back to article Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed

A group of Christian evangelicals has declared junction 9 of the M25 "hexed" and is staging regular prayer meetings to cleanse the benighted interchange. According to the Surrey Advertiser, Gerald Coates of the Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead has attributed a rash of accidents and footbridge suicides around the junction …


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  1. mafoo


    The ironic thing would be if accidents went up as motorists all turned their heads to see what all the fuss at the side of the road was.

  2. yellerKat

    What am I missing here?

    Surely the entire M25 has been cursed from day 1?

  3. rpjs

    Life imitates Pratchett and Gaiman

    Although they had it in _Good Omens_ that the *whole* M25 was cursed: specifically that the demon Crowley and arranged for it to form the exact shape of the dread sigil odegra, which in the language of the Black Priesthood of Mu means "all hail the great beast, devourer of worlds".

    Makes sense to me.

    1. mafoo

      unspooled tapes

      Evidently the unspooled tapes were all of Queen.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Oh no

        Eeeh ba gum, poor 'Queen. ;-)

    2. Mips
      Jobs Halo

      Headline: "Pratchett and Gaiman Vindicated"


      Personally the only evil spirits I see are driving foreign registered trucks.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "all hail the great beast, devourer of worlds"

      I just had a plate of chips.

      It's a start!

  4. Shades

    They could be right...

    it could be cursed. Have they tried playing any of this unspooled cassette tape?

    "Never gonna give you up..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      No, it would have turned into Queen's Greatest Hits...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        what song was that?


  5. CD001

    Good Omens


    Many phenomena – wars, plagues, sudden audits – have been advanced as evidence for the hidden hand of Satan in the affairs of Man, but whenever students of demonology get together the M25 London orbital motorway is generally agreed to be among the top contenders for Exhibit A.

    - from Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.


    ... via Wikipedia

    IIRC the whole of the M25 was one huge occult symbol that slowly emitted evil as it was traced by the traffic driving along it.

    ... odds are, this being El Reg, 280 other people will be familiar with Good Omens and there will be 273 posts all but identical to this one.

  6. David Barrett

    Return To Mean?

    "I do believe we will see far fewer incidents"

    Would that be return to the mean then? If something is at its worst it is likley to get better... no amount of chanting will change this... but Im sure that when it does get better it will have been the almightly sky pixie that did it.

    1. Gene Poole

      Yes, it would

      Regression to the mean was the first thing to pop into my head too. It usually works a treat in these cases, thereby "proving" the effectiveness of the prayer vigil.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed

    "A group of Christian evangelicals has declared junction 9 of the M25 "hexed" and is staging regular prayer meetings to cleanse the benighted interchange."


  8. Devon_Custard


    Looks like Aziraphale and Crowley played around with the route markers.

  9. Cunningly Linguistic

    Have these insane bible-bashers...

    ...been reminded that this is 2010?

  10. Wheaty73

    Unspooled tapes...

    Bet if you played them you would hear Queen...

  11. Paul M 1

    Title 2.0

    "People were waving and shouting and beeping their horns"

    Now *that* bit I believe

  12. nobby


    it's junction 9 on the M1 you fools!

    1. chr0m4t1c


      When did Leatherhead move to the other side of London?

      Are you thinking of Luton by any chance?

  13. Jonathan 17

    A vicious circle?

    Christian group makes a scene next to a junction, causing drivers to rubberneck and drive into each other, causing Christian groups to think there is a need for a vigil, which causes drivers to rubberneck and....

    How soon till we can send the Darwin awards?

  14. cor

    << (Re)wind up

    I would imagine that a VHS video tape would be more convenient as they are much longer.

  15. James O'Shea

    send 'em to France

    If they think that any road, any road at all, in Britain has a traffic problem they should see Paris. Or even Marseille. And when they're done with France, they can go to Rome. If they dare. In the unlikely event that they survive Rome, the whole of Montreal is a haven for dark Satanic forces, a.k.a. Quebecois at the wheels of large American cars. They'll never be heard from again. Guaranteed. (Argg. It's almost October. That means that the snowbirds will soon be coming south. Brain-dead Quebecois driving Buicks and Cadillacs. The horror. The horror. The horror.)

