Friday, November 11, 2022

Sideworld: Damnation Village

It's the season for ghost stories, something Sideworld does with style. Having loved their last two documentaries, Haunted Forests of England and Terrors of the Sea, there was no way I would pass up the opportunity to watch and review their latest film. And, as usual, in a time when so many paranormal documentaries are cut from the same mould, Sideworld always steps up to the challenge of bringing us something fresh and exciting to watch.

Accompanied by stunning cinematography and enchanting music, George Popov is back to act as our guide into the land of the sinister and eerie. With the help of voice actors William Poulter and Helen O'Connor, he leads us down cobbled streets and lonely pathways in search of the spirits that dwell there and the secrets they hold. But where are they taking us this time?

Pluckley, Kent.
Known as England's most haunted village, it's hard to find a location in Pluckley that isn't home to a ghost. From full-blown apparitions at the local church to spine-chilling screams in the surrounding woodland, this beautiful little village has many stories, some darker and more tragic than others.

Prestbury, Gloucestershire.
Phantom funeral processions, terrifying old ladies, the tragic spirit of a local jockey, and many more call this village home. Prestbury's biggest mystery lies not in why it's haunted but in what kind of haunting is occurring. Are these sentient spirits, or is history repeating itself in Prestbury?

Eyam, Derbyshire.
The village that, when falling victim to the plague, chose to sacrifice itself to save the lives of others; the people of Eyam decided to isolate themselves to stop the disease from spreading to nearby towns and cities. This location has soaked up so much grief and tragedy, it's no wonder it's haunted.

While I've wanted to visit Pluckley and Eyam for ages, I'd not heard of Prestbury before and was delighted to discover somewhere new. That's the beauty of these documentaries; the Sideworld team excel at introducing viewers to ghost stories that they might not have encountered before, and the stories you already know are examined from a fresh perspective, presenting new facts and theories. As a result, the scientific side of hauntings is taken into consideration, looking into the topic of Residual Hauntings or Stonetape Theory and explaining them in a way that's easy to understand. This was unexpected but fascinating and enjoyable to watch, as I feel this isn't a side of the paranormal that gets enough attention or is usually not explored in depth.
If Damnation Village is your first experience with this series, I highly recommend watching the other two episodes. Damnation Village is a stunning addition to an already addictive series, full of intriguing stories, with an excellent narrator and cinema-worthy visuals.

A ghostly tour de force, Sideworld has bought us a chillingly delightful exploration of the haunting world of real-life folk horror. Damnation Village is just what you need to lift your spirits on those dark Autumn/Winter nights, and the series keeps getting better with every new addition. I can't wait to see where George Popov and the Sideworld Team take us next! 

Sideworld: Damnation Village is available to buy or rent on Prime Video!

Directed and Narrated by George Popov.
Produced and Written by Jonathan Russell.
Voice Acting: William Poulter and Helen O'Connor
Cinematography: Richard Suckling
Music: Matthew Laming 
Original Art: Todor Popov
Website: Sideworld

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