Friday, March 31, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.90: Cold Storage

This windowless building (seen here from the platform of Northwich Park Station) is supposedly another of the Ministry's safe storage facilities - although no-one seems to know for certain what exactly is or was stored here, and why. One rumour states that the wreckage of some kind of extraterrestrial craft - along with the remains of its occupants - is secreted within. That the North-Western suburbs of Greater London might host its own Area 51 would seem remarkable in and of itself, were it not for the claim that the debris and bodies ensconced within were supposedly discovered in Horsingdon Wood. Stranger still is the claim that, far from being the catastrophic aftermath of some recent alien intrusion into our world, the extraterrestrial debris was in fact discovered during an archaeological dig, and subsequently determined to be hundreds of thousands of years old...

Such rumours are, however, rife throughout the borough of Horsingdon, and one must always be cautious of attaching too great a significance to them. Nevertheless, the Horsingdon landscape has shown itself capable of harbouring many strange and monstrous secrets throughout its long and uncanny history - of which the discovery of a craft of non-human and non-terrestrial origin might be considered one of the least remarkable.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmission No.89: The Other Sounds

The oxidised copper cladding of the belltower in this image lends a quaint charm to a church with an otherwise strange and sinister recent history. Built in the late 1800s on the border of Northwich and Harlowe, the Church of St. John the Divine was inexplicably deconsecrated in the 1900s, and subsequently purchased by James Boreham. Needless to say, it was not long before stories began circulating regarding the unhallowed rites supposedly being enacted on once-sacred ground - unearthly sounds and atonal piping heard emenating from the place at ungodly hours being treated as clear evidence of this fact. During this period, renovations were undertaken to the church's belltower, resulting in its current layer of copper cladding.

After Boreham had been legally declared dead, the church was sold to the Methodist Church of Great Britain, in whose hands it remains to this day. A few years ago, however, one of the congregation was found hanging - his neck broken - from the rope used to ring the bell in the church's belltower. This individual - one John Stanley - was, in fact, the person to whom the role of bell-ringer had belonged exclusively for over a decade. At the time of his passing, the church's pastor noted that Stanley had, in fact, been suffering from severe tinnitus; from this it was inferred that Stanley took his own life.
Having personally suffered from the condition myself, I can attest to the hellish, alienating horror that an extended period of tinnitus can produce. 

In this instance, however, it appears not to have been Stanley's tinnitus alone that prompted his suicide; rather, his act of self-immolation may have been the result of what he sometimes referred to as 'the Other Sounds': an awful sonic presence which apparently lurked just beneath the surface of the constant, interiorised ringing of his tinnitus.

Indeed, it seems that his desire to remain as the church's principle bell-ringer was because this activity, whilst probably causing his tinnitus to worsen, nonetheless sublimated those 'Other Sounds', ridding him of them for a short while. A confidante of Stanley later admitted that it was his friend's fear of losing his hearing entirely - subsequently becoming trapped in a world otherwise silent but for the constant ringing and the presence of those 'Other Sounds' - which precipitated the taking of his own life in such a spectacularly grotesque fashion: the conclusive peals of the church's bell coinciding with the snapping of his neck, thus announcing the decisive and terminal cessation of those 'Other Sounds'.

There is a sequel, of sorts, to this tale. The investigation in the aftermath of Stanley's death revealed some unusual features about the belltower: curious symbols had at some point been carved into the inside of the tower walls, and the bell itself - soon after replaced with a new one - was discovered to have similar symbols inscribed about its circumference. In addition to which, the campanologist who examined the bell claimed that these inscriptions were not only later additions to the piece, but had somehow lent the bell a subtly-distorted and sinister tonal quality when struck.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.88: Electromagnetic Ghosts

Somewhat obscured from view in this image (on the right-hand side of the tree) is one of Northwich's final distribution substations, which supplies the surrounding area with electricity. These substations are always fenced in due to the very real danger of electrocution they pose. In addition to which, this particular substation - hidden away down an alleyway off Hallowmere Road - has also acquired something of a reputation on account of the more praeternatural threats which cluster about it.

