Interview with Jackie Morris

 

Jackie Morris is a British writer and illustrator whose work is informed by a deep love of the natural world. Her books have been published in fourteen languages and The Lost Words, which she illustrated was voted the most beautiful book of 2016 by UK booksellers. She lives in Pembrokeshire by the sea and is fascinated by bears and myths of transformation.  Folk Horror Revival’s John Pilgrim was pleased to catch up with Jackie last year to make the following enquiries about her world.

81XE-24NOyL

FHR: Let me firstly provide a bit of context for those Folk Horror Revivalists who may not be familiar with The Lost Worlds by quoting from the cover jacket of the book.

 

“All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world — Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.”

IMG_1778

FHR: The Lost Words has enchanted many people in the deepest sense of the word. Can you share some stories about the effect which it has had on people. How has their understanding and experience of the natural world changed?

 

JM: Since the launch of The Lost Words at Foyles in 2017 it has taken on a life of its own. Robert and I are both astonished and heart-glad at the way it has been taken into people’s hearts and homes. There have been so many tales sent to us, of how people have shared it with loved ones living with dementia, of how it has helped people to cope with depression, of how it links generations in families, how teachers respond to it, and children also.

 

It has an amazing wild life. I love how people send us pictures of the book outside in the world, tucked up with children, the work that children have done with the book as catalyst.

 

 

FHR: The introduction to The Lost Words warns us that the rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from children’s minds. It’s been inspiring to see the efforts that have been made to make the book freely available to children through schools and libraries. Can you tell us some more about this?

 

JM: It began with a tweet from a lady in Scotland who saw how the book could connect children to nature again.  She made it her mission to crowdfund to place a book in every school in Scotland.  Her success snowballed into several other campaigns, and I think the Explorer’s Notes, which are a wonderful guide to using the book in schools, also helped with this. Now almost half of the UK schools, hospices over the whole of the UK, care homes in Wales and other institutions have been gifted the book by what has grown to be a great community of crowdfunders. Their energy and enthusiasm for the book and for working beyond its pages to reconnect the lives of children and adults to the more than human world around us all is wonderful.

FHR:  The notion of wild imagination and wild play is one that strikes a chord – are there signs of hope in rekindling wildness which you’ve become aware of?

 

JM: The young people who are rising up against the ignorance, arrogance and greed of older generations gives me hope. The new wave of politically minded and erudite youngsters put our politicians and their self-serving party politics to shame.

 

 

FHR: What role does myth and folklore play in your artistic practice and experience of the natural world?

 

In the same way that some people see themselves as set apart from the natural world, when they are in fact only the tiniest part of the wonderful biosphere, so are storytellers the new myth makers. As a species we are hardwired to learn through the power of story.

I write, I illustrate, to try and make sense of the crazy world we live in, and my hope is that in so doing I help other people to do the same. And there are some powerful minds working in the field at the moment. Richard Powers’ Overstory is a case in point, teaching people to see, really see, and seek out the trees that every day are taken for granted.

EAQWHd9X

 

FHR: Having been being fascinated by peregrines as a boy while on holiday in Pembrokeshire I loved your book Queen of the Sky.   For those who aren’t familiar with this book, could you say a little about the themes which you explore here?

 

JM: Queen of the Sky is a book about how a friend of mine found and rescued a wild peregrine falcon and released her back into the wild. It’s a story of great patience. A love story in a way, but one where something is loved so much that the person who loves it sets it free, to be as it should be. It’s a story about respect. And if H is for Hawk is a tale of how a woman was saved by a hawk, this is a tale of how a hawk is saved by a woman.

 

FHR: What landscapes particularly inspire you?

JM: Terrestrial. Including the ocean, above and below.

 

FHR: I read that you have been learning to work with wood engravings. How has this been for you?

 

JM: I’ve moved away from wood engravings. My eyesight is perhaps not good enough for the fine detail. But also my language is liquid and sumi ink has taken over as my medium of choice. But as with everything it takes a lifetime to master. But I am learning.

FHR:  In his book Being a Beast Charles Foster relays his experiences of seeking to live as animals such as badgers and foxes. I’m not sure whether you would want to go as far as eating worms as Foster has done, but I sense that through your art you are seeking to bring us closer to animals as fellow spirits?

 

JM: I’ve not read it yet. I wanted to be a bear when I was young, but would happily become an otter. And most of my work is about shapeshifting.

FHR: To what extent do you think it is important to acknowledge that despite its beauty nature is also ‘red in tooth and claw’?  Are there dangers in projecting human characteristics on to animals?

 

JM: I’m not a fan of ego-centric anthropomorphism if that’s what you mean. Is nature ‘red in tooth and claw’? That implies some morality? It’s not always kind. But we know so little about the world around us. It has so much to teach us. We just need to listen.

 

 

FHR: Which fellow artists and writers do you admire?

 

JM: So many. I love Robin Hobb’s books. Robert Macfarlane is an exceptional writer, and I need to explore Richard Powers more. John Irving has long been a favourite of mine.  Katherine Arden, James Mayhew, Brian Wildsmith, Chagall, Tunnicliffe, Alan Garner, Shaun Tan, Frieda Kahlo, Tom Bullough. Nicola Bailey, oh, so many. Picasso.  Look at me with my gender imbalance of people who spring to mind! (Though Robin Hobb is a woman, who writes under a gender-neutral name, because many men don’t read books by women.)

