The Victorian era has many photographs, most of which show the subject sitting or standing with a stern expression. Since photography was still in its infancy, photographers were experimenting with novel ways to create photos that differed from the norm. Animals acting human was one popular concept, and then came the headless portrait. Funny and entertaining, a new genre of photography was born.
This is one of the strangest and most mysterious books on the shelves of the Archie McPhee Library. Haunted Air [Buy on Amazon], by British musician and artist Ossian Brown, is a fascinating collection of anonymous Halloween photographs taken between circa 1875 and 1955. They’re all from Brown’s personal collection and are presented without any context. In fact the only text in the entire book is the all too perfect foreword written by the inimitable David Lynch.
"The photographs in Haunted Air provide an extraordinary glimpse into the traditions of this macabre festival from ages past, and form an important document of photographic history. These are the pictures of the dead: family portraits, mementos of the treasured, now unrecognizable, and others.”
Each page contains a single bewitching photograph - a simple layout that makes the photos even creepier and more captivating. Without any background information, these haunting pieces of Americana have only each other for company. That is, until you start looking at them, wondering about them, making up stories for them. On the pages of this book, every day truly is Halloween.
The picture on top is completely untouched. For the photo on bottom I used Photoshop to enhance the “thing” in my picture.
I took the photograph while ghost hunting at a very old and bizarre park in Salt Lake City, UT at about 3am. I did not see anything in person. I was simply flashing random pictures of the darkness whenever I got a spooky feeling.
These are some of the best strange vintage photos I have found on the web. I have no idea where any of them are from, but they each have a very unique possible story line. The eye in the tree is the best. If anyone has information on these pictures, please send it.