Welcome to Monstrous Folklore!

Hello everyone and welcome to MonstrousFolklore.com, a research website dedicated to the study of folklore (and the folkloresque) monsters and Gothic fiction!

For those of you unaware, this website is intended as extension of my current PhD work, which focuses on the relationship between folklore, the cultural figure of the monster and Gothic Fiction, particularly between the years of 1846-1914.

My work particularly looks at the concept of the ‘Folkloresque’ within such works, a term largely derived in relation to 20th and 21st popular culture, which relates to how popular culture adapts, revises and even invents folkloric motifs, traditions and themes within their narratives. My current studies seek to take this very contemporary term and apply it to an era that has so far been ignored by contemporary scholars, notably the late 19th and early 20th Century. In particular, my project focuses on the various popular Gothic fictions of the time, whose tales of shadowy, monstrous figures were eagerly consumed by the reading public, with texts such as Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Beetle, being bestsellers of their day. My work therefore examines how popular Gothic fictions such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, utilise, invent and adapt folkloric motifs within their narratives, all the while seeking to understand the possible reasons for why authors may have included such items within each story.

This website and blog will work to support this research. On a regular basis, I will post updates on my research, promote potential upcoming events that may be of interest to scholars and also (perhaps most notably) provide short insights on Gothic texts from the period, analysing them from the perspective of the folkloresque. Within each of these latter posts, I will seek to not only highlight and identify any potential folkloric sources, traditions and motifs that are utilised within such Gothic tales, but I will also note how such sources are then adapted and changed within the narrative.These critiques are intended to work as potential resource for fellow folklorists and Literature academics, who may wish to read up on how the folkloresque is potentially utilised within the specific Gothic stories of the late 19th and early 20th Century. This in turn will hopefully provoke further academic discussion and conversation within the particular arenas associated with the folkloresque.

It is my hope, that this website and blog will work to not only promote and provide readers with insight into my own research, but that it will also promote that of the emerging concept of the Folkloresque, as well as the larger fields of folklore, Gothic Literature and popular culture. Additionally, I would also encourage further collaboration and discussion with other researchers in the field. As such, if anyone would like to get in touch to ‘guest blog’ with a feature or suggest a topic please feel free – I would very keen to get in touch with any other researchers in order to further develop research networks and clusters.

As such, I would invite anyone with an interest in my project to both get in touch (Email: cthoms05@mail.bbk.ac.uk, Twitter: @CraigyBoyT) and also to subscribe to the blog!

Many thanks for visiting and I look forward to sharing my work!


Published by cthomsonphd

Craig Thomson is a PhD candidate from Birkbeck, University of London whose research interests include: Horror/Gothic literature, Monster Theory and Folklore Studies. His current research focuses on the re-emergence of the cultural figure of the Werewolf within the popular Gothic literature of the late 19th and early 20th century.

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