I don’t know how or when it began but I know it started young. If you’ve visited my about pageÂ you know I grew up surrounded by movies. Everything from the tragic scenes of Dr. Zhivago to the unreal images of our very real world in Baraka flickered before me during movie night, but the ones that have stuck with me, the films that I still cite as inspiration to this day are those that were darker in tone. Horror was a genre I was kept away from and the monsters I did see were pre-approved by my parents but there were some nights when they slipped through the cracks and into my subconsciousness. The monsters of RayÂ Harryhausen for instance were so visually striking and magical that I went to sleep praying I dreamt of skeletons after watching Jason and his crewÂ fight them off in the Jason and the Argonauts. I welcomed them and there was nothing “strange” about it, at least not in my mind, nothing morbid either.
That word was not introduced to me until I was older and whenever it was brought up it was almost always in a negative context, like a dirty little word. I found no morbidity in the mummified hands I was showing the other kids at break time during computer camp, or the scrying mirrors I wanted to recreate in middle school. Yet despite all my interests and all the knowledge I thought I had I remember being really afraid of death. I suspect everyone is the first time they fully grasp what it is. I can vaguely recall sitting in the girls bathroom when I was little, my body engulfed in a complete panic repeating, “I don’t want to die.” Why I did this I do not know but books and stories helped me eventually shake off the fright. I turned to research and the fear quickly turned to fascination.
Suddenly, my nights were filled with stories of ghosts and hauntings, my head utterly consumed with the supernatural but my heart with guilt.Â I would beg family friends to tell me every ghost story they could think of but would have trouble sleeping later that night. I’d spend hours reading up on shadow people and local haunts but would feel so ashamed for being curious in the first place. Now that I am older, my interests have not changed and remain stronger than ever.
Recently, my friend Jackson and I took a trip to the Morbid Anatomy Museum, a must see if you’re like me and you want your day trips to be a bit out of the ordinary. The museum is a black mass on 3rd ave. and the corner of 7th Street in Brooklyn (you seriously can’t miss it.) The fairly small exhibition room lends itself to an intimate atmosphere and allows you to be upÂ close and personal with the art on display. However the real gem in this morbid crown is the library; this cabinet of curiosities houses thousands of books, photographs and artifacts on a myriad of subjects ranging from death and burial practices to psychotic women in cinema. It was an absolute dream room and I look forward to going back. Before you leave make sure to grab a drink at the cafe downstairs, the chai and spiced hot chocolate are perfect for a chilly day in and around all oddities.
Photography by: Jackson NotierÂ
Are you strange and unusual too? If so how did it start? This is a subject I plan on exploring further but for now let me know below! What makes you weird?