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Folk Horror Fiction

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Although folk horror is more often associated with the cinema of the late 60s and early 70s, in fiction it has had a much longer and broader history. An offshoot of the Gothic novel, it was greatly influenced by the folk and Celtic revivals of the 19th and early 20th century, as well as by the work of anthropologists and folklorists such as Sir John Frazer and Margaret Murray. Folk horror found a place within the work of some of the most prolific writers of supernatural fiction and produced its own prominent figures in writers such as Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood. The list of folk horror fiction below is by no means a definitive list and in some cases I have limited an author to one or two stories. For writers such as Machen and Blackwood I encourage readers to look at their complete works.
Folk Horror Short StoriesThrawn Janet by Robert Louis Stevenson (1887)Thrawn Janet is seeped in the superstitions of eighteenth century rural Scotland. Mostly written in an archaic Scots d…

Hollywood Hag Horror (Part 3)

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Welcome to Part 3 of my exploration into the realms of Hollywood Hag Horror, featuring the former leading ladies who later in their careers, struggling to find roles for older women, found work in the horror and thriller genre. For more on Hag Horror see Part 1 and Part 2.
Gloria Swanson Whilst discussing the horror films of Bette Davis and her prominent role in the psycho-biddy sub-genre, I mentioned that an early incarnation of the character could be found in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950), in the character of Norma Desmond, played by the former silent movie star Gloria Swanson. In its setting, a decaying mansion, its character, a grotesque and delusional faded beauty, and in its violent outcome, Sunset Boulevard exhibits many of the hallmarks found in later hag horrors. The film would also serve to reinvigorate Swanson's career. However, unlike stars like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Shelley Winters, who became exemplars in this type of film, Swanson would only a…