We’re back and we’re hiding in the hedgerows, weaving twisted little corn dollies and performing unspeakable acts of Morris dancing. This episode is our discussion of the very British subgenre of folk horror. In particular, we’re looking into the Folk Horror Revival and how it ties into the childhood fears of those old enough to remember the 1970s.
Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins us for this discussion. As a lifelong fan of folk horror, who is just the right age to have been shaped by its heyday, he offers a wealth of information and insights. And, as we have learned at great expense, we should always make acceptable offerings.
We mention a number of works of and about folk horror in the episode. There are probably too many to link to without making these notes as long as the unexpurgated Golden Bough, but here are some highlights:
- The Folk Horror Revival Facebook group
- The Folk Horror Revival Emporium
- From the Forests, Fields and Furrows: An Introduction by Andy Paciorek
- The Folk Horror Revival website
- Witchfinder General/The Conqueror Worm
- The Blood on Satan’s Claw
- The Wicker Man
- Nigel Kneale
- Children of the Stones
- The Changes
- M R James
- Arthur Machen
- Alan Garner
- The Owl Service
- Red Shift
- Susan Cooper
- The Dark is Rising
- T E D Klein
- The Ceremonies
- Clive Barker
- Rawhead Rex
- In the Hills, the Cities
- The VVitch
- Ben Wheatley
- Wake Wood
- The Wicker Tree
- Adam Nevill
- The Ritual
- Andrew Michael Hurley
- The Loney
- Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies
- Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads
- Hours Dreadful and Things Strange
- The League of Gentlemen
- Scarfolk Council
And just to wrap things up, have 26 minutes of childhood nightmares from the 1970s:
Good friend of the Good Friends, Cory Welch, has shared some goodies with us. When Cory ran Blackwater Creek for the Skype of Cthulhu crew last year, he asked us to record the handouts as audio files. A musician friend of his, who records under the name Walkathon (Facebook page), created some suitably creepy background tracks. You can now find all these files in our new Downloads section.
We recently set up a Discord server (a free text/voice chat service) and have started hosting the occasional discussion there. For example, last week we had a voice chat about structuring Call of Cthulhu scenarios. It’s all very informal and chaotic, so please drop in whenever you fancy.
If you check your podcast feed, you should find the special episode we recorded at MK LitFest 2017. Our main topic of conversation was the connections between literature and roleplaying games, which seemed appropriate for a literary festival.
Mike Mason updated us on a few new products from Chaosium. Reign of Terror, the French Revolution expansion for Horror on the Orient Express, is now out in hardback. The new collection of Sandy Petersen’s scenarios (written in collaboration with Mike), Petersen’s Abominations, is out in PDF, with the print edition to follow in the very near future. The revised, 7th edition version of the classic solo adventure, Alone Against the Dark, will be available in PDF soon.
When we head out to the wheat fields to perform our ancient rites, clothed only in moonlight, we sing in ecstasy. More specifically, we chant the glorious names of those people who have backed us on Patreon. There are two such rites captured in this very episode. We still have a great many more people to sing to, but the mystic energies involved make it dangerous to perform more than two in a fortnight. There shall be more strange and unhallowed songs next episode.