A Paen to Peter Vaughan

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Folk Horror Revival are saddened to hear of the death of the great actor Peter Vaughan, a firm favourite of ours for his roles in Straw Dogs, A Warning to the Curious, Symptoms, Fanatic, The Crucible and many other films and TV shows.
For our Field Studies book, we sent a list of questions to Peter and received in reply very brief answers in a spidery hand. For which he can be very much excused having worked into his 90’s. So instead the interview was turned into the tribute below.
Having sent Peter a copy of the essay he asked to buy a copy of our book, for which he sent in the post $25 in $1 notes. All the more unusual as both Peter and I were living in Britain.

A Paen to Peter Vaughan

by Andy Paciorek

The name of Peter Vaughan may not be instantly familiar to all, but I’d wager everyone reading this book has seen at least one film or television show in which he has appeared. To the current generation, he may be most familiar for playing Maester Aemon Targaryen in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, but to older eyes he may be more recognisable as the father of Wolfie’s love interest in the 1970s British comedy Citizen Smith, or for his portrayal of ‘Genial’ Harry Grout, the ‘daddy’ of HMP Slade in Porridge, the popular prison comedy starring Ronnie Barker. Or perhaps it was from one of Vaughan’s many other screen roles that he may be recognised, as from his film debut in 1959 to this current time he has been a familiar face in both film and television.

A character actor of the highest calibre, Peter Vaughan considers both straight and comedic roles as both challenging and enjoyable. With a great number of skills under his belt, Vaughan’s performances can make us sympathise with him, laugh warmly along with him or fear him, depending upon appropriate context.

Though he starred as if the role were written specifically for him as Mr Paxton in A Warning to the Curious, one of the strongest episodes of the BBC’s occasional series A Ghost Story for Christmas, he hasn’t read any other of M.R. James’ stories and does not profess to be a lover of spooky tales particularly, but several roles in darker productions can be counted in his long and illustrious oeuvre. In José Larraz’ 1974 movie Symptoms and more so in Hammer’s 1965 film Fanatic (also known as Die! Die! My Darling!), he delivers creepy, unnerving performances.

Another strong role was that of the vicious patriarch Tom Hedden in Straw Dogs, the 1971 adaptation of Gordon Williams’ 1969 novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm. The movie attracted controversy, as it elevated the level of violence from the pages of the book and added a scene of sexual assault, for which the film gained greater notoriety, leading to its being prohibited in the 1984 Video Recordings Act—a ban that was not lifted until 2002. Though undoubtedly not suitable for family viewing, Straw Dogs does not deserve the tag of ‘video nasty’ for its tale of an American moving into a rural English village and struggling intensely to come to terms with local ways. It is a well-crafted piece of filmmaking. This is amplified by some great cast performances, not least of which is Vaughan’s depiction of Tom, a man whose manner could be considered ludicrous perhaps were it not for the air of real and palpable menace he exudes. The power of his performance he credits to Sam Peckinpah being a great director.

Though men may be monsters, Peter Vaughan has also portrayed monsters with sympathy, as can be seen by his humorous and quite touching role as Winston the Ogre in Terry Gilliam’s great, quirky 1981 film Time Bandits.

Peter Vaughan seems to have a great instinct for humanity, allowing him to seamlessly portray roles of very contrasting natures. He takes his work very seriously: for his part as the unfortunate Giles Corey in 1996’s telling of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible, he discussed his role not only with the film’s director, Nicholas Hytner, but also with the creator of the original play, Arthur Miller.

Vaughan is fortunate to work alongside numerous talented actors, and he also lets that feed his own acting prowess. In 1996 he appeared in the highly acclaimed BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North, his role as Felix Hutchinson being a marvellous display of acting ability. In this show we watch on as Felix, a man of strong belief and determination, succumbs to the cruel possession of Alzheimer’s disease. It would be a hard heart that is not touched by this performance, one which Vaughan also credits to the interaction with his co-star Christopher Eccleston, who played his son Nicky. Vaughan describes the show as being brilliant to work on.

As mentioned, Peter Vaughan has had a spectacular prolific and diverse career as an actor. It is a career that at the age of 92 he still excels in and still enjoys. His most recent work in Game of Thrones he counts as one of the highlights of his career; other personal favourites of his being his part in Our Friends in the North and his role as William Stevens in the 1993 film The Remains of the Day.

It is great to know that still Peter Vaughan approaches his work with a personal passion, one which brings me pleasure whenever I see him on the screen.

