The eeriness of the English countryside
April 26, 2015 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Robert Macfarlane, in The Guardian: In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle. Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture – this occulture – is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething.

Related:

- The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape, and on MetaFilter.
- Regional Gothic
- a scene from A Field in England.
posted by Wordshore (57 comments total) 93 users marked this as a favorite
 
Last night, BBC 4 ran "Black Aquarius", a short documentary about the revival in interest in the occult in 60-70s Britain that the current folk horror renaissance is one echo of (dip your toe in via Celluloid Wicker Man). The hedgerows, fields, ruins, and hills of England have been seething for a very, very long time.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:19 PM on April 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


I wish I lived in England :-/
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:21 PM on April 26, 2015


Shhh....did somebody hear a bustle?
posted by uosuaq at 4:22 PM on April 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


ooh, I think I'll go watch Midsomer Murders all night
posted by koeselitz at 4:24 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not really buying this. He cites sources that appeared over the course of the last century, so it's hardly a recent development. He mentions The Old Straight Track (leylines, 1920-something), yet overlooks the Cottingley Faries (1900's or so) which seem to fit the same pattern. Heck, Grahame's Wind in the Willows dates from this period and fits neatly into this "alien landscape" theme. (As does Watership Down, come to think of it.)

He seems to be trying to sell the reader that this is somehow a new trend, but I see it as part of thread of a wondrous and terrible land that runs back to Le Mort D'Arthur and before.
posted by SPrintF at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


If you're in the Police you don't have to look for it these days you can just sit around watching all the eerie on CCTV.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:48 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be read to a selection of tracks from Ghost Box Records, whose exclusion from the catalogue lists in the article is a bit surprising. Start with Ouroborindra, then perhaps play some Sleep Games, during which time you may have - if you are lucky - some Slumberwick Dreams.

There's a lot more to explore, if you have stout walking boots.
posted by Devonian at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think there's a slippage in this essay between the tradition of rural "English eerie," which certainly predates M. R. James (by decades...) and its current manifestations, which respond to various contemporary cultural pressures like the security state &c. One of my favorite Gothic tropes is the danger of moving: the moment you leave your familiar house for another strange space, you've suddenly rendered yourself vulnerable to the supernatural forces that have been lurking all around you all this time. (And whatever you do, don't rent. That's the worst option...) Leaving urban environments for the country, which in other literary contexts is normally figured as a positive move (city-country, corruption-purity, artificial-natural, etc.), in Gothic releases all sorts of violence.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:59 PM on April 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


It's a straight line from Arthur Machen to Ramsey Campbell.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:05 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


My wife and I have been watching a long-running travel show set mostly in the UK; it is spooky as shit. Especially the Daleks.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:07 PM on April 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


Britain is an overwhelmingly tame land, so we find terror and despair in absolutely everything.
posted by dng at 5:08 PM on April 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


a spectred rather than a sceptred isle
That's some clever anagramming!
posted by moonmilk at 5:13 PM on April 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


He mentions the band The Owl Service, not the novel... but wait, okay he does mention the novel a bit later on. Part of the sub-genre of urban English children going out on vacation to the wild countryside, and succumbing to unnatural possession by ancestral spirits.
posted by ovvl at 5:27 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Steampunk Lovecraft fried potatoes! Foggy swamps and nutty oldfolk.
posted by vrakatar at 5:34 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Macfarlane on The Old Straight Track and Watkins.
Rooting about I found Wyrd Britain a blog concerned with stories in, of, from and about the stranger places of Britain.
Stories that explore a Britain other than the one we think we know. A Britain where the ghosts are unquiet, where the woods are alive and where distinctions between the present, the future and the past are permeable.
As a guide to half remembered folklore of yesteryear a good kick off point could be Gods, Heroes, & Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain
posted by adamvasco at 5:37 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sir, You Are Being Hunted is all about the creepy English countryside. Also upper-class Victorian H-K bots.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:38 PM on April 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


everybody roast a chicken for dinner tonight and string together the bones for hanging in the fields

stiffleg and merrywhite need feeding
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:41 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]




(Even in the U.S., we agree, there are two universal scary things , small towns and the 1970s)
posted by The Whelk at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I totally get this. One of the spookier moments of my life took place in the Cotswolds, not long after I arrived in the England from Australia. I took a stroll by the ruins at Minster Lovell, following a stream up a wooded hill. It was mid-winter and absolutely quiet. This wasn't the dry familiar bush with its insect cacophony - this was the cold, drab, uncanny landscape of the fairy tales I'd snaffled up as a child and I felt suddenly very alone and alien.

