The Art of Capturing Phantoms

Courtesy of satschnt @

They don’t make ghosts like they used to.

Take, for instance, the girl near the koi pond on 5th street. She wears only a yellow dress, not even shoes. She stares at me from the bridge over the pond and waves at me, at anyone that passes her by. She’ll show up perfectly once I develop the film, I think to myself.

But I know that no one is going to buy it.

They want the ghosts at the haunted hotels. They want the ghosts whose names they’ve heard on Ghost Adventures or in other so-called “paranormal-lockdown” shows. They want the ones that make them wonder if ghosts exist or not. They don’t actually want to know the truth. They don’t want to see Grandpa again.

They want the feeling of fear, not actual fear. Because actual fear means that it’s real.

And therein lies the problem in my line of business.

I’ve thought about doing something else. I’ve thought about becoming a dog photographer or something like that on Instagram, but it wouldn’t feel right. It wouldn’t feel legit to do that. It would feel like I’m giving up something that keeps me together. Keeps me alive.

When I go to the dark room and develop the stills, I get a call from my landlord. My rent’s due tomorrow, but I’ve only got a third of it covered. I curse to myself, glancing at the camera in my hand.

Looks like I’m taking a trip to the pawn shop.

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