This picture was captured within moments of a coffee cup sliding off a counter by itself in the kitchen of the same house. It was an electrifying moment when something seemed to be looking back at me from the television set. The act of taking a photo had triggered this paranormal moment. My intuition had picked up the same energy out on the highway as I was leaving Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, and it drew me to this abandoned house on the roadside where everything seemed to still be in its place, and untouched. Strangely enough, vandals had left it alone. The entire house was surrounded by an old custom-made rock wall of large chunks of petrified wood; it was beautiful. As I carefully explored the abandoned home which I entered from the back side, I noticed that all the furniture was still there. Dishes and canned foods in kitchen cupboards. Clothing was folded nicely in drawers in one bedroom, and beds were perfectly made. It was like the family that had lived here 40 years before had just left without saying a word and never bothering to take anything with them.
The energy had enticed me to stop and encouraged me to enter the home. The whole time I was there, I could feel the strong tingle of this electrifying presence in the home and it seemed like it was more than just a ghost or a friendly spirit. It was when I returned to the television set, that the electrical sensation grew to feeling like static on the surface of my skin. As I was pulling the camera up to my eye to compose the photo of the TV, it felt like this entity was staring back at me from the television and I could see it in my mind’s eye. I could look back at myself through the eyes of the phantom and both of us were in-sync with each other.
I still think of the red coffee cup sliding off the counter and how that experience would unnerve most visitors but I don’t seem to fear the Unknown. In fact, I think it has been largely misrepresented by the movie and film industry with the horror genre. None of this really spooks me. In fact, it is this reality that turned me into photographer. Photography helped me to become far more sensitive to my surroundings and environment and I see more than just the light!
The sliding of the red coffee mug happened when I went to press the shutter on my camera and it was during the firing of the shutter that the cup slid off the counter and broke onto the floor, all by itself. You only have my eyewitness account to go on and I did not photograph the red cup because I don’t care if people believe me or not. I know what I experienced and that is all that counts because it was real.
As I walked into the kitchen, I saw the red mug broken on the floor in the late afternoon light of the February sun and I will never forget that day or that mysterious house. It’s these experiences that enhance my photos and it’s a peculiar intuition that leads me down these definitive paths as a documentarian. I adhere to the quiet whispers and voices that tell me about what happened long ago. Whatever was in that home did not feel human but it wasn’t dark or evil. It is just unknown to science…