This was also about a week after I'd seen the Blair Witch Project and that didn't help things, no not at all.
posted by misterbee at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was, for whatever reason, reading Hammer of the Gods a few weeks ago, and was astonished to learn that the members of Led Zeppelin owned quaint homes in the English countryside where they lived with their families when not embarking upon insanely hedonistic world tours. I can easily imagine eerie songs like "No Quarter" and "In the Evening" taking shape in that pastoral setting (I can easily imagine them being played over A Field in England, anyway), but I can't really imagine what it would be like to wake up in such a place and end your day in, say, a hotel room in Los Angeles. I think it would make you pretty nuts, which seems to be what happened.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


My rural childhood involved a deal of being out in woods, valleys and moorland in Devon, often alone and sometimes late at night. Dartmoor especially has everything you need; ancient gnarled woodlands, deep shadowy ravines thick with gloom, Neolithic standing stones and rings, ruined churches, sudden mists and strange light. Grimspound. Wistman's Wood. Scarey Tor.

Even if you're not aware of the countless folk legends of supernatural activity of the area, even if you are of the staunchest rational mind, you absolutely will be set upon by Hade's own crack army of fearmongery. You don't have to be sensitive to the genius of place. Doesn't matter. It's all true.

Do I miss it? Does it still call me?

What do you think...
posted by Devonian at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


"OI!"

-Inspector Lewis.
posted by clavdivs at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last night, BBC 4 ran "Black Aquarius", a short documentary about the revival in interest in the occult in 60-70s Britain

This is really great, cheers.
posted by dng at 6:03 PM on April 26, 2015


A Visit to Pendle Hill – Hybridity Tales; Gordon White; Rune Soup.
posted by bukvich at 6:04 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to run a website/fanzine about this sort of stuff, which was a bit like a feeble version of Scarfolk except with more fairy tales, but it got destroyed recently by the tediously replicating modern day horrors of internet spam robots, something much more terrible in its implacable destructive power than any demon of the fields and woods ever proved to be.
posted by dng at 6:11 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Surprised and disappointed he didn't mention this recent project by photographer Trevor Paglen (disclosure: a client), An English Landscape, his installation in the Gloucester Road Tube station examining the intersection of the pastoral countryside and the modern surveillance state.
posted by twsf at 6:16 PM on April 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


if anything this has inspired me to spend the last hour listening to The Wicker Man soundtrack.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 6:17 PM on April 26, 2015 [5 favorites]




If you love this sort of stuff, as I do, then Phil Rickman is the guy for you. He writes a series of mysteries in which the protagonist is an Anglican priest, living in Herefordshire, where people are killed in strange ways that often have eerie overtones. The books manage to finely straddle the line between going full bore paranormal and providing plausible, man-made reasons for the unnatural; but always present is the sense that the land itself is one of the characters in the tale.

The protagonist is named Merrilee Watkins, and the surname is a pointed reference to Alfred Watkins, to whom she may or may not be related.

As a personal note, one of the reasons I particularly love this author (who also writes straight up horror very similar in flavor to Ramsay Campbell, mentioned upthread), is that he does spend so much time in a world where the layers of thousands of years of human presence on the land are ever present. As a child, growing up in Germany, I always felt aware of, and surrounded by, the past. I have never really felt that here, even during the three years I lived in Williamsburg, VA.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 7:17 PM on April 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love this sort of thing; I've visited England many times and I know very well I'm visiting my imagination as much as a "real" place. I grew up with English children's stories--E. Nesbit, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner--and the magic isn't too hard for me to summon when I'm walking across the landscape.
I spent an entire day walking to the Rollright stones, a stone circle in the Cotswolds. The legend is that one can't count them and get the same number twice in a row. I tried once and got 70, the second time, 72. Just then I overheard a couple doing the same thing: they had 71. I stopped there, happy to imagine (though not believe) the magic.
I've always been very happy to choose the sense of eerieness for the sheer pleasure of it.
posted by librosegretti at 7:39 PM on April 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


The thing is, it's not just English countryside (although I know and love many of the eerie works he writes about). I think humans in general have an uneasy relationship with the land they live on, no matter where it is. A friend of mine always asks what it is with Americans and cornfields, for example, and the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale" brings the eerie to the desert as well. Oh, and isn't there something creepy and odd about a lot of Andrew Wyeth's landscapes too? Every time I go into the Australian bush, I always think about how unsettlingly weird it must have been for the first Europeans to come to Australia. The most innocent creatures (possums, kookaburras) can sound utterly terrifying if you don't know what they are, which just adds to the oddness of the environment.