Passersby have, for example, claimed that the substation's soft, burring hum has a hypnotic quality - as if produced by some sentient mechanical siren seeking to draw the listener closer to the deadly intermolecular forces aswarm amidst its electronic core; others maintain that a soft voice hides beneath that electrical drone, whispering secrets - both profound and horrible - about those fundamental forces which constitute reality to those willing to listen. Even more remarkable tales speak of the alleyway being haunted by some monstrous electromagnetic spectre, whose manifestation is heralded by electrical discharges which bite and burn the air, and by the smell of ozone and cooked human flesh...Whatever the matter, the alleyway always feel taut with an uneasy charge.

As to why the alleyway appears to be thus haunted, there is certainly no end of speculation amongst the local populace: perhaps the Ministry at one time meddled with the substation, introducing some alien or occult technology into its mechanisms; or perhaps the substation rests on some ancient, sacred spot, such that the land itself will no longer countenance its presence, seeking to possess, corrupt and ultimately extinguish the very soul of this electromagnetic interloper.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.87: Horsingdon Hill, 23rd May 1984

As an addendum to yesterday's post, I received the following image in my mailbox earlier today. This was accompanied by a short message stating that the image, apparently showing three mysterious aerial objects, was taken on the evening of May 23rd 1984 from the top of Horsingdon Hill. After downloading the image, my computer inexplicably crashed; on rebooting I discovered that, whilst the image had been saved, the original e-mail of which it had been part itself had seemingly been deleted from the server. As a consequence I have only been able to offer the substance and not the exact wording of the e-mail's content.

There was, however, one final thing at the end of the message which, I have to admit, left me feeling profoundly unsettled - a single, four-letter word, with the first letter capitalised to suggest that it might be a proper noun: 'Cold'.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.86: Lock-Ups

One of the stranger episodes to trouble the people of Horsingdon began on the 24th May 1984, when the Horsingdon police received a mysterious telephone call from a 'Mr. Cold'. The caller - who had employed some means of disguising his voice (he reportedly spoke in a mechanical, buzzing fashion) - went on to provide the locations of the bodies of five murder victims.

The investigation which followed did indeed reveal said bodies, each of which had been stored in separate lock-ups spread throughout the borough. Stranger still was the condition in which the bodies presented themselves: whilst perfectly preserved, the limbs and head had been removed from each corpse, then sewed back onto a torso from another body in a seemingly-random manner. Thus, whilst morphologically complete, each of the recovered cadavars did in fact consisted of a melange of parts taken from all five corpses. The internal organs of the bodies had also been expertly removed, sealed in clear plastic, and then sewn back into the relevant bodily cavities. Needless to say, as with the heads and limbs, none of the organs were replaced in the bodies from which they originated.

Whilst the mysterious Mr. Cold's allegation of homicide seemed likely, the actual cause of death in all five cases could not be readily determined. Other anomalies further complicated the situation: the bodies, whilst discernably human, nonetheless possessed what the coroner described as an 'artificial' or 'plastic' quality; the skin of the victims, whilst uniformly pale, also exhibited a phosphorescent, greenish tinge (this was determined not to be a post-mortem phenomenon). The identity of the corpses was never ascertained, nor was anyone apprehended on suspicion of their murder. The official record states that the bodies were removed to Northwich Park hospital, where they were eventually cremated; other clandestine sources hold that the remains were, in fact, appropriated by the Ministry for some sinister and unknowable purpose.

The lock-ups in which the bodies were discovered also found themselves interwined in another remarkable mystery: the disparate properties were all unused and in a state of disrepair, on account of their owners having all died (seemingly of natural causes) in 1971 - and all on the 24th of May of that year. None of the deceased appeared to have any prior association with the others. The location of each of the five lock-ups roughly corresponds to what have, more recently, been identified as the five cardinal points of the Horsingdon Pentagram.

Notably on the night of the 23rd May 1984, there had been a flurry of UFO sightings in the area - many of which clustered around Horsingdon Hill; whether these sightings were in any way related to the discovery of the bodies remains a matter of pure speculation.

As far as I am aware, no one has subsequently heard from the inscrutable Mr. Cold.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.85: 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 septuplets 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.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.78: Sticks

These curious lattice-like wooden structures have been appearing throughout the borough of Horsingdon over the past few years - especially within the vicinity of Horsingdon Hill itself. Resembling some kind of ungainly folk-articulation of a radar or antennae, no one quite knows who is erecting these elaborate constructions or why. 

