Creepy Small Villages

Ulalume

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I've got no experience with creepy villages in the UK, but when I was a kid, I lived within sight of this ghost town, or at least its water tower (from which the town manager had hung himself). The place was just sort of lurking up there, scaring the bejeebers out of me. My brother took me up there to take some photos for his college once, and it was horrid - just the sound of the wind, creaking hinges, rusted windmill blades, and the gloomiest atmosphere.

As you can see if you read the story at the link, it's been turned into an absolute tourist trap, and a whole business sector had sprung up around it. I still dislike going through there, though, because it still has that atmosphere, it's just covered up somewhat by the noise and the traffic.

If you scroll down, the old pictures give a sense of what it was like back in the 70's.
 

maximus otter

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Walking through St Mary's Churchyard near Thame last year I spotted the words "How deep is your love" on the back of a large ornate tombstone. 'About 6 feet' I thought unkindly, I mean, what chav commissions such a large monolith and carves a Bee Gees' lyric on it ? ('Stayin' Alive - Not !' ) Saw on the front it was Robin Gibb. Ah, sorry mate.
Many years ago l was visiting my mum’s grave in Perth. Walking back to the car l passed the children’s section of the cemetery. One of the kids’ headstones bore nothing but the legend [Name] [Dates] and the lyrics “I should be so lucky”.

l recall thinking, “That’s a strange new use of the word “lucky” that l haven’t encountered before”.

maximus otter
 
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hunck

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I've got no experience with creepy villages in the UK, but when I was a kid, I lived within sight of this ghost town, or at least its water tower (from which the town manager had hung himself). The place was just sort of lurking up there, scaring the bejeebers out of me. My brother took me up there to take some photos for his college once, and it was horrid - just the sound of the wind, creaking hinges, rusted windmill blades, and the gloomiest atmosphere.

As you can see if you read the story at the link, it's been turned into an absolute tourist trap, and a whole business sector had sprung up around it. I still dislike going through there, though, because it still has that atmosphere, it's just covered up somewhat by the noise and the traffic.

If you scroll down, the old pictures give a sense of what it was like back in the 70's.
Sounds great! - I can well imagine it'd be a bit scary as a child, especially with the water tower hanging, & there is something vaguely creepy & unsettling about abandoned buildings.

On reading the details you have to doff your cap to Cheryle Fuller for virtually single-handedly rescuing the place from oblivion & salvage for scrap.
 

Ulalume

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Sounds great! - I can well imagine it'd be a bit scary as a child, especially with the water tower hanging, & there is something vaguely creepy & unsettling about abandoned buildings.

On reading the details you have to doff your cap to Cheryle Fuller for virtually single-handedly rescuing the place from oblivion & salvage for scrap.
That's true - I wouldn't have had the foggiest idea how to save a place from demolition, let alone the rest!
 

Mythopoeika

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Many years ago l was visiting my mum’s grave in Perth. Walking back to the car l passed the children’s section of the cemetery. One of the kids’ headstones bore nothing but the legend [Name] [Dates] and the lyrics “I should be so lucky”.
Possibly a child called Kylie.
 

Scribbles

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Mind if I make a comment ? I 've just drunk a bottle of IKEA cough syrup and everything is coming up synchronous. I've planned a trip to Avebury for Thursday, not having visited since I was a teenager and my mate was being 'asked' to move on from outside the Pub by the local Constabulary (he said he was waiting for the bus, they said it wasn't a Bus Stop, he said it was where the bus stopped (correct, but the stones weren't the only ones in a mood ).
Walking through St Mary's Churchyard near Thame last year I spotted the words "How deep is your love" on the back of a large ornate tombstone. 'About 6 feet' I thought unkindly, I mean, what chav commissions such a large monolith and carves a Bee Gees' lyric on it ? ('Stayin' Alive - Not !' ) Saw on the front it was Robin Gibb. Ah, sorry mate.
Aww love this! RIP Robin Gibb.

Obviously something is trying to tell us of an Avebury/Bee Gees connection. Perhaps you could try and hold a seance when you visit and try and speak to one of the Gibbs? Or maybe sing How Deep is Your Love inside the Kennet Barrow, see if it opens up a portal?
 

Mouldy13

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Good question. Gibbet Street in Halifax is apparently where the last guillotine to operate in England was situated. Hence "From Hell [obvious], Hull [press gangs] and Halifax [close shaves], may the good Lord preserve us!" I don't know that the body was then left on display, though.

Isn't a gallows specifically for hanging people from the neck until dead?

There's a pub in Pellon Lane in Halifax called The Running Man, the story is that if you could get your head out of the way of the blade when the pin was pulled and run over the town boundary situated at Hebble brook you were then free.
 
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catseye

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Apparently these couples had to have neighbours willing to back up that they hadn't been shouting at each other! ..
Some of my best arguments with my ex husband were held in that kind of 'don't let the neighbours know' passive-aggressive hiss. Everyone around would probably have sworn we never argued at all!

