22 June 2012

in which I see ghosts

(I'm not kidding here)

First off, story time.
I spent a year (as well as several summers prior) living on Great Diamond Island, a pretty little place in Casco Bay (so, for you non-Mainers, it's just a half-hour ferryboat ride from Portland, and therefore very near where I live). The island was used as a military base from 1891 to 1945 — so there are loads of bunkers in the woods and old barracks that are now used as homes.

One of these was, for some reason, never refurbished and made livable. It just sat there, not secluded or anything, just empty and sad. Its windows are all smashed in by time, and the flimsy plastic someone had attempted to cover them with in god-knows-when has become completely tattered and thready.
The tribe of island children called it the Double Barracks, or sometimes The Hospital. I'm not sure really what it was, only that we were all to chicken to go in.

Boyfriend and I had gone to Great Diamond before, and I convinced him it was a good idea to explore this childhood curiosity. He's a good sport (and like me has a fascination with old places, the history and the haunting) so he dealt with my myriad gasps of "isn't this amazing" and myriad screams of "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT NOISE".
Of course, I didn't have my camera.
So we went back.

We went farther and deeper into the building than we had previously, including some seriously frightening rooms in the basement. I actually felt like I was being watched, or SOMETHING. It was creepy.
One room in particular, which I assume was the washroom due to a large amount of sinks (some broken, some still attached to the wall), gave me goosebumps. And lo and behold, five minutes into my gasps and boyfriend's exclamations that ohmygod, this wiring is from like 1900 this is amazing olivia take a picture of this (boyfriend likes this sort of thing, I just think it looks cool)...

...my camera stopped working.

I flipped out. My camera NEVER stops working, NEVER. The Nikon D60 is a tough little thing. It does its job.
But no. My camera regained consciousness when we left the room, and was fine for a little while, until we were in the other half of the building.

It stopped again and didn't work again till we had left the building entirely.

So yes, it was decidedly spooky.
I didn't get any ghostly evidence — i don't think —but there is one photo, up first, that is particularly confusing to me. The square of light was not there when I took the photo. Nor was there any glass in or around the doorway. Nor was there any sort of extra filter on my lens that would have caused a reflection.
Make your own judgements.

Side note: there are like 60-something photos in total, so if you'd like to go ghost hunting or you just want to see more pretty/sad/frightening photos, you can view them in this flickr album.
(jesus i haven't used flickr in FOREVER)

Also, none of these photos are retouched in any way. Some may be a bit blurry or dark, so I apologize. But they're honest, at least.

possibly my favorite photograph I've ever taken.

looking up through three stories of caved-in floor

One of the creepiest things about this place is that the Army just left a lot of stuff there. They dumped all their plates and glassware into the ocean to save transporting it. In this particular building, there's this super old piano halfway shoved down the stairs to the basement (this was when my camera wasn't working so I couldn't get a photo — I KNOW RIGHT). Like, why, Army, why. You are just asking for curious teenagers with cameras to have a peek.

(also i'm trying out this whole dynamic theme thing. why not. I haven't been blogging as much, sorry, things are crazy with work and such, though now that I'm out of school I'll try a bit harder.
though my laptop fell and now the screen is shattered so i have to have it hooked up to an external screen and it's really annoying and the external screen is awful quality [another reason I didn't edit the photos]... so i'm mostly using it for music. I'm doing a lot more painting and such.)


  1. That square of light is a reflection from the window on your lens. :)

    1. That's what I thought, too, but that's never happened before...

  2. Very creepy, I love exploring abandoned places like that. When I lived in Italy, my friends and I found an abandoned monastery and crawled through the fence Indiana-Jones style and explored. There were still a ton of household items left behind, scattered all over the floor, and all of these vintage books. It was very strange, but super awesome!

  3. Why do I not live near this place?!

  4. ditto what libby said. creepy stuff is such a thrill. (:

  5. wow. that would have been some experience!!

  6. holy cow! that is creepily awesome.

  7. wowwiee, that's spooky! gah. i can't do the creepy stuff unless i have a bunch of people with me :)

  8. So creepy! But really awesome. I love old houses c:


  9. That's seriously really weird. I love old houses but sadly we have none where I live. *sighs*

    on an unrelated note- you totally need to do a post on your room. it looks totally awesome in the pictures I have seen in previous posts. you haven;t done a post like that in a long time!

  10. These are pretty cool!! :) The old building looks like a great place for pictures, but pretty creepy. I have a Nikon camera as well and if I don't adjust the aperature and ISO and such then sometimes it won't take the pictures in low lighting conditions like this building. The bathroom you mentioned would very likely be dim. The stairway as well as those things usually are not around lightsources. Next time if your camera has a auto focus or manuel focus which would usually be represented by a big A and M on the lens of your camera. If you switch the button to M then it'll be more relaible about taking a picture when you ask it to. But sometimes the pictures will turn out fuzzy if your not careful cause by turning it to manuel focus means you get to select where you want the focus to be at. Hope this helps.


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