Monday, April 24, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.114: Dale Farm House

Dale Farm House, off of Eastcote Lane in tne direction of Harlowe, was the last known habitation of Miriam Boreham (nee Belmarsh), wife of James Boreham. As previously documented, not only was Miriam indisposed to showing her face, but upon taking up residence at Dale Farm every window of the house was boarded up - as it remains to this day - lest casual visitants unexpectedly gain a glimpse of her. Some attributed this to extreme jealousy on the part of James Boreham, who was rarely ever seen to visit his wife, and then only nocturnally; others speculate at more terrible reasons as to why both Miriam and her daughter Rachel were only ever seen wearing long black veils in public, and were rarely - if ever - allowed visitors. 

It remains unclear as to exactly when Miriam Boreham passed from this world; indeed, there are some who say that she never did, claiming that shuffling footsteps heard emanating from the upper floors of the house continue to be reported to this day - often accompanied by the disconsolate cries of a tearful woman. Others contest the veracity of these claims: for even were Miriam still alive, they argue, what could possibly issue from a face lacking eyes with which to shed tears, and with no mouth from which to scream?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.113: The Inmost Light

A view of the upper floor library of Northwich Technical College, which apparently maintained a rather unique special collection - dealing with 'occult technologies' and 'the physics of evocation' -  the preservation of which had been supported by a bursury provided in the will of James Boreham. That is until the late 1968, when most of the library's holdings were destroyed by a fire which, rather mysteriously, burnt itself out before doing any serious structural damage to the building.

The conflagration did, however, result in the loss of one life: that of head librarian Edward Braeburn, who had held that post since anyone could remember, and who was also a close confidant of James Boreham. In the days running up to his death, it appears that Braeburn spent much of his time obsessing over the special collection - despite the fact that it was hardly ever used (and thus seen by the governing body of the college as something of an anomaly).

As to Braeburn's eventual end, his charred corpse was found in a state of seemingly calm repose, resting in a chair in the very room occupied by the special collection - raising questions as to why he had neither attempted to flee, nor raised the alarm. According to accounts that emerged in the aftermath of the fire, the floor around Braeburn's body had also been inscribed with strange sigils, which were still visible despite the scorched condition of the wooden floorboards  -  sigils, rumour would suggest, that were not disimilar to those found in some of the mysterious tomes consumed by the inferno.

As with so much of Horsingdon's history, the spectres of such events continue to haunt the present, such that in recent years travellers wandering past the College during the hours of darkness have had occasion to report a remarkable, if disturbing, sight: that of an elderly man, apparently wreathed in flame - and skin aglow as if illuminated by some inner light - standing at the window of the upper floor of the building, looking awestruck at the nightsky through eyes ablaze with a fearful knowledge.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.112: The Boreham Arms

Tradition holds that, should a pub in the Horsingdon district be renamed, it should adopt the new moniker of The Black Horse. With the increasing gentrification of the borough, this custom has fallen by the wayside, as many of the older pubs have undergone refurbishment and transformation into any number of stylish - but vapid and characterless - winebars and gastropubs.

Fortunately my own local public house has managed to avoid the worst of modernity's excessive abrasions, and underwent the traditional renaming ceremony back in the 1940s. Prior to that, it had been known as The Northwich Stone, and in the early 1900s as The Boreham Arms - this latter redesignation being on account of James Boreham's acquisition of the property at that time. Never popular under that particular title, attempts to distance the establishment's association from the suspect reputation of the once-proud Boreham name led to the defacement of the carved relief of the family coat of arms added by Joseph Boreham to the building's facade sometime around 1904 - the scarred remnants of which can be seen in the above photograph.

Local legend has it that the landlord responsible for this act of vandalism was unable to find a stonemason willing to remove the offending artifice - on account of the commonly-held belief that the revenant of James Boreham would exact vengeance upon those who dared raise a hand against any of his works. Accordingly,  the unnamed landlord took matters into his own hands, scaling the tavern's outer wall with hammer and chisel in tow. Partway through the venture, this foolhardy individual was heard to call out in terror, before being seen to slip and fall. Concerned onlookers who witnessed this and rushed to his aid discovered something very curious indeed: there remained neither sight nor sound of the unfortunate landlord's body near the foot of the ladder where they had presumed it to have fallen - nor of the hammer or chisel which he had employed to partial effect against the offending article. Thus, whilst the Boreham cote of arms had not been entirely effaced, it seems that the hapless landlord had, through the exercise of some momentus means by an unknown power, failed to avoid a similar fate.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.111: Horsingdon Cemetary

Established in the 1830s, and inspired by early 19th Century French mortuary landscape architecture, the grounds of Horsingdon Cemetary is situated near the boundary of Horsingdon along the Harlowe Road. The classical archway pictured shove marks the entrance to the burying ground, through which one is then confronted by a considerable expanse of greenery - as well as mouldering, ivy-strewn funereal statuary.

