Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

One of my favourite moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is not a typical choice considering the film’s many infamous scenes. Rather than showers, murders and other more memorable images, I particularly love a relatively bland scene later on in the film. It has narrative development in its eerie punch line but has little else … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

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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

Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

As recently announced, I have a book being released in January all about Folk Horror and its many related areas of interest.  The book has been in the works for the last year or so though many of the arguments within have been growing now for several years.  Though I'll undoubtedly being doing the usual … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

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.  … Continue reading The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s

Trailer – No Diggin’ Here.

There are few writers that figure more prominently in everything I do than the teller of beautiful Edwardian ghost stories, M.R. James.  Alongside W.G. Sebald, J.G. Ballard, Alan Garner and Virginia Woolf, his writing holds a great power over me with its familiar yet unfamiliar worlds.  His writing preys upon my mind at regular intervals, … Continue reading Trailer – No Diggin’ Here.

Wanders: Sebald, Sizewell and Dunwich (Suffolk).

"The contours of the Sizewell power plant, its Magnox block a glowering mausoleum, begin to loom upon an island far out in the pallid waters where one believes the Dogger Bank to be, where once shoals of herring spawned and earlier still, a long, long time ago, the delta of the Rhine flowed out into … Continue reading Wanders: Sebald, Sizewell and Dunwich (Suffolk).

Salthouse Marshes (Ghost Story).

In October I released a ghost story for Halloween.  It was partly inspired by Algernon Blackwood's The Willows, but the majority of its actual narrative structure (especially in terms of character) came from a short story of my own inspired as well by Blackwood's story.  As it's near Christmas, the original story is presented below.  It's … Continue reading Salthouse Marshes (Ghost Story).