4 Towns Strange Enough For A Stephen King Novel
The U.S state of Maine is a place you only enter if you are really truly insane. Or have no sense of fear. Well at least that’s what Stephen King fans would know.
‘Movie-set towns’. A term that best depicts those towns with perfect houses, and perfect gardens with lawns that seem like every strand of grass has been glued into place. Perfect towns with perfect families whom never have a bad day and appear, well, like part of a movie set.
Among closer inspection, these towns couldn’t be further from perfect and as you read this I guarantee there’s at least one suburb that comes straight to mind.
Stephen King is one of the greatest horror authors of today and that’s partly to do with just how well he sets a scene. Setting a story in towns that seem perfect, but couldn’t be further from their cute, flawless first impressions.
King’s lifelong hometown of Maine has been an inspiration of some of his greatest and most terrifying novels, i.e. It and Salem’s Lot as well as inspiring the psychological horror-series Castle Rock, which combines all his best works in one multiverse tv-thriller.
‘Movie-set towns’ do exist. In fact there’s more than one real life Castle Rock where strange things happen in their seemingly ‘perfect’ surroundings. Just maybe without level of supernatural and same level of insanity King depicts….
1. NAGARO- THE ISLAND WHERE DOLLS REPLACE PEOPLE.
The tiny town of Nagoro is situated deep in the Iya Valley on the Shikoku Island of Japan. Among their dwindling population of 37 people is artist Tsukimi Ayano. After residing in major city, Osaka, for the entirety of her adult life, Ayano decided to return to her hometown of Nagaro at age 67.
With the shock of just how quickly her childhood town was facing complete abandonment, she decided to bring the town back to life, by replacing and replicating each person that departed the town with life-sized dolls. As you do…
The island is now inhabited with ten times more dolls than actual people. Not terrifying at all.
When asked about her creations, Ayano explains, “When I make dolls of dead people I think about them when they were alive or living here. The dolls are like my children.”
2. FEDERATION OF DAMANHUR: ‘A LABORATORY FOR HUMANKIND’
Technically more of one big hippy community than a small town, The Federation of Damanhur was founded back in the 70’s by Oberto Airaudi and quickly expanded into a population of hundreds.
Nestled in the alpine foothills North of Piedmont, Italty, The Federation of Damanhur have praised themselves as being a laboratory for experimenting sustainable ways of living in harmony with nature and its elements.
Not only does Damanhur have several “Temples of the Humankind” buried almost a hundred meters underground, but the community have been known to believe they’ve found the secret to time-travel.
One of the most famous of these “Temples of the Humankind” is their ‘Blue temple’ which lies 72 meters underground. Fellow Damanhurian, Formanco says the temple is “used to take inspiration but mainly for finding the answers that we think we have inside ourselves.”
Then there’s “The Music of the Plants”. Essentially, a musical connection between plants and people which many describe as a truly emotional experience.
Technically speaking, this communication takes place through a transmission of low-voltage electrical currents between root and leaves of a plant. The variations of resistivity in the plant are then communicated and translated into music.
Yes, you read that correctly.
3. THE HILLS THAT DEFY GRAVITY
Scattered among the world are a series of mysterious hills that appear to defy gravity. To the point that if you drive to the bottom and put your car in neutral it will quite literally roll itself uphill.
There’s Confusion Hill in California, Magnetic Hill in Canada and several of these mysterious hills in Australia, such as one in Woodend, Victoria.
For many, the phenomenon in these towns is caused by the supernatural, witchcraft or a giant magnet underground. Although, in reality it’s all just one big elaborate optical illusion. But without professional equipment it seems impossible to believe.
Once you use GPS markers to measure the difference between the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the hills, it becomes apparent that everything is actually in reverse.
As materials physicist Brock Weiss from Pennsylvania State University explains, “The embankment is sloped in a way that gives the effect that you’re going uphill,”
“You are going downhill, even though your brain gives you the impression that you’re going uphill.”
4. THE ISLAND OF TWINS.
Cândido Godói is more than just a small Brazilian farm town. In fact at least 700 of their 6,600 population are twins. That’s nearly 1 in 10 pregnancies.
For years the word was that the “Angel of Death” or Josef Mengele, a Nazi physician whom conducted horrific experiments on the women there was to blame. Either that, or there’s just something in the water.
Yet as much as it’s fun to blame the strange phenomenon on the supernatural and the unknown, the real reason for this was uncovered in recent years by geneticist, Ursula Matte.
No, it’s not something in the water or the ‘Angel of Death’ but a specific gene in the town that has simply been found to appear more frequently in the mothers of twins that those without.
Castle Rock continues Mondays 8:30pm on FOXSHOWCASE