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£247
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10
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 12 2019 7:45 PM UTC +00:00
£247
pledged of £ 2,700pledged of £ 2,700 goal
10
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 12 2019 7:45 PM UTC +00:00

About

Please feel free to see some of my recent photography projects at the link below

 https://www.lensculture.com/phil-horey/project


 Where The Night Rooks Go

A great fireside read 



Foreword for ‘Where The Night Rooks Go’

Phil Horey has been a deep sea diver for all his long life and so has sensed the mysteries of deep waters. Those mysteries allow him the extra perspectives he shares with us in the book   His stories are often beyond solution in our own world’s imagining.  But, just maybe, the sea and the earth have their own extra ‘dimensions’ far deeper than our own thinking ability? Who could even dream up the colour ‘yellow’ had they not experienced it?  Phil Horey writes thrilling tales, drifting us into the far dimensions that have drifted to Phil himself.

Sir Humphry Wakefield

Chillingham Castle 2018


I have spent most of my life as a commercial diver and photographer, the book I propose has been 17yrs in the making. The title comes from a Thomas Hardy poem called ‘The Haunter’, which will be reproduced in its entirety at the begging of the book. This poem I feel captures the essence of my photographic approach. It is other-worldly, sometimes melancholic, sometimes chilling and ghostly but with awe and wonder in equal measure. Working on this book has been a slow organic process, the antithesis of today’s instant digital world of Instagram and Facebook. 

My Photographs start out as ideas,  daydreams even, sometimes already linked to a story, or sometimes I have to find a story with which they fit. I then visit locations to scout out possibilities and requirements, some have taken years to come to fruition.  I believe it has produced pictures with ’soul’ rather than that of CGI imagery with Photoshop precision. What started out as a bit of a fun project with my then young son soon turned into a journey. An odyssey of exploration on many levels, charting advancing years, discovery, philosophical / spiritual and photographic development.

There are over 100 images shot mainly on Black and white 35mm film and the odd splash of colour, all with varying degrees of wonderful atmospheric grain. But this is not just a photography book. 50,000 words of text accompany the 22 chapters and each essay describes the locations, the history and actual story of the haunting's, along with personal observations and experiences from each location shoot. It also has an occasional poem to compliment certain chapters both borrowed and my own.

The aim is to give a more 3D image of each location and haunting legend, models have been subtly used and the text gives background to bring the images to ‘life’. The inspirations for the work were Simon Marsden’s ‘Haunted Realm’ a collection of infra pictures of old haunted castles /mansions and the Readers Digest book of ‘ Folklore, Myths and legends of Great Britain’ a big dusty tome of a book collectable now along with Marsden’s works. The locations for my chapters stretch from the Shetland Islands in the far north to the most southerly headland of Britain the dreaded Lizard peninsular and the ‘Man ‘O’ War rocks. Along the way we visit the majestic Loch Ness and beautiful unspoilt English /Scottish border country rich in both ballad and history. We encounter ghosts, serpents, folklore heroes and even mermaids! I trust you will find it an engrossing fireside read to be savoured one chapter at a time.

The project is complete, professionally proof read and edited and I have a forward very kindly written by Sir Humphrey Wakefield the owner of Chillingham Castle, (the most haunted house in Britain!).  I aim to produce a limited edition of just 200/300 copies which will hopefully become collectable themselves and if all goes well they should be available by early July. I aim to keep the unit cost down so that a small donation (hopefully) will guarantee all sponsors a book at a price equivalent to or less, than that from an online or actual book store (inc P&P) 

If it should happen that all 200 books are pledged for and more are needed I will print accordingly but limit the number at whatever is needed.

The following are excerpts from three chapters, ‘The Cloutie Tree’, an ancient place of pilgrimage for those seeking supernatural healing. ‘Blanchland’ a protected but haunted village deep in the folds of the Northumbrian moors, built from the remains of and on the old Abbey which once stood there. And the majestic Loch Ness, home of the most famous ‘Water Horse’ or ‘Kelpie’, possibly in the world.

Please feel free to email any questions.

Warmest Regards

Phil Horey


The Cloutie Tree

The wishing well and Cloutie (or cloth) Tree of the Black Isle to the north of Inverness has been a place of pilgrimage for perhaps 5000 years. In the hope of being granted a miracle or cure, the afflicted and plagued have travelled here (and still do) to tie personal items of clothing to the trees and bushes surrounding the sacred well. As the material rots, so the ailments supposedly fade. Christians have since usurped this ancient sacred place in the name of St Curidan.

I pulled up outside Avoch Post Office on the Black Isle, lost and looking for directions to the Cloutie Tree and well. I had obviously travelled too far along the A832, and from my understanding, its location should have been obvious. From a bright, sunlit street I entered the dark interior of the village office and shop. Inside, two gentlemen stood, one on either side of an old-fashioned, unprotected counter, slack-jawing the afternoon away. With the cheerful enthusiasm often given to strangers who unexpectedly enliven a sleepy day, they stumbled over each other’s words, eager to give their own directions. Buoyed up by their proffered geniality I felt obliged to repay them with a purchase, and I left clutching a 99p bag of jelly babies. Back in the sunbathed car, my direction west looked ominously dark. I set off, and began to devour my juveniles without prejudice or anatomical favouritism.