We rarely did, actually. He just told me what to do, and I did it.

So we would have been eating bacon sandwiches forever, eyeballing one another evily and silently annexing the brown sauce.
 

Swifty

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We rarely did, actually. He just told me what to do, and I did it.
No offense to you (or him) but it sounds like a good thing he's your ex .. the Mrs is very stubborn and so am I (we're both Taurus if you believe in that sort of thing) but neither of us dominate each other on a daily basis .. we both know that when either of us finally puts our foot down, we'll both submit and do what the other one wants (with a bit of grumbling). Two bulls facing off to each other would get way too nasty otherwise.
 

Krepostnoi

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There's a pub in Pellon Lane in Halifax called The Running Man, the story is that if you could get your head out of the way of the blade when the pin was pulled and run over the town boundary situated at Hebble brook you were then free.
I can't tell you how much I love that explanation, thank you. Much better than my baffled Stephen King tie-ins. Got to confess I always managed to resist the temptation to call in for a pint - is it even still a going concern (the pub, I mean, not the gibbet)?
 

maximus otter

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There's a pub in Pellon Lane in Halifax called The Running Man, the story is that if you could get your head out of the way of the blade when the pin was pulled and run over the town boundary situated at Hebble brook you were then free.
There’s a pub in Lincoln named the Strugglers after those who didn’t escape, and experienced a rather less than “Dream Topping”.

maximus otter
 

Mouldy13

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I can't tell you how much I love that explanation, thank you. Much better than my baffled Stephen King tie-ins. Got to confess I always managed to resist the temptation to call in for a pint - is it even still a going concern (the pub, I mean, not the gibbet)?

The clientele are, well, characters!!!! It fits nicely with this thread, I once drove past it at 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon and they were fighting in the road!!!!
 

WierdExeter

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Somewhere I wrote about playing a game of cricket in a tiny remote village in Norfolk that had pretty much the same vibe to it.... north and West Norfolk are regions that have the same sense of remoteness to them that you're describing in Scotland, one of the few areas of England where you're on the margins, at the edge, with small population centres bypassed by everywhere else, a land which time forgot. Is this a manifestation of the same phenomenon? I want to find those original postings now; I recall the place wasn't an impossible distance away from the Royal weekend cottage at Sandringham and speculated about it having a royal warrant to provide village idiots to the Crown...
True about Norfolk. I was there for a few months and got to know a farmer who had built his own hardcore road across a large field so he could drink in the bar of the local hotel and drive home.
 

catseye

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No offense to you (or him) but it sounds like a good thing he's your ex .. the Mrs is very stubborn and so am I (we're both Taurus if you believe in that sort of thing) but neither of us dominate each other on a daily basis .. we both know that when either of us finally puts our foot down, we'll both submit and do what the other one wants (with a bit of grumbling). Two bulls facing off to each other would get way too nasty otherwise.
Thanks Swifty. That was the ex that I kicked out, leaving me to bring up five kids alone. It was still better than being belittled and patronised on a daily basis!
 

Bad Bungle

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Now I have guilt over possible disrespect shown to Mr Gibb, his family and his fans and the good people of Thame welcoming their local lad home. Still don't like the stone but everyone deals with grief differently. My parents' headstone simply has their name and year of birth and death - below my father's is the legend 'Farmer' and below my mother's is 'Farmer's Wife'.
 
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Oh dear! No idea which bit of Merthyr you were in, and yes, as a local I will admit that it’s a bit hairy in parts, but there are some halfway decent bits on the outskirts! If you should ever end up stuck there again give me a shout and I’ll point you in the direction of the better areas.
(Actually, I have my suspicions about where you were, but can’t place the pub.... any place names you can recall?)

Actually after having a look on google maps I may have done Merthyr a disservice. It seems to be just up the hill from Merthyr - Dowlais i think? In my defence it's a 10 minute walk from Merthyr by the looks of it so civilisation was probably quite near - I just didn't know what direction!. The pub that wasn't a pub was called the Tredegar Arms i think
 

IbisNibs

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Mind if I make a comment ? I 've just drunk a bottle of IKEA cough syrup and everything is coming up synchronous.
You've just given me the motivation to go to Ikea.

Walking through St Mary's Churchyard near Thame last year I spotted the words "How deep is your love" on the back of a large ornate tombstone. 'About 6 feet' I thought unkindly, I mean, what chav commissions such a large monolith and carves a Bee Gees' lyric on it ? ('Stayin' Alive - Not !' )
Your humor has resurrected my spirits.

This kind of thing never happens in America. Nearly everyone here is stuck in a car, so the overbearing presense of cars makes it extremely difficult to get pedestrian access to places such as cemeteries and creepy villages, and go traipsing around in them. We just have creepy strip malls, big box stores, parking lots and 6 lane roads. Oh, and luxury residential developments. There is so little "atmosphere" here. So depressing!
 

