A great interview for any Barker fan. You are a Barker fan, right?
For the past 15 years, Clive Barker has been murdering his most famous creation. The 62-year-old author best known as the writer and director of Hellraiser, arguably horror’s kinkiest classic, has been talking about killing off the regal BDSM demon popularly known as Pinhead (Barker himself prefers “the Hell Priest”) since 2000. Tuesday’s publication of The Scarlet Gospels, which contains in its 368 pages a trip through Hell, a battle with Lucifer himself, and the much-ballyhooed Death Of Pinhead, is the end of that decade-plus journey. In between those two points? All hell broke loose.
You’ve been so unequivocal and public that this book is about the death of Pinhead — full stop, no spoiler warning. Why?
Why not? If I’d been sly about this and not even mentioned the fact that Pinhead — excuse me, the Hell Priest — was going to die, that would have seemed really dumb. It’s actually a really important element of the book, the element of the book which will draw the most attention. He will not be coming back, by the way. That I promise you. There will be no return, no posthumous Frank Sinatra concerts from him.
In reading, I couldn’t help but think about your own life.You’ve been working on this book for years—
Yes, I have been working on this book for years. But I also had a coma, and lost my mother, my father, and the young man who was almost my son, and a lot of other terrible things in the meantime. Even though it might seem that I’ve been diddly-daddling instead of actually writing, a lot of that daddling has been because I was unconscious. I, uh … I take the Fifth. [Laughs.] I’m making a joke of it, but there have been some pretty damn horrible times of late. I’m only just now, after some many years, priming to leave the house. I’ve only been out of the house five times in the last few years. I am now well enough to, actually, finally leave the house. [Sardonically.] Hey, what about that!