Then there's Romans with their genius loci; Japanese kami (not always linked to places but often); Greek nymphs which, completely apart from their depiction in Western art as attractive naked women, share a kind of kindred spirit with other place-based supernatural creatures of the uncanny like huldra, selkies, sirens, rusalka, etc...

Not finding fault with the article, which is also a prompt for me to read The Old Ways, which has been sitting on my to-read pile for a few months. But it just gets me all excited about how the strangeness of place manifests. And also! And this too! And, and, and!
posted by Athanassiel at 7:43 PM on April 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Speaking of which, here's a fun diversion:

Open Google Earth and look for iron-age hill forts in England. There are hundreds of them. I once spent a whole day doing that. The greatest concentration seems to be around Wiltshire
posted by rankfreudlite at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


*sighing happily*

I love stuff like this. Thanks for posting!
posted by orrnyereg at 8:50 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches:
All over the countryside, away to the rolling hills around Aldershot, the little red and grey roofs of the farm-steadings peeped out from amid the light green of the new foliage.

"Are they not fresh and beautiful?" I cried with all the enthusiasm of a man fresh from the fogs of Baker Street.

But Holmes shook his head gravely.

"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there."

"Good heavens!" I cried. "Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?"

"They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."

"You horrify me!"

"Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser."
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I've heard that Summerisle is famous for its apples.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:24 PM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been wanting to watch The Children Of The Stones since Stewart Lee namechecked it here. I also remember watching and reading the Green Knowe books and show as a kid, which can very (very) lazily be described as a sort of pagan Narnia series, and they creeped me the hell out. I think in both the landscapes and cities of the UK there is an omnipresent and sometimes even oppressive sense of the long history of the place. After living in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years I can now get a good sense of the feeling being a person from a new country going to a very old one, and of a person from an old one going to a new one*, and they're both exciting and unsettling experiences in their own way.

*they're not new, of course, but the really old history isn't visible to the naked eye in the same way as it is in Europe.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:29 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ooh, Children of the Stones looks good. And thankfully we live in the age of youtube.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:41 PM on April 26, 2015


The PNW has its own sort of ancientness that actively swallows up history. And we've even got our own pop myth of weirdness - Twin Peaks.
posted by wotsac at 9:58 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Very true about the PNW. In many parts of Seattle, especially the I-5 running through it, I get the very clear sense that the city is just geological nanoseconds from being swallowed up by an enraged and temporarily defeated temperate rainforest.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:07 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




Children Of The Stones scared the hell out of me when it was first broadcast. Many Pertwee and Baker era Doctor Who episodes have a similar milieu - odd goings on in rural hamlets. Even if a few of the scripts were curiously similar to Nigel Kneale plots. Quite a few Avengers/New Avengers episodes are in the same vein also.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:04 PM on April 26, 2015


Victorian Era Ghost Stories

I had to read this in English Literature II. Quite Atmospheric and chilling.
posted by rankfreudlite at 11:20 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been thinking more about this - and I know only the tiniest little bit about Aboriginal Australian mythology, but the whole idea behind the Dreaming is that it's entirely bound up with the land. I then went to the Font of All Wisdom™ to check a couple of things and thought these particular bits, while they lack some of the flavour of the glorious Macfarlane prose, still say some very interesting things about land, myth-making and story-making.
An Anthropological generalisation

Australian anthropologists willing to generalise suggest Aboriginal myths still being performed across Australia by Aboriginal peoples serve an important social function amongst their intended audiences: justifying the received ordering of their daily lives;[15] helping shape peoples' ideas; and assisting to influence others' behaviour.[16] In addition, such performance often continuously incorporates and "mythologises" historical events in the service of these social purposes in an otherwise rapidly changing modern world. As R.M. W. Dixon writes:[17]

"It is always integral and common.. that the Law (Aboriginal law) is something derived from ancestral peoples or Dreamings and is passed down the generations in a continuous line. While..entitlements of particular human beings may come and go, the underlying relationships between foundational Dreamings and certain landscapes are theoretically eternal ... the entitlements of people to places are usually regarded strongest when those people enjoy a relationship of identity with one or more Dreamings of that place. This is an identity of spirit, a consubstantiality, rather than a matter of mere belief..: the Dreaming pre-exists and persists, while its human incarnations are temporary."[18]

