Welcome travellers to a special Westcountry Weekender blog where we catch up with Nick, creator of the Don’t Walk Down There video web series, exploring myths and legends across the South West of England.
WW: Firstly, we love the series – the videos are great fun and we’ve learned lots about our local area. But what inspired you to make the series?
Nick: I’ve had the good fortune to have lived in several different parts of the UK over the last five years, from just outside of London to the Midlands, Scotland and now Cornwall. However great it was to live and work in these places I realised that often you don’t take the time to explore what is around you.
After moving to Cornwall in late 2018 I wanted to make sure that I was able to fully explore my new surroundings. Before I knew it I was enraptured with the stunning landscapes and structures along with the unique history and culture of Kernow.
WW: So for anyone who hasn’t seen the series what can they expect?
Nick: I knew I wanted to celebrate all of the intriguing tales of ghosts and legends that had first drawn me into my new home. As a part-time videographer, I’m always looking at different ways to present stories in order to celebrate these wonderful locations.
The series began in April 2019 all the way down in Cornwall with the episode ‘The Wax Ladder’. This episode explores the origins of the 111 steps known as Jacobs ladder in Falmouth, Cornwall. Through a mix of interesting visuals and spooky narration, the video delves into the construction of the steps and in doing so uncovers a ghostly story.
WW: The videos are very atmospheric and there are some great sound effects! How do you put them together?
Nick: With every video I am experimenting with new techniques to help tell these terrifying and terrible tales. I have especially enjoyed setting up time lapses to capture the changing landscapes as dusk turns to night.
WW: You visit some pretty spooky spots, we’re not sure we’d want to visit them at night!
Nick: I must say that even my imagination has gotten the better of me more than once when walking around in the dark! I’ve given myself a few scares when in search of all those things that bump in the night.
WW: Rather you than us! So you mentioned that first episode in Falmouth, you’ve covered a lot of ground since then. Where do you see the series going next?
Nick: What started out as just a limited series has blossomed into over twenty terrifying tales spanning two counties all based in local myths and legends, sometimes with my own creative twists and turns added for good measure.
Plans are already afoot to create a series for each county working my way up through the South West and beyond. The next county that I have my sights set on will be Somerset.
WW: That sounds very exciting, we look forward to hearing some spooky Somerset legends…can you give us a preview of what to expect?
Nick: I have already started putting together a wish list of locations from tales I have researched and locations that have caught my eye. Expect to hear about tales of witches and even a giant eel in the caves at Wookey Hole in Wells. Later in the newest series, I will be getting on the trail of the beast of Exmoor, a large cat that has been spotted in Somerset and Devon.
As well as researching and presenting my findings of Somerset I will also be taking in the local cider of which I am quite partial to. The journey begins in February and I look forward to updating you all on what I find so keep an eye out for spooky stories about your local area.
WW: The cider sounds a definite perk of the job. You’ve been to a lot of different places for the series, any tips for our readers who do decide to Walk Down There?
Nick: Many of the locations I have filmed at won’t cost you much, if anything, to visit yourself. It has been my pleasure to showcase these places and celebrate what makes these individual counties so great. I would stress though that proper planning is essential and to remain cautious about walking on the coastal paths especially with tides to keep yourself safe from spectral and real horrors.
WW: Thank you so much for talking to us about the series, and do keep us updated about your adventures in Somerset!
Nick: I look forward to sharing the rest of my ghastly travels with you!