Bad Bungle

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This kind of thing never happens in America. Nearly everyone here is stuck in a car, so the overbearing presense of cars makes it extremely difficult to get pedestrian access to places such as cemeteries and creepy villages, and go traipsing around in them. We just have creepy strip malls, big box stores, parking lots and 6 lane roads...There is so little "atmosphere" here. So depressing!
That is depressing, I love wandering through old graveyards and I have to say that most of the churches and villages in my part of the country are centuries old. But I'm sure there are many places in the vast American outdoors that have 'atmosphere' - we gave you most of our misfits and a good chunk of our religious nutters in the early years, they must have made an impact.
 

Bad Bungle

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A few miles from me is the village of Bierton - not creepy, but has a forlornness common with many once-isolated villages that are now on the outskirts of an ever expanding town (ie the Black Hole of Aylesbury). Bierton has the honour of being the site of the last gibbet in Bucks (Hidden Buckinghamshire: Jean Archer). In 1773 a man called Corbet forced entry into a cottage, accompanied by his dog, and killed the occupier - but left his dog shut in behind. The Constable next morning let the dog out and followed it to his Master, who was duly condemned and hanged. After the hanging the body was encased in irons and strung up on the arm of the gibbet (whose post was 18 feet high) as a deterrent and subsequent tourist attraction. Despite numerous complaints from Villagers of the sight outside their bedroom windows (and the smell), the corpse remained in the gibbet for another 20 years. Finally in 1795 all that was left was the skull and the irons creaking in the wind and when the irons were worn away, the skull was kicked into a ditch and part of the gibbet used as a gatepost.
I've got a rough idea where the gibbet would have been sited, just need to see if I can get access.
 

Shady

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Twenty years ago and more a few of us used to watch PNE away. On the outskirts of where we were playing we would stop in a village nad have some dinner and a couple of pints before heading for the ground.

I recall heading for Mansfield one time and pulling into what I assumed was an old mining village where no one had a job anymore. We didn't even get out of the car, just reversed and moved on. We all felt really uncomfortable, and could sense eyes peering at us through net curtains like something out of Lovecraft novel.

Unfortunatley I never took a note of what the place was called.
Pity you cant remember the name, I am about a mile away from Mansfield, I could have popped down there
 
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This incident is in no way supernatural, but it was so odd that it has stayed with me since it happened in, I think, 1989. Unfortunately, it being quite a long time ago, I cannot quite recall the name of the village, but it was Corsby or Corbslie or something very like that, and if you're driving along the A68 between Lauder and Earlston, it's about halfway along that bit of road and a mile or two to the east. It's so tiny that it's a hamlet rather than a village - really just a farm and a row of cottages, and Google Maps don't seem to recognise it as a place in its own right. I don't live in that area any more, but perhaps somebody who does will confirm that it actually exists (if it doesn't, this story gets a lot more Fortean).

Anyway, I was out walking on a Summer day, and I chanced to pass through this place. Suddenly, out of each cottage rushed an almost identical alsatian, all wearing those scary collars with spikes, and formed a circle around me, growling menacingly. Then out of each cottage came an almost identical man. They were really big burly blokes who looked a bit like Rod Steiger, only more so. They called the dogs off, smiled in what they presumably thought was a reassuring fashion, and said something along the lines of "It's all right, the dogs won't hurt you", but I could barely understand a word they said. The normal Scottish Borders accent isn't very broad - far less so than what you'll hear in Glasgow or Yorkshire. But these guys were just: "Fargly arfgle gargly gargle gahurr!"

And then their wives came out, and guess what - they were clones too, but looked nothing like the men - they were all skinny blonde waifs a bit like Sissy Spacek, only more so. So I said something politely meaningless, and left at a fast walk. It was about a quarter of a mile to the next bend in the road, and the whole time, they all stood motionless in the middle of the road watching me leave! Though possibly that was because their entertainment for the week was seeing me attempting to ignore the alsatian puppy (also with spiky collar) that followed me all the way, barking its little head off and trying ineffectually to eat my ankle. I'm afraid that once I was out of sight, I kicked the little brute. I don't normally kick dogs, but this one didn't respond to being shouted at, and it might very well have followed me forever being horrible (until it met my cat Demon).

I tell you, if somebody had started playing the banjo, I would have had a trouser accident while praying for a miraculous manifestation of Burt Reynolds with a bow! Or at least Ned Beatty to distract them while I ran away.
You had me unrtil you claimed to have kicked the dog.
 

Shady

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It is no good if i do not know the location, Mansfield is a big place
 

IbisNibs

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In 1773 a man called Corbet forced entry into a cottage, accompanied by his dog, and killed the occupier - but left his dog shut in behind. The Constable next morning let the dog out and followed it to his Master, who was duly condemned and hanged. . . . the corpse remained in the gibbet for another 20 years. Finally in 1795 all that was left was the skull and the irons creaking in the wind and when the irons were worn away, the skull was kicked into a ditch and part of the gibbet used as a gatepost.
Yeech! Brr! Glad I didn't live there! Callous place!

I think Corbet was framed. How can you forget your own dog?
 
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