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Folk Horror

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Horror based on old folklore.

This subtrope of Religious Horror is less concerned with organized faiths and divine beings as much as it's concerned with the old folkloric rituals. Thus, while it can still focus on a modern religion, it is more likely to focus on the pagan faiths of yore. Demons, cults and goblins haunt the woods while regular people try to survive. Organized religion is most likely corrupt and/or useless, though sadistic clergymen can be the true danger. If you're lucky, you'll have one heroic Badass Preacher among the whole lot, but it might not do any good against beings much older than any god we know. The phrase was coined by director Piers Haggard in an interview in the early 2000s to describe his film The Blood on Satan's Claw.

While the genre was most common in Britain in The '60s and The '70s, folk horror can be from any region or any time, and there has been a "Folk Horror Revival" in the 2010s and '20s as these tropes come back into prominence.

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Compare with Witch Works, which has a lot of overlap, and Horror Hippies and Hillbilly Horrors, both of which have a similar rural horror feel.


Folk horror works:

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Television 

    Literature 
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    Video Games 
  • Mermaid Swamp: Inspired by Japanese mermaid folklore.
  • Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn: Set in the Swedish wilderness and based upon Scandinavian folklore and mythology.
  • Until Dawn: It's revealed the true threat of the game are wendigos which roam the mountain the characters are stuck on, with several references to traditional folklore about the subject.

    Visual Novels 


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