 

 

FHR: What are you working on at the moment and what projects would you like to take forward in the future?

 

JM: I’m working with the finest group of musicians to make a cd/lp and show built around The Lost Words. I’m working on a book that was written almost a century ago, writing a forward to re-introduce it to the world and painting images to decorate/illustrate it [now published as The House Without Windows]. I’m working on a book called The Keeper of Lost Dreams that I hope will be a catalyst for dreaming and a solace for troubled souls in our curious and turbulent times. And I am beginning to work on a new book with Robert, but that’s under wraps at the moment until we understand more of what it is that we are making [Ed: this has now been published as The Lost Spells; other recent publications include Mrs Noah’s Garden, with James Mayhew, published by Otter-Barry Books and The Secret of the Tattered Shoes with Ehsan Abdollahi, a wonderful Iranian illustrator, published by Tiny Owl.]

 

I’m also trying to take time to open my eyes to the wonderful wild world around me, wide as wide can be, and understand what is important, what time is, and how to live.

 

Winter Ghosts ~ 2019 ~

Just to say a huge Thank You to Kt & Cobweb Mehers, Darren Charles, John Chadwick  – The Doorman, The Met Lounge & Ballroom, Esk Audio Ltd, The Ballroom at Hetty & Betty, George CromackSarah Caldwell Steele,  Peter Kennedy, Professor Barbara Ravelhofer (and team),  Al Ridenour and Lauren from LA Krampus Run, Elaine Edmunds and Laurence Mitchell for The Whitby Krampusae and The Threshold Art Exhibition, Chris Lambert,   Bob Fischer, Nigel, Kev Oyston of The Soulless Party, Burd Ellen, Big Hogg, Unearthing Forgotten Horrors, Hombre Verdąd, Scarlett Amaris, Melissa Saint-Hilaire, Gary Parsons,  Mark Goodall,  George Firth and finally our Founder The Art of Andy Paciorek

Big Thanks also to everyone who braved the cold nights, sea fret, Transylvanian vampires, gytrashes, amorous seamen, Padfoot, Bearded Fred and other perils to attend Winter Ghosts.
Hope you enjoyed it.

Image
ImageImage

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Winter Ghosts Musical Lineup

With our Winter Ghosts event just days away we have decided that it feels appropriate to collate all the information about our musical acts for you. A little taster of what you can expect from the evening session and another chance for me to gush about the wealth of astonishing musical talent we have cajoled into performing for us in what promises to be a quite brilliant and intimate setting. Anyway, without further ado here we go.

The Soulless Party

65634676_990559224480847_5381062386541133824_n

Our Master of Ceremonies Chris Lambert will be covering double duties this weekend and I can assure you he and his partner in crime Kev Oyston, who makes up the other half of The Soulless Party have a real treat in store for Revivalists this Saturday.

Formed in 2013 Chris and Kev have worked tirelessly to bring the mysteries and secrets of the Black Meadow into the public eye. As everyone knows The Black Meadow is located just a few miles from Whitby on the outskirts of the village of Sleights. A strange place where, it is said, that if the mist rises a village will appear. This a place populated by tales of horse-men, meadow hags, land spheres, rag and bone men, maidens of mist, strange rituals and unexplained phenomena. It is no coincidence that this is where the MOD chose to put one of their bases – RAF Fylingdales whose strange Golf Ball Radomes dominated the landscape until the early 1990’s. The Soulless Party will launch their new collection of findings at Whitby Ghosts as they share a haunting mix of music, song, stories, images and interviews. This will be a hauntological experience in which folk horror meets urban legend through the medium of electronica tinged memory and dream.

Find out more about Black Meadow and The Soulless Party by visiting:

http://www.blackmeadowtales.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.thesoullessparty.bandcamp.com

 

Big Hogg

Next up we have Scottish progressive rockers Big Hogg,  a 6 piece Canterbury influenced group mixing threads of acid folk , Dr John , Kevin Ayers and 60s and 70s west coast psych. They released their eponymous debut album on Neon Tetra in 2015 and built up a glowing live reputation following shows at the Barrowlands , Rockaway Beach ,Wickerman and Eden festivals. In 2017 they signed with London label BEM who released their critically acclaimed “Gargoyles” album in May of that year. Record Collector magazine described it as ” An epic fantasia through Glasgow’s grimy underbelly with tumbling brass and suspended jazz chords” , while prog magazine describes them as ” masters of weaving an aural tapestry of influences together to create some suitably brilliant and uplifting music in the true spirit of the Canterbury pioneers” The band are currently recording their third album.

Of added interest to Revivalists is the fact that one of our favourite artists, the supremely talented Julia Jeffrey supplied typically outstanding artwork for both albums. On top of that band leader and guitarist Justin Lumsden is also responsible for the rather excellent Duke ’72 who made their vinyl debut earlier this year with “The Mid Shire’s Herald” as well as working alongside Gillian Chadwick on Ex Reverie’s rather excellent 2019 release “Isobel Gowdie”. We can’t wait to unleash them on Whitby.

https://bighogg.bandcamp.com/

 

Burd Ellen

Burd_Ellen_groupshot_by_Maiken_Kildegaard_final

Finally, our headline act is the sensational Burd Ellen, the new solo project from Debbie Armour (Alasdair Roberts, Green Ribbons, Alex Rex) featuring Gayle Brogan (Pefkin, Barrett’s Dottled Beauty) and Lucy Duncan (Luki). The group uses traditional song to explore and evoke dark landscapes and deep stories. Innovative instrumentation, drone and sound-wash support detailed vocal work to create a unique sonic atmosphere.

