5 Haunting Photographs
Photos are far scarier than video or motion pictures. There I said it. My opinion on this arises from the fact that through my years I have seen a number of things in film and video that have disturbed me but few of them plagued my thoughts for more than an hour or so afterwards. By contrast there are still photographs that trouble me when they pop to mind years later. One reason for this disparity may be because movies and video most often have the benefit of context, one that is almost always artificial or able to be found through observation of the rhythms and statements of those on the footage. A photo is a single moment which is usually accompanied by a small story that often tells you only a tiny fraction of what has gone into the moment. Like a painting there is only a single frame to read. The subjects and objects have no reaction beyond what is captured and no physical prelude available for interpretation.
Here are 5 photos: Whether of dubious authenticity or painfully real, all of them spooked me, profoundly saddened me or left me speechless long after I first saw them.
** Note:The lead photo isn’t among my choices. It is Richard Wiles ‘The Leaper’, a hauntingly beautiful shot of a woman, Evelyn McHale, who jumped from the Empire State Building observation deck. Wiles, a photography student , heard a loud crash and ran over to find the woman her in deathly repose atop the UN Limousine she landed on.**
This is a hoax, but that had yet to be unearthed when I was 10 years old and saw the “In Search Of…” episode featuring this photo. It shook me so deeply that on the cusp of adolescence I took to sleeping at the foot of my parent’s bed for two months.