Wylding Hall

by Elizabeth Hand
Release date: July 2015
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror, mystery

Shirley Jackson Award 2015.

A novella. Cover art by David Gentry.

After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation — but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band’s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version of what happened during that summer — but whose story is the true one? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

"Elizabeth Hand’s Wylding Hall is not only beautifully written, but also a story about the essences of an age past that still haunt the bucolic reaches of England’s countryside. The pagan elements utilized for their creepy and mythopoeic presence more than outright horror, the resulting story is Robert Johnson standing at the crossroads of British folk. Heaven can be touched, but you must pay the dark spirits of nature, not the devil.”

(updated 2016-07-15)

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