Andy Paciorek: Folk Horror Revival Field Studies

This second edition of Folk Horror Revival Field Studies wanders But not all who wander are lostI recently returned from a trip to the Cotswolds after a 32 year absence from the UK where wandering was a ood part of our purpose there We my wife and I were all over the place as they say Our itinerary was packed but packed in such a way as to not overload us in any particular area or town outside of a long hike through the country from Moreton in Marsh past Blockley down to Longborough then back up to Moreton 12 miles of magic with several cases of becoming utterly lost and having to discover our way again whether by pure serendipity or with the help of strangers We trod across forbidden areas because we did not know any better and wished to pick up the trail again a strange turn of phrase that pick up the trail From behind you Or ahead of you and broke the boundaries many times apologies to the many farmers whose land we innocently crossedFunny then that I should have finished this book right before our journey This was perfect timing both thematically and because this is a huge book and I needed room in my luggage for other books I was hoping to find and bring back from the UK especially because we were Verdammt verliebt going to the famous booktown Hay On Wye for a day And yes I did bring several books back but that is a different story This book also wanders It becomes lost It finds the track again Then loses it Ad infinitumMy readerly advice become lost with it Keep it by your side but don t worry about your next destination Justo along for the ride Yes there will be moments when you will want to tune out and complain that your feet hurt and you are thirsty with little water left There are a few essays that you will skim or skip I know I did though I was surprised at how few there were to be honest The vast bulk of the book was at the very least enjoyable and sometimes a burning revelation like the sun in your eyes when you wake up from having slept outdoors Whether your interest is literary cinematic musical historical religious or philosophical or like mine a combination of all of these anyone with interests in the ever widening circle of Folk Horror will find something amazing herePlease allow me to share some of the highlights of my wandering In my travels there are a few souls who I d like to meet Yes there is an excellent Thomas Ligotti interview herein and I am a big fan of his work to say the least But I don t know that I d much like to sit down and have tea with the manGary Lachman ex bassist for Blondie however is a sort of kindred soul So much of what he said in his interview resonates with me on the level of spirituality a term he spurns but principles he lives a fondness for much of the same art and shared experience regarding the evolution of taste in music I would love to spend a few hours with himNick Brown s essay Ghost Landscape and Science hews very closely to my most speculative and wild thoughts regarding uantum mechanics and the spirit world I don t plan on writing about this as it s all rather speculative and very very personal But I m The Way Between the Worlds (The View from the Mirror, glad to see that someone else is thinking in the sameeneral direction as I am even if we aren t diving down to the specifics I d love to chat with BrownThere are others I should like to meet not because of them as people per se though I m sure they are fascinating people but because of the subject matter of their essays and their fantastic treatment of suchFirst among these would be John Harrigan whose essay The Sacred Theatre of Summerisle is a profound look into ritual itself based upon the Wicker Man celebration It is an incredibly insightful piece and lends some reassurance to those of us who do believe that ritual itself carries power to infuse life with meaning Fabulous essayCobweb Mehers One Small Step for Man Hunting the Nephilim is a remarkable dive into the archaeology of knowledge the origins of Inverloch Volume 4 giants the evolution of myth and the contemporary social relevance of stories far older than the Bible from which we know them This was fascinating and has my philosophical wheels spinning so uickly that my brain is shooting sparks I could read volumes of this type of workOne of the intriguing essay titles comes from Aaron Jolly in his essay Kill Lists The occult paganism and sacrifice in cinema as an analogy for political upheaval in the 1970s and 2010s I was a bit waryoing into this as historical recusivity can sometimes be imposed upon evidence rather than being arising from it There are some connections here I think with Mark Fisher s ruminations on the slow cancellation of the future though I would need time to ferret out and clearly identify the threads and how they tie together In any case Folk Horror Historiography is now a thing thanks in part to this essayIt took some research to understand that Jim Peter s essay The Wanderings of Melmoth is a sort of multi media piece about music but without the music You ll have to The Good and Beautiful God go find it online Here is a sample Listening to this whilst reading this most excellent and playful essay might take you to realms heretofore unknown or might drive you mad Perhaps both at onceAnd speaking of music there are several excellent essays about music the best of which is Clare Button s See Not Ye That Bonny Road Places Haunts and. Featuring essays and interviews by manyreat cinematic musical artistic and literary talents Folk Horror Revival Field Studies is the most comprehensive and engaging exploration to date of the sub enre of Folk Horror and associated fields in cinema television music art culture and folklore • Folk Horror From the Forests Fields and Furrows; An Introduction by Andy Paciorek• Subtle Magic and the Thrill of The Wicker Man by Sharron Kraus• An Interview with Kim Newman• Public Information Films Play Safe by Grey Malkin• An Interview with Philip Pullman• Hysteria and Curses in Nigel Kneale’s Baby Beasts by Adam Scovell• An Interview with Paul Rumsey• The Green Children of the Woolpits by Karl Shuker• Sacred Demons The Dramatic Art of David Rudkin by John Coulthart• The Last Broadcast by Rich Blackett• Folklore and the River A Reflection on Davis Grubb’s The Night of the Hunter by Stephen Canner• uatermass II Nigel Kneale The Fears of the Outsider Within the Landscape by Adam Scovell• An Interview with Gary Lachman• Weird Americana by Andy Paciorek• An Interview with Julia Jeffrey• The Wanderings of Melmoth by Jim Peters• The Traditional Jack in the Green by Chris Walton• Ghosts Landscape and Science by Nick Brown• An Interview with Dr Bob Curran• The Music of The Cremator and Mor.