Are they an irruption into the present of repressed folk memories of the Ministry's clandestine sonic assault upon Horsingdon's occult topography? A manipulation of arcane geometries by the guardians of the Black Bowers to call forth Those Who Wait? An incomprehensible communique from some praeternatural presence too alien to fathom? The lost language of Horsingdon's long-dead witches? 

Whilst one can speculate at length about the grotesque mysteries which seem to sprout forth uncontrollably from the Horsingdon landscape, solutions to these varied and perplexing phenomenon are rarely forthcoming.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No. 77: Black Veils

In 1893, James Boreham married Miriam Belmarsh of Bradford. The above image is the only known photograph of Miriam. Whilst her attire here is distinctly funereal, the photograph apparently depicts Miriam in her wedding dress. Accounts from the period note that Miriam was rarely seen in public; when she was, her face was always covered by a heavy black veil.

As part of his investigations into what he referred - rather cryptically - as the 'supramundane provenance' of the Boreham family, Roland Franklyn undertook extensive genealogical research into the Belmarsh line. Unable to unearth a family of that name - or any record of a Miriam Belmarsh - in the Bradford parish registries of the 1800s, Franklyn concluded that James Boreham had, for some reason, deemed it expedient to fabricate not only an entire familial history for his new wife, but probably her name also.

James and Miriam Boreham begat a number of offspring, only two of which survived to adulthood: Edward Boreham, and Judith Boreham - who appears in the curious photograph of the Old Lodge from a few days ago; other than in the aforementioned mystifying image, Judith - like her mother - was always veiled when seen in public. All record of Edward and Judith seem to have been erased in the aftermath of James Boreham's disappearance/suspected death, such that the particulars regarding the life and times of these mysterious individuals - and the equally occluded lineage of their mother - remains purely speculative.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.76: The Thing Below Hallowmere.

This slab sits on a piece of waste ground around the back of Hallowmere Playing Fields, where one of James Boreham's property's once stood. Apparently the house itself collapsed in the aftermath of a particularly sinister episode involving Boreham's esoteric investigations; decades after Boreham's death (or disappearance, depending on who one listens to), the plot on which it was built was fenced-off by representatives of Ministry (citing vague concerns regarding public safety), such that it has not been accessible since the mid-1960s.

The above photograph was taken at a difficult angle (and slightly out-of-focus) through a break in the iron railing which surrounds the land, and thus fails to depict the sigils supposedly etched across the surface of the slab - which is apparently situated where a neolithic barrow once stood. Boreham bought the land and built upon it with the intention of excavating the barrow, hoping to call up something which, according to certain ancient and diabolic texts in his possession, had long slumbered in some benighted cavern deep below the Hallowmere.

The slab as it exists today was once part of a large granite rock formation which had originally covered the entrance to the barrow; Boreham had it carved - following arcane geometric principles drawn from his store of occult tomes - into a very specific configuration by local stone masons, who were then instructed to inscribe glyphs of warding across its surface. In his quest for forbidden knowledge, it seems that Boreham had indeed succeeded in calling forth something from the subterreanean depths below Horsingdon - something which not only laid waste to the property he had built on the site, but against which Boreham found himself powerless in his attempts to cast it back into the Outer Dark from whence it came; his only recourse, it seems, was to employ what praeternatural knowledge he did possess to seal off the portal to whatever lightless realm from which the thing had originally crawled forth - presumably in the hope of trapping it there permanently...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.75: The Old Lodge

The Old Lodge: one of James Boreham's holdings, located on the outskirts of the Nortwich Park district. The house had undergone significant renovation in the 1970s, changing its character radically; by the 1990s the property was deemed unsaleable in the wake of a number of mysterious deaths on the premises. In 1998, the Old Lodge was entirely destroyed by fire. In the aftermath of the conflagration, a series of collapsed tunnels were discovered beneath the ruins. These were quickly filled in by the emergency services who attended the incident.

The photo above dates from around 1900, and depicts the Old Lodge in its pristine state. The young girl in the photo is supposedly James Boreham's daughter. Careful analysis of the photograph has revealed that the girl apparently has no face; a rugose, shapeless form also seems to be partially visible through the lattice window.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.74: The Windermere

The Windermere Public House stands at the edge of the Northwich line, only a short distance from Northwich Park Station itself. The pub has a wonderful art deco interior which has remained relatively unchanged since the building's completion in the 1930s.

