Documentary maker Simon Hollis explores the darker underside of the pastoral idyll and the traditions of Folk Horror being revived by a new generation of writers, musicians and filmmakers.
From the nuggets of evil turned up by the plough in ‘The Blood on Satan's Claw’ to the cursed woodland, furrows, stone circles and rituals that haunt a wealth of British film, television and fantasy literature this feature draws on the terror of the terroir. Far from being a green and pleasant land, ours is a countryside inhabited by darker mythology and uncanny foreboding: of isolated places and older belief systems; places where the Enlightenment never reached and where the soil incubates evil - traumas that rise to the surface; remote communities where hapless city dwellers are lured to meet their fate.
Following the ritual slaying of the Jack in the Green on the hill and summer rites in the fields for Lammas, visiting lonely, de-sanctified churches sinking into the soil and recording incantations in the dark-wood, Simon faces the fear in the furrows.
Contributors include fantasy writer Alan Garner, musician composer Sharron Kraus, writer and filmmaker Adam Scovell, author Ben Myers, field folklorist Jonathan Huet, occult historian Gary Parsons, Piers Haggard the director of The Blood on Satan’s Claw and Maxine Sanders, ‘Queen of the Witches’.
Presented and produced by Simon Hollis
A Brook Lapping Production for BBC Radio 4