The surprising Cornish village dubbed the British answer to Salem


An eerie mist creeps into the harbour. An owl hoots; a cat screeches; a door creaks. Welcome to the spooky village of Boscastle, the British equivalent of Salem, Massachusetts, according to one recent American travel guide.

Today is no ordinary day in this mostly-sleepy fishing port, for soon the streets will come alive with music and dancing as the village’s annual Dark Gathering gets under way. Started in 2014, the Dark Gathering is a parade of elaborate costumes, traditional musicians and “obby osses”, performers dressed in huge decorative horse outfits, pagan symbols representing death and rebirth.

Essentially it’s a unique and rather bonkers celebration of Hallowe’en that turns this particular…

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