Looks Like the BBC Goes Full-On Victorian Ghost Story With The Living and the Dead

Feels like it’s been a while since we got some good corseted scares, right? Fortunately a promising source of chills and thrills has appeared on the horizon, by way of the UK.


Clash reported today that Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins had released a cover of the Irish folk tune “She Moved Through the Fair,” which you can hear by skipping to the 1:44 mark in this episode of Graham Norton’s radio show. According to Clash, the song was recorded for The Living and the Dead, a spooky Victorian drama on BBC One that looks very very good.

The BBC’s media center provides this gloss on the story:

Somerset 1894. When a pioneering Victorian psychologist brings his vivacious young wife to live on his family’s estate, he is confronted by one disturbing case after another. Are these strange events linked merely by coincidence, or is there something more sinister - more supernatural - going on at Shepzoy?


Specifically, Nathan Appleby is brought “a vulnerable teenage girl,” “seemingly possessed by a terrifying spirit.” But the question is: “What if Nathan is wrong, and it isn’t an illness of the mind? Could Harriet actually be haunted?” SPOOKY. The Guardian says it’s “in the tradition of classic English Victorian chiller,” plus this bit from their review sounds promising:

Whether subconsciously or consciously, Nathan (Colin Morgan) has married a proto-feminist photographer, who lures him to the fourposter to shoot some experimental erotica. Sex and death are everywhere: if it’s not two bodies very much alive against a tree, it’s one body very dead on the soil.

The trailer features lots of Wicker Man-like shots of people doing things that could simply be creepy through the eyes of a 19th century man of science who lives disconnected from his rural roots, or could legit be some dark fuckery that will result in these Victorians running panicked from their home in the middle of the night, clothing in shocking disarray.

Too bad the United States will be deprived of spooky ghost vibes this summer, but apparently we’re getting it via BBC America this fall—hopefully, just in time for Halloween.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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Holy shit, I AM SO INTO THIS.

Also, what is up Colin Morgan, you good looking bastard.