An Aboriginal generalisation

Aboriginal specialists willing to generalise believe all Aboriginal myths across Australia, in combination, represent a kind of unwritten (oral) library within which Aboriginal peoples learn about the world and perceive a peculiarly Aboriginal 'reality' dictated by concepts and values vastly different from those of western societies:[19]

"Aboriginal people learned from their stories that a society must not be human-centred but rather land centred, otherwise they forget their source and purpose ... humans are prone to exploitative behaviour if not constantly reminded they are interconnected with the rest of creation, that they as individuals are only temporal in time, and past and future generations must be included in their perception of their purpose in life."[20]

"People come and go but the Land, and stories about the Land, stay. This is a wisdom that takes lifetimes of listening, observing and experiencing ... There is a deep understanding of human nature and the environment.. sites hold 'feelings' which cannot be described in physical terms.. subtle feelings that resonate through the bodies of these people.. It is only when talking and being with these people that these 'feelings' can truly be appreciated. This is.. the intangible reality of these people.."[20]
posted by Athanassiel at 11:30 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Having spent a lot of time on English trains this past week and grown up on M.R. James and the like, this is one of the things I love about this place. You never lose that sense of eerie, unnerving, and ancient when you ramble around the woods and seaside. DELIGHTFUL.
posted by Kitteh at 12:14 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the things I love about MR James's writing is the way it captures just how spooky agricultural landscapes can be, even in daylight. There's no need for gnarled trees, mist, thunder and darkness to evoke a sense of foreboding otherness. You just need a quiet Sunday afternoon in the spring, wandering around a small group of trees by the church and -what was that shape by the gate? - it moved -
posted by BinaryApe at 2:13 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had an epiphany about the possible origins of Halloween when I was driving across Ireland once in mid-October. Most of the trees in Ireland are deciduous so the leaves had been falling for a few weeks and were rotting on the ground and the bare trees made twisted shapes in the misty rain that made visibility pretty sketchy (a 'soft day' as locals say).

If we consider that Ireland was almost entirely covered in deciduous forest when humans arrived, and (the big one) it lines up perfectly with magic mushroom season, I could see a lot of trips good and bad being had by early settlers leading to the belief that the barrier between the living and the dead was especially weak at this time.
posted by kersplunk at 2:42 AM on April 27, 2015


Which reminds me: when I was a kid I went on a lot of long walks, usually on my own, around the relatively dull and intensive-agriculture countryside near my home. There was one point, where a footpath across fields reached some roads, that always felt unpleasant - gloomy, unwelcoming and awkward - I had to hurry past.

About two decades later I was showing someone that area on Google Maps and realised it was a crossroads, on the county boundary. Liminal areas, boundaries and crossroads were special places in English Anglo-saxon/medieval culture - places where you could safely dispose of curses, ghosts, murder victims and executed criminals. And looking at the map I noticed for first time that one of the roads is called "Hangman's Lane".
posted by BinaryApe at 2:46 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alan Garner describes the landscape encounter that inspired his novel Thusbitchhere
posted by aesop at 3:23 AM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


We live near the English Cotswolds landscape that Laurie Lee wrote about in Cider with Rosie.

We went walking in the area without having read the book. In the middle of our walk we reached a crossroads called Bull's Cross. There was something erie about the place. Many paths lead into woods and it feels as if you might be surprised at any moment by something...dark.
My wife even said "I don't like this place...let's get out of here."

Later, we read the book. Lee mentions Bull's Cross as a haunted area. Banditry was common here. It was also used for public hangings and even in his day it was a part of his countryside that he avoided.

As an American living in the English countryside, I'm still getting used to how the land is so inhabited by its history. Victorian buildings, medieval churches, roman roads, neoilithic burial chambers all crowd together. In a neighboring valley, there's an unfinished, abandoned Gothic mansion. You have to hike into a quiet valley to get there and the mansion is now mostly inhabited by bats who fly out every night and spread out across the valley's lakes.

