Updated 8/29/2019

Here is the final program for Folk Horror in the 21st Century:




Tanya Krzywinska is curating an art exhibit, ‘Strange Folk’, during the conference. It  will be located at the Photography Gallery on the Penryn campus of Falmouth University. The exhibit will feature art by a number of Cornish artists: Jason Walker, Michael Harris, Sue Leake, Michelle Ohlsen, David Bessell, Kate Walters, Anne Wilkening, Jill Eisele, and Tanya herself. September 4-6. Free admission.

Wednesday September 4 

Film screenings – 7:00 – 9:30 pm, Cinema, School of Film and Television, Penryn Campus

The New Weird: invoking horror through formal limitation – producer Denzil Monk, Falmouth University in conversation with director Mark Jenkin

Making Strange: Adapting H. P. Lovecraft for the Screen – Neil Fox, Ryan Mackfall, Angela Annesley


All sessions (and the registration desk) are in the Peter Lanyon (PL) Building on the Penryn Campus of Falmouth University

Campus Map

Thursday September 5

8:00 –                        Registration opens, PL 3&5

9:00-9:25               Welcome remarks by Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University, PL Lecture Theatre 5

9:30 – 10:45                 Session 1

1A. Folk Horror’s Folklore (1) – Chair, Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University, PL2

  1. Horror Folkloresque – Jeffrey A. Tolbert, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
  2. ‘In his house at Windermere, dead Cthulhu waits, dreaming’: Lovecraftian Horror, the Folkloresque and the Cumbrian Cthulhu Project – Craig Thomson, Birbeck, University of London
  3. The Momo Challenge – Emma Bond, University of Suffolk, and Andy Phippen, University of Plymouth


1B. Witchcraft, Feminism, and Folk Horror – Chair, Andrea di Carlo, University College Cork, PL 6

  1. Divine Heresy: Revelation, Sexuality and Dissent – Sarah Cave, University of London, Royal Holloway
  2. China Miéville’s ‘Säcken’: Revisiting Ritualistic Execution and Haunting in the Era of Fourth-Wave Feminism – Deborah Bridle, Université Côte d’Azur
  3. Precarity, Possession and Postfeminist Folk Horror in Starry Eyes’ Hollywood – Máiréad Casey, NUI Galway


10:45 – 11:15               Coffee break, PL 3&5

11:15 – 12:30               Session 2

2A. New Ways of Seeing 1970s Folk Horror – Chair, Simon Aeppli, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, PL 2

  1. Views from Hills: Folk Horror as a Mode of Seeing – Matt Denny, University of Warwick
  2. Written in Blood: The Horror of the Hand in Folk Horror Film Typography – David Devanny, Falmouth University
  3. A New (Re)Recording Medium: The Speculative Potential of the Vertical in The Stone TapeErik Martinson, Independent Curator and Writer


2B. Encountering Nature in Folk Horror – Chair, Daniela Kato, Kyoto Institute of Technology, PL 6

  1. ‘Wraith-like is this native stone’: Folklore, Folk Horror and Archaeological Landscapes – Katy Soar, University of Winchester
  2. ‘The Spirit of the Green’: Mysticism, Environmentalism and Folk Horror in Marvel UK’s The Knights of PendragonDavid Sweeney, Glasgow School of Art
  3.  ‘Clever landscapers, the Victorians’: The Domestic Frame in A. M. Hurley’s The LoneyKatharina Andrea Kalthoff, University of Münster


12:30 – 1:45                Lunch, The Stannary

Musical Accompaniment from We Are Muffy:

From somewhere wild and strange in Cornwall come the idiosyncratic acoustic sounds of We Are Muffy, the happy alliance of Nick Duffy (The Lilac Time, Bait) and Angeline Morrison (Rowan : Morrison, The Mighty Sceptres, The Ambassadors of Sorrow).  With influences including The Incredible String Band, Shirley and Dolly Collins, Sam Cooke, Max Romeo and Tyrannosaurus Rex, We Are Muffy spin poetic narratives of remembered and imagined pasts. Their distinctive strain of folk music combines vocal harmonies with unexpected instrumentation (lyre, cutlery, shruti box, music box, bottle tops) in amongst the expected (banjo, guitar, autoharp, double bass).

