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Haunted Air
Haunted Air

Haunted Air

By Ossian Brown, Introduction by David Lynch, Afterword by Geoff Cox



216 Pages, 7.63 x 8.69

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $55.00 (US $55.00)

Publication Date: August 2023

ISBN 9781787334243

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Aug 2023)
Jonathan Cape

Price: $55.00


A collection of anonymous Hallowe'en Photographs from America, c.1875 - 1955

The roots of Hallowe'en lie in the ancient pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, a feast to mark the death of the old year and the birth of the new. It was believed that on this night the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead grew thin and ruptured, allowing spirits to pass through and walk unseen but not unheard amongst men. The advent of Christianity saw the pagan festival subsumed in All Souls' Day, when across Europe the dead were mourned and venerated. Children and the poor, often masked or in outlandish costume, wandered the night begging 'soul cakes' in exchange for prayers, and fires burned to keep malevolent phantoms at bay.

The photographs in Haunted Air provide an extraordinary glimpse into the traditions of this macabre festival from ages past, and form an important document of photographic history. These are the pictures of the dead: family portraits, mementos of the treasured, now unrecognizable, other. Torn from album pages, sold piecemeal for pennies and scattered, abandoned to melancholy chance and the hands of strangers.

Author Biography

Ossian Brown, artist, musician and composer, lives on the south coast of England, where he cares for abandoned cats and goats. He was a member of the music group Coil, and is a co-founding member of Cyclobe.

David Lynch is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, visual artist, and writer. He lives in Los Angeles.

Geoff Cox lives with his wife, children and dog on an island in Oxfordshire. He works in film and is the author of Anna & The Witch’s Bottle, the first book in a trilogy.