About

Miskatonic Logo webNamed for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an international organization that offers university-level history, theory and production-based masterclasses for people of all ages. The Miskatonic is a non-profit endeavour through which established horror writers, directors, scholars and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective.

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies was founded by film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. After existing in embryonic form at Aqua Books in Winnipeg, Canada, Miskatonic moved to Montreal’s Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre in June of 2010. From 2013-2017, Miskatonic Montreal was co-directed by Kristopher Woofter and Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, while Janisse teamed up with UK-based film scholar and Electric Sheep founder/editor-in-chief Virginie Sélavy to launch Miskatonic London in January 2015, which has gone on to enjoy lectures from the likes of genre luminaries Kim Newman, Stephen Thrower, Jasper Sharp, Mark Gatiss, John Hough, and Daniel Bird among others. In fall of 2016, Janisse launched Miskatonic NYC with a masterclass by horror author Jack Ketchum, and the NYC branch is now co-run by Janisse, filmmaker Jacqueline Castel and Joe Yanick, co-founder of Yellow Veil Pictures. In 2017, the Montreal location went on indefinite hiatus, while Josh Saco of Cigarette Burns Cinema took over from Virginie Sélavy as co-director of Miskatonic London.

In fall of 2018, Miskatonic launched a branch in Los Angeles at the storied Los Feliz headquarters of the Philosophical Research Society, founded by occultist Manly Palmer Hall in 1934.

In March of 2019, Miskatonic established its first Advisory Board, to aid in expanding the curriculum to work towards internal accreditation. The Advisory Board includes director and producer Mick Garris (Masters of Horror, Nightmare Cinema), actress/producer Barbara Crampton (We Are Still Here, Re-Animator), director/producer Larry Fessenden (Depraved, The House of the Devil), author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study), filmmaker Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock), writer and lawyer Rodney Perkins, film programmer Heidi Honeycutt (Etheria Film Night), founder of Fantasia’s Frontieres Co-Production Market Stephanie Trepanier, Arrow Video acquisitions manager/disc producer Ewan Cant, film programmer Liane Cunje (TIFF, Overlook Film Festival), writer/director/producer Sean Hogan (The Devil’s Business, Future Shock: The Story of 2000AD) and Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women).

In addition to the regular September-May curriculum, Miskatonic co-presents events throughout the year. For details, email us at miskatonicinstitute@gmail.com.

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“It’s not enough to know we’re scared – we need to understand how and why, and what being scared means. The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an initiation into an understanding of horror, which is – in the end – a key to an understanding of everything.”

— Kim Newman is a journalist, critic and writer of horror fiction, including the ANNO DRACULA series (1992 – 2013). He also contributing editor to SIGHT AND SOUND and EMPIRE, writes regularly for VIDEO WATCHDOG, and is the author of the BFI Film Classics series entry on CAT PEOPLE (2008).

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