Have you ever had a dream that was so horrific that it not only haunted you that night but often reoccured? Unfortunately that happened to me. My dream was being buried alive in a casket but I wasn’t dead. They mistook me for dead but I was very much alive.
That dream was so vivid and real that sometimes I had to step back and wonder if it really happened. It started when I was six believe it or not and continued through till I was 30. At the age of 6 you can hardly understand life let alone know what a casket was and give exact details of being buried in one. The dream haunted my very soul but I was too afraid to tell anyone.
As I got older the dream became less horrific as I became immune to it’s terror. It has changed my outlook on death and the handling of bodies. I don’t trust doctors therefore I prefer if possible to be buried in a crypt where people can hear me. I do not believe in embalming as I don’t trust their diagnosis of death. I don’t know if I can ever get that back.
In 2010 I photographed a dream that I had which turned into the picture “Death to Yesterday”. When I photographed it the dream completely stopped. I was hoping that in doing the same thing with this dream it would also stop. The problem was “where are you going to find a casket’?
I called some funeral homes and believe it or not once a body, living or not, lies in a casket they can’t reuse it because of contamination. I always found that funny, how can you contaminate a dead body they can’t get any worse than they already are right? I understood not using a rental casket where dead bodies were in before, but not being able to use a brand new casket where a photo was shot for a dead person is just dumb!
The search was on and I wasn’t having any luck. Finally, I volunteered at the May Stringer house in Brooskville. There I saw they had a victorian glass separated casket (floor display model) that was donated to the house for their halloween extravaganza. I tried to lay down in it to give the effect of what I saw only I couldn’t fit.
I talked to the docent there who allowed me to photograph the picture as long as I found someone. Now try to find a child that would be able to fit in a casket to actually do it!
Funny enough, that was easier than finding the casket. I used my dear friend Faye who was afraid of nothing. She eagerly climbed in and we were able to shoot the “Trapped But Not Dead” series for “Dreams, Nightmares, Fears and Fantasy” volume 1.
Parents attacked me over that photo. “How could you put that beautiful girl in a casket?” That was one of the few things I can actually say. I came under attack but it soon died down. Her parents were there the whole time and I assured her that if at any time she was freaking out let me know and I would get her out immediately. The series creeps people out to this day… they don’t want to look at it, but they can’t pull their eyes away.
IN FACT: I first got in the casket to show her it was OK. I never ask any of my models to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.
The makeup tips for the shoot came from an authentic mortician. The dress is a victorian dress and the necklace she holds is a necklace I wear all the time. It’s a German cross made of hematite to ward off bad and negative energy.
Check out the photos in “Dreams, Nightmares, Fears and Fantasy” Volume 1