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The pieces are either weak badly translated not well fitted into the collection or reek with self indulgence Black and white printing vitiates some of the imageOne note I m fascinated by the appearance of folk horror at this time in history What does it say about our time that we re inspired by movies from 40 years back Are we rediscovering rural terrors as the human race exits the countryside for the different terrors of city and suburb Folk horror might be a kind of deliberate nostalgia an effort to summon up a distant mood as we accelerate beyond it Perhaps folk horror is the obverse of cyberpunk born a decade after those three movies and today s posthumanism a reminder of old brambles the other side of an LCD screenOverall recommended for anyone interested in horror or folklore It s a map to delightful territories What is Folk Horror How can it be defined Can it be defined or are its many strands too myriad to be combined into a whole I ve always known that it combines several main themes such as a trio of classic British horror films folk customs 1970 s childrens TV programmes of the kind that they don t seem to make any and also an affinity with the landscape and what it means to us But Folk Horror is always evolving and a look through the posts on the Folk Horror Revival Facebook page would indicate that there s to comeThis is a book that I read from cover to cover as it contains many themes and you re not uite sure what the next piece might offer However I feel that this book is really one to dip into or to close your eyes open it randomly at a page and see what you might find The central themes of Folk Horror are in this book such as 70 s cult horror movies like The Wicker Man public information films warning children not to play near water myths and legends traditions such as the Jack in the Green and how easily new folklore can be created The Field Studies first edition came out in 2015 In this the second edition Andy Paciorek attempts to define folk horror He s one of the creators of Folk Horror Revival and sees the enre for want of a better word spreading out its roots from a trio of 70 s films the aforementioned Wicker Man Blood on Satan s Claw and Witchfinder General These are very British with the landscape and ritual featuring people outside their society There are 65 pieces in this book and I enjoyed them all My favourite was the interview with Gary Lachman who yes was once part of Blondie but has since reinvented himself In one part of the interview he talks about his theory on synchronicity This is something that happens to me a lot and I ve never attached much significance to it as it always seems very random But just recently I had one that was so bizarre that I am inclined to agree with Lachman s theory about it ie something out there is interested in what you re interested in and is making a comment about it Hmm I ll have to think about that oneIt would be tedious to o through each piece in detail but here are some of the highlights for meThe Traditional Jack in the Green by Chris Walton a short history on this Mayday ceremony and its revival I stumbled on the Hastings one and have managed to attend several since I do miss it no longer being located in the Castle though The Deptford version was a magical experience as we marched through Greenwich Park to the bemusement of onlookersI loved the short interview and introduction to the work of artist Julia Jeffery really beautiful imagesWeird Americana by Andy Paciorek was a look through series like Twin Peaks Carnivale and others which proves that strangeness isn t only confined to the EnglishThe Fears of the River a reflection on Davis Grubb s The Night of the Hunter by Stephen Canner was a fascinating appraisal of the book that inspired the classic atmospheric film with Robert Mitchum s memorable performance as Preacher One of my favourite filmsAll you know about Vampires is wrong by Tina Rath in which Ms Rath discusses all the traditions associated with vampires and disproves themThe Old Hag Phenomenon by Jasmine Gould I ve always found this to be a very creepy sounding night time experience although it s never happened to me Albion s Children The Golden Age of British Supernatural Youth Drama again by Andy Paciorek a nod to one of my memories Ace of Wands loved itAn appreciation of M R James The Presence of More Formidable Visitants by Jim Moon in which he makes a case for the writer of classic host stories which are rooted in English folkloreIt was refreshing to read a book that made me want