Castle Continued

The castle is set on the outskirts of a small town.  There is a road that runs up to the castle with houses on the opposite side.  The road ends at a small carpark and there is a small river beyond that.  Everything around it is small:  the castle is BIG.

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The view with your back to the castle. Just regular houses. And a pretty street light.

Along the main gate passage there are entrances to the two gate towers and to the creepy stairwells.  I didn’t go into the creepy stairwells.  And not because of this:

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OK.  Partly because of that.  And this:

Can you feel the creepiness?
Can you feel the creepiness?

I searched for the name of the castle on Flickr and did not find any photos of the creepy lower passages.  There were plenty of photos from the wall walk so it’s not like the castle is only visited by the faint of heart.  And tons of photos of the warning pictographic characters falling, slipping, hitting their heads, etc. so it’s not like the other visitors didn’t notice the descending staircases.

Watch your head, little man.,
Watch your head, little man.,

I walked around a bit not knowing where to go first. After a while I thought I’d enter the nearest tower.

Entering the first tower.
Entering the first tower.

Crunchy gravel underfoot, light from above, sound of birds outside and wasps inside.  The top is about 30 – 40 feet up.  I didn’t like it in there.  It felt weird.  The bad kind of weird.  Normally, I’m a big fan of oddly shaped sort of cubby-holes.  And I’m not claustrophobic.  But I couldn’t shake the sense that bad things happened in here.

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This is not a happy place.

A few photos and a short video later, I got the hell out of there.  It was much nicer outside.

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In Scotland I had thought that I would like to spend a year or so wandering the country taking pictures of beautiful old stones.  I could have easily spent a week in this place.

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Two gatehouses and so many towers – four main towers of the inner ward and another bunch set about the outer curtain.

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Everywhere I turned there was more castle!

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Southwest Tower in the background. Also known as the bird tower.

It was a very peculiar experience.  I was ecstatic to be in such an old, beautiful spot.  I felt a strange connection to the past but also felt very much in the moment.

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Yes, I am overfond of the through-the-doorway shot.

Below is one of two photos I took from inside a gatehouse tower.  I took over 400 photos that day but I couldn’t bear to be in the tower for more than a few seconds.  It was horrible.

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My brief forays into the towers were fraught.  I was incredibly freaked out and it was a strange kind of fear.  Not like the fear I’m most familiar with.  Not the existential fear.  It was a very immediate kind of fear despite there being nothing in the vicinity that would hurt me if I stood still.  But standing still was the LAST thing I wanted to do.  I wanted to run. My sypmathetic nervous system was in overdrive.  But why?  I’m one of the least superstitious people you would ever meet but I couldn’t ger over the outrageously bad vibes in there.  “Bad vibes”?  What does that mean apart from “I don’t like it.”

I’d been thinking about fear for a while.  And later, in a caff in London, I had a very good think about it and came up with a theory.

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