Monday, September 18, 2006

Creepy Cornwall

A foggy night and an abadoned tin mine in southwestern Cornwall

Dear faithful readers, sorry about the lack of posts this month. I've luckily been traveling a lot and away from the computer. Then when I'm in front of the thing, I get BlogBlock. One of my trips was to the English seaside with my girlfriend and family. We rented a cottage in Port Issac, Cornwall. Cornwall is a fiercely territoral area with its own language, ideals, history and folklore. Little did I know that it is one of the most haunted in England as well.

The entrance to the... well, you can guess.

One of the biggest attractions in the area we were staying was the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle. Tucked away in a small looking cottage, this museum had an extensive collection of artifacts from all areas of witchcraft-potion indredients and herbs, the history of witch persectuation and torture, voodoo dolls, mandrakes, descriptions of spells, curses and charms, and information on current popular witchcraft (wiccans). Unfortunately we were short on time and I had to fly through. If you are in that neck of the woods, I'd definetely recommend it.

Boscastle was a perfect setting for sucha museum. It's a small harbor village in a valley with an eiree feel to it. The town was nearly wiped out in a 2004 flash flood and the Wellington Hotel has several spooky residents.

As one Cornish local said to us, "there's witchy things going on around these parts".

A piskie plots his revenge.

But by far my favorite part of the trip was an accidental visit to the Tunnels Through Time. It was one the most creepiest, dustiest, out of the way, weird tourist trap I've ever been to (and I seek them out). While walking around the surfing town of Newquay, I noticed signs to the Tunnel of Time. So with only minutes to closing time we snuck and began our tour.

You are walked through Cornwall's bloody history and folklore by disturbingly real dioramas of cavemen, smugglers, pirates, wizards and mermaids. There are also scary ones depicting leprosy, human sacrifices, the Black Plague and the Dungeon of Despair!

My favorites were the unique dioramas with Cornish magical residents in them. The piskies, the knockers and the great giant Bolster (with blood spewing out his wrist) were the most interesting.

It was a nice break from the fudge shoppes and frilly cream tea rooms.

Hopefully I haven't creeped everyone out... will post some drawings next week.