Monday, January 23, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.23: The Black Horse

The Black Horse was my local pub prior to its closure some five years ago. Increasingly, Horsingdon and Northwich  have seen an erosion of their traditional pub culture. The gentrification of these areas - given the relatively ease of access they offer to central London - has led to the appearance of a whole slew of gourmet burger restaurants and boutique cocktail bars. Most of which, fortunately, have met a timely end due to the recalcitrance of long-term residents with regard to what they have been told by Horsingdon council is the inevitable march of progress.

Even so, things have changed. The pubs of Horsingdon, Northwich and Bridgewater were once sites of communal affirmation: spaces in which residents could assert their unique local identity via collective rumination over those stranger events which had all too-often intruded upon their daily lives. Now the pubs are half-empty and listless, reverberating with the fragmentary echoes of the past.

The Horsingdon Triangle has, however, never entirely released its grip on these hollow places, always seeking to insert its enweirded and unsettling influence into the local narratives surrounding them. Thus it is recounted that The Black Horse closed shortly after the then landlord killed his wife and children before committing suicide - apparently on account of something he discovered in the cellar of the pub. It is said that after disposing of his family (some say in a horribly ritualitic manner), he then managed to simultaneously hang and disembowel himself in one of the upper rooms of the building. For the past five years, the lower levels of The Black Horse have remained boarded up, such that the building's interior is largely inaccessible (no doubt awaiting renovation and transformation into a local supermarket or somesuch).

How could it be, then, that the other night I witnessed a praeternaturally-pulsing light emanting from the window of one of the building's attic rooms?

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