    Where's the 'fish with legs' icon?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Actually driving in Quebec

      wouldn't be so bad if you could figure out where and when you are allowed to turn right on the red traffic light. As for old people driving large cars, you are still way more likely to get killed by a young person driving a smaller car here. Those snowbirds as we love to call them don't have the habit of street racing, engaging against the current of traffic or simply to commit suicide by crashing their vehicle. As the the horror, I'm with you on this one: the huge fifty tons American SUV are a real threat (including when they fill-up their gas tank).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows

    that the M25 was created by Satan anyway. This is just a logical progression.

    1. Blue eyed boy

      It was sweet, pure and innocent in the beginning

      like me. I can remember as a kid (approx age 10), navigating for my dad to get him to some place the other side of London, bemoaning the lack of a decent orbital road and having to take him through one traffic-choked town after another. When we did finally get there I showed him the route I had had to take him, then traced a rough circle around the edge of London saying something like "There ought to be a motorway all round here, a continuous circle, so it's easy to get past London to reach somewhere the other side.

      Just a childish daydream. It was never intended to become the nightmare reality that we know today. The forces of chaos must have looked into my mind, picked up the idea and said something like "Verrrrry interesting. We'll get that built but......."

  17. Skizz
    Thumb Up

    Return to the Mean

    "I do believe we will see far fewer incidents" - or, use a statistical phenomonen few people are aware of to make it look like what you're doing is working.

    And as we all know, it's not just J9, the whole M25 is in the form of the dark sigil Odegra and is often considered Exhibit A for the existence of Satan!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternative explanation

    Junction 9 on the M25 is also just about far enough from the Channel Tunnel for Continental lorry drivers to start falling asleep.

  19. Adrian Challinor

    Aziraphale and Crawley

    I think it was in Good Omens that the M25 as a whole was designated a demonic symbol. Not just J9.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-religious eh?

    This gathering aims to be "non-religious" according their website. While I applaud the concept, they seem to have completely lost the plot. Hexed land? Cursed cassette tapes? Black apparitions? Sorry, this is all classic religiosity...

  21. jake Silver badge

    You have got to be kidding ...

    "Coates believes the malefactor has been recording evil messages onto cassette tapes which are then unspooled to enclose and hence curse their target areas."

    And people actually pay attention to this nutter? I think we've finally found proof that the human race is ultimately doomed to extinction ...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'm not surprised that there's such people out there. What I am surprised at is that this nutter is in the UK, not over here in the States.

  22. Rogier de Groot

    Good omens?

    People who read too much Terry Pratchett will know the entire M25 is actually a demonic sigil...

  23. Ball boy Silver badge

    I'm just amazed they've only recognised Jcn 9 as cursed!

    Frankly, I'm amazed it's only one junction for Gerald Coates & his lot: me and my church - The Saints of the Potholed Blackstrip (membership conferred automatically by using any British motorway) - condemned the entire road as unholy many years ago.

    The Pioneer Engage Church you say? Bleedin' Reformists: miles behind us progressives (probably all stuck in traffic!)


  24. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Evil Spirits Infect...

    ...the designers of roads, not the roads themselves.

    We have a similar interchange here in Las Vegas (Eastbound Sahara exit from I15 North.) The local TV chopper guy calls it the Bermuda Triangle; a minimum of three accidents per day.

    I have been using the exit for 10 years and still can never figure out which lane to be in. The exit signs with lane designations are not visible untill just a few hundred feet from the commit. Just to add an additional risk factor, the express lane ends a few miles before, requiring that drivers negotiate crossing 5 lanes to make the ramp.

    Add a tier of tired tourists trekking up from California and you have a Devil's cauldron of trouble.

    And, as an afterthought, wouldn't a passel of preachy pretenders distract drivers even more?

  25. Richard 81

    High strees life of a city gardener

    "gardeners visiting the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley"

    Are they particularly prone to suicide?

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    This is just mocking the afflicted.

  28. Anonymous John

    Thank you.

    I was wondering what the basis of this story was.

  29. LinkOfHyrule


    Cassette tapes? Unspooled cassette tapes? Hex? Surrey? Stockbrokers?

