Folk Horror

New Global Pathways

Editor(s) Dawn Keetley,Ruth Heholt

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Horror Studies

  • April 2023 · 280 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786839794
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786839800
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786839817

About The Book

While the undisputed heyday of folk horror was Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, the genre has not only a rich cinematic and literary prehistory, but directors and novelists around the world have also been reinventing folk horror for the contemporary moment. This study sets out to rethink the assumptions that have guided critical writing on the genre in the face of such expansions, with chapters exploring a range of subjects from the fiction of E. F. Benson to Scooby-Doo, video games, and community engagement with the Lancashire witches. In looking beyond Britain, the essays collected here extend folk horror’s geographic terrain to map new conceptualisations of the genre now seen emerging from Italy, Ukraine, Thailand, Mexico and the Appalachian region of the US.


‘From Lancashire to Appalachia, from Thailand to Ukraine, from typography to Scooby-Doo, via human sacrifice. In Folk Horror: New Global Pathways, Keetley and Heholt curate a vital addition to the field of folk horror studies, which takes the form beyond its British roots and examines its global manifestations and thematic interconnections. This is essential reading.’
Robert Edgar, Professor of Writing and Popular Culture, York St John University

‘Folk horror is a relatively new and popular area of study, but few collections have the understanding and vision of the subgenre as this collection. Dawn Keetley and Ruth Heholt have created an important book that reveals the richness and variety of folk horror, and the ever growing recognition of its almost rhizomic nature and what is says about our individual pasts and collective futures.’
Simon Bacon, editor of The Anthropocene and the Undead (2022)

‘This collection expands the map of the folk horror landscape into new areas, and also fills in details and finds new perspectives on the more well-known landmarks and pathways of the genre. Wearing its deep knowledge and thinking lightly, this is an essential addition to the growing folk horror bookshelf.’
Dr Derek Johnston, Queen’s University Belfast

‘This is a timely addition to the growing global Folk Horror community. Its distinct contribution lies in the stimulating way it binds the (pre-)history of the genre with its canonical texts, to exciting new global landscapes (the Ukrainian Gothic and Thai folk horror). It deeply enriches our appreciation of where folk horror originated and in what directions it may be heading.’
Dr Wayne Johnson, York St John University

‘This is a very welcome book which is impressive in its scope. Keetley and Helholt have edited a collection of chapters that usefully redefine the concept of folk horror, moving beyond its British origins to explore the myriad folk horrors that have arisen around the world.’
Paul Newland, Director of Research and Knowledge, University of Worcester


Introduction: Dawn Keetley and Ruth Heholt
Part One: Folk Horror’s Folklore
Chapter One: The Frightening Folk: An Introduction to the Folkloresque in Horror
Jeffrey A. Tolbert
Chapter Two: Whose Folk? Community, Folklore, Landscape and the Case of the Lancashire Witches
Catherine Spooner
Chapter Three: Folkloric Origins of the Ukrainian Gothic
Svitlana (Lana) Krys
Chapter Four: ‘Wow, this place is spooky at night!’ Suburban Ennui, Legend Quests and What Folk Horror Shares with Scooby-Doo
Ian Brodie
Part Two: Re-Visioning Canonical Folk Horror
Chapter Five: The Curse of the Cursive: The Horror of the Hand in Folk Horror Film Typography
David Devanny
Chapter Six: The Devil His Due: Folk Horror, Occulture and the Black Magic Story
Timothy Jones
Chapter Seven: Black Boxes: Tradition and Human Sacrifice in American Folk Horror
Bernice M. Murphy
Part Three: Folk Horror in New Places
Chapter Eight: Sunny Landscapes, Dark Visions: E. F. Benson’s Weird Domestic Folk Horror
Ruth Heholt
Chapter Nine: Monsters in the Making: Phi Pop and Thai Folk Horror
Katarzyna Ancuta
Chaper Ten: Curses, Rites and Questionable Offerings: Ludic Folk Horror in Video Games
Tanya Krzywinska
Part Four: Folk Horror’s Politics
Chapter Eleven: Catholicism, Unification and Liminal Landscape in Italian Folk Horror Cinema
Marco Malvestio
Chapter Twelve: ‘Me quitarán de quererte, Llorona, pero de olividarte nunca’: La Llorona, Colonial Trauma and Mexicanness
Valeria Villegas Lindvall
Chapter Thirteen: Sacrifice Zones in Appalachian Folk Horror
Dawn Keetley

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Dawn Keetley

Dawn Keetley is Professor of English and Film at Lehigh University.

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Author(s): Ruth Heholt

Ruth Heholt is Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Revenant.

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