The bright rays of the east began to succumb to cloud. My one remaining baby was discovering its fate as I slowed the car past some rag bunting bushes to my left. When you are on the correct road and looking out for it, the location is impossible to miss, though an ignorant casual observer passing by might dismiss it as mere wind-blown fly-tipping. Light precipitation began to spatter the windscreen as I pulled off the road into a convenient side track. Wheels crunched on compacted gravel as I rolled to a halt in a clearing of forested pine. I had just crossed a rain line, and the drizzle now exploded into sheets of vertical rain, rattling off the metallic bodywork. As I cowered inside the car, bilious drops on the windscreen blurred the surrounding woodland into grotesque shapes of green and brown. To my left, a deciduous hillock about fifty feet high stood out amongst the monoculture, obliterating any sight of the A832 just as the rain drowned out its sound.

With the courage of Caesar’s standard-bearer, who leapt from a dry ship to wade ashore on the forbidding coast of ancient Britain, I opened the door. My curiosity for this place aroused, I was prepared to take on its physical and maybe spiritual elements. For someone I knew of had recently visited here, and on her way back to her car she was pushed from behind, causing her to stumble. Having just passed a couple walking the opposite way, when she glanced back they were too far off to be the agents of her fall. Perhaps she had not shown enough respect for the powers that might lurk here. A willing jelly baby or two sacrificed in their honour may have placated their wrath. Anyway, forcing one trembling foot out onto the gravel I noticed a pair of gloves in a side compartment of the door, left behind by a friend probably two years previously when in rude health; that same person, now having undergone surgery, was still in the grip of illness. A coincidence and an apt offering turned my exploration into a pilgrimage.

The good keepers of the forest have erected a small notice on the path to the hillock. For those who visit in an errand of mercy, it gives precise instructions for the necessary rituals to be performed in execution of their mission. But for those whose casual visit may end in a less honourable occasion it gives an appropriate warning:

‘Articles of clothing with which the recipient of your wish has had some personal contact should be tied to a tree around the well. You should then walk around the well three times in a sunrise direction. Drink from the well and/or scatter some of its water on the stones around it. However it is bad luck to remove any item left by previous visitors, lest you take their bad luck away with you.’

The path led on. Bushes on either side began to close in, apparelled in tatters of cloth, sparse at first but increasing in number with every step. The muddy trail led to stone steps which began to rise and curl around the mound. Ascending, descending and ascending once more I crested the last rise through a thicket of threads and was brought to a stunned stop.

The heart of the mound lay before and below me. A tingle raced up my spine, bristling my neck hairs to attention. Ancient stone steps fell away to a small pool into which a fairy grotto of a cave poured forth its spring of life. The brimming well gently urged the gurgling stream downward, trees crowding around eager to tap into its elixir. Every inch of branch, trunk, sapling and bush was adorned in a kaleidoscope of melancholic, decaying fabric: bra, a plaster cast, shirts, coats and flags all competing for space and attention. The scene resembled an airplane crash, but it was the suitcases of the afflicted which were disgorged here. Drips of water fell steadily through the upper canopy where leaves still reigned. In stillness the trees wept five thousand years of tears for the sick and dying, soaking the limp bedraggled rags, each one a memory or a hope… (To be cont.)

Blanchland

It was just the odd flake at first, three days too late for Christmas; a minor irritant on the windscreen. But the herald crystal scouts were rapidly obscured as the main host advanced ominously across the Derwent Fells. With nightfall an hour away and visibility already measured in feet rather than yards, the road began to vanish under the white down. Following the tracks of some predecessor, I drove at a crawl until the incline became so steep that I dared not progress any further. Outside in the silent snowfall, the way ahead was only vaguely outlined by two hedgerows descending the steep hillside; it became clear, we could neither advance nor retreat, except on our feet. We were close, but how close? Somewhere at the bottom of this fell lay Blanchland and our journey’s end. The car had reached its destination, but we had not.

Timely and appropriate rescue arrived out of the blizzard in the form of a four-wheel drive with the chef of the Lord Crewe Arms Hotel behind the wheel. As the outside world was kept at bay by ten inches of blanketing snow, this ancient travellers’ hostel would be our home for who knew how long.

A fire blazed in the lobby of the Lord Crewe Arms, warming the flagstone floor and steaming our snow-clad coats as we held out our hands to the heat. The hotel was once an abbot’s lodgings and guest house of Blanchland Abbey, and as such it received travellers seeking refuge for four centuries before Henry VIII’s dissolutions. Leaving the lobby (originally a kitchen), we were shown to our room via a lounge, where a portrait of Lord Crewe himself keeps a watchful eye from above a vast fireplace concealing a priest hole. We were led on through an arched opening and up a stone stairway, at the top of which stands a huge door. This door was recently discovered to be the original inn sign, and after cleaning, the Lord Crewe coat of arms was revealed. So, on past antlers and more portraits, we ascended toward the 18th century home of Northumberland’s most famous ghost, Miss Dorothy Forster.