Burd Ellen self-released their debut album SILVER CAME in Feb 2019, on limited edition CD. A record exploring women’s narratives in British folk song, SILVER CAME investigates ideas of persistence, defiance, devotion and transformation. The album was recorded by Jer Reid (Painted X-Ray, Claquer, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra) over two days in the rehearsal space of Glasgow Theatre Arts Collective.

I was lucky enough to catch them performing live in Newcastle earlier this year and was blown away by their unique sound.  Debbie Armour has an astonishing voice, and is backed so beautifully by Gayle and Lucy. If you’re still considering whether to attend or not they are planning a special seasonal setlist just for Winter Ghosts, you may not get another chance to see this one again.

“sonically adventurous … with an emotional range and a raw inventiveness which is all too rare in contemporary folk circles.” – Alex Neilson
“A masterclass in shimmering, ethereal folk music… Cannot recommend highly enough” – Kyle Lonsdale, Earth Recordings

burdellen.com – burdellen.bandcamp.com
Sweet Lemany music video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSRB5Vsvx2A 

So that’s prett much it, other than to say that after our bands finish I (Darren Charles) shall be spinning some tunes for your terpsichorian pleasure before we finish the evening with our short films. I’ll be covering all musical bases from folk, acid rock and prog, to goth, metal and electronica and everything in between. I will be hoping to get you all up on the dance floor for some Folk Horror inspired tunes.

Tickets will remain available until 6pm on Friday evening when they will be removed from sale, however we will have some availability to pay on the door for the same price of £13 for all day and £7 for the evening session.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/folk-horror-revival-presents-winter-ghosts-tickets-55468722442

Poster large full

British Folk Horror TV of the ’50s

In this series of articles I hope to create as complete a list as possible of folk horror-relevant programmes produced for British television, hopefully including documentaries and others that are not strictly folk horror but which are still relevant.

There will doubtless be some missing, so if you have any updates, additions, corrections etc. please either write in the comments or tweet to @folk_horror, and hopefully the article can be kept updated. Also if you have recollections of watching lost and forgotten productions from when they were broadcast I’d love to hear them.

This first part spans the 1940s and 1950s. Very little survives from this era due to most productions being performed live and not recorded, and most of what was recorded was not retained. There is also limited information that I could find for many of these productions and I’ve been fairly inclusive, so there may be some listed which didn’t have a significant component of what would now be considered folk horror.

Saturday Night Stories (15 mins, 20 episodes?)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 24th Jan 1948-22nd Oct 1949

Archive Status/ Availability: Missing

Notes: BBC Genome lists most of these as having been read by the author Algernon Blackwood, but also mentions readings by another famous writer of weird fiction, Lord Dunsany. Also mentioned are ones by Compton Mackenzie and Sir Christopher Lynch Robinson, so it is likely the series was not all supernatural. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find any details of which stories were read, and although there were 20 broadcast some of the stories may have been repeated.

Algernon Blackwood also appeared in a 1949 series entitled A Strange Experience produced by Rayant Pictures, but again I was unable to discover where they were broadcast. Six episodes were made, and two episodes have been made available by the BFI to view online here:

‘Lock Your Door’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRy4D11qc8I

‘The Reformation of St. Jules’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATAOHgHJv3E

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?adv=1&order=asc&q=saturday+night+stories&svc=9371533&yf=1948&yt=1949#search

https://nicklouras.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/rare-film-of-algernon-blackwood/

Algernon Blackwood in ‘The Reformation of St. Jules’

Sunday-Night Theatre – ‘Witch Wood’ (1 hr 30 mins)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 30th May & 3rd Jun 1954

Archive status/ Availability: Missing

Notes: Adaptation of John Buchan’s 1927 novel about a witch cult surviving into the mid-17th century in the Scottish Borders. The play was performed live on Sunday evening and again the following Thursday, but neither performance is known to have been recorded. A second BBC adaptation was broadcast in 1964.

Two Ghost Stories (30 mins)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 14th Oct 1954

Archive status/ Availability: Missing

Notes: Readings of two short stories by M.R. James with visual effects added live: ‘Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook’ (narrated by Robert Farquharson) and ‘The Mezzotint’ (narrated by George Rose).

http://www.pardoes.info/roanddarroll/MediaList.html#anchor7441

The Creature (1 hr 30 mins)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 30th Jan & 3rd Feb 1955

Archive status/ Availability: Missing

Notes: Nigel Kneale play about an expedition led by Dr. John Rollason (Peter Cushing) into the Himalayas in search of the mysterious Yeti or Abominable Snowman. The play was performed live (with pre-filmed inserts shot in the Alps) twice, once on Sunday and again on the following Thursday, but as was standard at the time neither was recorded. However, Hammer Studios released a movie adaptation in 1957, re-titled The Abominable Snowman with Peter Cushing reprising his role, and this is available on DVD.

