Hello, it’s the first of the month, October to be exact so I thought I’d do a post around this year’s Halloween EP I just released as Halloween might be cancelled this year lol. ;(
It’s around one of my EP’s which is actually this years Halloween EP called Haunted Playground a five track electronic synthy EP all based around a children’s park not so far from me. I’ve been there a few times actually, one of the fun things on going on mysterious walks you never know what you will find and is actually very close to a farm and the park itself is next to a country field so it reminds me a lot of Children Of The Corn. It would of been a normal looking park if it wasn’t for the weird looking play equipment a horse and elephant ride for toddlers or young kids which actually comes from a park which boasts to be the oldest in the UK and judging by the equipment it looked pretty old to me. I was pretty chuffed when I came across a old playground which I remember walking in and seeing the swings go on by themselves and it wasn’t scary but I did love the atmosphere it was giving off. That’s why I called the playground haunted that and the old equipment made it look something out of a horror movie. Of course I looked up the park for more information but couldn’t find any so I don’t think it’s a haunted ground or anything just a sketchy park at the best but it does look haunted. The elephant in the park just looks evil and reminds me what I know as the film but if you grew up in the 70s you will know it as the kid’s show Banana Splits and the character Snorky a elephant mascot who is programmed by their creator to be evil and kill their colleges from the show and anyone who they don’t like, that’s in the movie not the kid’s show lol. I’m pretty sure the elephant and horse rocker dates back to the 50s and 60s just going by when the colour teal was fashionable as I googled it but that is just a guess though.
I suppose it’s the bright yellow paint with creepy teal eyes that just freaks me out. I actually got some footage of it rocking and it looks pretty creepy when it’s rocking back and fourth like it’s mad I don’t know how kids don’t get scared riding on one of them. It was labelled on the elephant and the horse Wicksteed Leisure and looking up the park it was opened in 1921 by park founder Charles Wicksteed which you might recognize some of his brand in a UK park near you like the rocker horse is the classic example of a Wicksteed product even I remember seeing many of those when I was growing up in the late 80s to 90s and all around the UK. Wicksteed planned for the parks not to be for just children but he also envisioned older people visiting there too to just relax and enjoy the park.
It was Wicksteed who invented the slide and modem swings but it dates back older then that as a terracotta sculpture of a woman sitting on a swing was found at Hagia Triada dated to the Late New Palace period (1450-1300 BC). Also in the 1700s, French artists depicted scenes of nobility swinging recreationally. The first playground equipment to be manufactured and installed was in 1917 but by 1926 it had a pavilion and a theatre building, a rose garden, a water chute, bandstand, and fountain. The water chute, like many of the items of equipment in the playground, was invented by Charles Wicksteed. Barton Seagrave Hall was purchased by Charles Wicksteed in 1928. In 1931 a railway track was built around the edge of the lake. Charles Wicksteed died in 1931 and the Wicksteed Village Trust continued his work, adding features and facilities to the park. The park continued to develop during the 1930s with the addition of a golf course, toy shop and aviary. A tunnel was added to the railway. and the park attracted a record 40,000 visitors on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1935. During World War II the park remained partially open, with American troops billeted in the pavilion. Improvement continued in the 1950s, with the opening of a cinema, a miniature car track, a pets corner and an ice cream factory. The 1970s saw the addition of a nature trail, a skateboarding rink and a Ferris wheel. In April 1980 the park played host to the It’s A Knockout TV show. Attendance had fallen during the 1970s but had recovered to an annual 750,000 visitors by 1982. Two roller coasters, nautic jets, a cup and saucer ride and a pedal cycle monorail were added during 1990, The company Wicksteed is still manufacturing playground equipment and do everything from local playgrounds to schools but the park has recently gone into administration due to COVID-19.
As I mentioned this is all around a EP I made called Haunted Playground which has a lot of children’s based music but with effects on. I won’t lie as soon as I remembered the place I felt the need to walk down there and take some footage, camera, sound recordings and video. I mainly walked down there for the creaky swing it wasn’t as bad as last time but it gave a creak sound which I put in one of the tracks called Rosie the last track on the EP. I also recorded some screech noises from the slide and other park noises I wanted a sound from the elephant or horse but they must of been too oiled to even get a sound from them but I did get a springy like sound from it so that counts as something. If I thought it through I would of bought a cheap Halloween mask from a shop and took some footage with it but instead I stuck a face mask over my head and done a little photoshop yes that’s me in the picture, luckily I’m small for my age and at the height I was I looked like I was a little kid but it did help with a little bit of photoshop. I was inspired by some weird video I watched yes going off topic but quickly explain have you all been watching those Tiktok videos with those dark web feel all with encrypted codes and weird footage. Lots of speculation about it and mystery but I know that is sketchy. I’ve only seen bits on a Youtube video but I do want to watch them but apparently they keep getting taken down and reuploaded so maybe I’ll find them on Youtube.
Last night I stayed up all night working on a track and a video to go with the track and some of it is field recordings and footage of the playground with added bits in for creepiness it was mainly the footage I had to find as I didn’t record that much on my phone as there wasn’t a lot to film and didn’t have props or anything to make the extra bits up. As I might have mentioned I got inspired after watching a weird Tiktok video which made me want to do something sketchy and dark so when I thought of the park I thought it would be a good place to do a project about and plus it’s the perfect time of year with Halloween now in 30 days time and also I never tried anything dark when making videos so I thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t plan it but the track actually has a storyline to it and is about demon ghost children who haunt the playground and burn bodies (all outsiders) on the slide where they slide them down whilst burning their bodies. The kids died from the measles epidemic which is why they burn the bodies on the slide and depending how lucky you are you’re either dead or alive at this point. The reason why they don’t like outsiders is because they were responsible for infecting the whole village where nearly 75% of the village population got infected and only 8% survived so none of the locals liked seeing outsiders come into their village and they would lead the strangers to the playground so the children could “play.” The track is dark and has a music box I made with online tools and reversed it, I reversed quite a few different pieces to get that haunting feel and also some field recordings of the park like screech from slide, swing creak and springy sound effects.