Antique Paper Apparition

antique paper apparition

It began as a pale blue outline, growing stronger and longer as the evening grew into night. The edges creeped outward on the ornamental paper, developing into an apparition of an old photograph negative.

He came back periodically, checking for changes, till finally he was unable to take his eyes away from the emerging image. An image, an illusion of changing colour and form, a trick of light or the mind – he could not tell. All he could do was wait, wait for the inevitable conclusion of the narrative in which he now found himself captive.

In the morning, they found the beautiful odd paper on his desk. He sat there, weeping over it in beatific horror. All these years later, he is still there. Is this paper not intriguing with its charming patterns and colours reminiscent of long lost photographs and memories? Have a closer look.

Blue wheel of Time’s tears –

such pretty old paper, stained

with fears – pierced azure.


antique paper apparition 2


11 thoughts on “Antique Paper Apparition

  1. I decided it needed a ambiguous ghost narrative once I gave a name to the image. The image incorporates scans of taped pages, design imprints, photo of an ornate metal wheel and a close-up of a wooden trellis bench. πŸ™‚

    The antique blue photo effect got me thinking of early classic ghost tales and Late Victorian Spirit photography. The literary and folklore tradition/trope of haunted books, mirrors and pictures fit the narrative.

    I think the images would appear benign without the narrative context, and this plays into the potential unease & uncertainty. πŸ™‚

  2. Really wonderful post. They are indeed haunted images. I love the concept of a haunted image and can see that this is a development of an old folklore. It has an edgy modern mood though.

    1. A bit of pattern recognition combined with the narrative context will get the mind going,….. perhaps that is what happened to the fellow in the story. πŸ˜€

      After I posted these I noticed that there is a segment on the second image , in the lower left quadrant, where the outline of broken tape resembles the outline of a building(S), perhaps a barn/farmhouse.

      A couple of tales that influenced me were :

      BBC radio adaptation of The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill.
      The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
      M. R. James – “The Mezzotint” and “‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad'”

      Here is another one of my ghostly short tales –

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