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/8e051ddcfcc14ae29640692616d159ec [original Radio Times listing]

http://www.britishtelevisiondrama.org.uk/?p=1141 [In depth article about the TV production]

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Abominable-Snowman-DVD-Peter-Cushing/dp/B0058CLCNY [Hammer Studios version on DVD]

Poster for Hammer Studios adaptation of The Creature

Colonel March of Scotland Yard (27 mins approx., 26 episodes in total, relevant episodes below)

Broadcast details: ITV/ 1955-56

Archive status/ Availability: All still exist, and are available on Amazon Prime UK at the time of writing

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Colonel-March-of-Scotland-Yard/dp/B01IAGGZJU

Notes: A detective series starring Boris Karloff as Colonel March. which included the following apparently supernatural episodes although I’m not sure they can be called folk horror. Episode descriptions taken from Amazon:

1. ‘The Sorcerer’ (1st Oct 1955)

"A psychologist is found stabbed to death in a seemingly sealed room. Inspector March needs to decide who had the most reason to kill him, and how did they accomplish the task."

2. ‘The Abominable Snowman’ (8th Oct 1955)

"Members of the Himalayan Mountaineering Club are threatened by what appears to be the abominable snowman, and someone leaves a strange footprint on a ledge outside Colonel March’s office."

3. ‘Present Tense’ (15th Oct 1955)

"Colonel March’s niece, a believer in spiritualism, thinks she hears her dead husband’s voice and others in the house become convinced her husband has returned as a ghost. But has he?"

11. ‘The Talking Head’ (17th Dec 1955)

"A 12-year-old boy insists his dead father told him to kill his mother’s new fiancée. But did the father truly die in an accidental plane crash?"

23. ‘The Case of the Lively Ghost’ (31st Dec 1955)

"A phony spiritualist believes she’s truly summoned a real ghost. Colonel March attends her next seance to discover the identity of the spirit’s killer- dead or alive."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_March_of_Scotland_Yard

Boris Karloff as Colonel March of Scotland Yard

Days of Grace (45 mins)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 18th Sep 1956

Archive status/ Availability: Missing

A Scottish ghost story based on a story by David Forbes Lorne, adapted by Moultrie R. Kelsall: "When somebody dies, his first duty is to keep watch from sunset until the day breaks, every night until the next dead soul relieves him…"

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/471624ea5e964cbea41d9aee8367d9a7

Out of Step – Witchcraft (25 mins)

Broadcast details: ITV/ 4th Dec 1957

Archive status/ Availability: Exists, and available as an extra on the BFI’s Blu-Ray and DVD release of 1970s witchsploitation films Secret Rites and Legend of the Witches

https://shop.bfi.org.uk/pre-order-legend-of-the-witches-secret-rites-flipside-039-dual-format-edition.html

Notes: Out of Step was a series of documentary shorts looking at “unconventional opinions”, and in this edition presenter Daniel Farson interviewed Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner about witchcraft, and discussed Aleister Crowley with Louis Wilkinson.

White Hunter – ‘Voodoo Wedding’ (30 mins)

Broadcast details: ITV/ 15th Oct 1958

Archive status/ Availability: Exists, but currently unavailable

Notes: White Hunter (1957-58) is a series about a Big Game hunter (appropriately called John Hunter) and his African assistant Atimbu which was shot in England with stock footage of Africa. In this episode a young woman believes she may have become the victim of a Voodoo curse. Probably not relevant but included for completeness.

https://web.archive.org/web/20170923163501/http://www.zone-sf.com/voodoouk.html [Archived version of 'Britain under the spell: representations of voodoo in British films and TV' by Paul Higson]

http://ctva.biz/UK/ITC/WhiteHunter.htm[White Hunter episode guide]

Armchair Theatre – ‘The Witching Hour’

Broadcast details: ITV/ 2nd Nov 1958

Archive status/ Availability: Missing

Notes: Quite possibly not relevant, but included for completeness.

"Jack Brookfield, a gambler with clairvoyant and hypnotic powers, is able to win at cards through his unique gift. But when he inadvertently hypnotizes young Clay Thorne, Thorne kills an enemy of Brookfield’s while under a trance. No one believes Brookfield’s protestations that Thorne is innocent of any murderous intent, so Brookfield teams up with retired lawyer Martin Prentice in hopes of saving the young man from the gallows."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1092687/ [Episode synopsis]

ITV Play of the Week – ‘The Crucible’ (1 hr 15 mins)

Broadcast details: ITV/ 3rd Nov 1959

Archive status/ Availability: Reels 1 and 2 of 3 exist, but the complete programme is lost

Notes: Adaptation of the play by Arthur Miller about the 17th century witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts, with early pre-fame appearances by Sean Connery and Susannah York.

The Voodoo Factor (30 mins, 6 episodes)

Broadcast details: ITV/ 12th Dec 1959-16th Jan 1960

Archive status/ Availability: Exists complete, but currently unavailable

Notes: A scientist battles against a killer epidemic that may either be caused by the curse of a Spider Goddess or contamination caused by nuclear testing. It’s surprising that a series from this era still exists complete, and a shame that it hasn’t been released on DVD as it is fondly remembered by reviewers on imdb.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0191746/?ref_=wl_li_tt

Quatermass and the Pit (30-35 mins, 6 episodes)

Broadcast details: BBC/ 22nd December 1958 – 26th January 1959

Archive status/ Availability: Exists complete, and available on DVD with the two surviving episodes of The Quatermass Experiment and the complete Quatermass 2 series

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quatermass-Collection-Experiment-Pit-DVD/dp/B000772838

