On a walk through Lisbon’s Jardim Botânico I stumbled upon this abandoned astronomical observatory.
Mark Samuels’ bleak novella of urban horror, In the Face of Twilight, is set in London. Living in London, and being somewhat familiar with the settings in this story, this created a unique opportunity to see what places in his book actually do exist.
What follows is a selection of photos taken of locations that feature in In the Face of Twilight. Although some of the names of the real locations may be different from the story, based on all information given in the book, I am confident that these are the places that were portrayed.
‘Ivan Gilman had little choice when it came to deciding to rent the studio flat on the Archway Road.’ [page 3]
‘He had also developed a strange fascination with nearby Archway Bridge’. [page 15]
‘After a minute or so he saw the archway with the sign, just before Holborn Circus. It was fixed on a Victorian street lamp that had been converted to run off electricity instead of gas, and it read “The Sceptre Tavern”.’ [page 28]
‘Although at first bewildered, he quickly realised that he had somehow staggered into the old West section of Highgate Cemetery after last night’s debauch.’ [page115/116]
Like Fritz Leiber and Thomas Ligotti, the setting for the weird fiction of Mark Samuels is often an urban environment. The British horror writer Ramsey Campbell describes Samuel’s stories as ‘Urban Tales of Terror’ in the introduction to Samuel’s latest collection of short stories, ‘Glyphotech and Other Macabre Stories.’
The setting for these urban tales of terror is usually London, where the writer was born and still lives. A disturbing example of this type of writing is his debut novella The Face of Twilight.
‘Sentinels,’ one of the stories in Glyphotech, features the fascinating world of abandoned London Underground Stations. The main character investigates the disappearance of a tube train driver riding the very last train of the night, on a line that passes these abandoned Underground Stations.
If you ever visited or lived in London you may have seen remnants of these old Underground Stations, either the abandoned entrances visible from the streets or while being on the Underground. On some lines you can catch a glimpse of these abandoned stations. Supposedly there are more than 40 abandoned or relocated stations and it is a fascinating world far away from the busy streets of London, but unfortunately well monitored and fenced off to keep the interested away.