The Nightmare – painting by Henry Fuseli

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The Nightmare is a 1781 oil painting by Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (1741–1825). Since its creation, it has remained Fuseli’s best-known work. With its first exhibition in 1782 at the Royal Academy of London, the image became famous; an engraved version was widely distributed and the painting was parodied in political satire. Due to its fame, Fuseli painted at least three other versions of the painting.

The painting depicts a sleeping woman draped over the end of a bed with her head hanging down, exposing her long neck. She is surmounted by an incubus that peers out at the viewer. The sleeper seems lifeless, and, lying on her back, she takes a position believed to encourage nightmares. Also in attendance is a horse…or at least a horse’s head, which is looming through partially parted curtains.The colour palette, applied with oil paint, consists mostly of dark colours—black, deep greys, shades of…

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Nachzehrer – folklore

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A nachzehrer is a form of vampire found in Germanic regions including Silesia and Bavaria, which also exhibits behaviour displayed by ghouls. The name translates as “after (nach) living off (zehre)” likely alluding to their living after death or living off humans after death in addition to the choice of “nach” for “after” which is similar to “nacht” (“night”). The nachzehrer was also prominent in the folklore of the northern regions of Germany and the word was also used to describe a similar creature of the Kashubes of Northern Poland; Kashubes are also referred to as Pomeranians and are descended from Slavic tribes found in Poland before what being inhabited by people referred by typically as Poles. Though officially a vampire, they are also similar to ghouls, and in many ways different from either undead; it quite clearly differs hugely from the slightly more noble…

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El Silbón – folklore

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El Silbón (English translation: “The Whistler”) is a character appearing in both Colombian and Venezuelan folk tales, famed for terrorising men, women and children, especially the latter whom he is known to feast upon.

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The legend of El Silbón is thought to date back to the 19th Century and always concerns the events beginning with a young man murdering his father, for deeds as diverse as:

1. Finding his father abusing his young wife.

2. His father’s refusal to allow his son to feast upon the blood and innards of a recently slaughtered deer. The son’s solution is to kill and gut his father and to serve the resultant stew of human offal to his mother.

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Either way and accounting for further slight deviations, the mother flees the scene, returning with her father who it seems is a dab hand at dishing out punishments and curses. Tying the boy to…

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Soucouyant – folklore

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The soucouyant or soucriant in Dominica, Trinidadian and Guadeloupean folklore (also known as Ole-Higue or Loogaroo elsewhere in the Caribbean), is a kind of witch or vampire, possibly dating back to early European visitors settling in the region.

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The soucouyant is a shape-shifting Caribbean folklore character who appears by day as a reclusive old woman, typically living at the edge of the village in a shack surrounded by tall trees, who has made a secret pact with the devil. Having visited her local graveyard, she scours the graves looking for a suitable corpse’s liver, with which she makes an oil, allowing her to strip off her wrinkled skin, which she puts in a mortar or hollowed-out tree trunk to keep it protected. In her true form, as a vampiric fireball, she flies across the dark sky in search of a victim. Her new form allows her entry into the homes…

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Fear – magazine

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Fear was a UK full-colour magazine published by Newsfield between 1988 and 1991. It was edited by John Gilbert and as well as covering just horror films, it also provided a showcase for both established authors and first-timers with a section dedicated to short fiction.

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Gilbert was formally deputy editor of the home computer magazine Sinclair User but as the console market was starting to leave behind the age of rubber keys and unreliable cassettes, he was keen to find a new niche in the magazine marketplace in which to set-up shop. Horror was to provide this and the first issue was a mix of both horror film and book reviews, news of forthcoming genre activity and a section towards the middle of horror, science fiction and fantasy fiction from a variety of writers.

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Whilst this was a period when many of the more unusual, European or unreleased/banned films were…

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