Corridor Dread: A History of Institutional Fear

Everywhere on TV and film these days, cameras rove down corridors of schools, asylums, prisons, hospitals and offices, drifting through this confined space with emotions that range from low-level anxiety to overwhelming dread. Yet the corridor, an architectural invention of the eighteenth century, was meant to be a model of Enlightenment, of rational order and the logical distribution of space.

Roger Luckhurst traces how these institutional spaces curdled in our fantasy life to become the locus of unease and horror, taking in evidence ranging from eighteenth century philosophers, via asylum and hospital design in the Victorian era, to present day horror films such as The Shining and It Follows.

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Original video: https://soundcloud.com/wellcomecollection/corridor-dread-a-history-of-institutional-fear
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