That sort of stuff just feels normal around here.
posted by vacapinta at 4:31 AM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder how other cultures in N. Europe relate similar to this.
I walked around some bits of Britain extensively when I was younger and there were definitely some places I didn´t want to linger. Then there are the evocative place names: Dead Womans Ditch, Hangmans Stone, Hangmans Cross, Gibbet Hill.
There is a hill fort off the beaten track that I used to ride my bike to as a kid and one part always had a very wierd vibe.
I went back there many years later and it still felt uncanny and uncomfortable and I didn´t stay for long; but then half of Britain is steeped in blood and gore so it seems normal in some way to have this abnormal feeling.
posted by adamvasco at 5:09 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mythago Wood shout-out?
posted by triage_lazarus at 5:36 AM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


BBC did some wonderful James adaptations in the 70s. They are legitimately spooky, and the two standouts for me are A Warning to the Curious, which I feel like is a sort of ur-text to all those flashlight-lit nighttime scenes in Twin Peaks, and Whistle and I'll Come to You, which luxuriates in seemingly harmless British eccentricity and is filmed in near-documentary style, which adds real chills to the " -what was that shape by the gate? - it moved -" described above.

Also worth watching: The Stone Tape, in which ancient horror has literally been written onto the stones of an old building, and the legendary Children of the Stones, which seems rooted in what every English child suspects about those megalithic stones that sometimes surround villages.

There's a thin line between this sort of rural horror and the folk horror previously looked at one this site -- both are set in a seemingly quaint, superficially twee country location where these qualities not only mask but also are integral to an ancient, occult horror that quickly and murderously reveals itself. It's why while Sean of the Dead was a British gloss on an American genre, both Hot Fuzz and The World's End feel more indigenously British, as both are set in rural English towns with secrets. I especially love that Hot Fuzz's secret horror (SPOILER) is stripped of its occultness and is actually entirely in service to the town's twee-ness, which must be maintained even at the cost of people's lives.

You get hints of this in a lot of films that aren't overtly horror films -- a suggestion that a sort of human sacrificing paganism lurks beneath the surface of small-town rural Britain. It's why Ben Wheatley's films are so marvelous -- both Kill List and Sightseers are superficially crime films, but they cover for a deeply occult sensibility that reveals itself, to a greater or lesser extent, over the course of the film. Of course Chris and Tina starting butchering people on their caravan tour of Northern England -- the act of going rural has triggered their own inner murderous pagans, and Tina, who proves to be the more anarchic and dangerous of the two, is played by Alice Lowe -- one of the villagers in both Hot Fuzz and The World's End.

Once you get saturated in it, it becomes impossible to watch even the slightest, tweest rural story without expecting something sinister. I can't watch All Creatures Great and Small without expecting the villagers to build a wicker bonfire at some point and burn James Herriot to try and stem the spread of hoof and mouth disease.
posted by maxsparber at 8:30 AM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've just always assumed every nook in rural England was filled with things like ghost dogs, wicker men and the occasional rakeish occult investigator in a trench coat.
posted by happyroach at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that England's eariness is the most wonderful thing about it. Just look at Tony Blair, Prince Charles and Martin Clunes - all well-respected leaders of English society, famed for their enormous ears. Similarly, the English peerage is literally seething with "Ear-ls", a rank of nobility invented specifically to celebrate those with huge ears. But today, England's earnormous ear-lust threatens to destroy all that is good and just about it.

For, in every conner of this once-great land, English-persons are desperately fingering their own ears, just to draw out and sell off the thick, energy-rich wax that they produce. Towns and villages across the countryside neglect their business affairs, their agricultural pursuits and their own governance as people furiously attempt to frack their own faces off, just to shake a few more crumbs of precious wax from their own auditory canals. If we don't act soon, English ears will be nothing but loose flaps of tattered skin hanging over dry, empty head-holes.

That's why I say: keep English wax where it belongs, inside English heads. We can't go on selling off our most precious facial gunge when doing so could cause catastrophic consequences to the environment of our heads. Sure, we are all getting rich selling our earwax to wax-developing countries, but remember - if England isn't waxing, it's waning. So keep England earie, keep it waxy and instead of burning the earwax candle at both ends, let's try to invent a light bulb that is powered by burps.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:16 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Unofficial Britain, it's not about horror or the supernatural, and it's not about the twee, it's a blog about the spaces in between.

I love to hear about experiences from other countries. I grew up in several different bits of England, and I studied English archaeology, with a side helping of nature conservation. I know this landscape. I know why things are. And why they aren't. I have counted the stones at Rollright many times. When I go abroad, it's wonderful, but I don't the place like I know England.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:49 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I should perhaps point out that the ghoulish stories do not stop in the past. There are regular reports of gruesome rituals going on on Dartmoor and in Cornwall, although they're not always what they seem. Best approached with skepticism, although the psychological drives to believe are clearly still extant.
posted by Devonian at 5:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


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