Notes: A series that really should need no introduction. While the previous two Quatermass serials had dealt with sci-fi topics, for the third one Nigel Kneale dug deep into brought in everything from ghosts, goblins, the Devil, aliens, psychic powers and more. Hammer Studios re-made it as a feature film in 1967.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quatermass-Pit-DVD-Andrew-Keir/dp/B000HEVTKY [Hammer Studios adaptation on DVD]

Three principal sources, in addition to the obvious ones of imdb and Wikipedia, were invaluable while researching this article:

TVBrain – Database of British TV run by Kaleidoscope, dedicated to rediscovering lost British TV and have been instrumental in recovering many previously thought lost productions. Their work is ongoing and lost shows still turn up, so if you think you have a programme from the archives you can check and contact them.

https://www.tvbrain.info/

Haunted TV: A history of British supernatural television – a very comprehensive listing of British programmes, many extremely obscure, although it seems to no longer be updated.

http://webspace.webring.com/people/th/hauntedtv/index.htm

The Telefantasy List – A sadly defunct listing of principally British and American telefantasy, which is still available at the Internet Archive

https://web.archive.org/web/20160304084734/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/john.seymour1/telefantasylist/index.html

Article by Richard Hing. Thanks to all the contributors to Folk Horror Revival for giving many suggestions over the years that have helped build this list.

The Wick – A Folk Horror short.

Wick – The protector of a Witch is just as bad as a Witch.

The Wick-Poster-(Al)-Online

In August I had the tremendous honour of being invited to the wonderful Genesis cinema in Whitechapel for a private screening of the new Folk Horror short film `The Wick’. Written, produced by and starring the clearly very talented Michelle Coverley FHR caught up with her to discuss the film, how it has been received and what the future holds for her and The Wick.

Set in the early 19th century in rural England, ‘The Wick’ is a tale of deceit and persecution of a woman who fights for justice against a lawless witch hunter.

The story unfolds seventy-three years after witch trials were banned in the U.K. When Esther, a known herbal healer in a small close knit community, witnesses her friends murder at the hands of a lawless witch hunter, she finds herself entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, blind ignorance and superstition. We track Esther’s head on collision into this dark world and her realization that things clearly need to change. We follow her journey of attempting to put an end to the ignorance and barbarity of these outdated beliefs. This is a universal and timely story of a strong woman, striving for justice and fighting for the rights of the underrepresented and the misunderstood.

`THE WICK’ is a dark, period drama with the village that Esther, our female protagonist lives in, being extremely superstitious to the point that it is horrifying. What these villagers are led to believe, without much proof and the lengths that some of them go to, to ‘fix’ things is quite shocking. The deception and ignorance is quite barbaric, with folklore and religion being at the heart of it.

To this day, countless numbers of people are still being accused of witchcraft and persecuted around the world. They have no rights, no voice and are condemned by misguided beliefs

Folk Horror Revival: The Wick is a beautifully shot film with the landscape and nature very firmly embedded into the story telling adding to the sense of isolation that allows suspicion and paranoia to breed in the community. It has definite Folk Horror overtones not least in its subject matter – how do you feel now it is done and being presented as a finished piece? I guess really you are still working on it in a publicist capacity now.

Michelle Coverley: Thank you for such a great review. I’m so happy that people are picking up all those details from the film. That’s exactly what I wanted people to see in ‘The Wick’. I feel amazing now that it’s complete and that it’s setting off on its festival circuit. It was such a long journey to this point. Many ups and downs and so to finally have it finished is a big relief. Both, the director, Sabine Crossen and I are extremely proud of it.

FHR: You must be very pleased with the end result and how it has all come together – can you tell us a bit about some of those different components (location, music, costume, set dressing)

MC: I’m extremely pleased with what my team and I have accomplished. Everything was shot on location in Sussex and we were very lucky to have found those specific places. Thanks to the Weald and Downland museum, The national Trust and Sussex Wildlife Trust, we were able to achieve a very authentic look for ‘The Wick’. Our amazing costume designer, Emma Clark added to that by designing and singlehandedly making all our costumes from scratch. Without her dedication and sheer hard graft, we never would have done it. As well with our talented production designer, Karijn Nijmeijer, who transformed these amazing locations with her magic touch. She traveled all the way from Holland to be with us!

Apart from those visual aspects, the director and I felt it was important to give the film a modern feel, to accentuate the films topical themes so to help the audience observe and connect from a more contemporary point of view. We did this through working with the amazingly talented Micha Theofanopoulou & Hollie Buhagiar on the sound design & music and then with Pooya from Panchroma Studios on the colour grade, choosing vibrant colours and stark contrast.

 

SC-Esther-at-lake@

FHR: I really loved `The Wick’ and I know it got a big round of applause at the private screening I attended. How has it been received? It must be interesting to see how different people respond to the story and its message.

MC: We got an amazing response from all our guests at the private screening. Sabine, the director and I were pretty blown away with it all. Because we have been so close to it for the past year, and I for even longer, it was so amazing to hear the audience notice all the small nuances of the subject matter come though, as well as picking up the bigger picture of the societal corruption and female persecution and to realise that it still has relevance today. I had people coming up to me telling me it really affected them, that it was hard hitting, surprising and shocking but beautiful at the same time.