June 2015

Taken from the book Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies

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Rest in Peace ~ Peter Vaughan (4 April 1923 – 6 December 2016)

An Otherworldly Thank You

 

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poster © Becca Thorne

I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Everyone who made the Folk Horror Revival British Museum weekend truly Otherworldly.

Firstly Immense gratitude goes to Jim Peters whose hard work on this event was incredible and immaculate. Thanks also to the fabulous work by our compere Chris Lambert, the administration work undertaken by all our team, those present at London and those who kept the group running in our absence. Thanks to the British Museum staff, Treadwell’s Books, The Atlantis Bookshop,and The Last Tuesday Society & The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities for their great support and kindness. To our incredible speakers and guests and to all Revivalists that came along. We hope you enjoyed yourself.

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Photos © Jason D. Brawn

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Photos © Marc Beattie

Thank You Very Much to Shirley Collins, Reece Shearsmith, Iain Sinclair, Gary Lachman, Adam Scovell, Bob Beagrie and his great musical support to Leasungspell, Michael Somerset and the Consumptives, James Riley, Lee Gerrard- Barlow, Sharron Kraus,Gary Parsons, Darren Charles, Eamon Byers, John Pilgrim, Katherine Sherry Beem, Matthelos Peachyoza, Phil Rose, Stuart Silver, Dr John Callow, Rich Blackett, Cobweb Mehers, Peter Lagan, John Chadwick, Dan Hunt, Scott Lyall, Graeme Cunningham, Richard Hing, Carmit Kordov, Andy Sharp, Bob Fischer, Andrew McGuigan, Andri Anna, Becca Thorne, Stephen Canner, Harri Pitkäniemi, Jackie Taylor, Säde Säjké, Grey Malkin, Erin Christina Sorrey Jonas Halsall at Tyrant Design and Print, all the contributors to our books and music mixes and Status Quo, and if I have forgotten anyone a thousand apologies, blame the absinthe

All the support we have been shown and given has been phenomenal and very deeply appreciated.

Thank You
Andy Paciorek

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Photo © Candia McCormack

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Merchandise by Jonas Halsall at Tyrant Design and Print

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http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com/

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https://www.treadwells-london.com/

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http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/museum-curiosities/

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More images and further information about the event to come over time …

Andy Paciorek Book Discount

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Great gifts for your Ghoulfriend or Boofriend this Halloween 3:)
20% Discount on Strange Lands : A Field Guide To The Celtic Otherworld and / or The Human Chimaera: Sideshow Prodigies and Other Exceptional People

Just add code TREAT20 at checkout at ~ http://www.blurb.com/user/store/andypaciorek
offer valid until end of 12th October 2016


Strange Lands is a deeply researched and richly illustrated information guide to the entities and beasts of Celtic myth & legend and to the many strange beings that have entered the lore of the land through the influence of other cultures and technological evolution.
At nearly 400 pages and featuring over 170 original illustrations, Strange Lands is an essential accompaniment for both the novice and seasoned walkers between worlds.
Foreword by Dr Karl Shuker


Containing over 100 original pen & ink portraits alongside biographic text, The Human Chimaera is an indispensable guide to the greatest stars of the circus sideshows and dime museums.
Includes a foreword by John Robinson of Sideshow World.

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The Human Chimaera: Sideshow Prodigies & Other Exceptional People

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The Human Chimaera: Sideshow Prodigies and Other Exceptional People ~
Containing over 100 original pen & ink portraits alongside biographic text, The Human Chimaera is an indispensable guide to the greatest stars of the circus sideshows and dime museums.
Includes a foreword by John Robinson of Sideshow World.

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Save 20% on Andy Paciorek books
Enter code VIP20 at checkout at
http://www.blurb.com/user/store/andypaciorek
to claim discount.
Offer valid through 21 September 2016

Wyrd Harvest Press: Charity Donation Poll

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On the Autumn Equinox (September 22) we will again donate 100% of  sales profits from our books to the Wildlife Trusts. Please choose the project below you would like to vote for (write name in comments box below or vote via the pinned post on our Facebook Group.)

We will split donation between the two projects with most votes.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/andypaciorek
To see more details of the Wildlife Trusts’ projects or to make a direct donation please visit –
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/appeals

Choose from ~

Badger Vaccination Project

Save Rare Butterflies

Keep Beavers in the Wild

Protect Nesting Ospreys

HS2 Wildlife in Crisis

Save Blackhouse Woods

Crayfish in Crisis

Help Heathland Birds

Great Fen Project

The Living Landscape


 

100% of profits from FHR / Wyrd Harvest Press books sold are charitably donated at intervals to different environmental, wildlife and community projects undertaken by the Wildlife Trusts.

