The village of Højer was quiet. A lone windmill sat closed. Night was looming and not a soul was in sight. We passed houses with dim lights illuminating drab old fashioned interiors, but we heard no sounds, save for the distant echoes of the Wadden Sea.
Night fell quickly, bringing with it the freezing air of a November spent on the southwestern shores of Denmark. We pulled close as we explored brick roads lined with thatched cottages, mouldy and with the bitter scents of open air antiquity upon them. We found that light switches were clicked early in this part of the world. Not a single car passed us all night. And as the lights of the town quickly disappeared – we realised that we were alone. Completely alone.
We decided to head to the graveyard which was in the main part of the village. We found an empty car park lit by an ominous green glow that flowed from a tilted street light, and slowly made our way into the cemetery. It was as black as pitch. We walked slowly, attached to one another – lightning the way as well as we could with a lighter and the lights from our phones and camera. The silence was deafening and the dark outlines of centuries old gravestones began to play tricks on our minds. We saw the faint outlines of spirits and shadows lurking in deeper shadows and behind the trunks of grand oak trees that were almost bare as they waited for winter. We walked the gravel path for only a few more minutes before succumbing to our own irrationality and stumbling back towards the iron gate that separated the dead from those in the village. All sound asleep.
We spent a few moments sitting in the stark, haunting quiet of the car park. We took some pictures and then began to walk, passing signs that advertised the faces of future mayors who were currently battling for the votes of Højer’s 1,000 residents. The windmill sat still and quiet, and in near compete darkness. We sat once more and admired it from a broken bench and finally decided to walk back to the small, thatched cottage that we’d rented for our stay. On our way home we passed nothing but bleak and quiet midnight. The village was pretty but desolate. It hid secrets in its bricks I’m sure, but it revealed none of them to us as we walked in silence through its empty and cold streets.