Ominosum - Beauty & Decay

Beauty: Nikki
Decay: Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital


Nikki was my first ominosum model. These photos were shot at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital; in & around 
the power plant building, and in the hallway entrance of a patient housing building.

Our first trip was to the power plant building. We walked around the surrounding grounds for the 
better part of an hour before settling in at a location for the shoot. It was a hot summer day and the smell of 
mold & mildew was especially apparent. After shooting a set outside the building, we ventured inside. We found a 
small office which was said to be the power plant managers. The Lead based paint that once covered 
the walls and ceiling were now chips that covered the entire floor with weathered shades of 
green & white. The rusted and disintegrating metal doorway, the remaining paint peeling off the walls, 
the broke panes of glass, and the scattered debris ~ all made for a fantastically ominous backdrop.


Our second trip was a cold and creepy November day. We found a patient housing building without 
a barricade on the front door. Inside we found a variety of distraught religious propaganda placed in 
the main hallway. Probably just the work of some young explorers but the room had an eerie feel.

An hour or so into the shoot we started hearing faint sounds which seemed to be coming from 
the elevator shaft in the lobby at the end of the hallway. It sounded like two women 
whispering to each other. Nikki & I looked at each other which confirmed what we thought 
we just heard. The conversation went on sporadically for a minute or so. Then it stopped. 
We continued to shoot.

Ten minutes and finally gettin back into our flow.. we heard it again. But this time was different. 
The voices were clearer and younger sounding. They sounded consistently closer as we 
stood in silence and listened. Then, a gradually brighter light made its way towards the 
arched doorway. A moment later, three teenage girls emerged. We introduced and 
started chatting about exploring urban ruins. As we were saying our goodbyes, we 
heard the whispering sound again. We all looked at each other systematically and 
said the same thing.. we assumed that was you guys. The whispering continued 
for a brief conversation and ended. We stood there waiting to hear more. We 
never did, and we were all without explanation for what we had just experienced.


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