Photographer takes her art into paranormal
TWO NAZI soldiers who are believed to be the resident ghosts of Guernsey’s German Underground Hospital have been photographed walking through the atmospheric tunnels.
But they were Festung Guernsey members playing the parts in an organised shoot which aims to record some of the fables and myths surrounding ghosts and apparitions in the island.
The Festung Guernsey members dressed up as German soldiers to enact the popular belief that there is paranormal activity at the hospital, which was built during the Occupation by slaves of war.
The Underground Hospital and ammunition store stretches through one and a quarter miles of corridors and rooms.
Apart from the entrance it is completely invisible on the surface, and is generally regarded as a bit spooky.
It is one of 22 sites around the island which are thought to be haunted, and have become the sites for photo shoots for next year’s Guernsey Photography Festival, which has a paranormal theme.
Artist in residence Cristina de Middel, from South America, has been researching the island’s rich history of people stuck between the present and the after-life.
Victor Hugo’s Hauteville House and Sausmarez Manor are also locations for the project.
Mrs de Middel said she aimed to put faces and shapes to the popular myths.
‘I wanted to shoot things that normally cannot be photographed, things that people would normally not believe, because photography is linked to documenting and being a proof of existence of something.
‘So I’m interested in taking pictures of something that does not really exist, or just exists in the imagination of people, to challenge that blind faith there is in photography as a document.’
Some islanders claim that Guernsey is one of the most haunted places in the British Isles, and bumps in the night, ghostly footsteps and moving furniture are all badges of honour for ancient homes.
Mrs de Middel said reaction to the project had been very enthusiastic.
‘It’s a lot of fun and very different because all of a sudden I am talking about ghosts and driving around the island with a smoke machine.
‘People have been super helpful and kind.
‘I’m not used to this amount of kindness. Where I work normally you have to fight for everything, but here people have been welcoming me in and happy to have the smoke machine inside their house.’
The organisers of the Guernsey Photography Festival wanted to thank Guernsey Museums for its financial support.