Wanders: M.R. James’ Grave

On a rather muddled day in early autumn, I decided to visit M.R. James.  In recent years, I've become interested in the places that James frequented, usually because they have had clear and profound effects upon his ghost stories.  Visiting them with a sense of curiosity seems to invert the man's clichés back upon him; … Continue reading Wanders: M.R. James’ Grave

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Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50

This November sees the 50th anniversary of one of Hammer Studios' strongest and most complex films: Roy Ward Baker's Nigel Kneale adaptation, Quatermass And The Pit (1967).  Sometimes known under the title of Five Million Years To Earth, the film takes Kneale's BBC script from the original broadcast serial and turns it into something far more … Continue reading Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50

Responses: Robert Aickman’s Holiday Photos

Note - Since the publication of this article, a publisher of Aickman's has been in touch with more details surrounding the photographs.  They were taken by his friend Jean Richardson on a number trips taking place in the mid 1970s and not on one singular trip (as Aickman's limited wardrobe falsely suggests).  The stone is … Continue reading Responses: Robert Aickman’s Holiday Photos

Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

I cannot remember when I first read Alan Garner's The Owl Service (1967); like its inspiration, The Mabinogion, or the Stone of Gronw that sits at the centre of its mystery, it seems to have always been here.  It's an unusual feeling because the novel is not particularly old by standards of literature - it turns … Continue reading Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

A Sacred Demon Of Ungovernableness: Penda’s Fen (1974) and Folk Horror

The following is a transcript of the paper delivered at the Child Be Strange Conference at the British Film Institute, 10/06/2017 I want discuss Penda’s Fen today in a context which, for many, is now taken for granted but which is also not entirely agreed upon: the genre that the play sits within.  That genre context … Continue reading A Sacred Demon Of Ungovernableness: Penda’s Fen (1974) and Folk Horror