The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s

This presentation was originally given at the Folk Horror Revival day at The British Museum (16/02/2016).  My thanks to the fellow admins of the Folk Horror Revival, especially Jim Peters and Andy Paciorek. There’s an overt connection between analogue technology and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in British horror, especially when made during the 1970s.  No doubt there are connections between the interest in such … Continue reading The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s

Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

At the recent Alchemical Landscape conference in Cambridge, there was some interesting analysis of the portrayal of landscape in the opening sequence of Alan Clarke’s Play For Today episode, Penda’s Fen (1974).  The point in the analysis was to show the subversive nature of the opening in regards to its melding of two potentially differing realities of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

This article contains narrative spoilers. From its very earliest occurrences, electronic instrumentation and music has been used in cinema to signpost various aspects of mental health problems and issues within diegetic characters.  Alongside its uses in creating alien worlds, electronic instrumentation seems to, at least in the eyes of the films’ creators, have an ability to go deep within the human psyche as well as … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

Questioning Nostalgia In Folk Horror.

As the Folk Horror canon expands into more forms of media and territory, the Folk Horror Chain becomes less useful as a tool for looking at thematic material.  This is partly due to it being derived as an idea from one medium and one that is explicitly narrative based.  Yet, some of its ideas can be loosely translated into the area of reception studies of … Continue reading Questioning Nostalgia In Folk Horror.

Tales of Mystery (1961-1963) – What Was It Like? (Algernon Blackwood).

Out of all of the archive television currently missing, presumed destroyed, I think the most exciting and saddening loss is a little-advertised series called Tales of Mystery.  Even though the rumours currently flying around of the potential finds of Philip Morris and TIEA are mostly grounded in the likes of Doctor Who and Dad’s Army, a small part of me hopes for this archive gem … Continue reading Tales of Mystery (1961-1963) – What Was It Like? (Algernon Blackwood).

BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI

The BBC experienced a real golden age for television horror during the late 1960s and 1970s.  Almost every year seems to have produced an array of horror delights, ranging from ghost stories of all types to full blown, psychological nightmares.  Though now over half of the series is missing from the archives, 1972’s horror anthology Dead of Night and its surviving three episodes represent a … Continue reading BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI