Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.22: Burn Hill


Blackbird Hill forms part of a nature reserve which can be found a few miles toward the southern end of Eastcote Lane, just outside the bounds of Northwich. The hill is heavily wooded and quite ancient - a space characterised by a mood of quiet desolation. It used to be known as Burn Hill, on account of its being the location at which a number of witches were executed In 1678. In England at the time witches were typically hanged and not burnt; but apparently on this occasion the local community felt the need to enact an absolute and irrevocable erasure to ensure that no necromantic ressurection of the flesh was possible, reducing the accused miscreants to ashes on account of the heinousness of their crimes. Exactly what these were - outside of the accusations of blasphemy and maleficarum  - is a fact upon which the historical records remain silent.

The folk that continue to live in the vicinity of Blackbird Hill have not, however, entirely laid this particular (and largely forgotten) episode of English history to rest: strange, whispering shapes are still said to stalk the woods at night, making sacrifice in their own small way to Those Who Wait; and if one knows where to look, there remain to this day the worn remnants of what were once squat megaliths, still yet bearing the marks of veneration of ancient and nameless gods.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No. 21: Aberrant Signals


Northwick Park campus transmitter. 

A closer view. 

Whilst no longer operational, the nearer one is to it, the more likely one is to enter its Zone of Interference. To do so is to experience first-hand the stranger signals which intermittantly punctuate and interrupt the pedestrian and comforting radio transmissions by which the inhabitants of the Horsingdon Triangle daily try to secure and reaffirm the conceptual order of the world. 

This ia an order they mistakenly believe takes precedence over the fundamental tumult and disarray of things; a disarray which constitues what Spare once described as 'the chaos of the normal': whispering echoes of the titanic shapes wallowing in the silted darkness of those infinite void-seas which press against our own small corner of the cosmos; reverberations of the lurch, pitch and keel of alien monoliths cast adrift upon the oceans of space-time - mindlessly buffeted by the star-winds across the gulfs which separate galaxies - until they edge past our solar system; the murmurings of Those Who Wait as they writhe restlessly beneath the Horsingdon landscape in an epochal, dreamless, deathless sleep; the white noise of Northwich and Horsingdon's pre-palaeolithic and pre-linguistic ghosts, muttering in inconceivable, gutteral modes of communication that predate the human cognitive revolution of seventy milennia past; the silent howl of a horned, winged and faceless thing that squats upon the gravestone of a witch who was hanged 200 years ago, and buried in unhallowed ground in the churchyard of St. Ormund's.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.20: The Terminal Stairway


This short concrete stairway was constructed during recent renovations to the pedestrian bridge that links the platforms of Southcote Station. The stairway gives access to and terminates at the edge of an old brick wall uncovered during the building works.

There is no arch or doorway at the intersection of wall and stair, hence nowhere to go. However, a sheet of tarpauline is firmly affixed to the portion of the wall against which the stair abuts. The reason for this remains unclear, although I did hear from a member of the station staff that something of interest was discovered upon or near that particular section of the wall during the renovation works. This had subsequently been carefully scrutinised by anonymous individuals who my informant believed were 'officials'.

The pathway between Southcote and Nortwich Park stations - A favoured haunt of The Shanklin Man and supposed point of intersection with The Secret Alleys - runs directly behind the wall and stairway.

What this all means I am not, at this moment, in a position to say; but it may be that the esoteric geographies and enigmatic architectures of Northwich and Horsingdon may one day offer a new and unsettling understanding of the structural relations that hold between our world and the other inconceivable universes which often press so forcefully upon it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.19: Shanklin Alley



Shanklin Alley opens on to a rough pathway running parallel with the rail tracks which extend from Southcote Station to Northwich Park Station, just over a mile away. Few make use of the alleyway. Fewer still avail themselves of the path which extends from it. For this particular locale is considered to be one of a number haunted by a spectral presence known locally as 'The Shanklin Man'. No ordinary aparition, The Shanklin Man is believed to traverse the Norwich suburbs using 'The Secret Alleys': a lattice of occulted pathways which only intersect with our world at very specific locales - of which the actual path between Southcote and Northwhich Park is one. 

For those having claimed an encounter with it, The Shanklin Man is uniformly described as a hunched, crooked figure in worn and ragged trousers, and with an equally ragged anorak with a grimy, fur-rimmed hood. It is said that The Shanklin Man's hood is always pulled up close around its head. It is said that when one encounters the Shanklin Man, it is always facing away from you. It is said that when it hears your breath, hollow with fear, The Shanklin Man will turn slowly - ever so slowly - meaning to reveal its face to you. It is also said that you should not dwell on the unearthly phosphorescent glow that creeps around the edges of its hood as it begins to turn to look at you. It is also said that on no account should you remain long enough to allow that to happen. 

