Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.85: The Seven Crones

In an area of Northwich known as Northwich Village - once the epicentre of Northwich life in the 17th and 18th century - stands a circle of gnarled trees known as 'The Seven Crones'. The  trees grow on the what had once been part of the common land of Northwich Village where, in 1785, seven women were hanged for the crimes of witchcraft and idolatry: according to the parish records the women had, on the Midsummer's Eve of that year, been discovered in a secluded part of Horsingdon Woods making ungodly obeisance to a goat-headed idol with three eyes.

An old custom holds that the blessing of fecundity will be bestowed upon any woman who engages in sexual congress under a full moon within the circle formed by The Seven Crones. There is a story from the mid-1970s of a local woman - one Jane Hatherley - who admitted that herself and her husband followed this customary advice after many failed attempts to conceive a child. Documents from Northwich Park Hospital certainly attest to the fact that a woman of that name (suffering from complications whilst in labour) was admitted to the hospital on the night of 30th April, 1976. According to the records, Mrs. Hatherley gave birth to sextuplets that night: all girls, all of who survived a long and fraught delivery - and despite the fact that all seven daughters bore the stigma of the most horrible physical deformities which the attendant medical staff had ever seen.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.84: Figures Around A Steeple

St. Osmund's Church has now been entirely boarded-up, with scaffolding erected around its spire. The church and surrounding cemetary have been entirely closed-off to the public pending further notice.

Yesterday, the landlord of the Black Horse informed me that Horsingdon Council forcibly removed a cctv mounted on the pub's exterior, and which overlooked St. Ormund's Church; apparently the Council representatives threatened to revoke his licence if he failed to comply. He also noted that, just prior to closing time a few nights previously, patrons enjoying a smoke on the outside decking at the back of the pub thought they could spy hooded figures making ritual gestures on the scaffolding about the church's steeple...

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.83: Black Horses

The folklore of Horsingdon and Northwich is awash with tales of spectral black horses - often of monstrous proportion and with glowing red eyes. There are more than a few stories involving the disappearance of the those who have dared to climb Horsingdon Hill's peak after dark, and whose failure to return from their foolish errand has often been foreshadowed by the approaching sound of monstrous hooves agallop, and a night disturbed by the horrible, atonal neighing of some praeternatural beast.

Ironcast plaques in the shape of horseheads have long been hung outside the abodes of the inhabitants of Horsingdon and Northwich - primarily as apotropaic wards against ill-luck and the evil eye.

Less frequently, the guardians of the Black Bowers have used these signs to designate their own abodes. For it is said that those sinister oracles treat these accounts of misshapen black equines stampeding pandaemoniacally through the Horsingdon landscape as no more than achemical auguries, alluding to an inevitable moment: when Those Who Wait spew forth to irreversibly trample the world into the particulate and subatomic blackness from which it first arose.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.82: Phantasmal Beasts

Horsingdon has seen its fair share of cryptozoological manifestations over the years; situated at the far edge of Greater London, it straddles both the(sub)urban and rural: here the haunting, desolate wildness of places like Horsingdon Wood offer constant reminders that, once, there was a world without people, and that formerly there had existed landscapes across which prowled things that were not human.

Time becomes strange in such places, weaving back upon itself with sluggish repitition, interfacing the present with the past, and drawing forth phantasmal beasts from bygone epochs to haunt the dreams of the good folk of Horsingdon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.81: Monstrum

Near a meadow, at the very edge of Horsingdon Woods, this curious growth stirs from bitter soil; ancient beyond reckoning and virtually fossilised, the Crooked Tree speaks of a moment of critical ontological instability: of different worlds and different times briefly intersecting, producing in their wake this monstrum.

Repulsive abomination and praeternatural portent in equal parts, it is said that the guardians of the Black Bowers gather at the Crooked Tree during certain seasons to tap its oracular power, seeking to discern whether the time is yet nigh for the return of Those Who Wait. More often than not, though, the only thing they divine is which of them should be offered up next as sacrifice to their nameless gods.

It is also said that, in honour of the ancient deity Nodens, James Boreham enacted a rite of terrible potency beneath the Crooked Tree: a rite only ever vaguely alluded to in certain Romano-British texts as 'The Marriage Beneath the Shade', and in its aftermath begetting upon Boreham's faceless wife an equally-faceless child of dubious heritage.

Indeed, the origin of many of the awful and hideous things which have blighted both the history and landscape of Horsingdon have been auguried in the shadow of the Crooked Tree.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.80: Stolen Goods

This windowless, mausoleum-like edifice is the facade to a warehouse built by James Boreham in the 1920s in which he apparently stored the many books and artefacts he had acquired during his travels. It has since become incorporated into the equally brutal, functionalist architecture of what is Northwich's principal industrial estate.

The poisonous nature of the commodification of life - and indeed the very landscape - of Northwich and Horsenden is attested to by the fact that, despite its enture contents having been removed soon after Boreham was legally declared dead, the building has been subject to  umerous unauthorised and criminal intrusions - usually by inept but unscrupulous 'spiritual seekers' hoping, no doubt, to unearth some item of occult power.

After once such incident in the 1970s, the building was sealed off for a period - apparently by the Ministry, and in response to a series of brutal murders that occured in the area shortly after the break-in. How those horrific events were related to the attempted-burglary of an empty warehouse remains unclear; the incident, however, memorialises the fact that, even in death, James Boreham's legacy continues to cast a grotesque and sinister shadow over an already-disturbed and haunted landscape.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.79: A Cabin in the Woods

This small windowless building stands in an obscure and overgrown corner of Horsingdon Woods, not far from the Wych Elm. A faded sign on the locked and bolted wooden doors announces 'No Entry by order of the Ministry'. No one is quite sure why it is here.

Roland Franklyn, however, claims to have gained access to the building during his time in the region, stating that he found it to be a brick shell covering an ancient stone stairwell - one which apparently wound its way deep into the hollow darkness below the Horsingdon landscape; but according to Franklyn this was not all - for he also claims to have heard emanating from those abysmal depths a continuous atonal piping, accompanied by the mindless, sonorous and arhythmic pounding of some great drum.