Stanwell: The Town Directed By John Carpenter

Living in Stanwell, Middlesex

Some towns are glaringly bad, often apologetically so. Then there are towns whose insidious nature lures folk like the sirens of the sea. As kids, we called it the mutant village of Stanwell.

If you have ever seen the John Carpenter motion picture “In The Mouth Of Madness”, you can get a glimpse of the infuriating nature of a place that is almost inescapable, despite being right next to Heathrow Airport. Stanwell has been made attractive by jobs, but for reasons unexplained, the posts have been filled by cannabis driven zombies and teeth lined walking vaginas.

The necromancer-like pub landlords fuel an almost friendly survival attitude among its residents which makes for a bizarre and confusing walk through the village after 5.30pm. A guy swings his arm around you in a display of affection whilst simultaneously using his right foot to silence the squeal of his seemingly demon possessed wife. The underlying uncertainty is palpable here; you have no idea what will happen on any given day. One uneasy look and you’ll be set upon by local thugs. Not because they are offended, not because you have money, but because you have shown weakness; you must be made to remember in order to prepare you for the dangers that are hidden.

How grim is your Postcode?

Witches in the form of bent-double old ladies coax you in with tea and cake, only for you to emerge hours later with your zip undone, sporting a disheveled look. Women literally prowl, the male selection process being a local with less than 50% cognitive function, and are therefore permanently pregnant, ready to introduce the next of Satan’s brood. This is a town full of fantasy board game characters and spaces, complete with odd scenarios and unpredictable outcomes.

By far the worst thing about Stanwell is the lingering sense that one day you will have to go back. I left when I was 17 (now 35) and twice I have inexplicably found myself on Viola Avenue. It calls you back when you least expect it, a gentle reminder that you will always be a prisoner either physically or psychologically.

As you travel to the Airport, stay in your car, with the doors locked and do not travel through the village section. The devil lives here.