In a bizarre case of life imitating art, a Scottish village has seen a huge influx of tourists hoping to visit the site of one of Black Mirror‘s new episode.
The episode in question, Loch Henry, features a filmmaking couple, Davis and Pia, who return to Davis’ home town near Loch Lomond to make a documentary. While at his family home, Pia finds out from Davis how his police-officer father died; a particularly grisly story about how an investigation into the 1990s disappearance of a pair of tourists revealed an incredibly dark and seedy truth at the heart of the sleepy village.
Upon hearing the story, Pia convinces Davis to change the subject of the documentary from their original idea to the story of his father, the village and the secret murders. Initially reluctant, Davis agrees, and the resulting documentary is a huge hit.
The hometown, depicted as a waning ghost town struggling to keep business afloat with no visitors, is inundated with hotel and restaurant bookings due to Davis and Pia’s film. In an almost eerie repetition of the events of the Black Mirror episode, the actual village, Arrochar, has now seen the exact same thing happen in the wake of the airing of Loch Henry.
At the time of filming last year, however, the production took many pains to keep information about the episode under wraps. According to Martin Semple, manager of the town hall, which serves as the location for a number of sequences in the episode, “Everything was kept hush-hush. We didn’t know anything about the plot, and we were surprised when we eventually learnt it was about a series of murders.”
Whether locals are happy about the gruesome nature of the episode, or the depiction of their town as run-down, remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – Loch Henry has directly inspired dozens to visit Arrochar and bring them business.
Several inns, hotels and restaurants have seen a drastic surge in reservations, and a holiday cottage situated right near a scenic location from the episode is booked up. This incident isn’t the first time the series has influenced real-life events – after the airing of the first episode, fans flocked to read the Netflix terms and conditions.