Last year I was contacted by a photographer called Thom Atkinson who had started a portraiture project of people who had had some contact with the weird and/or spooky. He’d already photographed a woman who had survived a strike by lightning, for example. He was looking for other ‘experiencers’ to photograph. I came up with a couple of suggestions, including Jon Downes of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, whom he also photographed, and also mentioned my own experiences with a poltergeist when I was a kid. Suddenly I found myself part of his roster!
Thom came all the way up from London for a day to take some photos of me in my house in North Wales, surrounded by ghost books. The idea, I think, is to imply how my childhood experience inspired my interest in the supernatural. All the images in the portfolio have this aspect: the lady who was struck by lightning, for example, has becaome fascinated by weather and she is photographed, if I remember correctly, with a ceiling in her house which she has painted with a stormy sky.
The photos – or some of them – are set to be displayed as a gallery on a national newspaper’s website. I’m not sure mine will necessarily be chosen. The caption simply states ‘Richard – Childhood Poltergeist Victim’. A bit dramatic but not unreasonable in that the invisible thingy did scare and hassle me somewhat. It’s a nice picture. I look all wistful and pensive – or perhaps just a bit of a loony. But that’s not unreasonable either.
Thom is a very likeable and charming bloke, by the way. To see more of his work visit: www.thomatkinson.com The photo is © Thom Atkinson