The Windermere became the favoured watering hole of James Boreham who, back in the day, was regularly seen here in the company of some of occult luminaries of the time, including - on one occasion - Aleister Crowley. Indeed, many of Horsingdon's esoteric and Theosophical groups made regular use of the pub's function room during this period - including the local branch of the Society for Psychical Research, which famously held a disastrous seance there in 1935 (during which one of the participants mysteriously and inexplicable disappeared).

That the pub is haunted goes without saying, for its nooks and snugs are aswarm with the echo of occult secrets, once furtively whispered in surroundings redolant of convivial sociality, by those forlorn and desolate souls who otherwise traversed the darkness alone.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.73: Squibbs & Partners

The people of Horsingdon have long been resistant to the architectural intrusions of modernity, such that in the area any structure dating from the early 1970s is considered a 'new build'. Thus one can still find a significant number of these faded brick adverts - some of which date back to the 1930s - dotted throughout the borough. The above example (on the side of a building which stands next to Eastcote Station) dates to the 1950s. Whilst the rather Dickensian-sounding Squibbs & Partners no longer appear to be in business, between the late 1890s and the early 1900s they acted on behalf of James Boreham in acquiring certain properties in and around Northwich Park and Horsingdon Hill - many of which cluster around key points on the Horsingdon Pentagram.

It is unclear as to what Boreham sought to achieve through the purchase of these properties; strategically-situated as they were in relation to the occult topography of the district, one rumour nonetheless holds that he intended a particularly sinister operation involving the alchemical manipulation of the subtle energies of Horsingdon's extramundane landscape - an operation of such power and magnitude that it would facilitate Boreham's transition into an entirely new, non-human and effectively immortal mode of being; it is also said that he was successful in this aim, and the transmuted thing which was once James Boreham haunts the hidden lattices and praeternatural flows of Horsingdon's occult geomteries to this day - or that he otherwise continues to traverse the region in undead form using a vast network of hidden subterrenean byways and tunnels which supposedly connect all of his previous properties.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.72: Signal to Noise

This apparently abandoned building - situated within an industrial estate that sits alongside the Northwich Park line (and not far from the Warehouse) - hosts another of the incongruous antennae or transmitter arrays which tarnish the Horsingdon skyline.

There has been something of a slump in property prices in the vicinity of the industrial estate in which the building stands - and (if the records made public by Northwich Park Hospital are to be believed) local residents have been afflicted by an unusually high incidence of mental health issues - in recent years. Exactly why this is the case remains unclear; however, an associate of mine who lived in the area observed the following in his diary shortly before taking his own life:
This is a place which forces you listen to sounds which you cannot unhear; sounds which rupture space, and which distort and derange the very tissue of reality into perplexing new configurations; here those men from the Ministry tap into the psychic residuum produced by Those Who Wait as They roll aimlessly in Their deathless slumber through unlighted chambers beyond the ordered universe, thence broadcasting the maddening sonic echo of that mindless dreamstuff - for knows what purpose (or perhaps for no purpose at all?) - directly into the oneiric awareness of Horsingdon's sleeping populace.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.71: The Warehouse

This bunker-like structure - repurposed as the freight depot which now services the local Northwich rail lines - was at one time utilised by the Ministry during their period of involvement (which some maintain continues to this day) with the mysteries of the Horsingdon Triangle.

The original purpose of the building remains unclear, although local residents refer to it as 'the Warehouse'; in relation to which, what might appear to the casual observer as traditional mason's marks (etched throughout the brickwork across the circumference of the building) in fact constitute elements of a complex system of obscure occult symbology - one which delineates a set of non-Euclidean and hyperdimensional relations - supposedly used for binding and containing praeternatural intrusions into this world.

The building certainly has acquired something of an uncanny reputation over the years, primarily as as a result of the strange sounds that would sometimes issue from its interior; indeed, one can still hear tales - occasionally whispered by the rail workers who frequent the numerous nearby hostelries - concerning encounters with a 'nameless mist' or 'formless thing' which continues to haunt the edifice to this day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.70: A Scar in the Sky

Earlier this evening, the above curious phenomenon appeared in the skies above Horsingdon, which lasted for the better part of half-an-hour. March 11th marks one of the Ember Days of the Catholic liturgical calendar: a time of prayer and penitance in preparation for Easter; English folkloric traditions also hold that such 'Ember Days' are oracular in nature: a time when local cunning folk would make prognostications regarding the coming months - prognostications divined from meteorological conditions as they manifested on the day in question. It is, however, said that this tradition took a very particularistic turn as it presented itself within local culture of Horsingdon, where the guardians of the Black Bowers would augury whether the season had arrived when Those Who Wait would finally awake from their deathless sleep to reclaim the world...

