23 May 2011

Echoes of the Madness

As I had a window of opportunity this morning, I set aside some chores in favor of a combination walk and photo safari through an abandoned factory building down by the Patapsco River.  The occasion was to experiment with a roll of very fast film (3200 speed for you photogeeks out there), black and white, which I could not resist purchasing yesterday while at the film lab.  The weather was warm, but decent sun, and to paraphrase, no one ever dies wishing they had weedwhacked a little more.

It was the call of the camera, and an intense need for some stress management.  It would not be denied.

I had my backpack, my digital camera, and my film camera.  Plus a flashlight and a hard hat.  Contrary to what my Ma and Da might tell you, my head isn't so hard it could resist a falling brick or shard of metal.  I'm getting smarter about that stuff these days.

So I am in the abandoned building, trying a different route than the one I have taken in the past.  There are some places in there I had not seen yet, and I was getting tantalizing glimpses through broken windows, of graffiti and industrial decay.  I was alone, or at least I thought so.  

I went down a flight of rusty metal stairs (very "Half-Life" in appearance) and was standing in a pool of light streaming through a large opening in the concrete slab overhead.  The path on both sides led into gloominess punctuated by shafts of light and the spectral outlines of ruined tanks, pipes and decaying machines.

It was while standing there adjusting the camera, that I heard it.  A voice, drifting from somewhere in the darkness of the warehouse beyond.  I had been about to walk in that direction, but the voice made me freeze.  It was garbled, muffled, but occasionally I could make out individual words.  Then, quite clearly it said "Oh, why, why, why!" followed by a faint sigh or groan that trailed off into nothingness.

At that moment, I felt the Fear.  An icy trickle in my gut.  I didn't start running, but I changed my mind about which way I was going to go.  I knew very well that this particular set of buildings is frequented by all sorts of people, hikers, photographers, homeless folks and those with less than noble intentions.  It was probably just someone hanging out or looking for scrap.

But I went the other way.  The hair on my neck was up, and I wasn't sure I really wanted to run the risk of finding out why the voice was asking "why, why, why".

I did get some good pictures, though, without needing a change of underwear.


  1. I would have freaked!!

    Can't wait to see your pictures...

  2. Well? Why, why, why no photos? Or are they on Oncatography?


  3. chicken...heck you had the hard hat on, what more did you need? (i am lying, I would have hauled ass myself!!)

  4. Sup, Gumbo!
    What a great story. And NO, I don't wish I was there. I too would like to see the pics that came from that trip. Maybe the negatives will produce some "ghosted" images, yeah?
    The Cheeky Daddy

  5. Um, yeah, I know old buildings are cool and all but seriously? Irish!!! What if something would have happened to you? Where would I turn? - oh, and pictures please!! If you went through all that trouble to take the darn things, why not post them?

  6. Old buildings and crazed people would creep me out too.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...