The first room of the Dorothy Forster suite is a pleasant, homely sitting room. Over the fireplace hangs the portrait of Miss Forster herself, bearing an expression of benign sweetness. Beyond this lie Dorothy’s bedroom and a most welcome sight. A beamed ceiling crowns a bed of gigantic proportions, and gracing the walls hang old oil paintings, distressed by time. But ruling all is a magnificent alcove with a 13th century bar tracery leaded window, bearing fragments of 800-year-old stained glass from the nearby abbey chapel. Outside of this window darkness had finally descended, the still-falling snow silently gravitating to earth, illuminated now by the yellow window glow of this ancient sanctuary. Dorothy’s bedroom window overlooks the old abbey cloisters which were now iced like a Christmas cake: a scene I imagine unchanged for 300 years… (To be cont.)

Loch Ness

‘I saw the dark high head very distinctly; there can be no denial, by even the most rabid scoffer, that in Loch Ness there is something abnormal.’

Mr J.C. Mackay, excerpt from More than a Legend by Constance Whyte.

In 1899, Aleister Crowley, the ‘wickedest man in the world’ or ‘the great beast’ as he was also known, bought Boleskin House by the shores of Loch Ness. Reputedly named after Baal, the bloody God of the Babylonians, Boleskin offered all the requirements of seclusion, space, place and physical arrangement for Crowley to perform his magic rituals. One such ceremony (in which he hoped to attain communication with his guardian angel), required an intensive six-month daily dedication to accomplish. Part of the rite for the initiate was to be able to invoke the ‘Lords of Darkness’ and compel them to serve the ‘Light’. Halfway through this ritual, Crowley was called away to give aid to his ‘Master’ in the cult of the ‘Golden Dawn’. In abandoning the ritual without banishing those forces he had already summoned (and so clearing the air, as it were), he left the door open to this world for certain demonic forces to enter. Misfortune and unease have dwelt in Boleskin ever since, and it is perhaps no surprise that it was reputedly a haunted house. On 23rd December 2016, the house was gutted by fire; the cause was never found.

Some believe that the influence of these dark forces has spread into the countryside around, and are responsible for the manifestations of the ‘beast’ or ‘serpent’ of Loch Ness. The monster’, as it is now called, made itself widely known shortly after Crowley’s final departure from Boleskin House in 1913. The construction of a road along the north shore in 1933 brought in a steady stream of sightings, as the loch was now visible along its entire length. In many reports of the Loch Ness monster, a feeling of unease and fear often accompanies the beholder: a feeling of something unnatural, something out of place. However, legends of beasts, kelpies or water horses, said to inhabit many Scottish lochs, stretch way back in time, long before Crowley and his misguided rituals.

In the 7th century, St Adamnan wrote in his biography of St Columba ‘of the driving away of a certain water monster by virtue of prayer by the holy Man.’ His narrative goes on to tell of how, upon seeing the monster (who had already killed a man that same day) rushing upon a swimmer in the River Ness, the great man invoked the word of God and commanded: ‘Think not to go further nor touch thou that man; quick, go back!’ The beast was so stricken with terror at these words that it fled ‘as if drawn back by cords’.

Thus the Loch Ness monster entered into history. To the highlander of old, it and the other monsters or kelpies of so many Scottish lochs were no harder to comprehend than a man landing on the moon to today’s ‘enlightened’ souls. However, the monster was looked upon as an omen of misfortune; the highlander would not interpret it as an ordinary member of the animal kingdom. Even at the turn of the last century, children playing by the lochside would always have an adult in attendance to guard against the water horse. In George Herbert Morrison’s book, St Columba, His Life and Times, he wrote of the early inhabitants of these mountains:

‘In every spring, in every well, there was a spirit; in every loch there lived some dreaded thing. When the echoes of thunder rolled through the mountain corries, or when the wild storm beat the forest, voices from the great mystery were speaking.’ 

An old map from 1712 in the Bodleian Library in Oxford has the following note in reference to Loch Lomond: ‘Waves without wind, fish without fins, and a floating island.’ 

(To be cont.)

Risks and challenges

The project is complete , proof read and edited , there may be some final design issues and these i wont know until the first proof copy. I intend to get this absolutely spot on right as it has been a long time in the making and I want it to be perfect for all and myself to enjoy and be proud of.

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    Hi Res chapter heading picture from book

    Select any one of the chapter heading pictures from the book to download , for use as wallpaper or for your own print.

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    A 2 night voyage for 2 on Loch Ness

    Loch Ness will be one of the chapters featured in the book. I can offer a two day monster hunting trip for up to two people on the loch aboard my 31ft ketch 'Merlin'. Basic food included but with access to pubs and restaurants in the evening. Dates arranged to suit May to September. Plus signed copy of the book.
    Excludes travel expenses to and from the vessel at Inverness. Further details upon request.

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