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The Ultimate Walpurgisnacht Horror Movie Marathon: 10 Must-Watch Films for a Night of Paganism and Superstition

Walpurgisnacht, also known as Walpurgis Night or Hexennacht, is a pagan holiday celebrated on the night of April 30th. It is named after Saint Walpurga, an eighth-century nun who Christianized parts of Germany. However, the holiday has roots in pagan traditions that celebrate the coming of spring and the triumph of life over death. It is also associated with witchcraft and supernatural phenomena, making it a perfect occasion to indulge in some spine-chilling horror films.

So, grab some popcorn and get ready for a night of scares with these ten chilling recommendations for Walpurgisnacht.

 



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dracula 1931

1. Dracula (1931)

What better way to kick off Walpurgisnacht than with the most iconic vampire movie of all time? Dracula (1931) stars Bela Lugosi as the titular count who travels from Transylvania to England to spread his curse of the undead. The beginning of the film is actually set on Walpurgisnacht, as Renfield (Dwight Frye) arrives at Dracula’s castle on the night of the pagan festival, against the villagers’ protests. Lugosi’s performance and the gothic atmosphere of the film make it a must-watch for horror fans.

 

2. The Lords of Salem (2012)

Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem (2012) is a psychedelic horror film that follows radio DJ Heidi Hawthorne (Sheri Moon Zombie) as she unravels a supernatural conspiracy in modern-day Salem, Massachusetts. The film draws inspiration from the Salem witch trials and pagan mythology, and features eerie visuals and a haunting score by John 5 and Griffin Boice. It’s a trippy and unsettling experience that will leave you questioning what’s real and what’s not.

 

3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) is a slow-burning mystery that centers around the disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher during a picnic at a geological formation in Australia. The film has an ethereal quality and an ambiguous ending that leaves much to interpretation. It’s a haunting meditation on the mysteries of nature and the human psyche, and a perfect choice for Walpurgisnacht.

 

the woods 2006

4. The Woods (2006)

Lucky McKee’s The Woods (2006) is a criminally underrated horror film that takes place in an isolated boarding school in the 1960s. The film follows a new student, Heather (Agnes Bruckner), as she uncovers a dark secret about the school’s history and the sinister forces that lurk in the nearby woods. The film has a strong feminist subtext and a great cast that includes Patricia Clarkson and Bruce Campbell.

 

5. Black Death (2010)

Christopher Smith’s Black Death (2010) is a grim and brutal film set during the bubonic plague in medieval England. The film follows a group of knights led by Ulric (Sean Bean) as they investigate rumors of a village that has remained untouched by the plague. However, what they find is a community that practices pagan rituals and may be harboring a necromancer. The film has a great atmosphere and a bleak outlook on human nature.

 

6. Haxan (1922)

Benjamin Christensen’s Haxan (1922) is a silent film that combines documentary footage, dramatized scenes, and animation to explore the history of witchcraft and demonology. The film is a fascinating look at the superstitions and fears that led to the persecution of women as witches throughout history. It’s also a visually striking film that blends horror and humor in an unconventional way.

 

7. The Wicker Man (1973)

Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) is a classic of British horror that follows police sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) as he investigates the disappearance of a young girl on a remote island that practices pagan rituals. The film has a great sense of dread and a shocking twist ending that’s as bleak as it is enthralling. It’s also notable for its performances by Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland.

 

love witch wedding

8. The Love Witch (2016)

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch (2016) is a modern-day homage to the Technicolor horror films of the 1960s. The film follows Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a beautiful and seductive witch who uses love spells to manipulate men. The film has a great sense of style and a satirical commentary on gender roles and sexual politics. It’s a visually stunning film that will transport you back to a bygone era of cinema.

 

9. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999) is a gothic horror film that adapts Washington Irving’s classic tale of the Headless Horseman. The film stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a detective who investigates a series of murders in the titular town. The film is notable for its atmospheric cinematography, pagan inspirations, production design, and a great performance by Christopher Walken as the Horseman.

 

10. November (2017)

Rainer Sarnet’s November (2017) is a surreal and beautiful film set in a 19th-century Estonian village that is plagued by supernatural creatures and pagan rituals. The film follows a young girl named Liina (Rea Lest) as she tries to win the heart of a boy named Hans (Jörgen Liik) by any means necessary. The film has a dreamlike quality and a dark sense of humor that makes it a unique and unforgettable experience.

 

Walpurgisnacht is a great occasion to indulge in some spooky, spiritual, and supernatural films. These ten recommendations offer a variety of styles and subgenres within horror, from classic vampires to modern-day witches. So, turn off the lights, light some candles, and enjoy a night of chills and thrills. Happy Walpurgisnacht!

Do you have any frightful flicks to add to this list? Let us know over in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

 

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