battleground

Halloween Horror Photography – Week Four

Crouch End and Battleground

This is it; the final hours before Halloween, the ultimate day of horror.  That time of year when all the creatures trapped in your nightmares are given free reign of the world.  It’s a time to trust your imagination, to believe that the monsters under your bed are real and hungry.  It’s a time to face your fears because they are coming for you and they are more powerful than ever before.

This week, I present two of my favorite horror stories.  One is a twisted walk through a town out of time, the other is a battle of wits and rage.

Crouch End

I’ve seen a lot of strange things in Crouch End.  If you’re here half as long as I’ve been, you’ll see your share too.  There are more strange things happen right here in this quiet six or eight blocks than anywhere else in London…

horror crouch end

From the collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

There is a small section of a small borough in London called Crouch End.  You can visit, if you like, but don’t lose your way.  Sometimes, especially late at night, those who get lost never come back.

But sometimes, they do.  And they tell stories of horror and demons.  Of malformed, inhuman creatures and archaic incantations.  Of death, slaughter and and monsters.  You see, Crouch End is not an ordinary place.  Somewhere, deep within the twisted streets, the walls of reality get blurry and things come through.

This was the first image in the series I envisioned, the image that started it all.  Elizabeth and I covered the back of our closet in posterboard and she scribbled that chilling phrase over and over, much like what happens in the real story.

The newspaper article was created in Photoshop afterwards, and was probably the most complicated aspect of the image.  I used a real newspaper clipping and replaced the headline with my own.  That headline, “60 Lost in Underground Horror”, along with the writing scrawled on the wall, “Beware the Goat with a Thousand Young”, have always stuck with me, and made Crouch End one of my favorite horror stories of all time.

Battleground

There was a tiny, coughing explosion and blinding agony ripped his thigh.  One of the bazooka men had come out of the footlocker.  A small curl of smoke rose lazily from his weapon…The little bastard shot me!

 From the collection Night Shift.

Renshaw kills people for money.  It’s a living.  Because of his chosen occupation, and because he’s good at it, he sometimes makes enemies.

But he’s never made enemies like this before.

One night, Renshaw receives a small footlocker full of toy soldiers – the little green army men everyone had as kids.  But there’s something different about this battalion.  They carry real weapons.  They use real military tactics.  And they want Renshaw dead.

To his horror, Renshaw must turn his apartment into a battleground; waging a one – man war against the tiny soldiers.  A war that only one of them will survive…

This was an incredibly fun image to create.  Shot in my bathroom and lit by a low scoop light in the sink, I feel this image excellently captures the rage, desperation and claustrophobia of the story.  I processed the shot in a “Band of Brothers” style, pulling out almost all saturation and adding lots of grain in post.  I’m really pleased with the blood on my cheek…it reminds me of Watchmen.

I have a final image in the series, but I was delayed by the hurricane.  I’ll be adding it later this week, along with a longer reflection on the process of making these images.

Happy Halloween guys!  I hope it’s a scary one!

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