Nik Butler: Horsham district is the perfect setting for Halloween horror

In hindsight Halloween and Horsham make a great partnership. I am not referring to the ongoing horrors of planning approval or the infrequent artistic monstrosities constantly revived for a few faltering steps; those subjects are the low hanging victims suitable for other seasons. Horsham in Halloween is rich in opportunity for those willing to dig a little deeper. Historically the district’s association with Percy Bysshe Shelley leads to the inevitable association with Mary Shelley and her novel Frankenstein.

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

Though I doubt many will be familiar with Percy Bysshe’s own works of Gothic horror and those bodies of work can be exhumed another time. Speaking of our district; as a rural setting it echoes many of the traditional horror story locations with small public houses whose lonely country dwelling must invite the occasional unwitting American tourist who will ignore the advice about ‘going out on the moors’; if only to avoid being run over by the inevitable low flying commercial jet.

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Additionally the architecture of our town from the imposing balustrades of the Old Town Hall to the strangely European domed roofs which dot the skyline suggest a Lovecraft tale of nameless horrors and unspeakable evils; but I did promise not to talk about planning. In less fictional settings the town’s own history, which is available to read in ‘Horsham’s Hidden Horrors’ by Stuart J Scarry, makes an interesting and timely read for the season.

Bringing these thoughts to a more current moment the now regular appearance of Tulleys Farm Shocktoberfest adverts reminds me yet again that I have to make an effort to visit before the event closes. Speaking of which the now seasonal efforts of the Rotary club in finding yet more reasons for parents to walk in zombie like fashion behind their offspring are an ever effective method of introducing residents to a variety of otherwise unknown commercial properties.

However the season of empty calories and faux terrors is not for everybody and we should be mindful that not every resident desires things that go bump in the night to go bump upon their door. Thankfully posters are available by way of our local police website by which little ghosts and goblins can be invited or deterred as home owner desires. So dear reader as the candles dwindle, and the distant foxes howl, I hope each one of you has an exciting yet equally safe Friday night Halloween.