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Introduction: The worst place in the world

Brighouse is a small town in West Yorkshire occupied almost exclusively by criminals.

Etymology and history

The name Brighouse comes from the old English for 'plagued hovel'. Founded in the middle ages, Brighouse was, in fact, originally used as an experimental prison, designed to hold violent criminals, aggressive drunks and village idiots. However, with the discovery and exploration of Australia from the 17th century on-wards, Brighouse began to lose its purpose. In 1879 it was decided by Royal Decree that the occupants of Brighouse would be permitted to come and go without facing threat of summary execution. It is generally but not universally accepted that this was the point at which Brighouse lost its status as a prison.

Due to its history as a brutal prison colony, the population of Brighouse regularly engage in violent brawls and oafish behaviour.


Brighouse is twinned with the German town of Lüdenscheid. Lüdenscheid is, notoriously, the only German town to be founded by the Nazis. It is often noted, however, by residents of Brighouse that, unlike its German counterpart, none of the trains run on time.

Scientific significance

Following a study into atypical genetic diversity commissioned in 2011 by the United Nations and punished in the journal Nature, the population of Brighouse was shown to have the highest percentage of Neanderthal DNA of anywhere in the world. In some cases individuals were shown to possess genetic inheritance implying that their Neanderthal ancestors were alive much morerecently that previous studies suggested was possible. Some theorists believe that this genetic inheritance explains why a high proportion of Brighouse's population work on the doors of Halifax nightclubs.

Cultural significance

Brighouse is famed for inspiring the 1981 film Escape from New York. Due to the dystopian character of the town, director John Carpenter originally intended on filming large parts of the film via hidden camera in and around Brighouse's many public houses. However, following the deaths of three members of the film crew at the hands of a violent mob (led by notorious gang leader 'El Chin Prick'), Carpenter abandoned this idea in favour of the less ambitious project which yielded the final production.

Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing was based on his experiences in Brighouse.

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