to et out and explore some of the subjects further This book would make a wonderful introduction for anyone new to Folk Horror and its myriad elements The pieces are well written by people who are either very knowledgeable or passionate about their particular subject Although in the case of the Old Hag perhaps too wellField Studies is well produced with ood production values with the lovely elegant FHR motif on the front cover and inside But a definition of Folk Horror Not uite but perhaps this book will ive you some ideas of your own Recommended Research for my dissertation but still a nicely organised book The variety of chapters is incredible from Folk Horror in Doctor Who to Czech Vampires and Folk Horror really enjoyed reading it all. Visitants by Jim Moon• An Interview With Drew Mulholland• Albion’s Children The Golden Age of British Supernatural Youth Drama by Andy Paciorek• The Sacred Theatre of Summerisle by John Harrigan• All you Ever Knew About Vampires Is Wrong A Transcript of a Fortean Meeting Talk by Tina Rath• An Interview with Robin Hardy• The Haunted Fields of England Diabolical Landscapes and the Genii Locorum by Phil Legard• Sauna Abjection and Redemption in the Liminal Spaces by Madeleine Ledespencer• Hell’s Angel Blake – An Annotated Guide to a Coven at Bix by Andy Sharp• The Old Hag Phenomenon by Jasmine Gould• The Olde World Mythology Behind Saurimonde by Scarlett Amaris Melissa St Hilaire• Unearthing Forgotten Horrors by Darren Charles• An Arthurian Antichrist Alternate Readings of Kill List by Andy Paciorek• Darkness Beauty Fear and Wonder Exploring the Grotesue and Fantastical World of Czech Folk Horror by Kat Ellinger• Folk Horror and the Virtual Demiurge – Making False Trails – How Lies Can Be Used to Create New Folklore by Chris Lambert• Women of Power and Justice Witches in Folk Horror Movies by Judika Illes• An Interview With Alan Lee100% of all profits from sales of the book will be charitably donated to environmental wildlife and community projects undertaken by The Wildlife Trust.

Haunted Places in British Traditional Song This is an incredibly well researched and carefully documented essay that thoroughly and critically examines the subject matter without becoming academically stodgy This is the only essay in the book for which I used the term amazeballs in my notes This should speak volumesAnother well documented essay is Phil Legard s The Hunted Fields of England Diabolical Landscapes and the Genii Locorum in which he provides the psychogeographical connective tissue between pagan tradition and post Christian diablerie I must add here also that Legard and his partner Layla perform as the band Hawthonn Their album Red Goddess of this men shall know nothing is one of my absolute favorite pieces of Folk Horror music I cannot recommend it strongly enoughOne final essay that caught my attention featured Chris Lambert uoting Tony Redman in his treatise on MR James Wherever you ve ot a margin between two types of culture and two types of landscape you often Every Boys Dream get a deeper awareness of the supernatural and the spiritual This rings true to me who lived overseas most of my childhood and loved and still love to wander the spaces between This is especially trueiven our recent trip back to Europe my wife lived in Austria for a year and a half in her early twenties where we stepped across several liminal boundaries cultural Starflight Zero geographical and psychogeographical I couldo on but should probably do a blog post about this some time Folk Horror Revival Field Studies is a wild and wooly volume like A Year in the Country Wandering Through Spectral Fields which is to say that it s not easily defined or corralled And I like that variety is A Succession of Bad Days good I may re read A Year in the Country alongside Folk Horror Revival Field Studies as the volumes complement each other uite nicely Both of these volumes haveiven me a thousand threads to chase regarding the subject of Folk Horror That makes me a very happy reader The content of this book is incredible and I couldn t be happier Unfortunately the format is so inconsistent throughout with so many typos Some essays are double spaced some aren t Some of the essays are difficult to read due to odd formatting decisions I still have to The Multi-Orgasmic Man give the book 4 stars because it is prettyreat but it could be 5 stars if the layout and editing were taken seriously Highly recommended read for fans of folk horrorweirdwyrd A miscellany of articles reviews critiues interviews concerning film literature art and photography