People wanted to see more which was fantastic to hear! They were also pretty

surprised of the style of music and sound design we chose as it was quite obscure and different to what a ‘classical’ period drama would have used. The director and I were intent on steering clear of making it look and sound like a classic period drama. It’s turned into a period thriller with a modern edge, which I love.

FHR What are you plans for the film now? Will people be able to see it at some point? (is there a feature length version in the pipeline maybe??)

MC: Yes, I would love to make ‘The Wick’ into a full-length feature film, which is the plan. I’m at this minute adapting a treatment I did for it some months ago with a friend who’s in the industry. Watch this space!

For ‘The Wick’ short film, it’s now in the film festival circuit stage. I can’t wait to share with you when it has its world premiere. Short films usually have a two year life span at festivals till you launch it on line or it gets taken up by a distributor. The point of this is to make contacts for future projects and to showcase everyone’s talent who worked on it. I feel indebted to all the amazing people who came on-board. So trying to get it into as many great film festivals as possible is what I’m aiming for. This stage is a whole other ball game. Since finishing post-production, I’ve been scouring the internet late into the night, submitting it into festivals all over the world. Fingers crossed, they start to bite.

FHR: And what about you – what are your plans? Any future projects you can share with folk yet??

MC: After the experience with writing and producing ‘The Wick’, I’m actually pretty interested in directing my next piece. I’ve been collecting images over this past year that inspire an idea I’ve had for a while. It’s still pretty raw and the framework is all over the place but it’s a psychological thriller piece with folk horror and magic realism at its core. I’m also very excited about putting my actor’s hat on again for other people’s projects. That was the whole point in fact with making ‘The Wick’, to showcase my acting. So I can’t wait to throw myself into that again.

SC-Meadow1@

 

If you get the chance to catch The Wick at one of the many film festivals that will no doubt be clamouring to showcase Michelle’s wonderful creation then you are in for a real treat. The landscape and presence of nature is wonderfully represented throughout giving the film a reassuringly bucolic feel that balances perfectly with the dark story that gradually unfolds. At times I was reminded of the way the landscape was shot in Winstanley and Witchfinder General in which small isolated incidents of great importance are played out within the vast expanse of the English countryside. Alongside this is a fantastically atmospheric score, a deep sense of authenticity and attention to detail and a perfectly paced story…in short The Wick is a triumph and hopefully it’s just the start for Michelle.

Final Winter Ghosts Announcement!

So as the Autumn takes full hold it is time for us to announce the final acts for this year’s Folk Horror Revival – Winter Ghosts event that takes place December 14th at the Metropole in Whitby.

Our final musical act are the rather wonderful Scottish prog rockers Big Hogg.

70149772_746956302427265_3912936255737823232_n

Big Hogg are a 6 piece Canterbury influenced progressive group mixing threads of acid folk , Dr John , Kevin Ayers and 60s and 70s west coast psych.They released their eponymous debut album on Neon Tetra in 2015 and built up a glowing live reputation following shows at the Barrowlands , Rockaway Beach ,Wickerman and Eden festivals. In 2017 they signed with London label BEM who released their critically acclaimed “Gargoyles” album in May of that year. Record Collector magazine described it as ” An epic fantasia through Glasgow’s grimy underbelly with tumbling brass and suspended jazz chords” , while prog magazine describes them as ” masters of weaving an aural tapestry of influences together to create some suitably brilliant and uplifting music in the true spirit of the Canterbury pioneers” The band are currently recording their third album.

69736369_706666916514114_7584783425781891072_n

Joining the lineup is our very own Darren Charles who will be bringing his Unearthing Forgotten Horrors radio show to the event. Featuring an eclectic mix of music, Darren’s aim will be to get everyone up and dancing to the very best in prog, folk, metal, goth, alternative, electronica and psychedelic music.

72752687_2652832508102437_7165855957862318080_n

 

Finally we will be screening three rather fabulous short films.

 

American Witch

Page1_1

Welcome to a voyage from novice to initiate. The chthonic path is the common thread that weaves together the various underground religions in America from Wicca to Voodoo and Stregheria to Santeria, and everything in between. Along our pilgrimage, we will unfold the historical background in places where witchcraft came into its own distinctive form such as Salem, New Orleans, New York City, and Los Angeles. American Witch will also explore the stories of practitioners and how it’s changed their lives.

Scarlett Amaris has co-written scripts for the seminal horror anthology THE THEATRE
BIZARRE (2011), the award-winning, supernatural documentary THE OTHERWORLD
(L’AUTRE MONDE) (2013), featuring years of her research into the mysteries of the South of France, in which she appears as a resident expert, and the horror film REPLACE (2017). She’s co-written the dark fantasy trilogy SAURIMONDE I, II & III, and her first contemporary fiction novel DESIRED PYROTECHNICS will debut in 2019. A well-regarded authority on alternative history, her research has been featured in numerous books and anthologies. She also teaches comparative mythology and witchcraft at The Crooked Path Occult Apothecary in Los Angeles, and is a founding member of the Tridents of Hekate coven. Scarlett’s screenplay for H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space is currently receiving a great deal of praise across the festival circuit ahead of its release.

