When I was younger, the turning off of the hallway light outside my bedroom door was a beacon for all things shadowy and dark. Every creak, the sounds of the house settling on cold nights, and the moonlit shadows all terrorized me. At times, I could feel the bed levitating and see the sheets lifting up in the form of a human.
The shadow man that others have seen, however, never paid me a visit, but I witnessed an evil shadow on the wall open its mouth and speak. And so I spent my childhood nights’ eking out the sweaty scent of fear under overly warm sheets. These were my insomnia years.
And then one day, I grew up and decided rather than waiting for the ghosts to find me, I would be proactive. I searched for them. I became involved with two Tennessee-based ghost-hunting teams (I was too scary for a group in Virginia). For several years, I would spend all-nighters investing hauntings. Sometimes these were in historical locations (those are some of the best), sometimes middle class houses, mobile homes, and even a crop circle. I found the courage to walk alone down unlit corridors, talking to the air, and taking readings with my EMF meter, knowing that a member of our team monitored my every move on a video camera at base control.
These were amazing times. I miss them.
But the thing is, for all those late nights, mornings at Huddle Houses, and hours spent reviewing film and audio, nothing definitive showed up (though those of you who did this with me may have other opinions).
But then there was last weekend. Saturday morning was ripe for playing hooky from the direct-to-plate gravure process paper I am writing for my summer class. Ken and I wandered around Pulaski, Virginia, as I am working on a new series of gravures about our local Peak Creek. And Pulaski is home to many abandoned buildings, such as the above image.
It was one of those happy moments when the sun hits just right. I love this building, but I cannot help it that the Chicory flower growing out of the pavement in front of it caught my attention. The flower glowed against the blackened doorway. To get the shot, I used a telephoto lens on my iPhone 6s, waited for traffic to move on and hunched down in the road. Soon more traffic came, giving me enough time to think the whole image was too cliché.
Then in reviewing the photos of the day and editing this particular into my signature style, I noticed something odd. When I enlarged the image, something stared back out of the darkness. Yet while shooting, no movement or sensed presence caught my attention.
But sure enough, something abnormal did appear. Do ghosts have eyes that catch the sunlight like reflective surfaces? I doubt it. Maybe it was coincidence of time and light coming together? Or perhaps it was one of Pulaski’s many feral cats. I really do not know. Those options seem likely, but I admit I thrill at the idea that it is something all together otherworldly.
So let us talk of ghostly images, timely with the reboot of “Ghostbuster.” If you have ghost images, please share a link in the comment section … if you dare.