Such traditions run deep through the psycohistorical tissue of Horsingdon: soon after this strange aerial phenomenon appeared, my neighbours made me thoroughly aware of their many fearful theories and fancies as to what it might portend: was it some kind of ectoplasmic plume vomited forth from out the troubled topography of this place? A scar in the sky signifying some partially-successful ritual which sought to rend the veil between worlds, and call forth Those Who Wait? Chemtrails spewed from the exhaust of some secret Ministry aircraft as part of a sinister experiment?

Perhaps a parochial expression of those wider anxieties which seem to charcterise our times, it seems that more than a few of the inhabitants of Horsingdon are currently pondering the precise nature of the transformations and transmutations that such a vapourous harbinger might foreshadow in the coming days...

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.69: Eastcote Lane Underpass

The bridge which links the Northwich Park Station line to other major Underground routes leading into central London crosses over Eastcote Lane, creating something of an underpass midway between Eastcote Station and Horsingdon Civic Centre.

Socially-peripheral sites such as this, lit only intermittently by the flickering sodium haze of malfunctioning streetlights, demarcate the extremities of the actual. Yet the residents of Nortwich tacitly acknowledge the significance of such places in the very act of avoiding them, for these territories also function as steadfast bastions against the infinite number of terrible worlds which ceasely grind against our own, ever threatening to overwhelm it; they are boundary markers, inhabited only by the marginal and the disaffected: the homeless, the addicted, and the alcoholic, whose precarious existence in close proximity to the Outside by necessity leads them to become seers and mystagogues of the highest order -  but whose transendent wisdom is so often eclipsed by the madness which precedes it.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.68: The Glade of the Goat

A meandering path through Horsingdon Wood, not far from the wych elm, and leading to a clearing where - as local legend declaims - a stone pillar once stood surmounted by the crudely-carved bust of a monstrous, three-eyed goat. A favoured site of the region's witches, the repercussions of the obscene rites once enacted here in honour of nameless gods continue to reverberate down the ages, such that a sense of panic is almost palpable at the site. The grotesque idol was either hammered to dust by witch hunters or, according to one rumour, was somehow spirited away before the last witch who made obeisance here was arrested and hanged - later making its way into the collection of James Boreham.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.67: The Dweller in the Lake

The above photo shows the base of Welkin's Folly situated not far from Northwich Lake. The lake itself no longer exists, having been drained in the late 1910s during a wave of extensive urban development. The existence of a quaint wooden bridge in the above image across the small inlet that fed the lake marks an early phase of the domestication of the Horsingdon landscape- although such attempts to tame and contraint the ancient and malign topography of the region have only ever met with partial success: soon after the laying of the foundations of Welkin's Folly, locals began to report occurances of a strange, dark shape seen disturbing the waters of the lake; these were soon followed by accounts of a number of dogs having mysteriously disappeared in the vicinity of the lake, often in sight of their owners.

In sny case, subsequent to the start of The construction of Welkin's Folly, it was generally accepted by the local populace that an ancient power was stirring in the depths of the lake. Knowledgeable occultists laid the blame at the feet of James Boreham, claiming that he was conversant in a certain, secretive body of ancient and prehuman lore - lore which he had used in the building of Welkin's Folly, and which he meant to direct toward a terrible purpose; to that end he had used the incomplete base of the tower as some kind of arcane summoning lattice for conjuring something into the lake - or had roused to wakefulness that which had long lain dormant beneath its surface. Indeed, the folklore of the region implied that a presence had dwelt within the lake since time immemorial, and that in the past locals had made regular sacrifice to propitiate the thing.

