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A brief history of Horror
By James Whittington, Friday 3rd May 2019

"Let the nightmares begin..."

It's hard to think that way back in 2004 that there wasn't a TV station dedicated to the darker side of cinema. We all had to make do with DVDs, late night repeats or subscribe to Sky Movies to get our fix of classic and contemporary chills.

The Horror Channel (for that it was called way back) was launched on May 3rd, 2004 on an unsuspecting public. This free-to-air destination for horror fans was filled with some true classics as well as the odd piece of news and some features. After a few months the channel had built up a loyal following and was noticed by a company, Zone Vision Networks Ltd in 2005 and in 2006 the channel was re-branded as Zone Horror. Now, hands up, who remembers that?

2006 was also the year we started our long association with the UK's biggest Horror film festival, FrightFest or the "The Woodstock of Gore" as it has become known! We've covered the event every year since, in 2007 we blogged live from FrightFest for the first time and this is where Emily Booth also become our reporter and has remained with the channel ever since. Who could forget that Zombie walk from that year? The following year we cut videos on site and had them playout on Horror the same day!

As a channel we've always tried to be innovative and created the world's first horror series for mobile phones, When Evil Calls. Made alongside Pure Grass Films, released for download in 2006 and starring Sean Pertwee, Chris Barrie and Dominique Pinon, it was a series of five-minute pieces called mobisodes that were available to download and fitted together to make one whole movie. Pure grass Films would go on to make Hammer's Beyond the Rave webisodes in 2008.

2009 saw CBS strike a joint venture with the channel's owners and was re-branded as Horror Channel the following year. Incidentally in 2010 it was named the Best Themed Channel at the Freesat Awards.

As our audience grew so did our specialist seasons of movies and catalogue of films that we showed including much anticipated classics such as An American Werewolf in London, The Evil Dead, Basket Case, Re-Animator and more recently John Carpenter's The Thing. We've also championed new talent such as the Soska Sisters debut movie Dead Hooker in a Trunk and the many works of Simon Rumley.

Another big year was 2014 when AMC Networks acquired Chellomedia and created the CBS AMC Networks UK Channels Partnership. In this same year we delivered Who On Horror! Here, we presented remastered classic Doctor Who serials.

In an ever-changing market of increasing stations and on demand content, Horror Channel has remained a favourite with horror fans, just last month we celebrated our best ever viewing figures!

Horror Channel continues to entertain as many as we can with a constantly changing, eclectic mix of classic and contemporary content and its thanks to the flow of feedback we get from viewers and followers on Facebook and Twitter that keeps us on our toes, our ears to the ground and eyes wide open for future transmissions.


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