Werewolves and the Gothic: In Search of the Spectre Wolf (22nd October 2022 – London Month of the Dead)

London Month of the Dead is an annual festival of death and the arts supporting London’s magnificent seven cemeteries:  Kensal Green (1832); West Norwood (1837); Highgate (1839); Abney Park (1840); Nunhead (1840); Brompton (1840); Tower Hamlets (1841). The programme this year is outstanding, full of gothic tours and spooky entertainments You can check out all the events for October 2022 here.

Tickets are selling out fast and I am thrilled to announce that I will be speaking on British werewolves at this year’s festival: ‘Werewolves and the Gothic: In Search of the Spectre Wolf’ is at 1.30 on 22nd October at Brompton Cemetery.

Werewolves stand upright against a cemetery wall in an illustration by Maurice Sands (1823-1889)

woo hoo – here’s a synopsis:  

British werewolves differ from their European counterparts in that they are rooted within haunted landscapes, often appearing as wolf phantoms. In fact, British folklore is unique in representing a history of werewolf sightings in places in Britain where there were once wolves. In this talk, I draw on theories of the weird and the eerie to inform my analysis of werewolves in contemporary myth. I depart from psychoanalytic studies which tie the werewolf to the ‘beast within’ and posit a theory that roots werewolves in landscape and absence in the present. The result is a UK landscape constituted more actively by what is missing than by what is present (a spectred, rather than ‘a scepter’d Isle’). Interrogating the werewolf as spectre wolf, brings the creature within the realms of the weird and the eerie and situates it firmly within gothic modes. This is the climate in which the spectre of the UK werewolf has re-emerged (rising from the ashes of the flesh and blood wolf).

BOOKING Tickets £12 including a delightful gin cocktail and a 20% donation to Brompton Cemetery. I’d love to see you there and the venue is stunning!!


For those who don’t know me here is a brief biography:

Sam George is Associate Professor in Research at the University of Hertfordshire and the convenor of the popular Open Graves, Open Minds Project. Known as the ‘coffin boffin’ on social media, her research specialisms include werewolves, wolves and wild children and the history of the literary vampire. Her interviews have appeared in newspapers from The Guardian and The Independent to the Sydney Morning Herald, The South China Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She’s a regular contributor to The Conversation, amassing 176,364 reads for her articles on vampires and werewolves alone. She recently appeared on Radio 4s ‘In Our Time’ speaking on the first fictional vampire.

Her work with OGOM has led to a number of co-edited publications with Dr Bill Hughes:
Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day (2012); In the Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Wolves and Wild Children (2020); The Legacy of John William Polidori: The Romantic Vampire and its Progeny (2023) and the forthcoming collection ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic Encounters with Enchantment and the Faerie Realm in Literature and Culture. Sam also co-edited with Bill the first ever issue of Gothic Studies on ‘Vampires’ in 2013 and ‘Werewolves’ in 2019

About Sam George

Associate Professor of Research, School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire Co-convenor OGOM Project
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