Titles currently available (more in planning production )-

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Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies – Featuring essays and interviews by many great cinematic, musical, artistic and literary talents, Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies is the most comprehensive and engaging exploration to date of the sub genre of Folk Horror and associated fields in cinema, television, music, art, culture and folklore. Includes contributions by Kim Newman, Robin Hardy, Thomas Ligotti, Philip Pullman, Gary Lachman and many many more. 100% of all profits from sales of the book will be charitably donated to environmental, wildlife and community projects undertaken by The Wildlife Trusts.
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Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads –  An epic collection of spellbinding poetry, focusing on folk horror, life, death and the eeriness of the landscape by many creative talents both living and departed. Accompanied throughout with atmospheric imagery by an impressive collection of contemporary photographers. 100% of sales profits from this book are charitably donated to The Wildlife Trusts

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The Carnival of Dark Dreams by Dr Bob Curran & Andy Paciorek – Welcome to The Carnival of Dark Dreams. A visual daytrip into the depths of the jungle, the sands of the desert, to many haunted habitats and worse still into the darkness of the human imagination. But fear not, for captured, caged and presented for your curiosity by Dr. Bob Curran and Mr. Andy Paciorek are some of the most deadly, grotesque, fearsome entities of world folklore. Roll up Roll up for the fright of your lives. Dare you visit The Carnival of Dark Dreams???


Note: Enter code THEBIG30 at checkout and receive 30% off the cover price. Coupon expires Sep 19th. Coupon codes are CASE-SENSITIVE. Click “Apply” after entering the coupon code. (Before committing to buy, ensure your country is selected at the top of the Lulu.com site, to ensure domestic shipping.)

To Buy our books and help environmental projects go to –

Book Review ~ Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013 -2015

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Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013 -2015

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Myth and Masks by Paul Watson is an evocative work; described as ‘Shamanic’ in the foreword by David Southwell – a word he does not use lightly but it is a word that accurately describes this book. Myth and Masks is a transformative journey, a gateway into an Otherworld.
Within its pages are mainly photographs but also included are drawings and prints as well as writings by the artist about the inspiration, history and creative process of his work and subject matter. Intriguingly Watson questions whether the masks he creates, which feature so prominently in his work, are part of the art. He states seeing them more perhaps as preperation or costumes for his photography. For me looking inward at his work, the masks are both elements and subject matter of a larger work but I consider them also beautifully strange artworks in themselves.

In creating the masks, Watson was inspired to investigate the role, history and nature of masks more deeply. Gazing upon his masks, his photos and graphics, they tantalise the viewers’ eyes and impregnate their mind with questions – what do these masks represent? What do they reveal and what do they conceal?
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They are not mere costume – they are ritual, mythical, mystical. There is a theatrical narrative suggested in the still images. Stories dying to be told.
Dying … an apt word, for within these book pages we find the Badb Catha, the Death Mask and the Crow. The imagery of the crow goddess as rendered by Watson is reminiscent of the Plague Doctor masks of medieval times; but it is not confined to an isolated historical pestilence but is an eternal archetype. The Crow – devourer of carrion, a memento mori ~ a reflection of death in life.
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By placing the masks upon models, Watson puts life into death; the empty sockets of the mask are given a glint of life in some images but in others they eyes remain hidden, hinting at greater mysteries.

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Life and death are intertwined as revealed in the Ivy Mask. Ivy is an evergreen plant, a reminder that life continues through the greatest adversities but it also reminds us of its presence in tumbledown graveyards or clinging to the crumbling ruins of abandoned weather-beaten buildings. It speaks of life beyond death.
There is perhaps an element of sex that buds beneath the surface in some images also. The nudity is not overtly erotic in the imagery. It is not the bodies perhaps here that draws the carnal aspect of the mind in but the masks. There can be something enthralling, oddly sinister but alluring, something fetishistic too about masks. Sex and Death frequently go hand in hand. In the realm of folk horror, death has been portrayed several times as an act of fertility and therefore rebirth or new or transformed life.
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We look at the masks and they gaze back at us with whispers of life, death, rebirth and of change. The element of change is of course integral to masks; they change the appearance of the wearer and as such change our perceptions of them. Another chapter in Watson’s book deals with that archetypal mythic character – the Shapeshifter.
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Within his writings that accompany the imagery, Watson seamlessly draws in considerations of sources such as ancient myth, fairy tales, witchcraft, folk customs, hauntology and the ‘English Eerie’. Literary luminaries such as Robert Macfarlane, Marina Warner, Warren Ellis, Martin Shaw, Robert Holdstock and others take their place.