Who, indeed, would want to come face-to-face with the inhabitant of a wholly alien realm in a quiet, lonely alleyway, in the darkest part of the night?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.18: The Body in the Underpass




A short but poorly-lit underpass beneath Norwich Park Station links the residential portion of the Northwich suburbs to Northwich Park itself, which edges on to the grounds of the hospital and nearby university campus. There are more than a few odd tales regarding unearthly encounters in the darkest recesses of the underpass; these are, however, typical of the kind of invented spectral narratives often attached to those socially-uncolonised spaces which somehow manage to exist within the guarded confines of suburban modernity.

What I do know (I was shown the photographs by a source within the local police force) is that on a morning in November 2009 a body (which remains unidentified to this day) was discovered in the underpass. The story was kept out of the local press on account of the twisted and contorted nature of the cadavar. The Horsingdon Triangle has known its fair share of bloody murder over the years, so the discovery of the body itself was not the cause of the secrecy. In this instance, it was the peculiarly -distorted state in which the body presented itself that was the issue: a state evidently not due to mutilation or violence - at least of any ordinary kind; indeed, there was no blood at all in or around the crime scene (if this was indeed what it was); rather, the decision not to release details to the press was on account of a once-human body having been remoulded into a new and inhuman form at the behest of some unguessable power.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No. 17: The Black Door



Sweeping post-Thatcherite reforms to - and the subsequent increasing privatisation of - the British education system meant that one of central London universities was able to acquire Northwich Park Polytechnic in the late 1990s. Along with the closure of 'less profitable' departments, this also resulted in significant renovations to campus buildings.

The Black Door exists as part of a modern annexe attached to what used to be the Department of Radiophonics - now the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (or P-CheM in the institutional parlance). A mystery surrounds the doorway insofar as no one within the annexe has been able to determine its internal point of entry - an unassuming redbrick wall (matching the building's external decor) stands at the point on the inside of the building where the doorway should, apparently, be located. Measurements have indicated, however, that a significant amount of dead space does exists between this internal wall and the outer portal. Adding to the mystery is the fact that none of the university porters are aware of the existence of a key to this particular door.

Interestingly, attempts to view the plans of the building - in no small part because of other architectural irregularities that exist across the campus - have been blocked at every turn, with the University's senior management team citing 'special provisions' and reasons of security as vague rationales for the lack of transparency. The has, however, been a certain amount of idle chatter regarding the possibility of the Dept. of P-CheM having been in receipt of a significant amount of government funding - funding relating to a range of apparently classified projects. If true, faculty members remain understandably tight-lipped about the matter. Despite the speculative natur of these claims, is difficult not to ponder their significance in light of almost identical rumours that had been circulating for decades concerning the now-defunct Radiophonics department - not to mention the fact that P-CheM inhabits the same physical space that was once occupied by Radiophonics. One might be forgiven for entertaining the possibility that Radiophonics never, in fact, went away...

In the mid-2000s, I used to work as a part-time as a lecturer for the Department of Cognitive Science, teaching courses in cross-cultural psychology and cognitive anthropology. There I heard other rumours - ones that intersected with my own anthropological researches into the Horsingdon Triangle - that P-CheM staff had been taking an unwarranted interest in the history and folklore of the Black Bowers of the region. For now I can only speculate as to whether or not this has any relevance to the enigma of the Black Door.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.16: Boreham House




Boreham House is situated about 200 yards away from the entrance to Boreham Park. This was the Boreham family's main residence after the destruction (by fire) of Boreham Mansion, which had been erected within the park during the 18th Century. Sir James Boreham - the last surviving member of the family - who until his death in 1937 resided in what was later to become Boreham Park Library, had acquired an extensive collection of antiquities from around the British Isles (most dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain and earlier). during his lifetime, most of these were stored for the most part in Boreham House. As noted previously, Sir James Boreham had extensive connections amongst British occultists. Crowley visited him on one occasion, but it seems even he was aghast at Boreham's excesses, and at the occulted depths he had plumbed in search of secret knowledge. In his letters, Roland Franklyn notes that he tried, unsuccessfully, to gain access to the house during his stay in the Horsingdon area. He also claims to have heard heavy, uneven footsteps coming from within, as well as witnessing the outline of something huge and misshapen appearing for a brief moment at one of the upper windows - something, he claims, which exhibited only the vaguest resemblance to the human form.

After Boreham's death, the house remained unoccupied until it was bought by persons unknown a few months back. In recent weeks, lights have been seen in the upper floor of the house, but no one has seen the new tenants. Notably, the re-occupation of Boreham House appears to have coincided with renewed activities in the graveyard of St. Ormunds. My investigations into this matter continue.