Gothic horror photography consists mainly of photographing graveyards, which will always be one of my favourite past times to do. The older the graveyard, the more suspense I find in the stories that they have to tell.
I’m highly influenced by Universal Horror Movies and Hammer Horror. I love their graveyard scenes with vampires and other creatures lurking in the mist and the many differing shadows.
My photography is full of shadows that I find myself naturally drawn to as I believe they hide our fears. I’m adapt at exploring such fears via my tarot work.
Memento mori photography
Since meeting Mark in 2013, I’ve travelled across the UK visiting some fascinating graveyards and cemeteries. Scotland and Ireland are two magnificent countries that I can’t wait to return to.
In Edinburgh, they have the most beautiful carved headstones full of mortality symbols. These consist of skull and crossbones and skeletons that just have to be seen. In Ireland, they have cadaver stones that depict the rotting corpse wrapped in a shroud to remind us to live life for today as tomorrow it may end. So very apt since the onset of COVID!
More of my Memento Mori photography can be found at Headstone Symbols.
Why Gothic horror photography?
There’s just something about Gothic horror and the old tales of vampires, ghosts, demon’s and poltergeists that I can’t resist!
I think it’s the unknown element that attracts me as I find myself wondering if these creatures exist.
I remember when I was a child catching my first glimpse of Frankenstein’s monster on the TV. It was an old Universal Horror film and the monster was stumbling through a creepy graveyard and it got my imagination going. I was hooked!
Then along came TV programs like The Addams Family and my favourite, The Munsters. In my teenage years, Hammer House of Horror scared me silly, especially when I watched The House That Bled to Death.
Of course I have to mention my love of Hammer Horror and their vampire films. Many of these were based on literary classics from authors such as Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu.
My first introduction was watching a vampire getting beheaded in a graveyard. I thought that was bloody scary, but then came along Mr Barlow and that thing scared the S**T out of me!
What’s in the shadows?
I do believe that there are things hidden that only a few of us will ever see or experience in our life times.
The mundane amongst us will shrug that thought off immediately stating that it’s a lot of rubbish, but those of us who are open minded will want to discover more.
Take for example ghosts or spirits. I myself have experienced things that I don’t have an answer for and trust me, I am very sceptical.
Astral projection and spirits
When I was about the age of 5 or 6 yrs old, I used to play a game were I would lie face down on my bed and float through it to lie on the floor. The dust particles would tickle the insides of my nostrils due to my mother never cleaning underneath the bed. If I heard someone come up the stairs, I’d be transported back to my body in a flash.
I was always scared of going down the stairs where I used to live in Heysham. I used to think that an old man was about to peer over the banister and do something horrible. To get myself down the stairs, I would edge down slowly with my back against the wall, facing the banister. Once I was half way down, I would run the rest of the way.
What made me this scared?
Years later my daughter had an imaginary friend and at the same time, I would often see a shadow darting past out of the corner of my eye. There was no explanation for the shadow.
I was once in a cemetery when I got a strong powerful feeling of being watched. I turned around and I can only describe it as a kind of heat shimmer moving past me, but I wasn’t terrified. Nervous yes!
Since my spiritual awakening, my psychic abilities are growing stronger. Before you say it, I do take this seriously and I practice protection.
What got you started with Gothic horror photography?
In 2004, I visited St Peter’s Churchyard in Heysham to take some emotive photographs. I wanted to look at them and be reminded of how I used to feel when I was there as a child. I didn’t have a worry in the world back then and I was happy!
Unfortunately, I took just snapshots as I got no emotion at all from them.
I never for one minute thought that my fascination with graveyard photography would keep on growing and growing.
Are you a descendant of Old Chattox, a Pendle Hill Witch?
I’m still fascinated with the memory of my Grandad telling me that I’m a descendant of Old Chattox (Anne Whittle). Unfortunately, she was hung for witchcraft in Lancaster on the 20 August 1612.
I don’t know how true this is, but I have tried to do my family tree and I struggle due to a lack of information.
I do know that healing is in my ancestral roots.
Who inspires your Gothic horror photography?
One night when I was flicking through the TV channels, I came across a man walking through some creepy woods. Not only did the imagery capture my attention, it was his unmistakeable voice that eluded to something scary. I was in awe!
This TV program titled The Twilight Hour introduced me to the late Sir Simon Marsden who will forever remain the master photographer of this genre for all eternity. http://www.simonmarsden.co.uk