odd little creatures. Or are they ghosts? You will have to listen to find out more. Much like last week’s highlight we again had the relaxed interview format with no leading questions and instead a genuine curiosity to hear about this person’s experience. What was also great was being given some historic background to the story. A theme that crops up a lot in their episodes. The history of areas, sightings, people and so on are discussed and give good backdrops. There wasn’t as much music in this episode as I am used to hearing but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment. If you listen to earlier episodes you will hear segments being broken up with tracks and songs that are written specifically about the tales being told. That has to be quite an undertaking to do every episode so I can’t criticize them for not keeping it up as time went on. I haven’t listened to all their episodes though so I could be wrong. 

 Give them a subscribe, start from episode one and get lost in some strangely calming tales of strange events. .      

https://www.strangefamiliars.com/

https://stonebreath.bandcamp.com/