Consider, if you will, the following; the first two are taken from Twin Peaks, and are spoken by Moriarty-like villain Windom Earle, and the third quote is from Rupert Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer:

“…A place of almost unimaginable power, chock full of dark forces and vicious secrets. No prayers dare enter this frightful maw for sprits there care not for good deeds or priestly implications. They are likely to rip the flesh from your bones then greet you with a happy “good day”. And of the highest, these spirits in this hidden land of unmuffeled screams and broken hearts offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth, to his liking. Now this place is called the Black Lodge…”

“…These evil sorcerers, dugpas, they call them, cultivate evil for the sake of evil and nothing else. They express themselves in darkness for darkness, without leavening motive. This ardent purity has allowed them to access a secret place of great power, where the cultivation of evil proceeds in exponential fashion. And with it, the furtherance of evil’s resulting power. These are not fairy tales, or myths. This place of power is tangible, and as such, can be found, entered, and perhaps, utilized in some fashion. The dugpas have many names for it, but chief among them is the Black Lodge…”

“…The Spanish who first settled here called it ‘Boca del Infierno’. Roughly translated, ‘Hellmouth’. It’s a sort of, um, portal between this reality and the next.”

The Lodges in Twin Peaks owe a lot to the thinking of the Theosophists, granted, but I think it’s a fairly common idea that places can become in some way batteries for bad feelings, or centres of negativity.

I guess we’ve all known of places which somehow have a ‘bad vibe’, whether it’s a case of turning a corner in an unfamiliar area and getting a ‘bad feeling’, or the many reports of places that migrating birds avoid and the like. I suspect it’s more prevalent in fiction than reality (though tales of the Amityville House arguably straddle both those camps), but I somehow find the idea that a location can, in itself, be ‘bad’ and bring nothing but trouble for anyone who strays there, very interesting.

And if nothing else, it certainly explains the lives of the residents of Albert Square.

Today’s picture, incidentally, is by Gustave Dore, and is called The Gates Of Hell. Good artist, I think you’d agree.