    Now, I must admit, you do very occasionally do still see an unspooled cassette tape laying around in odd places like canal footpaths, back alleys and railway sidings but its nowhere near as often as you used to. However I've never thought of it as a sign of evil, more a sign of bored children destroying their parents '80s mix tapes for a laugh!

    Oh and I'm sure the evil spirits used to use mini-disc too! Actually, some used to use DAT tapes too as it gave better fidelity evilness before CDRs and Mini-discs came along!

    I live in Surrey, and I still have loads of cassettes! Hence the flame icon!

    1. Wize

      And the cars that still have tape players...

      ...probably jam, causing the driver to look down at the player and not see the car he is about to hit.

      And as he gets out the car, he throws out the remains of the chewed tape at the side of the road.

      Maybe junction 9 is one where you are most likely to get standing traffic without much advanced warning.

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    I do believe

    the M25 is already sung about as "the road to hell"

    perhaps we could line xtians up along its entirely length whispering their sweet nothings to their sweet nothing as motorists drive happily (gayly?) around it

  32. firefly


    They've been promoting myths, superstition and irrational behaviour for over 2000 years, so who are we to argue with them?

  33. MarkB

    People were supportive...

    "People were waving and shouting and beeping their horns, the whole atmosphere was great."

    Omid Djalili (Holding up a queue of traffic): "Honk if you want cheaper car insurance"...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DRM encumbered mp3 naturally

    DRM = Dark RealM

  35. hplasm

    Let me be the first to say-

    *smirk* 'titter'

    Is this not the Century of the Fruitbat? Cassettes?!?


  36. Red Bren

    Good Omens?

    Everyone knows the M25 describes the dread sigil Odegra. But using cassette tapes to spread satan's message is futile as even the devil himself cannot stop Queen's Greatest Hits from overwriting the contents.

  37. Locky

    "People were waving and shouting"

    He concluded by saying, "I don't know why they were shouting 'Cults' at us though"

    Yup, that's mine, the one that's going straight the Hell...

  38. Murphy's Lawyer
    Jobs Horns

    Good Omens (Neil Gaiman / Terry Pratchett)

    Chapter 1 reveals the Dark Secret behind the M25. Looks like the evanjellybaby mob has been confusing this with Holy Writ, or possibly the "Left Behind" series.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waving, shouting and beeping = ?

    "People were waving and shouting and beeping their horns, the whole atmosphere was great."

    Ever get the feeling they may have misinterpreted those hand signals?!?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Signs of the apocolypse

    1) A plague of Locus

    2) A plague of Frogs

    3) A plague of Un-spooled Audio Cassettes

    4) A plague of Commuter-belt Suicides

    5) A plague of Fundies

    (Numbers three and four are actual more a sign of the times since un-spooling obsolete audio cassettes is the only good use of them, and a recession will tend to increase the national desperation rate along with all the other national measures of suck.)

    Anywho, every Londoner will happily tell you that the M25 is _entirely_ cursed/damned, by the devil himself, and that any time you venture beyond the M25 your are in fact entering hell, which is to say, all parts of the UK not in London... just ask Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

  41. James Howat

    Regression to the mean

    I love their criteria for success - "if the accident rate goes down, it's obviously the work of dark forces and we'll take credit. If it doesn't work, then it's obviously the work of dark forces and we'll keep coming back."

    Looks like the old witch-ducking logic still works, eh?

  42. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Their solution is too complicated

    As anyone old enough to use a tape player knows - the answer to the onslaught of evil forces is an impenetrable fortress of love - love - love will find love will find love - lalalalala...

  43. Christoph

    'Satanic' nonsense

    To all: Please stop this nonsense about the M25 being designed by Satanic forces.

    It should be obvious at a glance that it was designed by Bergholt Stuttley Johnson.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titles are irrelevent.

    "Cassette tapes? Unspooled cassette tapes? Hex? Surrey? Stockbrokers?"

    This is Leatherhead we're talking about. I had the extreme misfortune to go to school there as well as work in the area for a time before I escaped. It was at the time a den of catastrophic idiocy and wasn't at all rich, or full of stockbrokers. It was the arse end of Surrey and full of all the things you'd expect to find in an arse.

    OK, so that was 30 years ago, it may all be jolly and full of rich shitheads now. So, still full of shit!

