Hookland 140 — June 8th

Went out exploring today. Bus along the B3208. On the Holdhurt stretch are lots of weatherboard houses that seem to want to be somewhere else, to escape from that pervading sense of wrongness that seeps into you if you spend too much time there. Made the mistake of getting off at Holdhurt Wick to look at its church (another St. Urith) and then walking back to Holdhurt Row. No shop, no anything really, so I tried its pub, all old men with teeth as yellow as the nicotine stains on the ceiling. Still, the Lazarus was OK. Bus shelter was full of ‘Pavel Mikoyan Is Screaming On The Moon’ graffiti. I know it was probably carved years ago, but that stuff still sets me on edge. I remember when all the convulsions were on Newsround. – Diary of Matt Adams, 1981 Hookland 140

 

About Hookland: Hookland is in part a response to the weird, the paranormal content in culture when I was growing up in 1970s. In many ways I look at Hookland as an act of re-enchantment, a putting back all the weirdness edited out by the modern world. I grew up caught between space-age dreams and the last gasp of hippy culture where the main BBC news moved from reports of IRA bombs to reports of UFOs or poltergeists. Where documentaries about ancient aliens or witchcraft were shown on prime-time without sneering. The 70s were a high-water mark for weirdness. A strange, febrile time to be a child exposed to the psychic chaff of the mass media.

Hookland is also creating a haunted space that anyone could play in. As authors we often create spaces where we want others to feel they have lived, but then deny them permission to stay. Permission to build and explore in their own way. It is an open, shared universe to explore those connections between place and our sometimes forgotten myth-circuits.

Ghostwoods Books plans to publish at least one of the Hookland books currently in the works.

About the author:

David Southwell is an Essex boy, word spiv and landscape punk. He works as photographer, folklorist and curator for the Hookland Museum of Curiosities. A reformed author of bad books, he now follows the advice given to him by J.G. Ballard to: ‘Concentrate on place, nothing without a sense of it is ever any good.’ You can often find him talking about Albionic ghost soil at literary festivals and art galleries.

Find more Hookland on Twitter at @HooklandGuide. Follow David at @cultauthor.

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