Visually and textually, Myth and Masks is an intriguing, evocative work and one that I recommend a place on the bookshelves of Folk Horror Revivalists.

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  • ISBN : 978-0-9934736-0-9
  • Pages: 128
  • Format: Hardback, high-quality litho-printed, sewn binding
  • Price: £24.99 exc. shipping – ONLY AVAILABLE FROM http://www.lazaruscorporation.co.uk/shop/38
  • Size: 252mm × 196mm (approx. 9.9ʺ × 7.7ʺ)
  • 28 colour plates, 3 b&w plates
  • Foreword by David Southwell (of Hookland Guide)
  • Each copy of this initial print-run of Myth and Masks comes with a free, hand-printed linoprint by Paul Watson of the Blindfolded Seeress, exclusive to this book.

    Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013–2015 is a volume of Paul Watson’s artwork from 2013 to 2015, focusing mainly on photography but also including drawing and printmaking. The stark and dramatic images are complemented by an edited selection of his writings on myths, masks, and the “English Eerie”, previously published on his Artist’s Notebook blog during the course of creating these pieces of artwork.

    These selected pieces of Paul Watson’s artwork show his development of an intertwined host of primal characters, drawn from his imagination, but strongly influenced by the English landscape and the myths and legends that are embedded deeply within that landscape.

    The accompanying written pieces show the artist’s exploration of, and research into, the wider subject matter of what has become known as “the English Eerie” that runs in parallel with the creative process.

    What others have said:

    “The book takes the reader on a journey through the last two years of his work, touching on subjects as eclectic as the English eerie, folk-horror and psychogeography, with every stop in between. In addition to the beautiful colour plates of Paul’s work, the book includes several essays focusing on the inspiration behind his work along with ideas of myth and folklore, creating together an engrossing volume that will lead you to another world.”

    – Willow Winsham, FolkloreThursday website, 2016.

    “Highly recommended: a treat for the eyes and the imagination!”

    – Jane Talbot, author of The Faerie Thorn & Other Stories

 

Tim Turnbull ~ Ghosts of the Corpse Roads

By a strange twist of fate, the words of a poet who tread the Corpse Roads, vanished upon the breeze. An echo of his testimonial remained carved upon milestones.

Here now though through the scrying of technology once undreamed of, we have captured the whispers from the aether and bring you now the poetry of Tim Turnbull

Scarecrow

They have brought him indoors again, Scarecrow,cC5Ah9nJAPuMjYrVODu1a2uhv8JxrloC1ynIrLPR8tPhDfQCnTmt3G1IZBxijVXC3-RAAlF3YYrggvgyVekh99T9F1Js9EEoscxNsfvMdeUQCRrJiOPIGYQZKnL8Htv5aWJFz8-f9CX64RQhqb-wHL6Km8U=s0-d-e1-ft
propped him in the armchair, poured him a nip
of Laphroaig (doubles for themselves) and toast
and laud him, fine splendid fellow that he is:

for did he not bring them glories unbekent
in their lifetimes, class and outright victory
at Scarecrow Festival; did not the beer tent
glow all night, song swell through the district

over misted fields and greening woodland.
Hail to thee, O Flay-crake! O Hodmedod!
O Bogle! they cry, glasses in raised hands,
in honour of their straw-stuffed half-a-god,

and Scarecrow tilts his head as if perplexed:
their panegyric’s tinctured with derision,
and rough-handling, not kindness or respect,
distinguishes their weekly depositions.

Tonight a boot was left among the furrows;
tomorrow they’ll drag him out and nail him
back up again, nursing filthy hangovers,
and leave him to the mercy of the wind.

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An Old Acquaintance

Death comes chapping the door at 2 a.m.,
jiggling an own-brand single malt as bait.
So long and anxiously anticipated,
he – half coy maiden, half best bosom friend –
slurs mitigations, invites himself in,
and from the sofa, roiling bletherskate,
holds forth; confides, inveigles and berates;
oscillates between rapture and maudlin.

Through hours of inebriate remembrance,
discourse descends to fractured anecdote,
to he said/they said/something happened once,
and thence to warm and grainy oblivion
until the morning takes you by the throat
and searing, sickening light reveals him gone.

