Friday, 18 October 2013

Dunwich Horrors: Images from the Suffolk Coast

Just spent a few days away in Dunwich, Suffolk. The village's incredible history is no secret - a major East Anglian port, Anglo-Saxon capital, comparable to London in size, almost completely lost to the sea over the centuries. From a population of thousands, a hundred or so people live there today. It is hidden behind marshes, forests, heathland.

For the horror aficionado, Dunwich also holds other appeals. One of the most famous of the fictional New England towns in the writings of HP Lovecraft takes its name from this lost city: the coastal doom and isolation are particularly appropriate for Lovecraft's work. Another earlier twentieth century author, the British scholar MR James, set many of his influential ghost stories along this stretch of the Suffolk coast, visited Dunwich numerous times, and clearly used aspects of the village for his own fictional locales. Due in no small way to the enormous influence of these two authors in particular, film, television, writing, and even role-playing games have turned to lonely Dunwich for further inspiration over the years, and in turn add to the village's sense of hidden, lurking magick.

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