My Folk Horror Reading List 2022

Check back on this list to find folk horror reads for 2022 (that are published in 2022). As I find them, I’ll list them here. I hope to read all as I go along and will promote as far as I am able to help raise the profile of what I regard is a much neglected sub-genre. Managed to read a number of these this year, but currently having to watch the pennies!

Where links to books are available, I’ve added those. Where they’re a bit too far into the future, I’ve added the social media link of author so you can check in for more information.

Note I am adding them as I am informed about them and am trusting those who recommend that these are indeed ‘folk horror’. Sometimes the definition gets played a little fast and loose with!

08/02/2022. The Queen of the High Fields by Rhiannon Grist. Pub. Luna Press Publishing. Fantasy and Welsh mythology combine with an exploration of the nature of friendship to create a modern recasting of the story of Annwn and Pwyll. Recommended.

08/02/2022. A Face in the Leaves by Nina Oram. Pub. Luna Press Publishing. In the remnants of the old forests around London, an ancient force exists. Against the backdrop of a search for the Green Man and an unsolved disappearance, the issue of man’s destructive nature on our planet is considered. Recommended.

01/04/2022. A Good Year by Polis Louizou. Pub. Fairlight Books. Blurb: Rural Cyprus, 1925. Despo is recently married, heavily pregnant and deeply afraid. The twelve days of Christmas are beginning – the time when, according to local folklore, creatures known as kalikantzari come up from Hell to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, her husband Loukas has troubles of his own. Struggling with dreams and desires he doesn’t understand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to an Englishman, a newcomer to the island. In a village wreathed in superstition, Despo and Loukas must protect themselves and their unborn child from ominous forces at play. Highly Recommended.

17/05/22. Sair Back, Sair Banes by Anthony Engerbretson. Pub. Ghost Orchid Press. Bought – hope to read soon!

Jun 2022. Starving Grounds: Tales of Folk Horror by Jay Alexander. Pub. Ghoul and Gristle Press.

18/07/22. Lure by Tim McGregor. Pub. Tenebrous Press. This is a visual and sensory treat, even though some of the smells it evokes are the sort that turn my stomach in real life (fish, dead fish etc). The isolated coastal village – poverty and famine stricken – is brought to life in vivid, but not overdone detail, the characters are living, breathing people; the luremaid is monstrous. The pages truly vanished as I was pulled into this novella. Bringing in old superstitions, isolation and landscape and the intrusion of relative newcomers to a place fixed in its ways, Tim McGregor plays with the genre of folk horror to produce something that has the feel of a modern day feminist fable, one that could easily be regarded as classic in years to come. Highly Recommended.

August 2022. The Way the Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson. Pub. Luna Press Publishing.

Sept. 2022. Song of the Red Squire by C.W. Blackwell. Pub. Nosetouch Press. Very evocative of its time. A US war veteran explores an isolated backwater village to learn more about the apples from their orchards. The sense of period, the dialogue, gave it a noirish feel, ‘folk horror noir’ could that be a thing? Ritual, tradition, isolation, dread plus the MC’s own inner demons gives this novella real pace. This is actually one I could easily see transferring well to the big screen if there are any movie directors out there looking for a folk horror project! Highly Recommended.

12/10/2022. The Cursed Earth by D.T. Neal. Pub. Nosetouch Press.

TBA. Sallow Bend by Alan Baxter. Pub. Cemetery Dance.

24/11/2022. Blood on Satan‘s Claw or, The Devil’s Skin by Robert Wynne-Simmons (the original screenwriter). Unbound Press. This is on my Christmas wish list …

22/11/2022. In the Grimdark Strands of the Spinneret: A Fairy Tale for Elders by Keith Anthony Baird. Another novella, written in the style of a traditional fairy tale, this is most definitely not for children. A cyclical, poetic story bringing in many elements of folk tradition, Baird uses archaic language to glorious effect.

Blurb: Betrayal brings grave ending to a noble bloodline. Forced to flee, its sole surviving heir is spared this fate by the timely intervention of a haunter of the wilds. In his charge, the maiden embraces the lore of the dark arts and rises to become the watch-keep of the woods. As decades pass, with her legend growing, the ‘witch of root and earth’ weaves subtle deceits in a tangled web of vengeance.

Short Stories

Godmother Death and the Dragon’s Grove by Alicia Hilton. Can be viewed either via monthly sub to site or will be published in Pharos Magazine Issue 1, Aug. 2022 (might need to check this).

31/01/2022. Elken by Jay Alexander. Pub. Pale Horse Press. Status: Read 31/01/2022. Recommended.

Bubbling Under

I’ll be dropping in names and notes here so that I can keep track of people who are letting me know they’re writing something but it’s not ready yet, I can then come back. An aide-memoir, I suppose!

Roxie Voorhees – Viking Yuletide folk horror novella!

Villimey Mist – Icelandic folk horror in short story collection March – April

Publishers/PublicationsNosetouch Press, Hellebore Magazine, Brigids Gate Press, Ghost Orchid Press.

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