The Pumpkin Period Approaches


We’re more than halfway through September, and if you’re a horror-blogger, that can mean only one thing: time to get stuck into some content for the Halloween season.

For me, writing in the lead-up to Halloween is more than an opportunity for nostalgia about pumpkins and pick-n-mix. I like to dig deeper into horror, exploring cultural influences on the genre and shining a light on lesser-known and under-explored areas. I’m planning to do so this year, but until then, here are some past pieces of mine that you can peruse over your pumpkin… or perhaps even your turnip. I like to think that my readers are that hardcore.

Last year, my big writing project for Halloween was Poltergeist Girls, a four-part essay series looking at the films The Exorcist, Carrie, Poltergeist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, plus multiple dramatisations of the Enfield Poltergeist affair, in relation to the allegedly true phenomena that inspired them. In the process, I was able to look at how the archetype of the “poltergeist girl” evolved in the media. 2019 was also when I wrote a twelve-part, year-long series on the history of vampire literature from Polidori onwards.

In 2018 I did some more delving into vampire history. I took a look at lesser-known vampire films released between the Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee versions of Dracula, and also dug up a little-known novel from the late Victorian era entitled Blood of the Vampire.

In 2017 my chosen topics for Halloween were the development of vampire films in the silent era; the folk horror novels of Alison Littlewood; and screen adaptations of Seven Footprints to Satan and Burn, Witch, Burn, two novels by once-popular but little-remembered horror author A. Merritt.

Finally, back in 2016, I first began my commitment to Halloween content. My projects that year were a three-part analysis of the film Dracula’s Daughter; a review of Cherie Priest’s Lizzie Borden novels; a deconstruction of Jack Chick’s scaremongering comic tracts about the history and dangers of Halloween; and an analysis of Varney the Vampire, a sprawling Victorian novel that many horror fans have heard of but few have read.

Of course, writing articles like these year after year takes time and – when it comes to research materials – some money. So, if you’ve found value in any of my posts on horror and would like to help me come up with more such content this year, then perhaps you’ll consider throwing a little bit of cash my way via Ko-Fi or Patreon. Even a small donation would be very much appreciated!

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