Just in time for Halloween, Colin has used Dead Air Space to share some found Halloween photos from the United States. The photos come from a book compiled by Ossian Brown called Haunted Air which features a collection of photographs Brown has been collecting for over ten years.
All photographs are spirits of a sort, but these Halloween pictures are more deliberately haunting. The majority are of children, and with their faces hidden behind masks or blackened with cork or boot-blacking, and their ordinary clothes partly or wholly concealed by costumes – white sheets and bat’s wings, devil’s tights and skeleton suits – it’s hard to tell which decade of the past century, or even the one before, they belong to. What makes them even more disturbing is that, even in their spooky masks and costumes, the figures retain the gauche, amateurish characteristics so familiar from family snapshots: arms by their sides, standing stiffly on a porch or by a garden path or squashed together with their siblings, as in one of the pictures in Brown’s collection – one of the few with a caption scribbled on in black ink – “Little Halloween People”.
The photos are far creepier than any Halloween costumes I’ve seen around this year.