Check out a preview of their music:

1:45 – 3:00                   Session 3 

3A. Folk Horror’s Eerie Geographies – Chair, Katy Soar, University of Winchester, PL 6

  1. Locating the Eerie: Towards a Geography of Folk Horror – James Thurgill, University of Tokyo
  2. Zones of Alienation – Mediating the Presence / Absence Horror of Ruins – Kerry Dodd, Lancaster University
  3. Mind the Doors! Locating Folk Horror within the Cinematic London Underground – David Evans-Powell, University of Birmingham


3B. Creative Folk Horror Practices (1) – Chair, Sonia Overall, Canterbury Christ Church University, PL 4

  1. Spectral Animal Stewards as Companions of the Atomic Priest within the Cumbrian Alchemy Project – Robert Williams, University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts
  2. Earth through Mystery to Art: From Bonelines and into the Labyrinth – Phil Smith, University of Plymouth
  3. Adapting the Great God Pan: Exploring Folk Horror through Creative Practice – Maxine Gee, Bournemouth University


3C. Victorian Folk Horror – Chair, Jo Parsons, Bath Spa University, PL 2

  1. ‘Trembling to tell of the untellable’: Folklorists and the Folk Horror Template in Victorian Norfolk – Karl Bell, University of Portsmouth
  2. ‘An abyss of darkness and toil’: Mines and Miners as Agents of Folk Horror in Nineteenth-century Britain – Eilis Phillips, University of Portsmouth
  3.  Real Folk, Real Horror: Catherine Crowe’s Authentic Ghosts – Ruth Heholt, Falmouth University


3:00 – 3:30                   Coffee break, PL 3&5

3:30 – 4:55                   Session 4

4A. Folk Horror in the US – Chair, Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University, PL 2

  1. Suburban Ennui, Legend Quests, and What Folk Horror Shares with Scooby-DooIan Brodie, Cape Breton University
  2. The Stony Heart of Man: The Secret Power of the Arcane in Pet SemataryLinda Sheppard, Palomar College and University of East Anglia
  3. Hold the Dark, Folklore and Brutality in Alaska – Frances Auld, State College of Florida
  4. Past Anxieties, Shadow Selves, and Folk Horror in Jordan Peele’s UsAlexandra Hauke, University of Passau


4B. Expanding the Genres of Folk Horror – Chair, Joan Passey, University of Bristol, PL 4

  1. Hookland – Ploughing the Ghost Soil in the 21st Century – David Southwell – writer
  2. Ghosts of the Past: Hybridising Folk Horror and the Rock and Roll Biopic – Adam Spellicy, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. ‘Even in death our blood will nourish the bounty of your Spring’: The Folk Horror Chain in Black Metal – Joseph Norman, Brunel University London
  4. Live Horror Theatre, Nostalgia, and the Folkloric – David Norris, University of Birmingham


4C. The Political Uses of Folk Horror – Chair, David Devanny, Falmouth University, PL 6

  1. The Folk Horror Landscape of 1970s Northern Ireland – Simon Aeppli, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
  2. Folkloric Elements in Turkish Horror Cinema and their Political Functions – Yasin Yesilyurt,  Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University
  3. The Exteriority of the Witch in the Interpassivity of Paranormal TV – Brendan Byrne, Falmouth University, Ex Co-Editor VJ Theory


5:00 – 6:00                   Keynote 1: ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’: Folk Horror in Videogame Art’ – Tanya Krzywinska, Falmouth University, PL Lecture Theatre 5


6:15                           Bus to Dinner (7:15) at the Falmouth Hotel


Friday September 6

9 – 10                           Keynote 2: Whose Folk? Locating the Lancashire Witches in Twenty-first Century Culture, Catherine Spooner, Lancaster University, PL Lecture Theatre 5

10 – 10:30                    Coffee break, PL 3&5

10:30 – 11:45               Session 5

5A. Magic and the Occult in Folk Horror – Chair, Katarzyna Logozna Wypych, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, PL 2

  1. ‘Just like witches at black masses’: Occulture, Black Magic Stories, and the Idea of Folk Horror – Timothy Jones, University of Stirling
  2. ‘The Magic Does Not Travel’: White Logic vs Black Girl Magic in Hammer House of Horror’s Charlie Boy Angeline Morrison, Falmouth University
  3. Haunting Her Stories: Constructing the Witch in Contemporary Comics – Barbara Chamberlin, University of Brighton and Central Saint Martins, UAL


5B. Domestic Folk Horror – Chair, Kyna McClenaghan, Columbia University School of the Arts, PL 6

  1. Conjure Wife: Women and the Domestic Occult in 1960s British Cinema – Sian Macfarlane, Artist
  2. The Dead-Child Folkloric Tradition in the Late 20th Century and 21st Century – Jen Baker, University of Warwick
  3. Family as a Haunted Structure in Contemporary Folk Horror – Kern Robinson