The eventual draining of the lake offered some indication of the truth of the matter: a large slab of black stone, inscribed with curious sigils of archaic design, was discovered close to the centre of the lake bed. When attempts by workmen to shift the slab using physical force came to nothing, dynamite was employed to greater effect...but whatever was uncovered on that fateful day appears to have been  expunged from memory and history, as the lake bed was quickly concreted over - although not before two men mysteriously lost their lives in what local press unconvincingly reported as an unfortunate accident.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.66: Welkin's Folly

Welkin's Folly represents something of a lost episode in Northwich and Horsingdon's history. Samuel Welkin was an entrepreneur, Member of Parliament, and Theosophist who, in the late 1890s, devised a scheme - under the advisement of his close friend James Boreham - to build an iron lattice structure whose height was intended to exceed that of the Eiffel Tower, at the then-largely rural region of Northwich Park. Boreham additionally agreed to partially underwrite the project with the proviso that the structure incorporate certain design features to his specification - features which, somewhat remarkably, Boreham had derived from the plans for some kind of transmitter produced (at Boreham's behest) by none other than Nikola Tesla.

Welkin died in 1901 when only the base of the tower had been completed, after which his heirs refused to continue financing the costly build. Whilst possessing considerable wealth, James Boreham was unable to support the project alone, and failed to secure the additional investment required to complete the undertaking. The base of the tower was eventually demolished in 1907 to faciltate the further urban development of the region.

The foundations of the tower were, however, found to harbour perplexing designs and glyphs of presumed occult provenance, but were nonetheless left intact and used much later as the foundations for Northwich Park Hospital  - no doubt partially explaining why that particular building seems beset by many uncanny and praeternatural events.

During his time in Horsingdon, Roland Franklyn apparently managed to unearth a significant amount of additional information regarding the tower's development and purpose. Whilst Franklyn never revealed the exact nature of his findings, he does note in one of his letters that, had the tower ever been completed, it would have come to represent 'a dire threat to the continued safety and sanity of humanity and, indeed, to the very existence of the cosmos of which we form the least, most insignificant part.'

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.65: Feldon Avenue

This ancient tree stands before a small green hillock or mound at the corner of Feldon Avenue and Eastcote Lane. It is speculated that the the name of Feldon Avenue is derived from the Old English term Fae Don meaning something like 'fairy fort' or 'fairy castle'. Machen claims that the term 'fairy' itself derives from the concept of 'the fair folk' - an honorific used by a fearful populace to both designate and appease a squat, mishappen and troglodytic people who supposedly once haunted the Neolithic European landscape.

Coincidentally, at the beginning of October 1975, the mound was partially excavated when the Water Board sought to fix a burst pipe. During the dig, a strange black stone - marked with curious indentations or scratches - was apparently uncovered and removed from the site. Soon after, residents of Feldon Avenue began reporting regular, nightly disturbances caused by what were described to the police as 'ugly' and 'uncouth' children. These reports were not taken seriously until, on the night of October 31st, a newborn baby girl was seemingly abducted from a house in Feldon Avenue. The child was never found, although immediately after her disappearance the disturbances which had so afflicted the unforunate residents of the neighbourhood suddenly and unexpectedly ceased.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.64: The Ministry

From the 1950s until the tail end of the 1990s, this building (not far from North Horsingdon Lane) was reputedly the base of operations of the government agency known locally as 'The Ministry'. Ostensibly tasked to investigate and monitor transmissions deemed to be potential threats to national security during the Cold War (the numbers stations which appeared to be operating out of Horsingdon being a case in point), The Ministry also purportedly demonstrated a singular interest in the significant number of UFO sightings that clustered around the region (especially Horsingdon Hill) - and n particular their speculated relationship to the high incidence of occult and paranormal phenomena recorded throughout the borough's history.

One very curious rumour I have heard regarding The Ministry concerns their investigations into the UFOlogical research group established by Dr David Noyes (mentioned in yesterday's entry). Apparently Ministry staff retrieved some quite remarkable documentation from Dr Noyes' home shortly after his mysterious disappearance. These documents apparently functioned as some kind of very basic primer for a linguistic or symbolic system of entirely alien or praeternatural provenance  - one that was not only largely beyond the comprehension of the Ministry's research team but, insofar as its basic contours could be apprehended, was suggestive of a radically new - and horrifying - understanding of physics, of mathematics, and of the fundamental structure of reality itself.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.63: The Church with the Windowless Spire

Along Eastcote Lane, not far from Horsingdon Civic Centre, stands an unused church, of relatively recent build (a blocky, red-brick building whose design seems typical of late 60s - early 70s architectural modernism) and notable for its squat, monolithic spire. The spire is windowless and featureless - aside from the vents close to the apex which, despite the church's apparent lack of occupancy, have sometimes be seen to exude a strange, sweet-smelling vapour with a curious violet hue.

