In Deepest Darkest Devon No One Can Hear You Scream

A few years’ ago having tearily (not) despatched my nieces for a Sea Cadet camping weekend, my sister and I set about driving to Torquay, the English Riviera no less, for a spot of lunch and some shopping. We made some serious dents in our credit cards and lunched in our favourite pub. By the time we had finished with our Irish coffees we were fit to burst but clearly not so much that we couldn’t continue on our shopping spree.

It was fairly late when we returned to the car park and it was beginning to get dark so we loaded up the boot with all our swag and headed off home. On the way my sister who was driving, said that she knew a short cut so we headed off the beaten track across country.

For some reason she decided to tell me that these remote country lanes reminded her of the horror flick “Wrong Turn” and proceeded to talk me through the plot. My sister and the girls are die-hard horror flick fans through and through but me not so much. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit it but I still hide behind the sofa when Doctor Who is aired and on the odd occasion when I’ve been channel hopping and come across a vampire movie I’ve spent a sleepless night with the lights on, a garlic bulb and a framed picture of the Pope (in the absence of a crucifix) trying to keep demons at bay.

Beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable I decided to phone Dyson Abbey to alert them that we were homeward bound to discover that we had no mobile signal. Now distinctly uneasy, particularly as my sister continued to talk me through the slasher part of the film, we realised that we were hopelessly lost and hadn’t passed any other vehicles for some time. We identified a couple of figures ahead in the fog so we pulled over to ask directions. Believe me when I tell you that these good old country boys resembled the mutant family of cannibals from the Hills Have Eyes. Never before had my Grandma’s phrase of “you see some sights when you’ve not got your gun with you” seemed more appropriate.

Regretting our decision to stop we politely asked directions to be met with rousing laughter. The older one of the two spoke first and leaning into the window “You’m lucky to have caught me and my boy, we’re just on us way home, lost are ye”? He said grinning from ear to ear with a mouthful of rotten teeth.

The “boy” cadetswho would never see forty again and clearly shared the same dental plan as his father chimed in “Them fancy sat navs no good out ‘ere, girl; got yerself an ‘usband”?

I admitted to being spoken for but my sister …… before I could finish that sentence she had accelerated away leaving the Star Wars Bar regulars behind in our rear view mirror. In fact, we got the Hell out of Dodge burning rubber with a speed that would have impressed Rover who had manufactured my sister’s ropey old car sometime in the previous century. Who’d thought we would have got 70mph out of that bad boy!

As a safety precaution and just in case we were followed by the Adams Family, I climbed over the rear seats to retrieve my new titanium knife set which I had bought earlier from my favourite shopping outlet of TK MAXX. As it was dark and it was particularly awkward to recover said items from the boot with my ample bottom firmly wedged over the back seat whilst the car hurtled along those winding English country lanes at breakneck speed, sadly I was only able to salvage the potato peeler.

My sister enquired about the effectiveness of my choice of weapon and I pointed out that it could probably take out an eye in the event of an emergency. I gifted it to her as a wedding present and suggested that it could double up as a stiletto for the nights when her intended was howling at the full moon.

Fortunately, a little further along the lane we came to a crossroads and a signpost guiding us back to home and normality. We have since retraced our journey a number of times, but we have never again seen those strange folk and try as we might we’ve not been able to find that turn off either leaving my sister pondering what might have been and hankering after an unrequited zombie love.


55 thoughts on “In Deepest Darkest Devon No One Can Hear You Scream

  1. Great Story, I have one like that from when I moved down south to Georgia. Accept we couldn’t understand a word of what the feller was saying. We just nodded and mozied on down the road to another person gave us directions. 🙂


  2. When I read the words, “You’m lucky to have caught me and my boy, we’re just on us way home, lost are ye”? It reminded me of:

    “I am Dracula. I bid you welcome.”
    Dracula (1931)

    I got goosebumps reading this post…


  3. Yikes, sounds like you narrowly escaped being the star and victim of your own horror film. The best part is that you feel a picture of the pope will suffice in place of a cross. I’m going to have to remember that come halloween!


  4. I LOVE that you hide behind the sofa when you watch Doctor Who – I’m 50 now and I still have to watch ‘scary’ films and Docter Who with my hands over my face! Tragic! What a wuss 😉 Those country lanes are, really creepy 😉


  5. Excellent! It reminded me of a similar night down a dusty track my husband and I had in Arizona…at the end of which was a trailer, which I was convinced was housing dead bodies. No cell signal, running low on petrol…..and not a potato peeler in sight!


  6. Scareee!!! I’m sure those teeth would have put me off too. 🙂 I’ve learned from hard experience, that short cuts are never short. It’s amazing what speeds an ancient car can do, when you imagine you’re being pursued by zombies. 😆


    • Actually I had the window wound down and I was holding onto the door to stop it from falling off and I was worried that the exhaust was going to drop off and I was going to have to go back to retrieve it. I don’t think vehicle recovery would have found us!


  7. I am laughing uproariously (sorry). I am always lost, always. Despite GPS is my best friend I get lost. I was lost throughout England, several times (I wasn’t the driver), my friend refused to stop to ask directions and her GPS spoke with the voice of Darth Vadar quite strange on dark nights in the countryside.

    Flooring it was likely a very good decision on your sisters part, but probably left those sweet young men pinning for you both. Brides and all.


  8. Hahaha, oh my gosh, I’m glad you and your sister lived to tell this tale! My biggest fear when driving is getting lost, I get very anxious about it and I avoid driving at night if I can help it. I’ve never encountered any strange creatures on the side of the road like you did but your story reminded me of (sorry I keep referencing this) a Keeping Up Appearances episode in which Hyacinth and Richard are looking for a cottage that is for sale. They stop to ask for directions from this country bumpkin type man on the side of the road and well I’ll let you watch it yourself to be the judge. Here is the Youtube link: (skip to 16:30 for that scene)


  9. We have those sorts here, too. I think they are the world over… hill folk, boonies and coots. Thankfully, the ones I’ve run into were not particularly menacing.. just colorful..and I’m not just talking about their teeth. 🙂


  10. I’m terrible at all that stuff, Dallas! The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up just reading it. My daughter is a proper vampire fiend (oops!) and thinks nothing of sleeping in the graveyard at Whitby on their Goth weekends. Not for me 🙂


  11. Very creepy and … funny!!! I can image how you girls was feeling before you got back on the right track again. I hate scary movies – hide under my coat when I’m on the cinema and something unpleasant is going to happen, you can hear it on the music. Like “7” when I was under the coat 90% of the film and I never tried to watch it again. Dr Who I watched one episode and we didn’t clik at all.
    You are such brilliant story teller, Dallas … you should be a screen writer.


  12. Funnily enough myself and a friend got lost in Devon some years back also. We ended up trekking across a moor ( at least that’s what I fancied it was in the style of the great English classic novels) and a rainstorm followed us as we went deeper and deeper into the middle of nowhere. We however did not see a soul for miles…Great times 🙂


  13. OMG what a great story – know those country lanes (fortunately only in the daylight) can just imagine how spooky they are at night when the zombies come out to hunt for brides 😉


  14. I was holding my breath up until the end Dallas! But imagine how much better this would have read if you two had escaped from the altar 😀 Agree with Viveka, you have a career in the movies.


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