11:50 – 1:05                Session 6

6A. The Long Reach of the Past – Chair, Frances Auld, State College of Florida, PL 6

  1. Guthlac’s Fen – Lisa Weston, California State University – Fresno
  2. Merlin and Male Witches in A Canterbury Tale and A Field in EnglandLawrence Jackson, University of Kent
  3. The Appearance of the Weird Sisters in Contemporary Literature and Culture – Dorka Tamás, University of Exeter


6B. Folk Horror’s Folklore (2) – Chair, Jen Baker, University of Warwick, PL 2

  1. ‘A phantom to proclaim their hoary and solitary age’: Folklore Collecting and the Cornish Gothic – Joan Passey, University of Bristol
  2. Stephen King’s Cats in Folk Horror: Pets, Familiars, or Bridges? – Katarzyna Logozna Wypych, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  3. The Dark Lakes: Social Death and the Screaming Skulls of Calgarth – Chelsea Eddy, Lancaster University


1 – 2:15                             Lunch, The Stannary


2:15 – 3:15                   Keynote 3: Black Boxes: Backwoods Horror and Human Sacrifice in American Folk Horror – Bernice M. Murphy, Trinity College, Dublin, PL Lecture Theatre 5


3:20 – 4:35                   Session 7

7A. Ritual and Sacrifice in Folk Horror – Chair, Jo Parsons, Bath Spa University, PL 6

  1. Horror and the Sacred: The Roots of Human Sacrifice in Folk Horror – Marco Malvestio, University of Toronto
  2. Laughing as the Wicker Men Burn – Max Jokschus, Leipzig University
  3. Ritualistic Rhythms: Exploring the Sensory Effects of Drums in Folk Horror through Blood on Satan’s Claw, The Wicker Man, and Kill List Lyndsay Townsend, University of Glasgow


7B. Robert Eggers’ The Witch Chair, Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University, PL 2

  1.  ‘The Devil’s Territories’: Nature and the Sublime in Robert Eggers’ The Witch” – Miranda Corcoran, University College Cork, and Andrea di Carlo, University College Cork
  2. Fear and Sensuality in New England: The Music of The WitchShauna Louise Caffrey, University Cork College
  3. The Witch and the Woods: Constructing the Unruly Female Body in 21st-century American Cinema – Amelia Crowther, University of Sussex


7C. Folk Horror Games – Chair, David Devanny, Falmouth University, PL 4

  1. Summoning the Spirits: Religious Elements of Taiwanese Folk Horror in DevotionJunfu Wong, University of Cambridge
  2. Reworking Folk (Horror) Traditions for the Anthropocene in Ice-Pick Lodge’s Pathologic – Adam Whybray, University of Suffolk


4:35 – 5:00                   Coffee break, PL 3&5


5:00 –  6:15                  Session 8


8A. Rethinking Folk Horror through Contemporary Film and TV – Chair, Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University, PL 2

  1. Dark Tourism: Folk Horror and National Identity in the Films of Ben Wheatley – Andrew Jarvis, University of West Scotland
  2. Hereditary and Apostle: Summoning the (Anti-)Christian in Folk Horror – Kyna McClenaghan, Columbia University School of the Arts
  3. The Role of the Rural Supernatural in Requiem and True DetectiveMuhamet Alijaj, University of Exeter


8B. Global Folk Horror – Chair, Ruth Heholt, Falmouth University, PL 6

  1. Greek Folk Horror Stories and Revenant Heroines in the early 20th century – Maria Vara, Hellenic Air Force Academy
  2. Shamanism through the Conflicted Lens of South Korean Horrors Whispering Corridors and The WailingFrazer Lee, Brunel University London
  3. La Llorona, Colonial Trauma, and Mexicanness – Valeria Villegas Lindvall, University of Gothenburg


8C. Creative Folk Horror Practices (2) – Chair, David Sweeney, Glasgow School of Art, PL 4

  1. When the Ground Grabs Your Ankles (or How to Write about Freaking Out) – Sonia Overall, Canterbury Christ Church University
  2. Women and/as Plants in Contemporary Folk Horror Narrative Re-creations: Yee I-Lann’s Performative Photo Collages – Daniela Kato, Kyoto Institute of Technology
  3. On the Hill: Reassembling and Retelling the Stories Lying Dormant in the Falmouth Cemetery – Sherezade Garcia Rangel, Falmouth University, and Amy Lilwall, Falmouth University


6:15 –                           Closing remarks & Wine Reception, Photography Gallery

The wine reception is kindly sponsored by Auteur Press