Thursday, August 03, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.215: Beacons

Many of the churches and houses in Horsingdon – especially those built before the 1950s – sport slatted cupolas. It was once traditional for households to place a lantern or candle in these cupolas on the night of certain festivals (typically May Eve and All Hallows).

According to the folklore of the region, the purpose of this common practice was apotropaic: a light meant to protect against the hours of darkness  – specifically against those Powers of Night believed to inhabit its abyssal depths. The guardians of the Black Bowers, however, entertain a widely different interpretation of the custom, claiming that the lights were meant as beacons, the intention of which was to call forth that which lurks within the devouring darkness - hence the frequency with which at least one unfortunate resident (if not an entire household) would be found to be missing from their home on the morning following one of these ancient festivals…

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