A Spooky Image for Your Halloween

"Eerie" is a word that well describes this photograph entitled Duntroon Castle, Argyllshire, Scotland. The artist is Simon Marsden, a photographer who lives and works in England.

On this Halloween, I want to share with you one of the nearly 7,000 photographs in the collection of the Museum of Photographic Arts. In this case a pretty spooky image of a real castle in Western Scotland.

The oldest parts of the castle date from the thirteenth century, and it is reported to be the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland. As might be expected of a building of this age, the castle comes complete with its own ghost story. It is said to be haunted by the headless ghost of a seventeenth-century piper.

Throughout his career Simon Marsden has traveled extensively in Europe and the United States to photograph the ancient ruins and historic sites where such supernatural legends exist. He credits his fascination with the mystical and the paranormal to a childhood spent exploring the scary old houses in which he grew up, and listening to ghost stories from his family's extensive library.

In this black-and-white image of Duntroon Castle, Marsden depicts a menacing fortress on a hill against a foreboding gray sky. The otherworldly effect is achieved in part through the artist's use of infrared film to capture and record light that is not visible to the human eye. The resulting image is one that is both sinister and engrossing, made even more so by the ominously inviting open gate in the foreground.