“The stories on Maps Of The Lost are curiously matter of fact in tone and all insidiously creepy.”
These are the maps to the lost places and the secret histories. Be cautious, though. If you follow them, you may become lost yourself.
If you enjoy the knowledge and the warnings in the Maps Of The Lost, please share them with your friends. Or remove certain key words from the warnings, and then share them with your enemies.
Why We’re Excited About This Site: We’re doing something slightly different on Look Out For this week, and drawing your attention to some sites of strange flash-fiction. At least, we hope they’re fictional, as both sites have disturbing elements of truth about them…
The first, Maps Of The Lost, is styled as a series of warning about what oddities and perils travellers might find in the British Isles. For example, here’s a piece called ‘Meet The Guests’:
Outside Derby, there’s a small hotel which is cheap but clean and well-run. Do not stay in room 217 though. You won’t see them–at first–but everyone who has ever stayed in that room is still there.
The site warns travellers about strange vendors of fruit in York market, an endless wood in County Durham, and a mysterious broadcast of numbers if you tune your radio to just the right (or wrong) frequency. There are all just a few hundred words long, all curiously matter of fact in tone, and all insidiously creepy.
Whoever is writing these warnings to the curious has chosen to keep their identity secret, which adds to the mystery of the whole thing. Our efforts for this piece to find out the true identify of the author have been met with nothing but returned emails. Maybe he or she didn’t follow their own advice.
“Here you can find writings discovered inside a goat’s skull, scrawled onto the walls of psychiatric hospital, and tucked in the back of a quarto of The Spanish Tragedy.”
The Wanderer is not the only antic text to have come into my possession. In 2001, while working in a temporary position at a London mental hospital, I discovered a bizarre scrawl, a very short narrative, on a wall. It evoked a shudder of the uncanny, for it described something fantastic, but in such a way as to seem a true account. Since that time, I’ve sought out like texts, been passed them by friends and acquaintances.
Treatises on Dust collects these unsettling narratives.
Why We’re Excited About This Site: Another rabbit hole to lose yourself down can be found at the site of Timothy J. Jarvis. In 2014 Jarvis released his excellent début novel The Wanderer, which purports to be a found manuscript by the mysteriously horror author Simon Peterkin. But that’s not the only mysterious document that has come into Jarvis’s possession, and Treatises on Dust collects together some more found texts. Here you can find writings discovered inside a goat’s skull, scrawled onto the walls of psychiatric hospital, and tucked in the back of a quarto of The Spanish Tragedy. Some might be tall tales, but others seem more like curses or evocations of… something.
Here is an extract from one of them, called ‘Under A Certain Old Streetlamp’:
“An elderly man, committed several years ago for delusions and raving, told me yesterday that, during the hours of darkness, under a certain old streetlamp, on a quiet street in [here a word, possibly a place name, had been blotted out by thick hatching]… it was sometimes possible to hear faint yowling and scent the salt tang of blood or brine…”
Which sounds like another one of the Maps Of The Lost to be honest.
Curiousier and curiouser.