Deconstructing The Wicker Man: Friday 28th July, Glasgow

Join folklore and film experts for a screening and discussion of the influence and impact of this 1973 cult horror classic.

Since the film’s release in 1973, The Wicker Man has grown into something of a cult classic. Join folklore and film experts Dr Lizanne Henderson and Dr Jonny Murray for a pre film screening discussion. Dr Lizanne Henderson, University of Glasgow, is an expert in Scottish history and folk belief, author of ’Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment’ (Winner of the Katharine Briggs Book Award 2016). Dr Jonny Murray, Edinburgh College of Art. In 2005 he edited “Constructing the Wicker Man”, a collection of 11 essays based on papers presented at the first academic conference dedicated to the film.

Fri 28 Jul 2017
7.00PM – 10.00PM
City Halls – Recital Room

Adult £6, Concession £5

Click here for booking details.

Review: Spirits Of Place

‘Spirits of Place’ is an anthology journeying into the minds, places and memories of spirits-of-place-kindle-covertwelve writers as they attempt to put into words the emotional and cultural residue implied by a location dear to them. It’s not merely the hard geography of a location but its evolution though folk history which is of interest here. This isn’t another book of psychogeography essays where the landscape is explored and meaning extrapolated from the usual tired rambles of London and Paris, ‘Spirits of Place’ puts a human face onto local mythology and shows that the devil (and assorted other spirits) is almost certainly in the detail as it’s often the little stories that provide the biggest connections to a place. In all cases careful research goes hand in hand with the writer’s emotions and experiences providing the reader with more than enough information to spark further investigation.

This project, derived from a day of lectures in Liverpool in 2016, has been carefully curated by John Reppion to include a refreshing diversity of writers with the essays contained covering a lot of ground both physically and metaphorically. From Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir’s background in Icelandic Elf-lore and how its interfering with modern road and building construction, to Vajra Chandrasekera’s personal account how Sri Lankan spirit folklore evolves to retain its relevance in a rapidly changing socio-political landscape, to Maria J. Perez Cuervo’s piece on the moving of King Philip II of Spain’s Spanish Capital to a mountain local myth says contains the caves that the Devil lived in after his fall from Heaven, the span is ambitiously global telling very human tales which derive (as all things do) from the land.

Of the writers included, the three most known to me, Warren Ellis, Iain Sinclair and Alan Moore don’t disappoint in their submissions. In ‘A Compendium of Tides’ Ellis paints a vivid picture of strange frequencies plucked throughout time from the aether of the Thames Estuary, with the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery and its dangerously deteriorating stockpile of wartime bombs hanging, like a Damoclean sword, threatening turn the area and its history back into atoms and background static. Sinclair leaves behind his beloved London to travel to Palermo, weaving an almost a film noir narrative about his visit to the Capuchin Catacombs, with the journey full of stories that lead him on a deep meditation into its place in the Sicilian psyche. And, having been fortunate enough to see Moore perform the piece his essay ‘Coal Dreams’ was based on at the Sage in Gateshead back in 2010, it’s great to see it finally documented as his contribution. First leading the reader through his own previous personal involvement with Newcastle and the mental and physical journey it has taken to get him there, then setting about re-imagining Newcastle and its environment by reframing its history using it’s pre Christian backdrop in an enthralling riposte to J B Priestley’s damning of Newcastle in ‘English Journey’, invoking Antenociticus (a Roman flavoured variant of Caernunnos) in his temple in Wallsend by way of brimstone-fired visions of the painter John Martin, Mary Shelly and Bovril.

None of the essays in this tight packed anthology overstay their welcome and the high level of writing prowess across the book makes it a joy to read, even if you manage to find an essay topic which doesn’t immediately float your boat. The general tone and connection to the theme does remain even throughout which goes to show that no matter where you are, if you concentrate on any place long enough, you can start to see the ghosts infused within the brickwork and the angels in the architecture. This book fits wonderfully into the growing movement towards the re-enchantment of location and will be of great interest to those fostering a deeper connection with the landscape.

Spirits of Place is published by Daily Grail Publishing
For more details, visit www.spiritsofplace.com

Review by S.: of the Psychogeographical Commission.

 

 

 

 

Review: this is not a picture

this is not a picture by Howard David Ingham

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this is not a picture is a collection of eight short ghost stories, by Howard Ingham of these here parts, probably best known to revivalists for his excellent series of film reviews, We Don’t Go Back. The tales here are linked by pieces of art – a photograph, a TV play, a song – each of which is central to the plot.