There are those who claim to have been afflicted by strange visions when in the vicinity of those fumes: visions of a black planet drifting insensately along an irregular orbit at the utmost rim of our solar system, upon which unlighted obsidian towers perch precariously at the edges of great rivers - rivers whose floes of frozen black pitch meander sluggisly through steep gorges of jagged black rock...

Investigations into the history of the church have thusfar revealed very little: apparently the relevant records reside somewhere in the council archives located in Boreham Park, and there has been some difficulty retrieving them. I am, however, aware that the church hall was used throughout 1998 by one Dr David Noyes, an American psychiatrist hailing from Vermont. Apparently Noyes convened weekly meetings at the hall of what appears to have been some kind of quasi-religious UFO research group, whose members claimed to be in communication - via occult means - with a group of strange extraterrestrial intelligences. Around the same time, the local area was apparently plagued by a kind of clairaudient phenomena: typically, percipients (who were often walking alone late at night) reported hearing the sound of strange buzzing whispers emerging from some dark street corner or alley - although always within close vicinity of the church.

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.62: Secret Holdings

This building was erected on the Boreham Park estate by James Boreham a few years prior to his death; when Horsingdon Borough Council took over the management of Boreham Park, it was initially repurposed as a cafe, then later converted to an archival storage facility. Despite its rather unassuming exterior, Boreham excavated extensive cellars benath the structure within which to conduct his alchemical researches - a recurrent motif, so it seems, where James Boreham's renovations are concerned. In any case, the vaults beneath the edifice also apparently connect to the cellars and tunnels below Boreham Park Library, all of which are now used to store decades' worth of the council's administrative records.

Or so it is alleged. Other rumours hold that these subterrenean facilities contain another, more secret archive: a clandestine repository of the various proscribed occult texts and praeternatural artefacts which have been unearthed throughout Horsingdon's history, and which subsequently came to the attention of the likes of James Boreham, the upper eschalons of Horsingdon Borough Council, as well as - according to some sources - the mysterious and unnamed government 'Ministry' which appears to have involved itself rather deeply in local affairs since the 1950s

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.61: Light and Sound

Seemingly taking their lead from the Church of the Throne of Light (with whom they form part of an ecumenical federation), the similarly-titled Eastcote Fraternity of Light have also recently added a quite remarkable stained glass window to their place of worship. Whilst foregrounding a rather understated example of conventional Christian iconography, the surrounding nimbus is composed of a dizzying chromatic display of scintillating shards of light. The effect is even more pronounced at night, when the window is backlit by a spotlight, the colour of whose light alternates at irregular intervals.

Whatever their doctrinal affiliations, the Fraternity of Light certainly seem to adhere to nonconformist liturgical practices: on certain nights a low, discordant hum can be heard emanating from the church hall, accompanied by the sound of muted chanting in no known human tongue - both eerily co-ordinated with the rhythm of an unearthly and atonal music, which in turn weaves its strange sonic pattern in time with the unpredictable shifting light of the stained glass window.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.60: The Boarding House

The Boarding House is one of the largest buildings on Oldborough Road, off Eastcoate Lane -  as well as one of the most haunted in Northwich. Indeed, its current state of disrepair speaks eloquently to its spectrally-beleaguered status. The place is largely-uninhabited now, except for the landlady and the couple of old alcoholics she has been managed to convince to remain in the place.

Like other such haunted residences in the area, the phantasmal visitants who are prone to disturb the peace of this particular house conform to none of the quotidian ghostly typologies one finds in the standard parapsychological literature; rather, this place is beset by praeternatural entities of highly atypical configuration: aetheric beasts forged by alien geometries into inconceivably twisted forms; black, crawling shadows which reveal unspeakable horrors in their abysmal depths; a great phospherescent worm-like phantom sometimes encountered in the cellar; the amorphous congeries of sickly-glowing spheres which has, on occasion, been encountered in the attic...

It may come as no surprise to regular readers that the Boarding House was once owned by James Boreham and, as with so many of the things over which that notable has cast his long and sinister shadow, it is also perhaps no surprise that the hollow echo of the Outside and the reverberation of worlds more terrible than our own resonate so readily throughout its decrepit and derelict hallways.