of Folk Horror on both sides of the Atlantic but with a focus on the UK I came away from this reading with a long list of new works to explore and new approaches to reading horror Skipped a couple of chapters due to spoilers but will The Grave Of The Right Hand go back to later but lots of interesting essays with recommendations for books music and films too to or revisit plus many websites to check out at some point in the future What a strange fascinating and wildly uneven book Folk Horror Revival Field Studies is an omnibus brag bag of short pieces in around and about folk horrorWhat is folk horror Ah I only have the time for a uick intro The term covers horror stories which a strongly rural theme and is often taken to have first surfaced with three British films Witchfinder General 1968 Blood on Satan s Claw 1973 and The Wicker Man 1973One essay which opens this book offers an interesting four part definition landscape isolation skewed moral beliefs a happening or summoningOnce you see folk horror in that light or as a thing of some related king all kinds of stories swim into view both contemporaries of that unholy trinity and successors in multiple media That is what Folk Horror Revival Field Studies pursues at lengthThe book covers movies novels tv series stage plays The Great Passage games hoaxes and music plus history film studies lit crit esoteric writings paintings psychogeographyender studies religion and of course folklore It begins with Britain but also finds folk horror shoots breaking the soil in the United States Japan Australia and continental Europe from Scandinavia to the Czech Republic It reaches as far back as the 1700s and further and up to the modern day to around 2016 Folk horror in this sprawling exploration includes The Beast House / After Midnight ghosts hexes vampires demons fairies Lovecraftian entities and various nameless things usually connected to mysterious rural locationsThe result is a treasure trove of material There are many directions for the reader to take while masticating Folk Horror Revival Field Studies a range of materials to explore It s a fine cut across human cultureThe book s diversity is at times a strength I appreciated several takes on familiar text ie The Wicker Man appearing alongside lonelances into obscure texts the excellent Sauna and introductions for me at least to Czech horror I enjoyed switching rapidly between Off Leash (Freelance Familiars Book 1) genres and mediaeographies and toneYet the book is wildly uneven in all kinds of other ways which aren t so rewarding starting with layout and typography which seems different from piece to piece There isn t a synoptic essay seeking to unify the mass nor is there anything like a bibliography or index or even a recommended readingviewinglistening list I read it in page order mercilessly but you are advised to just dip into whatever parts intrigue you And a sad number of. Giana by Grey Malkin• One Small Step for Man Hunting the Nephilim by Cobweb Mehers• A Paean to Peter Vaughan by Andy Paciorek• Other Thoughts Other Voices Cults Hive Minds and a New Philosophy of Horror in the Work of John Wyndham by Dan Hunt• The Haunted Landscape of Brian Eno Ambient 4 On Land by Adam Scovell• Srpski Vampir by Lauri Löytökoski• The Primrose Sloop of War by Chris Bond • Phantasms of the Floating World Tales of Ghostly Japan by Andy Paciorek• The Folk Horror of Doctor Who by Adam Scovell• Colin Wilson Reflections on an Outsider by Gary Lachman • Morgaine Art by Karen Hilder• An Interview with Andrew McGuigan Cumbrian Cthulhu• Paul Ferris Witchfinder General Soundtrack Review by Grey Malkin• An Interview with Thomas Ligotti by Neddal Ayad• “Just That Little Bit Dark Haunting and Dramatic” An Introduction to The Hare and the Moon by Jim Peters Grey Malkin• An Interview with Dr Simon Young – The Fairy Investigation Society• Nordic Twilight Scandinavian Horror by Andy Paciorek• “See Ye Not That Bonny Road” Places Haunts and Haunted Places in British Traditional Song by Clare Button• Kill Lists The occult paganism and sacrifice in cinema as an analogy for political upheaval in the 1970s and the 2010s by Aaron Jolly • MR James The Presence of More Formidable.

Creator of Strange Lands Human Chimaera Black Earth the Beautiful Grotesue Folk Horror Revival Urban Wyrd Review & other peculiar thingsDrawn mainly to the worlds of myth folklore symbolism decadence curiosa anomaly dark romanticism and otherworldly experience and fascinated both by the beautiful and the grotesue and the twilight threshold consciousness where these boundaries blur