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British folk horror, hauntology and the terrifying nature of the ordinary

By Robert Edgar, Professor of Writing and Popular Culture, York St John University
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The daylight sacrifice in the folk horror classic The Wicker Man is deeply horrifying. The people of the fictional Summerisle are acting based on a belief system that is, to them, perfectly logical. The act has the appearance of being of some ancient faith, however, it becomes clear it’s been recently invented. It is disconcerting that such archaic-seeming belief systems exist in the modern world and it becomes terrifying that otherwise enlightened people are willing to commit human sacrifice based on it.

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