Of the stories here, the one that stands out as being of most interest to folk horror fans is “The Austringer (1969)”, which revolves around a lost BBC play, bringing to mind the once seen and now half-remembered, haunting quality the likes of Penda’s Fen and Robin Redbreast had before being made accessible again by BFI re-releases. The tale cuts back and forth between the unscrupulous collector who unearths a copy from a deceased acquaintance’s collection and the play itself, with the two inevitably meeting. The excerpts from the TV play are particularly spot on, evoking the atmosphere of the supernatural plays of the era.

My personal favourite is “An envelope”, where a man grieving for his disappeared girlfriend comes into possession of an envelope full of polaroids depicting horrifying scenes, seemingly from a parallel reality where something has gone very wrong. Each photograph is described in detail, sketching a horrific world, leaving you to fill in the details with your worst nightmares. It’s made all the weirder by the fact that it was written in the author’s sleep, like he unconsciously tapped into some horrendous parallel world. More speculative horror than folk horror perhaps, but deeply unsettling.

The striking thing about this collection is its humanity, the way the characters relate to each other and the world around them, indeed one of the tales – “So I caught up with Dennis” – derives much of its uneasiness from a changed relationship between two old friends. No matter how weird the situation is, the characters and their actions always remain believable.

A thoroughly engaging collection of tales. You can pick up a copy here.

Review by Scott Lyall

Review: Hours Dreadful & Things Strange

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Fans of folk horror, hauntology, psychogeography, visionary ruralism, the urban wyrd and other such strange edges will proably be no stranger to the name of Adam Scovell or perhaps his thorough and impressive website Celluloid Wicker Man

Adam is a writer and filmmaker currently based between Liverpool and London He has produced film and art criticism for over twenty publications including The Times and The Guardian, runs the Celluloid Wicker Man website and has had work screened and given lectures at places as esteemed as Cambridge University, The British Museum, The BFI, The Everyman Playhouse, Queen’s University – Belfast, Hackney Picturehouse and Manchester Art Gallery.

Within his first book for film and media publishing house Auteur , Scovell wanders forests and fields to unearth answers to the thorny question  “What is Folk Horror?” It is quite a task for folk horror is not simply a subgenre of horror but is a subgenre of various other genres and subgenres and it is also conversely unique in itself.
The Unholy Trinity of films, Blood on Satan’s Claw, Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man do of course get thorough necessary attention, but this book gives cause for any of the opinion that folk horror is a 3 movie phenomenon, much cause to think again.  Scovell, the creator of Scovell’s Chain – a system of defining elements of folk horror succeeds in outlining and showcasing diverse examples of folk horror and related fields, but does not hammer its legs down with iron stakes in too rigid a definition allowing folk horror to continue to wander myriad paths and remain as an evolving entity.
Kwaidan, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Ballad of Tam Lin,True Detective, Penda’s Fen, Quatermass, Children of the Stones and many many other films, tv shows are given the full (Owl) service and prove that folk horror is not limted to the British Isles as some folk would kid you believe. .

For all fans and scholars of folk horror and related sub-genres this book is indispensable. Scovell proves himself an excellent writer as the level of research and consideration in this book is impeccable yet it is not at all dry and is a captivating, flowing read for every body interested in the subject matter, not only those involved in academic field studies.
Many examples of folk horror are investigated and discussed (as such beware of spoilers for films and Tv plays you may not have seen yet) and also their relation to akin subjects such as the Urban Wyrd, Hauntology, Backwoods Horror, Ruralism and Southern Gothic.
This book investigates its subject matter with a contagious passion and does extremely well to explain a subject that is nebulous and still evolving. Whilst concentrating mostly on film the book also explores such matter as Public Information Films and the design and music of the Ghost Box label.
As well as being a very worthy addition to Auteur’s film study publication ouvre it is an essential read for all fans of folk horror and the sinuous other company it keeps.

Folk Horror Revival looks forward very much to reading further books and watching new films in future from Adam.

Hours Dreadful & Things Strange is available from Amazon and other book stores.

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Review: The Eyrie

The Eyrie by Thom Burgess, illustrated by Barney Bodoano

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New folk horror-themed graphic novel The Eyrie draws on the folklore of author Thom Burgess’ native Sussex. It follows Rebecca, an American photo-journalist, who is sent to a remote part of Sussex on a job by her boss, staying in his old country house. Before she sets off to the local pub, she lights an old lamp she finds, to guide her home, and this signals to… something. Before long, she’s plagued by mysterious events: banging on her door in the middle of the night, devices losing power, mysterious figures turning in photographs, and terrifying, not quite human apparitions.

