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Saturday, June 2, 2018 | Announcement, Books, Exclusive

Religion and folklore walk hand in hand, defining culture throughout human history by their mixture of faith, belief, and superstition. As a genre, horror carves a similar path, allowing us to tap into our primal instincts — the fear of the unknown, of the dark, and the monsters lurking within it. Unsurprisingly, the themes of religion and folklore, specifically the supernatural, have combined to shape horror cinema as one of the most effective modern art forms.

Rue Morgue is pleased to exclusively announce a forthcoming collection of writings exploring the cultural history of religion in horror cinema. Scared Sacred: Idolatry, Religion and Worship in the Horror Film is edited by Rebecca Booth (author of the forthcoming The Devil Rides Out [Devil’s Advocates]) and Erin Thompson ([formerly Miskell] owner and editor of The Backseat Driver Reviews), due for release early in 2019 from House of Leaves Publishing. The project developed from discussions surrounding the complex relationship between religious and supernatural themes across the pantheon of horror cinema, particularly in response to a mainstream reclaiming of these subjects in recent years.

Engaging leading film critics, historians, and writers in a theological discussion that encompasses everything from Abraham to atheism, martyrdom to mythology, and zealotry to zoolatry, limited editions of the book will be available for pre-order via a crowdfunding campaign that will commence in September 2018. To register interest, please visit

Each chapter will feature original artwork from illustrator John Sowder (Lovecraft eZine; Halloween Man: American Nightmare; and The Strip). The image above is an exclusive first look at the chapter illustration for The Omen.

The full list of contributing writers:

Alexandra West

Author of Films of The New French Extremity: Visceral Horror and National Identity and The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula

Amanda Reyes

Author of Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999, and curator and co-presenter of Alamo Drafthouse’s Made for Television Mystery Movie series

Andrea Subissati

Executive Editor at Rue Morgue, and author of When There’s No More Room In Hell: The Sociology Of The Living Dead

Anya Stanley

Columnist at Dread Central and Daily Grind

Chris Hallock

Contributor to Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film & Television, and author of the forthcoming Hoodlums, Hitmen, and Hillbillies: The Professional Villainy of Billy Drago

Professor Douglas E. Cowan

Author of The Dark Theologian: The Religious Imagination of Stephen King, and Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen

Erin Thompson

Owner and editor of The Backseat Driver Reviews, and contributor to Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin

Frazer Lee

Author of The Lamplighters (Bram Stoker Award® Finalist), writer of horror/thriller feature film Panic Button, and writer/director of several award-winning short films

Dr. John Cussans

Author of Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex, and co-founder of several collaborative research projects including The Bughouse (in Memory of Philip K. Dick), and The Skullcracker Suite, inspired by Hox’hok, the giant cannibal crane of Kwakiutl legend, investigating processes of cultural decolonization in British Columbia since the 1970’s

Joseph Dwyer

Web Editor at Diabolique, and contributor to Otherzine and Dissolve

Dr. LMK Sheppard

Author of Christ What a Mob: Modernism, Commodification and Spiritual Affiliation in Rosemary’s Baby, and A Jigsaw of All Our Worst Fears: Representations of Mary Shelley as Gothic Heroine in Popular Media

Neil Gravino

Contributor to Horror Homeroom, and author of several short stories published in Voices from the Arroyo and The Ghastling

Rebecca Booth

Contributor to Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, and author of the forthcoming The Devil Rides Out (Devil’s Advocates)

Samm Deighan

Associate Editor at Diabolique, editor of Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, and author of the forthcoming M (Devil’s Advocates)

Valeska Griffiths

Executive Editor of Grim, and editor of Anatomy of a Scream

Andrea Subissati
Executive editor; Rue Morgue Magazine