    1. Red Bren

      5 years ago

      A former employer sent me to Leatherhead on a course. As I got off the train, the first sight to greet me was a poster for The Samaritans, declaring "This is not the end!"

  45. Mike Moyle

    A prayer vigil...?

    Wouldn't they be more effective doing a nice little community service picking up and disposing of all the unspooled tapes littering the area that are causing the problem...?

    1. LaeMing

      Ah, but that would be work!

      The whole point of prayer is to kid you are doing something without having to actually do something.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is at junction 10?

  47. Dominic

    or they could do something useful

    Like tidy up the discarded cassettes and putting them in the bin. Surely that would solve the problem and actually achieve something in the process?

    /grumpy old git

  48. Anonymous John


    A 10 year old memory has just surfaced. I was driving up the A22 approaching J6 of the M25 when what appeared to be the full contents of a C-90 cassette hit my windscreen out of nowhere. I had to stop and unwind it from the car aerial and wing mirrors.

    1. frank ly

      You can't leave it at that!

      10A22J6M25C-90 Is this a secret code? Did you try playing the tape you recovered? What happened next? The story has obviously triggered buried (probably suppressed) memories. We want to know more!

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Get your kicks...

    ...on Route 666.

  50. JohnG

    M25 Jct 9 because.... is the nearest motorway junction to the nutters concerned (Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead).

    Someone named their church after their car radio and they have a fascination for cassette tapes.

  51. Lukin Brewer

    Python got there first.

    Anyone remember Terry Gilliam's animation :"There's a five-frog curse on the motorway!"

    As for unspooled tapes, those had been appearing, an all classes of roads, for donkey's years. You'd see them in gutters and strewn across the tarmac all over the place. I think lads in passenger seats would loop a tape around something before the car drove off, or let it stream out behind when the car was moving at speed. I've only ever seen it happening once: I was cycling along Cross Deep towards Twickenham when I suddenly got the weird impression that the whole road to the right of me had been cordoned off suddenly. Then I was able to get a proper look at the thing that was hanging in the air beside me, and saw that it was a cassette tape, and was already dropping towards the ground.

    Heh. It would be funny if the god squad actually caught someone in the act. "Hello, police? I'd like to report an incident of littering and abomination in the eyes of God."

  52. Anonymous Coward


    Now every Satanist and occult nutter will congragate at said junction! There'll be black masses and goats blood all over the shop in no time! Every 14 year old prat with a black-walled bedroom and floppy haircut will be down there next week causing more grief for an over worked Police force!

    Don't these bible-bashers ever think?

  53. sisk

    So THAT'S how it works

    "Coates believes the malefactor has been recording evil messages onto cassette tapes which are then unspooled to enclose and hence curse their target areas."

    So if I start unspooling the casettes from some old as seen on TV get rich quick scheme and wrap them around my house will I win the lottery? Hrm...

  54. Fremma

    With apologies to Adrian Plass . . .

    "Gerald Coates" is simply an anagram of "God's Ale Crate".

  55. Winkypop Silver badge

    "He could not think of another reason"

    "He added that he couldn't be completely sure that a hex was the cause of the problems, but he could not think of another reason for the disproportionate number of crashes and suicides between junctions 10 to 8 compared to other areas."

    Ahhh religion, explaining the world and all its wonders since the days of talking snakes.

  56. Sam Therapy

    If ever there was need for a Facepalm icon, this is it.

    None of the current ones do the job well enough. I guess "Fail" is the closest.

  57. Scorchio!!


    It does have a tendency to flood, take it from me, I live around here some of the time, and did so before the motorway was built.

    The Mole Valley (and the Thames Valley come to that) is not a clever place to site a motorway, since there is a significant problem with mist associated with the River Mole (duh), never mind the flooding that affects lower lying parts of the road. Add to that the persistent, head banging stupidity of drivers who over take on the inside, drive at 60 in the third and fourth lanes, drive at whacky races speeds in any of the lanes, and there we have a recipe for disaster.

    It is the most dangerous car park in the western world. I'd say the fastest, but Tesco Aylesbury late at night is probably faster.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Highway to Hell?

    Did they name it like that, because "Junction of Hell" wouldn´t rime?

    Mine is the one with the AC/DC converter for sewing machines in a pocket. And an unspooled DC motor in another.

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