Compelling and eerie right from the start with its foreboding landscapes, The Eyrie is unsettling enough even before the supernatural elements coming creeping in. Once summoned, things escalate to the dreadful (in the best sense of the word) climax in a fashion that will make you feel almost relieved once the full horror of the situation is revealed.

Barney Bodoano’s gritty black-and-white art complements the atmosphere, encapsulating the bleak landscapes perfectly, with half seen figures in the mist adding to the menace.

One of the great things about the folk horror revival isn’t just looking back at the classics of the genre, but seeing the influence of them in contemporary works, and with its tale of coastal folklore, ancient objects and troubled locations, The Eyrie inevitably brings to mind MR James, but updated for a world where isolation can be conveyed by a lack of phone signal, and the encroachment of the weird by corrupted digital photographs.

Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and creepy tale. If you’re a fan of the weird and eerie, well worth getting hold of.

Copies can be ordered at www.theeyrie.bigcartel.com.

Review by Scott Lyall.

The Wyrd Kalendar – The July Mix

It is July.

It is time to venture onto the Kalendar Heath again. Let the heat of these songs enfold you as Jim Moon reads extracts from this month’s story “Grotto Day” (written by Chris Lambert as part of “Wyrd Kalendar” due for publication in October).

This month’s mix contains music by Goldfrapp, Terry Reid, Uriah Heep, David Cain, Be Bop Deluxe, Gordon Lightfoot, John Stewart, Laura Veirs, Roger Waters, Sesame Street, Nick Nicely, Slim Dusty, Velvet Opera and Soundgarden.

She is Time

She is Time …

A giantess

A dwarf

A bear

A bird

Mother sister daughter all

Originator and child born

Wondrous

Awful

Tender

Harsh

Caressing – “You still have Time my love, my beloved one.”

“No Time left – Hurry you wicked child!”

I have avoided her presence.

I have acknowledged it too.

Youth or innocence or stupidity

Wisdom or just older and old age coming and then …

“I wasn’t really so ugly after all.”

Day after day and hour after hour of self criticism.

Now looking back

I beg you, “Let me make myself again!”

Help me form from clay instead of skin containing organs blood and bone.

Help me become an uncontaminated version of me

Instead of influence bombarding and impinging from all directions.

But Time will do what she wants and leaves me to learn.

Gives me precious gifts as well as throwaway baubles that will remain until infinity – Signs of me that were.

The passing of –

Who I am

Who we all are

What we learn

How to be.

Make the most of it.

Don’t waste time or do waste some time

Sometimes –

From time to time stop and

Feel and appreciate every moment of … but …

Best laid plans.

The past rises up in black and white or technicolour shards.

Puzzle together

Manufacture memory

Did it happen?

All a part of you.

Primordial – before time, before building began

Past, present, future – all times.

Hauntings, soaked and seeped into the walls the floors, the earth.

The words, the sighs, the emotions, the pleasures, the pains.

Mine mingle into the sediment of all others who came before me and those that will come.

Haunting me from the future as well as the past.

Thoughts, realities, fantasies, plans and ambitions unrealized, regretted, yearned for –

Unique and mine a part of everything that was and is.

Foolish, brave, meek, timid, strong.

All of these cycling

Who and what potential there was and is to be …

In the past in the present, in the future, in the “non” time

Just the “am” just “is” just “be” time

Would you live differently?

Reincarnation, what animal will you be?

Heaven, hell, purgatory?

Please let me –

Reclaim my self from time reclaim my fresh plump and tighter skin,

Like a lizard let me shed my tarnished and webbed self.

You are cruel but I understand.

My face, my body, my thought, is witness to evermore.

My life with others, everything I saw, everything I wanted, tasted, everything experienced – everything even wickedness.

Where in the ridges of lives does she settle?

Which cracks does she fall into?

Pressed under foot

Like leaves that begin to change colour, dry and wither while others remain under ice and snow, amber till spring when they will die, become part of what came before.

In the dew of the grass

The web of the spider

The speck of dust motes that float.

Day after day

Cycles of nature bring joy and sadness too, the end or fading of memories

Time so tied into every cell and twinge and hurt and joy.

Make way for her!

You can scurry out of the way and hide, for now, don’t think of her passing.

Hide your eyes!

Recoil from her!

But better to move toward her and welcome the shadow she throws down over you.

She is an unavoidable presence enveloping you with her wings.

A large bird is time with a wing span covering all and felt everywhere

Manufactured in factories

Forged in metal

Grown from the soil

Born from a tender nest and fed and nurtured

Created from mystery – the beginning of everything.

She takes from me without my consent

Wild and powerful and strong Time.

I feel her shadow.

She is near.

