Skip to main content

Myth of Harm

Last chance

Myth of Harm

From GBP 9.00



Jun 18 2024 19:00 - 22:00
Billetto Peace of Mind
Book with confidence: Billetto guarantees refunds for cancelled events, ensuring your peace of mind. Learn more
Payment methods accepted:


All events start at 19:00, for 19:15, please do not be late.

Horror is frequently considered “inappropriate” and “offensive.” Very often that is exactly the point. But what and where is the real harm exactly? Given society’s unhelpful propensity to conflate inappropriate and offensive with harm, horror becomes the perfect scapegoat to map harm onto and deflect larger more complex social issues. However as this talk will illustrate, the fact of the matter is that after thousands of sensational headlines and decades of state-sponsored research, there is NO definite proof that horror or any other form of popular culture products such as video games harms. But why then does this myth persist? And why, if we can’t define “harmful” we continue to use the label as a means of censure and blame.

Horror occupies a rather unique position in society as a form of mainstream entertainment that is constantly under pressure to curb, suppress and censor that which initially made it so popular; its ability to disgust and horrify. An allegory for the “evil” that exists in mankind and not its embodiment, one of the key tropes of the genre is the representation of societal ills as a means of release, exploration and belonging. Yet time and time again the genre is found at the centre of controversy charged with the very corruption it seeks to represent. Blaming the mirror for what it reflects, the myth that the genre poses harm to children is as powerful now as it was when in 1796 the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge decried Matthew Lewis’ Gothic Romance The Monk “a Mormo for children, a poison for youth, and a provocative for the debauchee.”

Introducing a cultural paradigm, known as the Myth of Harm, this talk will interrogate the meaning of harm by focusing on major controversies beginning with the 1930s Golden Age of Horror Cinema and moving on to the Horror Comic Hearings of the 1950s, the Video Nasty era of the 1980s, 1990s video game controversies and on into the more contemporary Cyber-Gothic horror. Drawing upon cases such as the James Bulger murder and the Slenderman stabbing, the Myth of Harm explores how horror has been repeatedly cast as a harmful influence upon children at the expense of scrutinising other, more complex, social issues. Furthermore, it seeks to expose how fears concerning negative media effects are often part of a larger narrative pertaining to the regulation of children’s pastimes, moral entrepreneurship, political scapegoating, media sensationalism and genuine fears obfuscated by a centuries-old myth about the horror genre and its ability to harm.

Presented by Dr Sarah Cleary

This will not give you access to any online events. You will require a different ticket for that. These events are in-person only, and are not live streamed - sorry.


The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, WC1N 1JD London


  • I have not received my ticket via email. What should I do?

    The first thing to do is check your spam/junk filters and inboxes. Your tickets were sent as an attachment and can be thought of as spam by some email services. Alternatively, you can always find your tickets in your Billetto account that you can access in the browsers or the dedicated Billetto app. For more help with this, read here.

  • I wish to cancel my ticket and receive a refund. What should I do?

    The approval of refunds is entirely at the event organiser’s discretion, and you should get in contact with the event organiser to discuss what options are available to you. To get in touch with the event organiser, simply reply to your order confirmation email or use the "Contact organiser" form on the organiser's profile. For more help with this, read here.

  • I have registered on the waiting list, what happens now?

    If more tickets become available you will be notified (by email) amongst others who have joined the list. Purchasing is on a first-come first-serve basis. For more information, read here.

  • Where do I find a link to an online event?

    Check your order confirmation page or order confirmation email. Usually, the organiser of the event provides the details in the order confirmation email or they might send you a follow-up email with a link to their online event. You might also want to read the event description on Billetto where an event organiser should describe how to join the event online. For more information on this, read here.

  • What is refund protection and why would I need it?

    Refund Protection provides you with the assurance that if unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances interfere with your ability to attend an event you can claim a refund. For more information on this, read here.

Nearby events

Event from same category

Similar experiences


Discover more