Have you ever noticed what a horrible place Leicester is?
…Now hang on, we don’t mean that it’s not a nice place to live. It is a historic city after all that’s full of interesting and beautiful buildings. It also boasts some amazing restaurants. No one can deny that, and if they try then just show them this guide to the best restaurants in Leicester and they’ll soon change their tune! No, what we mean when we say that Leicester is horrible is that it just seems to attract… all things horrific.
This was recently brought to our attention, and since a city with an eerie reputation is a very appealing prospect to horror enthusiasts and lovers of the occult, we thought we’d better look into the matter….
We took the film Acid Daemons as our starting point. This independent piece featuring Kieran Hardcastle (whom you might recognise as one of the skinheads from This is England) is being filmed almost entirely in Leicester. The sort of urban atmosphere provided by the city is the setting for this story that follows a backstreet chemist who invents a new drug and the horrifying consequences of his creation.
Following the trail, we uncovered that not so long ago Leicester was also the chosen set for Zombie Undead. This 2010 flick by Rhys Davies follows the survivors of a horror attack on Leicester as they flee from zombies. The everyday, East Midlands environment is one of the features that lends the film its potent realism.
Broadening our search out a bit, we then found that Leicester is the home of numerous haunted and infamous sites. The rather grand Bosworth Hall might look idyllic, but it turns out that there were nasty goings-on there back in the 18th Century. When the slightly bonkers Sir Wolston Dixie found out that his daughter Ann was having an affair with the gardener, he set out man-traps around the property in order to try and catch him. The nasty scheme backfired horribly when Ann herself was caught in one and died of her wounds. Disturbingly enough, her ghost is said to haunt the beautiful building to this day.
Yet another unworldly presence is said to lurk at Leicester’s Abbey Pumping Station. Many claim that this place is haunted by one Robert Richardson, an engineer who fell horrifically to his death in 1890 during the construction of the station. Reports abound today of eerie sensations felt whilst in the basement- in particular the classic unnerving sense of being watched, and a dramatic change in the temperature of the room.
So clearly there’s something horrible about Leicester. It possesses a certain uneasy quality beneath the plain exterior of an ordinary English city. It attracts film-makers and is claimed to be the residence of various ghouls. We don’t have all the facts yet, but our investigations continue….