Melissa St. Hilaire wrote film and music reviews for The Heights Inc. Her poetry has appeared in the periodicals Shards, The Outer Fringe, and The Laughing Medusa. She co-authored several scripts for Tone-East Productions. She has written articles for Feminine Power Circle, Savvy Authors, SF Signal, and The Qwillery, among others. She has also appeared in the anthology books Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies and Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads. Her debut book was a memoir titled In The Now. She co-wrote the dark fantasy series, Saurimonde, with Scarlett Amaris, and is currently finishing a sci-fi novel called X’odus. She is also a founding member of the Tridents of Hekate coven.

Conjuration

conj.png

Gary Parsons is an MA film graduate from Goldsmiths College London who specialises in short films. Utilizing both, elements of the surrealist genre and images of the occult, these films are both beautiful and at times disturbing. They also tap into the verisimilitude of the erotic and the unconventional.

Gary has been influenced by film-makers such as Jan Svankmajer, Kenneth Anger, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Luis Bunuel, Hans Richter, Man Ray and Jean Rollin. All these elements meet within a melting pot to find visual references within the work.

Gary’s films can be viewed in many different ways, as straight forward narrative pieces but also as ritual film as demonstrated by similar film-makers such as Maya Derren or even as music promo video. The films stand as an ongoing obsession of their maker as an overall understanding of the human psyche within certain specific landscapes.

Conjuration is Gary’s most recent film and is based around an Alexandrian ritual. It deals with modern day magick, but also correlates it with magick’s heritage through Gary’s impeccable choice of shooting locations. Several powerful ancient sites, notably Avebury, Glastonbury, Pompeii and Oslo were chosen for this purpose.

conj2

 

 

louhi

Louhi, The Northern Witch

Directed by Lauri Löytökoski, Louhi, The Northern Witch is a silent film with an ambient-folk score, based on The Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, the story draws from its shamanistic aspects.

The lead character is Runoi; a nascent witch who confronts his mother’s night terrors and is quickly transported into the realm of Louhi, the witch-queen of the undead. He journeys to axis mundi, the mythical pillar connecting heaven, earth and the underworld.

Main characters of The Kalevala are introduced as vessels for him to pass through. In the lines of Carl G. Jung’s anima/animus theory, they represent subconscious element of one’s sexuality, the opposite of the dominant side.

louhi1

So, that pretty much completes this year’s action packed lineup. Tickets are currently available from the eventbrite page below. We hope to see you all there for what promises to be another spectacular weekend of music, film, talks and art.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/folk-horror-revival-presents-winter-ghosts-tickets-55468722442

Don’t forget as well as the main Saturday event there will be the Thresholds Art Show in conjunction with Decadent Drawing, the unofficial Friday ice-breaker featuring Storm Chorus at the Rifle Club, and the Ghost story readings at the Hetty and Betty Cafe in Baxtergate on Sunday 15th.

 

Poster large full.jpg

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/folk-horror-revival-presents-winter-ghosts-tickets-55468722442

New T-shirts ~ Folk Horror Revival – Winter Ghosts 2019

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/s2048x2048/70347624_355523121999042_3817249422379581440_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_oc=AQkt5rRuU9X36BuguCcUFRmumZghFLZCLafoL9MZg7yQilhPJYUIkEqJCErfTbSZX08&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr3-1.xx&oh=4ae4791fa3ad5448d248d2caf739c983&oe=5E34E032

The official T shirt for the Winter Ghosts symposium 2019 is here !!

It Glows in the Dark!!!!

Print is a dark cream in daylight and is truly fluorescent under UV light. Once charged they glow an eerie green.

T shirts are black, universal, round-neck Ts.

Designed by our very own Cobweb Mehers​ of Eolith Designs

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/s2048x2048/70250807_952633421736809_7445152999606845440_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQlbSf4g-r-XXZoiyLI3oyB7wS8QID3noWWesNm-uTNBF-LHpBmO0_j7lJ4MtmZNgCI&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr3-1.xx&oh=4efed6cbbbe9ae79a971d92f2d6c9bed&oe=5E35B8A6

Printed by Tyrant Design & Print

http://tyrannical.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/wicked.tyrant/

Image result for tyrant design and print

Sizes currently available:

4 x M
7 x XL
10 x XXL

UK Pricing
£15
P&P – £6

USA Pricing:
$19
P&P – $7.50

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/70446546_10212075378839281_1315167424676364288_n.jpg?_nc_cat=111&_nc_oc=AQku0kh2yp6kvWOfBdbc0MjNaXXs_7bY9hIkv0QCm6fLBiPXO8mpb1gl4kL1zdW0AME&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr3-1.xx&oh=8b902ab32e3485aa0375531dd9446cf4&oe=5E3BD385

To Purchase – email Kt for more details

at –

shekinah0711@talktalk.net

 

Urban Wyrd: Folklore On Screen

 

via GIPHY

https://contemporarylegendcouk.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/web_banner_final_1500_flat.jpg

Folk Horror Revival founder Andy Paciorek will be talking at the Centre For Contemporary Legend’s Folklore on Screen conference on

Friday 13th– Saturday 14th September 2019,

Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire, England, UK.

Andy will be appearing on the Saturday speaking about Urban Wyrd: Dystopia and Apocalypse on British TV and will be forming part of a  Hauntology panel alongside Hookland’s David Southwell and The Haunted Generation’s Bob Fischer.