Cymag

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Surprising how it has seeped into one’s
being, all that land; that boggy patch
behind the Dutch barn, not discernible
from the field edge – perhaps with geophyz
or satellite it might show up – which caught
the ploughshares and pulled the Fordson
back on its heels, so that, with differential
lock and independent brakes, we churned
and worked in tacky clay until the plough
came free; and across the field, the wood,
frightening and dark, which had been just that –
a wood – but now’s Picea abies, Norway spruce,
un-thinned, neglected, spindly, a poor crop,
overlain since with accretions of schooling,
fact, and even – whisper it – the odd opinion;
and beyond the wood the hedgerow where,
one autumn afternoon, we went with tin
and a tarnished dessert spoon lashed
to a bamboo cane, and I filled the bowl
with pink powder, thrust it down the last
unblocked rabbit hole, tipped the poison,
withdrew and sealed it in the earth.

Poetry © Tim Turnbull

Tim grew up in a farming family in North Yorkshire and resides currently in Highland Perthshire. His collection of eerie tales, ‘Silence and Other Stories‘ is published by Postbox Press. His poetry is available from Donut Press.

Wyrd Harvest Press are planning to publish more of Tim’s poetry in the near future. Keep watching these lonely paths …

http://www.timturnbull.co.uk/

Photos © Andy Paciorek

Corpse Roads Final Reminder

The Corpse Roads draw closer …
Could the poets / photographers whom have had work accepted in the book and wish to have their biography and web-links included but have not already sent, please email the details to folkhorrorrevival@gmail.com no later than 5th April 2016 pleas. After this date it will no longer be possible to include in the book Thanks smile emoticon

Image © Carole Tyrrell

edited by Andy Paciorek

The Carnival is coming …

Wyrd Harvest Press are happy to announce that it will be publishing ‘The Carnival of Dark Dreams’ written by Dr Bob Curran (Walking With the Green Man. The Dark Spirit: Sinister Portraits from Celtic Folklore. Vampires: A Field Guide to the Creatures That Stalk the Night and many others) and illustrated by Andy Paciorek (Strange Lands: A Field Guide to the Celtic Otherworld. The Human Chimaera: Sideshow Prodigies and Other Exceptional People).

Wyrd Harvest Press are happy to announce that it will be publishing ‘The Carnival of Dark Dreams’ written by Dr Bob Curran (Walking With the Green Man. The Dark Spirit: Sinister Portraits from Celtic Folklore. Vampires: A Field Guide to the Creatures That Stalk the Night and many others) and illustrated by Andy Paciorek (Strange Lands: A Field Guide to the Celtic Otherworld. The Human Chimaera: Sideshow Prodigies and Other Exceptional People). Presented as Victorian Sideshow paraphernalia, The Carnival of Dark Dreams is a fully illustrated introduction to some of the strangest and most sinister entities and creatures of world folklore.

100% of book sales profits will be donated to The Wildlife Trusts

Everybody loves a carnival. They are full of strange and exotic things – a collection of fabulous items and creatures that the customer can’t see anywhere else and which offer both amazement and delight. No wonder people are queuing to pay at the show’s tent flap for it’s an exciting and colourful time when the carnival rolls into your locality.

Our Carnival is different. Rather than gathering together creatures and beings of mystery and wonder, we have brought together some of the things that make up the stuff of your worst nightmares. Here are creatures that you hoped you might never meet – you may not know their names but you know they exist These are the beings which haunted your childhood nights and which now linger somewhere in the back of your adult mind, to leap out and terrify you when you least expect it. Here are dreadful beings and monstrosities from all parts of the world – from mysterious China to the Caribbean. Some say that the creatures here are no more than legend or folklore and not of the rational mind, but step inside and see if you don’t think differently. Lift the corner of a sheet which covers an exhibit display and see if you don’t confront your darkest dream. As in the everyday carnival, you will never see anything like this anywhere else for our exhibits are both esoteric and unique For this Carnival, it’s better to stay indoors with door locked and the blinds down when it rolls into town.

So if your nerves can stand it – step this way. Look into the darkest areas that the human mind can offer and prepare to be terrified by the horrors of your own fears. Oh and mind the step!


images © Andy Paciorek

….COMING SOON ….

Field Studies ~ Discount Code

Enter code JANSAVE15 at checkout here and save 15% on Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies book This offer ends January 25th. Remember, coupon codes are CASE-SENSITIVE and ensure the little flag icon at top of page is set to your country / currency.

Further information about the book, including full contents list can be found here

Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies

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Wyrd Harvest PressFOLK HORROR REVIVAL: Field Studies Featuring essays and interviews by many great cinematic, musical, artistic and literary talents, Folk Horror Revival: Field Stu…
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