The Decrepitorium

by Suw on September 21, 2005

It's been ages since I've blogged a dream, primarily because they've actually all been rather dull lately, but this morning I had one of those surround-sound ultravivid IMAX-type dreams, which I can only summarise poorly in writing.

I'm outside some gates – multiple gates, set into a bay in a limestone wall far too high to look over. I've been here before. I recognise the avenue, the trees. Last time we couldn't get in, and I couldn't read what was above the gates. Now I can:

Arlingham Decrepitorium

It's a museum about death. The Decrepitorium. We're taken in through the gates by a small, balding, ferrety-looking guide, my dad and I, and into what looks like a small limestone mausoleum. Like so many mausoleums, this one is bigger on the inside than it looks and it's full. Of bodies. Mummified bodies. Plasticised bodies. Bodies in formaldehyde. Lots and lots of human bodes.
And death memorabilia. Stuff from Egyptian burials, small models of the embalming process, grave goods from countries I'd never even heard off. Coffin nails (including massive copper ones and ones with little jewels in). Loads of it. Mountains of the stuff.
And then there was the Decrepitorium Mirror. It ranged along a wall, with outlines painted onto it so that you could line yourself up, and when you gazed into it, it showed you what you would look like at various stages of decomposition. For some reason, I resembled Dominic Monaghan (the guy that plays Charlie in Lost), which is odd because he doesn't much look like a decaying corpse.

I love the idea of a Decrepitorium. It really would make a fantastic website – I can see it now, all gothic and Dave McKean-ish. And it's just a great word, although according to Google, it doesn't exist. Or didn't, until I dreamt it.
Thusly do I donate to the world a new word: decrepitorium. Make me proud. Get it into circulation and thence to the dictionary.

Anonymous September 21, 2005 at 10:25 am

That's so cool.
Someone should build a Decrepitorium somewhere in the British Isles, so that it can end up in the next edition of Bollocks To Alton Towers, betwixt an eccentric's folly and a museum of some obscure interest or other.

Anonymous September 21, 2005 at 3:13 pm

Well if that wasn't the beginnings of a novel or at least a short story, I don't know what is.

Anonymous September 21, 2005 at 3:30 pm

It may well be. Or it could be, if I had more time. Been ages since I wrote any fiction.

Flowergirl August 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm

What an interesting dream. Wish I had more vivid/lucid dreams. Haven’t had any in a while. That definitely would make for a most interesting book or short story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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