The Miskatonic Institute for Horror Studies—a.k.a. the horror fan’s Hogwart’s—first opened in Montreal in 2010, the brainchild of film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse (House Of Psychotic Women). In 2015, it expanded with a branch in London, helpfully strengthening the metaphor we were admittedly reaching for in the previous sentence. Now the nonprofit institute, which offers “university-level horror history and theory classes for people of all ages,” is expanding into the U.S. with a pilot program in New York City this fall, hosted at the Morbid Anatomy Museum.
The institute’s namesake, Miskatonic University—or the college from Re-Animator, for the stubbornly lowbrow among us—recurs throughout H.P. Lovecraft’s work. So perhaps it’s appropriate that one of the four classes in Miskatonic’s initial NYC run deals with the particular challenges of adapting Lovecraft for the screen, as taught by Dennis Paoli, who wrote all four of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft movies (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon, and Masters Of Horror’s “Dreams in the Witch House”). That one takes place on October 20, preceded by a three-hour in-depth interview with acclaimed horror novelist Jack Ketchum on September 21. Other classes in the series will delve into the very ’70s subgenre of gay horror-porn and the very New York history of horror movies shot in the Big Apple, taught by author Maitland McDonagh and former Fangoria editor-in-chief Michael Gingold, respectively.
Lovers of all things slithering and unfathomable can register for an erudite evening with their fellow black-clad weirdos here. Semester-long passes good for all four classes go for $40, while individual sessions are $12 each.