Ominosum - Beauty & Decay
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
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
the elevator shaft in the lobby at the end of the hallway. It sounded like two
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
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
stood in silence and listened. Then, a gradually brighter light made its way
arched doorway. A moment later, three teenage girls emerged. We introduced
started chatting about exploring urban ruins. As we were saying our goodbyes,
heard the whispering sound again. We all looked at each other systematically
said the same thing.. we assumed that was you guys. The whispering
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