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Book Review - The Hellebore Guide to Occult Britain

by Louisa Chisholm-Kelly

Every so often, something different crosses my path, and when this little set popped up we just had to have it!

Hellebore is a small publishing company that specialises in British folk horror and the occult. They were founded in 2019 and are most famous for their (quite beautiful) magazines.

In 2021, they released their first foray into book publication with The Hellebore Guide to Occult Britain. A little book filled with over 500 occult, magical, Pagan, historical and folk horror filming locations. From stone circles to castles, caves, churches, and stately homes used in films such as Dracula and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This book is far from a full list of British sites - that book would be especially huge - but it is incredibly useful. It will also fit in a bag or glove box very happily. Separated into regions, it features the publishing house's distinctive illustrations alongside maps, photos, coordinates and drawings along with just enough information on every site to pique interest. We have already used it to gain inspiration for future visits and have discovered sites we didn't know existed.

The Magical Card Battle of Britain is a wonderful box of whimsy by the same in-house design team at Hellebore. It can be played in two ways: as a version of happy families and as a version of top trumps. The 36 cards are separated into 9 houses: occultists, scholars, charmers, enchantresses, witches and witchfinders, cliques, ritual objects, visions, and magical sites. Beautifully illustrated, each card has a short description of the featured person, group, place or item, and a list of categories and scores. A fantastic occult twist on two classic childhood games, perfect to be enjoyed with friends and a bottle of something lovely.

Both items together make a great addition to any staycation, especially a classic British wet weekend!

The Hellebore Guide to Occult Britain and The Magical Card Battle of Britain can both be bought directly from Hellebore.

Their magazine is also well worth investigating.


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