Wednesday, June 28, 2017
'Desolate abandonment' is a term that aptly describes both the mood and composition of - as well as the aftermath of lone urban encroachments upon - the Horsingdon landscape. In the latter regard, all too often one discovers below some isolated cleft, over the rise of some unfrequented hill, or in some secluded part of the woods, the unexpected remnant of prior habitation. Invariably the question then arises: 'who would live here, and why'?
Each of these dilapidated structures have, of course, their own singular, neglected histories; even so, an underlying lattice of tragedy - often with more than a hint of the praeternatural hard at its heels - typically binds their disparate stories into a unifying narrative: of things invoked that should not have been; of rituals enacted regardless of the consequence; of a witch unintentionally slighted; or of a stubborn intrusion into a solitary space best left uncolonised.
It is as if, in all these instances, there exists a secret intention to provoke - seemingly in as spectacular and grotesque a fashion as possible - the malice of the landscape; but perhaps that is also why we choose to live here - and perhaps this is the very thing which Horsingdon seeks to draw out of us.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Above is one of the oldest and most elaborate of the Black Bowers to be found in Horsingdon Wood, marking the route to the grove where, in the 1700s, the Horsingdon coven met to conduct nameless rites before the stone idol in the form of an anthropomorphic three-eyed goat.
Evey decade or so, this particular Black Bower is rebuilt anew - although no one knows by whom; regardless, it is always the case that one piece of the preceding structure is resused in the building of the new, so that a continuity of sorts is retained with the Old Times. Thus those temporal disjunctures which a coarse modernity seeks to induce are buffered by a simple barrier of wood - bolstered by the weight of memory of a time when the woods echoed with words of power spoken in a monstrous language, and when the frightful names of Those Who Wait were shouted freely into the endless dark of the night sky.
Monday, June 26, 2017
A strange circular burn in a field near Horsingdon Hill.
The aftermath of an unspeakable rite dedicated to Those Who Wait by the guardians of the Black Bowers?
The remnants of a Pyramid of Fire, marking the carnal and shockingly loathsome celebrations of stunted and serpentine neolithic survivals which still lurk beneath the hills and barrows of Horsingdon?
The site of a Ministry conspiracy, the irradiated earth of which provides damning evidence or disclosure of visitation by some vessel or entity from one of the many terrible worlds that impinged upon our own?
Whatever the case, the indifferent Horsingdon landscape remains silent on the matter - as it has done with regard to so many of the many terrible secrets it has secured over ages.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
This crudely-carved wooden owl sits watch over a rarely-trodden path through Horsingdon Wood.
Similar figures are scattered throughout the area, and are used by the region's cunning folk - the guardians of the Black Bowers - to demarcate the boundaries of a particular site deemed sacred to Those Who Wait, or of some grove to be used by the guardians for the enactment of nameless rites dedicated to those inscrutably ancient masters.
Owls figure prominently in Horsingdon folklore, where they are commonly presented as familiars to the guardians of the Black Bowers - but also as manifestations of a mysterious group of beings known as 'The Watchers in the Wood'; in the latter instance, there seem to be intriguing points of convergence between the lore surrounding The Watchers in the Wood, and the appearance of owls within more recent ufological abduction narratives (including those involving both Horsingdon Wood and Hill), where these nocturnal avians perform the role of 'screen memories', supposedly masking the true (and more horrifying) nature of the actual abductors.
In any case, it is best not to tarry too long in the vicinity of these silent icons; nor is it advisable to step too far across the boundaries which they oversee: for the crossing of such thresholds constitutes an act of transgression into unknown and forbidden zones of being - zones whose inhabitants do not take kindly to such intrusions, and from which there may be no returning.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Even the more rural areas of Horsingdon have found themselves colonised by the transmitter arrays which have increasingly come to populate the region's skyline, and whose strangely occulted signals have contaminated the borough's airwaves with their uncanny taint.
As a consequence of their social isolation, the inhabitants of these less-populous areas have typically been more prone to mental aberration and alienage than their urban counterparts; but with the appearance of the mysterious transmitters, both Horsingdon police and psychiatric services have reported a twofold increase of violent psychosis amongst residents of these parishes...
Friday, June 23, 2017
This ancient sunken bridleway runs through Horsingdon Woods - although few riders these days find themselves able to spur their mounts forward into the curious, submerged track: most horses whinny fearfully and remain stricken and sweating in place at the sight of the time-worn trail.
No one is quite sure why this should be; it is, however, said that on certain nights the thunderous gallop of something akin to a monstrous charger might be heard coursing down the steep hollow of the bridleway - even though no such beast is visible to mortal eyes.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The stream which emerges from this old brickwork duct - feeding the Grand Union Canal as it flows past Horsingdon Hill - has acquired something of a macabre reputation locally: there have been a number of accounts of late-night passersby having witnessed something skin to a thin, scaly arm bearing a three-fingered, webbed claw emerging from the conduit, groping around blindly as if in search of something.
The building of this this section of the canal in the early part of the 19th Century necessitated the disturbance of a nearby neolithic site - at the centre of which lay a small sacred spring from which the feeder stream originates. Local legends holds that, in ancient times, sacrifice was regularly made at the spring to propitiate that which dwelt within - lest it seek more regular sustanence from amongst the nearby population.
The cessation of such rites is, perhaps, to be expected in the face of the inevitable advance of modernity; nonetheless, there are things within the darkness for whom the reasoned light of that modernity holds no meaning; things which, once disturbed and denied their due, will never again rest until their unspeakable appetites are sated.