She will take me

When she is ready.

she is time copy 2

​Words and Picture (C) Carmit Kordov

Carmit is an administrator of the Folk Horror Revival Facebook group. Her poetry has appeared in Corpse Roads , a Wyrd Harvest Press book.

Please visit Carmit Kordov Words and Pictures for more poetry, photography, writing and cultural content that veers towards Magic Realism.

The Wyrd Kalendar – The June Mix

It is June.

The sun is shining and people gather at tables to sup lemonade, watching the crops thrive and the flowers bloom.

This month wander the Kalendar Heath to the strains of Sparklehorse, John Shakespeare, Steeleye Span, The Kinks, The Sallyangie, David Cain, The Cocteau Twins, Marc Bolan, June Tabor, The Decemberists, Case-Lange Veirs, June Carter-Cash, Sam Gopal, Bright Eyes, Al Stewart, Linear Movement, Pinback, Jan and Dean, Petula Clark, Finn, The Clancy Brothers, Rodgers and Hammerstein and the B52s while Jim Peters regales you with choice extracts from this month’s tale, from the Wyrd Kalendar; “June Bug”.

Folk Horror Revival Presents Winter Ghosts, Whitby December 2017

(Folk Horror Revival Presents Winter Ghosts 2017)

Folk Horror Revival Presents Winter Ghosts 2017

Folk Horror Revival presents Winter Ghosts Where better to spend an engaging winter’s evening in the compan…

Where better to spend an engaging winter’s evening in the company of the Folk Horror Revival group, than in the beautiful coastal town of Whitby. This event promises to be one of the highlights of the wyrd calendar, and is most definitely not to be missed.

In the intimate setting of The Metropole, Whitby, we cordially invite you to join us for our winter soiree, a gathering of the clans on the North Yorkshire coast. Folk Horror Revival present a series of exhilarating talks and musical performances for your terpsichorean pleasure.
Beginning at 4pm, the event gets under way with a series of thought provoking oratories with a distinctly local flavour, before we plunge headlong into an evening programme of esoteric, auditory treats for the soul.
Talks:
George Cromack – Coastal Terrors
Elaine Edmunds – The Tell Tale Art
Bob Fischer – A Story To Shiver To
Followed by – The Flash Company’s Mummer’s Play

Live Music:
The Equestrian Vortex featuring Melmoth the Wanderer
The Soulless Party featuring Chris Lambert
Leasungspell
Inkubus Sukkubus

Poster Image courtesy of Andy Paciorek and Erin Sorrey

Dark: A Poem by Carmit Kordov

Dark

Come see Dark, the Master Manipulator!

He promises your rebirth.

Garish painted mouth stretching from ear to ear,

grinning beckoning.

Not for children this attraction.

Leave them with the carousel or the stuffed toys at the shooting range.

Let them keep their innocence – for now.

Eat a piece of cotton candy, you will need the sweetness on your tongue

to disguise the bitterness that will surely develop.

He is no circus clown

with red nose, balloons and pratfalls.

A trickster

A buffoon

Dark sees right through you.

You think you are strong enough?

Then come in and experience

your weakness

your fear

what delights or repels you.

He picks on you, plays silly.

Takes all he wants and spits out what he doesn’t.

Makes you tell your secrets

plays the game

The joker sees.

He is cunning

He is foolish.

He is a god.

He has been created from the earth itself.

Even his scent is musty, vegetative and wet.

No rules for him, no convention he is a disobeyer.

He is spirit –

Accesses your wounds, licks them, pokes at them with his rough tongue.

Accesses your desires and brings them to the surface of your skin like raised hackles.

Prodding and pushing and pricking of your conscience.

He takes all of you, mixes you up, shakes up your pretentions.

You can raise you hands to protect your face but he will bore a hole in your brain.

Takes you to places you never thought you wanted to go but now are willingly led.

Takes all your inhibitions, your begging and pleading, and laughs in your face.

Impells you to raise up your hands in confession, “It was me!”

He holds you under the water – will you drown innocent or float a witch?

As your confessor, he will discover what promises you kept and those you didn’t.

He takes you to the limit and beyond even the darkest corners.

So prepare and annoint yourself.

Make your decision.

You know what it will be.

Words and Picture (c) Carmit Kordov

This poem is one of a collection that will appear in a forthcoming book of Carnival themed poems and accompanying photographs by Carmit Kordov.

Please visit Carmit Kordov Words and Pictures for more poetry, photography, writing and other cultural content that veers towards Magic Realism.

Carmit Kordov is an administrator of the Folk Horror Revival Facebook group. Her poetry has appeared in Corpse Roads, a Wyrd Harvest Press book.