'Don't Keep the Wicker Man Waiting': Folk Horror Fifty Years After The Wicker Man

Friday 27 October 2023, 9:00am to 8:00pm


The Dukes, Lancaster, UK, LA1 1QE - View Map

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Families and young people, Postgraduates, Prospective International Students, Prospective Postgraduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students, Public, Staff


Cost to attend - booking required

Registration Info


Ticket Price

Ticket costs to be confirmed.

Event Details

A folk horror symposium presented by The Dukes and the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

Keynote: Andrew Michael Hurley (author of The Loney and Starve Acre).

2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of perhaps the most influential folk horror film of all time, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man. Long regarded as a cult curiosity, Hardy’s iconic film changed the template for British horror, and fifty years later is finally achieving the scholarly attention it deserves. This symposium, timed to coincide with the Dukes Theatre’s annual Dark Dukes festival, aims to assess the film’s legacy, from the rise of folk horror in the 1970s to the so-called folk horror revival in the 2010s and beyond. It will examine The Wicker Man within its broader intellectual, social and historical contexts, asking why this particular film made such a mark on the cinematic landscape and how it continues to inspire filmmakers, writers, artists and musicians.

We seek abstracts for 20-minute papers on topics that may include, but are not limited to:

  • The different versions of The Wicker Man
  • Historical and fictional sources for The Wicker Man
  • The Wicker Man and the 1970s
  • The Wicker Man’s Influence on later folk horror
  • The Wicker Man’s locations
  • The Wicker Man’s soundtrack
  • The landscapes of folk horror
  • Folk horror ecologies
  • Animals in folk horror
  • Ritual and sacrifice in folk horror
  • Folk horror, religion, magic and belief
  • Masks and costumes in folk horror
  • Folk horror in a global context
  • Folk horror and national identities
  • Folk horror, decolonisation and race
  • Masculinities in folk horror
  • Feminist and queer interventions in folk horror
  • Writing folk horror
  • Folk horror across media
  • Music and folk horror
  • Folk horror comedy
  • Folk horror’s hidden histories
  • The politics of folk horror
  • The future of folk horror

Applicants are kindly asked to note that this is an in-person-only event.

Dark Dukes, an annual festival partly supported by Film Hub North, takes place 25-29 October 2023 and celebrates horror classics alongside new releases. Delegates will be offered a special discount if they wish to attend Dark Dukes events before or after the symposium.

Please send abstracts of 250 words and a short bio to Johnathan Ilott and Catherine Spooner at folkhorrorlancs@gmail.com

Deadline for abstracts: 31 August 2023.

We aim to contact applicants within 2 weeks of the deadline.


Andrew Michael Hurley

Manchester Metropolitan University

Contact Details

Name Catherine Spooner




Directions to The Dukes

The Dukes Theatre, Moor Lane, Lancaster.