Friday, 6 August 2010

Spooky Places

My teenaged sons have suddenly developed an interesting in spooky places. Essex has a lot of so called haunted places ,so as a start they decided to camp in the ruins of St Peters church Alresford.

Tales of black magic, witchcraft ,white witch,s and  ghost sighting surround this church. Interestingly a team from am American Tv station did a  show from this location and were to scared to ever come back.
Books have been written about it although I cant find any but apparently the author who is deemed a ghost hunter was so frightened he has written he will never return to St peters.

It was about 4 years ago I first discovered this little gem tucked away not visible from the country lane its off. In 2008 and visited the church at night to do some spooky strobist photography, At the time I had a fair amount of different colour strobe lights set up. Obviously the lights could be seen and the police turned up.

Heres the funny bit the police came as far as the entrance and gave us a call of "hey excuse me would you like to come out" Of course I duly did, after I explained what I was doing they were fine but proceeded to tell me that once it was dark they would not enter the church!

A few weeks later I decided to take along a friend and do some extreme light painting in the ruined church, While we were doing this a group of ghost hunters with loads of techie things turned up they had driven all the way from Northumberland to spend the night on a vigil, They were convinced I was a ghost hunter errr no! you can see images here .

Any way I dropped the boys off let them set up camp and came home. Only once I got home I set about  gathering some items together to go back and give the boys a scare and Oh what fun that was.

Some roman candles placed inside the church away from the tent with a voice changer to yell "EXPELLIARMUS" some strobe lights. a recording of  chants. All made for some very loud noise coming from the tent. We kept this up for about 30 mins. Then ran at the tent . The climax was 4 rather white shivering 17 year olds coming out of the tent .The fear on their faces was priceless. Obviously at this point we let them know who we were. which made even more fun as none of them could believe they were so frightened by a friends mum.

At least all the lads then saw the funny side. I collect the boys in the morning they had heard knocking during the night  which I had heard when i was there but apart from that and feeling really brave when 4 locals said no way will anyone from the village go in there at night, They had a great time now in search of the next most haunted place in Essex

These are really images taken on the D300 with the Sigma 10-20mm lens, the spooky ghost like look is achieved by slowing the shutter speeds right down. If you slow the shutter speed giving the camera a longer exposure time any people will merge into the background of the image or in some cases disappear all together . Give it a try you need a DSLR and one you can put in M mode a tripod dull or dark conditions. For dull conditions use F22 and an exposure of around 2 seconds. Have fun with making some ghosty images.

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