Full line-up and ticket details here – https://contemporarylegend.co.uk/events/
The Friday night also includes a great music event featuring Sharron Kraus, Hawthonn and Kath & Phil Tyler

Winter Ghosts Announcement Number 2

Apologies for the delay in publishing this, our second Winter Ghosts announcement, but we have been very busy bringing together a lineup that will hopefully whet the appetite of Revivalists everywhere. Anyway, without further ado here are our latest additions to the lineup.

The Soulless Party

 

 

Since 2013 Chris Lambert and Kev Oyston of the Soulless Party have worked tirelessly to bring the mysteries and secrets of the Black Meadow into the public eye. As everyone knows The Black Meadow is located just a few miles from Whitby on the outskirts of the village of Sleights. A strange place where, it is said, that if the mist rises a village will appear. This a place populated by tales of horse-men, meadow hags, land spheres, rag and bone men, maidens of mist, strange rituals and unexplained phenomena. It is no coincidence that this is where the MOD chose to put one of their bases – RAF Fylingdales whose strange Golf Ball Radomes dominated the landscape until the early 1990’s. The Soulless Party will launch their new collection of findings at Whitby Ghosts as they share a haunting mix of music, song, stories, images and interviews. This will be a hauntological experience in which folk horror meets urban legend through the medium of electronica tinged memory and dream.

Find out more about Black Meadow and The Soulless Party by visiting:
Sarah Steel
sarah

Sarah Steele graduated from Durham with a Degree in Geology in1992. She has since qualified as a professional gemmologist and was awarded Fellowship of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain in 2013, and subsequently Diamond Fellowship in 2015. Sarah is also a member of the International Accredited Gemologists Association and is a regularly asked to speak and deliver workshops at gem conferences around the world. She is also a freelance writer for Gems and Jewellery Magazine. Sarah’s particular expertise lies in the identification of natural thermoset and thermoplastic materials used in C19th jewellery, and she is considered the world’s leading authority on the Jet Group of gemstones. Her research collaborations are challenging our previous perceptions of the material jet. Sarah will return to Durham university in October to continue her postgraduate research on the subject. We are very pleased to have Sarah with us in December to give us a rather fascinating talk on her key topic of interest, Whitby Jet. Sarah is the only scientist currently working in the field of Jet research, and as such it is a prilevege for us at Folk Horror Revival to have her on board to present especially for us a talk about her research and the cultural and historic importance of this most beautiful and tactile gem.

Home

Barbara Ravelhofer

Barbara Ravelhofer is Professor in English Literature at Durham University and a Research Associate of the Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge. After a degree in English and German Literature from the University of Munich she continued for her Ph.D. at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at St John’s College. She has also held Visiting Fellowships at the Universities of Bologna, Princeton, and Harvard.

barbara ravelhofer

Professor Ravelhofer is co-director of the Records of Early English Drama North-East, which is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The key aim of the organisation is to find, catalogue and edit all records pertaining to music, spectacle, ceremony, dance and theatre in England’s North-East from about the ninth century to 1642. The project is directed by Prof. Ravelhofer in collaboration with Prof. John McKinnell and the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) Durham, the Cathedral and Durham’s World Heritage Site. Prof. Ravelhofer will be speaking to us about the history and folklore behind this wonderful tradition, and whilst the good professor herself is a big enough coup she will also be accompanied by an actual Mari Lwyd who will be loose in the auditorium.

For further details about the Records of Early English Drama North-East please see the project website.

Peter Kennedy

Dark Arts Circus - me in top hat and O

Peter Kennedy is a writer born in a North-East fishing village, who as a child was told a story about how the plague moved up country in the 17th century. In it, the fishermen decided that the best way to stave off the pestilence would be to throw fishing nets over the archway leading to the headland.  This legend was the inspiration for Peter to write his story Behind the Net Curtain, which would become the opening chapter of his debut novel Fishermen’s Tales. Inspired by that story Peter went off on a quest for more northern folklore that celebrated its maritime heritage. He trawled the seas, combed the beaches and crafted a collection of dark fables, from sea coal and rumour, and driftwood and bullshit.

The stories compiled in Fishermen’s Tales are part of an older oral tradition that were shared around campfires and passed down through generations. In reference to the book Peter says he is “trying to reclaim and romanticise the working class heritage that I came from. I read at a poetry club one night and one of the other performers said ‘this guy’s brought his own mythology’. I thought, ‘yeah, he gets it!” Over time the novel became a project that included musical accompaniment and theatrical performance, which is what Peter will be bringing to Winter Ghosts this December.

CrossInverted

That’s it for this announcement, they join Burd Ellen, Al Ridenour, Elaine Edmunds, Laurence Mitchell and George Cromack on this year’s lineup. We still have one or two acts to announce and our programme of short films to come, but we’ll leave those for another time. Tickets are available now, priced at the princely sum of £13 sterling for the full day or just £7 for the evening session, these are available from Eventbrite at the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/folk-horror-revival-presents-winter-ghosts-tickets-55468722442

 

10% Discount – Wyrd Harvest Press

No photo description available.

Save 10% on all Wyrd Harvest Press books

Code: LULU10

Only one code can be used at a time but is additionally compatible to any discounts currently set on certain WHP books

Not valid for eBooks or services

Ends August 1 at 11:59 PM

Coupon codes are case-sensitive

wood-wallpaper-hd-517-587-hd-wallpapers logo

Sales profits from FHR / Wyrd Harvest Press books sold in this store will be charitably donated at intervals to different environmental, wildlife and community projects undertaken by the Wildlife Trusts.