Needless to say, Horsingdon Cemetary also contains its own unique cache of mysteries: the series of five consecutive tombstones carved from a greenish-black stone, and inscribed with the characters of a language which has thusfar resisted all attempts at translation, for example; and then there is the rumour that the sepulchre which houses the mortal remains of Charles Boreham - James Boreham's great-grandfather - also contains a cipher for unlocking the secrets of the fabulous Voynich manuscript; or the claim that a black-winged, faceless thing squats upon the unmarked grave of an unnamed witch at midnight every Walpurgis and All Hallow's Eve, and that, if one is willing to make a certain compact with the thing, one might be granted access to certain artefacts buried alongside their nameless mistress; there are of course reports of a vampire haunting the tombstones, and of even worse: a bloated, headless corpse with ravening mouths in place of hands, which wanders the cemetary at night in seek of prey.

It is true enough to say that, in recent decades, the cemetary has been allowed to fall into state of extreme disrepair; whilst this brings with it its own uniquely sombre and morbid aesthetic appeal, nonetheless the high redbrick Victorian walls which circumscribe the site are sagging and in danger of collapse. In the eyes of some locals, this is a cause for significant concern: not so much with regard to the harm it might visit upon passing pedestrians, but for what such a breach of boundaries might connote in terms of who - or what - might thus attain passage from the cemetary into the realm of the living.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.110: Strange Machineries

In recent years strange machineries have begun to appear amidst the industrial blight which surrounds the Horsingdon stretch of the Grand Union canal. The nauseaous electric thrum of their barely-contained currents engenders unexpected thunderheads even on the clearest of day, and puzzling phenomenon have been reported in their vicinity: the sudden appearance of strange, mauve-tinged mists over the canal, within which unimaginably vast shapes seem to writhe; the incursion of half-formed, quasi-anthropoid phantoms within the intricate mechanisms of these devices, inexplicably fading to incorporeal non-existence as quickly as they appear; rumours of black-robed figures glimpsed at night, encircling the machines as if orchestrating some incomprehensible occult ritual.

There is, it seems, no accounting for exactly what is going on here or who is responsible - although the more paranoid amongst Horsingdon's conspiracy theorist have laid blame at the door of the inscrutable Ministry (despite lack of any evidence of that conjectured organisation's involvement in the region for at least two decades). Whatever the case, the entire district seems stricken with a foreboding and sickening pressure, as if something is on the cusp of irrupting into this world from some other unknowable realm or zone of being.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.109: Turbulent Wavelengths

The mysterious arterial waterways of Horsingdon find their aetheric counterparts in the turbulent, cross-current wavelengths genetrated by the lattice of transmatters which dot the region. The transmitter tower above rises from the haunted debris of Horsingdon's canalside industrial past to broadcast equally-haunted signals from some spectral zone of absolute alterity, producing psychic deformations which mirror the physical scars etched across the landscape by the canals themselves: traumas to the tissue of Horsingdon's abnatural topography which are, perhaps, beginning to waken from a torporous drift the nascent consciousness of Those Who Wait, rousing them to an eventual, apocalyptic awareness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.108: Mystery Walk

This tarmac pathway at the edge of Horsingdon Woods is reputedly haunted by an entity described as both praeternaturally tall and thin, whose face is always hazy or obscure. The thing, it seems, is only ever seen indirectly, and always around dusk - just visible around a corner, or partially hidden by the trees and shrubbery at the edge of the path. Locals know well enough never to approach this phantom when it appears, but to turn around and follow another route out of the woods without ever looking back. Sound advice, I should say - especially if one has the expectation of finding one's way safely back to this world from the many other spheres of terrible aspect to which a tall, thin spectre - unexpectedly encountered at twilight - might beckon one toward for a more terminal sojourn.