Strange Things

I didn’t touch the negative. I didn’t move the filter. The paper was fresh. It hadn’t been previously exposed to any finger-shaped light. I swear to all of the above. So I have no physical explanation for it. 

I’d been printing in the darkroom for almost 5 hours and was ready for a break. I was making my last print, and the image was a bit too dark, so I thought, “alright just ONE more, then I’m done for today.” Except the next one had something bizarre on it that didn’t make any sense. I forced my brain not to speculate right then, because I was a little jumpy in that old house, where you never felt alone when you were alone.  Standing there in the dark, on a basement floor made from centuries-old stones that used to be the walls of a church, I felt there might be some unseen beings playing with me.

So. I quickly (frantically!) made another print, trying not to think about who or what had just interfered with my process. The new print was just fine, and as soon as it was safely in the fix I turned those lights on FAST and I was packing up. I didn’t even really look at the print until days later when I was back in Paris. 

So, what exactly are those shapes, and who put them there?

There are two distinct shapes on that first print, and almost a 3rd. Since they’re white, it means the objects that caused them were opaque, and placed above the paper, thus blocking the light falling onto the print. But no one else was there but me, and I surely didn’t do it. One shape looks like maybe a finger. That other thing, which is slightly 3D, I’ve no clue. I consider it my haunted photograph.

Earlier that afternoon, the electricity in that big old house had gone out. I’d just put paper in the developer tray when everything went black. I quickly abandoned it and fled upstairs. 

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were singing “Strange things are happening everyday…” on my computer. 

I found the fuse box and everything was fine, no fuses were blown, no apparent reason for it. At that very moment, a student from the folkehøgskule rang the door bell. I ran upstairs to answer it. He said he was coming to play the piano in the “green room,” which was just above the darkroom. 

Relieved to have company, I went back down in the darkroom. Now I could hear his beautiful music through the ceiling and it calmed my nerves. I spent the rest of the day printing, up until the haunted photo above happened. 

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