Literature, Urban

Locations in Mark Samuels’ In the Face of Twilight

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]

‘No more than twenty paces from his front door, the Rochester pub occupied the northern corners just south of his new flat.’ [page 6]

A luxuriant array of plants and flowers hung in the baskets around the walls and along the fire escape which one had to descend to reach the courtyard.’ [page 12]

‘He had also developed a strange fascination with nearby Archway Bridge’. [page 15]

‘The first portion of the approach ritual required him to begin from Archway Underground station.’ [page 18]

‘It was first required that one contemplated the Archway Tower, a great black monolith that had gone up in the 1970s above the Underground Station.’ [page 18]

‘Gilman trudged up Highgate Hill, passed ….., and the great eponymous hospital on the hill.  [page 19]

‘… this time on the approach to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Its great green dome dominated the skyline,…’ [page 19]

‘In front of the church building was a statue of the Saint,…’ [page 19]

‘As he forced himself up Swains Lane he could almost believe that he was in some remote part of the countryside.’ [page 20]

‘To Gilman’s right was the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, a two storey whitewashed Georgian Building.’ [page 20]

‘Now, once Gilman stood within Pond Square itself, the spire of the television mast that was his destination was clearly visible.’ [page 20]

‘He took shelter in the middle of the square underneath the overhanging roof of an abandoned public lavatory. ‘ [page 21]

‘He decided to make his way to the Sceptre Tavern in darkest Holborn.’ [page 27]

‘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]

‘Just around the corner, under a low doorway, was a snuggery bearing the legend “Ye Closet” in which Gilman’s crowd met.’ [page28]

‘Gilman looked west; to his left were the tottering Tudor buildings that had lasted for hundreds of years…’ [page 53]

‘The train drew to a halt at Goodge Street Station,…’ [page 70]

‘Gilman found himself on Malet Street and saw that the book emporium on the corner with Gower Street was open for business.’ [page 84]

‘Gilman was amazed and terrified when the bus drew alongside what had formerly been the disused Underground station York Road,….’ [page 104 /105]

‘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]