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Folk HorrorHours Dreadful and Things Strange$
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Adam Scovell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325239

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325239.001.0001

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Occultism, Hauntology and the Urban ‘Wyrd’

Occultism, Hauntology and the Urban ‘Wyrd’

Chapter:
(p.121) Chapter 5 Occultism, Hauntology and the Urban ‘Wyrd’
Source:
Folk Horror
Author(s):

Adam Scovell

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325239.003.0005

This chapter evaluates the presence of the occult-flavoured esoteric content within the Folk Horror genre; where pagan entities evoke forms of devil worship, witchcraft, and magic(k). It also considers the concept of Hauntology. Hauntology was specifically referring to the ‘Spectre of Marx’ as Jacques Derrida called it in his 1993 book of the same title. It is now commonly used to account for our own cultural, and sometimes moral, relationships with British artefacts from the 1970s as well as artwork that deals with the concept of lost futures. In this context, it is largely a word denoting relationships in and towards 1970s British culture, especially on film and television, and how this reflects social elements in both the period and in our need to look back towards it. The chapter then looks at two separate problems regarding Folk Horror: the resurgence, with hindsight, of interest in occultism and other forms of ‘occulture’ in counter-culture film and television; and the presence of an urban setting and a concept in a genre which has been shown to rely on both rural settings and sociological isolation, two things which, in traditional cinematic practices, are difficult and relatively uncommon in urban-set dramas.

Keywords:   Folk Horror, Hauntology, British artefacts, 1970s British culture, occultism, occulture, counter-culture film, urban setting, urban-set dramas

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