Text: The Strange Dark One (W. H. Pugmire) - remixed
Illustrations: Artificial wilderness near Vlaardingen, The Netherlands
Uncanny places are the best places:
There is a place of phantasy and fear, and of sublimity, where things are found in darkness, and sometimes found in dream. April Dorgan found such things within a haunted valley that was surrounded by hills and mountains – a place that beguiled, and mocked, and poisoned. It was an uncanny place, and perhaps that was a portion of its allure.
I see that damn totem that was beside the lodge in the woods, with its reptilian faces and wings. I’m tempted to trek to Rick’s Lake again so as to copy the markings on that totem – yet I am reluctant to return. I don’t care to hear again those buzzing voices or the howling Thing. And yet it tugs me to it, that haunted place.
Try this sentence on your next walk. It works everywhere:
It was in those woods that we found him, with a strange book in his dead hand.
When we can ask perplexing questions about places, we've moved to an advanced level:
He asked me some perplexing questions concerning Rick’s Lake and Professor Gardner, which I didn’t answer. He questioned me about my dreams, damn him. How he could know about such things I cannot fathom.
About this series
Over the years I've collected many place descriptions. It's a waste to keep them on my harddisk. So I'll publish them from time to time. I will add some pictures when suitable.
Enhanced and amplified topographies can be found in a broad range of literature. The best ones link to metaphysics or mysticism and (pre-) load the landscape with unexpected layers, sheets, slabs and strata of meaning. We can appropriate all this work to enrich our everyday surroundings.
Previous posts are 1:The paranoid method, 2:Rooftops and sacrifices, 3:Oil and electricity, 4:Sewing machines, 5:Rooftops and apparitions, 6:Woods, 7:Mushrooms, 8:Formlessness (2d), 9:Formlessness (3d), 10:Autumn, 11:Monsters and mad scientists, 12:Empty spaces, 13:Stars and planets, 14:Addiction against emptiness, 15:Suggestive vagueness.