Saturday, November 14, 2015

Unexplained Photos

Back in September, I went out for a short hike at the Wetlands Park one Saturday afternoon and took a few pictures. Nothing out of the ordinary, just pleasant afternoon outdoors. I didn’t download the pics until a week later, on the following Sunday. It was only then that I discovered two photos on the camera that I did not take. Both are blurry and I’m not sure what they are of; but I for sure did not take these pictures.

How am I s sure that I didn’t? Because they were both taken at 10:35 p.m. that night. At that time the camera was inside its protective case and I was the only one in the house that night. As I already said, I didn’t even review or download the pics from that afternoon until the next Sunday; the camera was not even taken out of the case after I returned home earlier that day.

Here is the first pic:

And here are its properties and details:

Here is the second:

And here are its properties and details:

What jumps out at me is that they were taken only about 30 seconds apart, but with different settings. On the first one, the flash did not fire and it was exposed for 2.5 seconds, whereas the second one, taken only seconds later, the flash did fire and it was exposed for 1/60 second.

I have no explanation for these photos. I have not before nor since had any technical issues, malfunctions, or even paranormal activity with this camera (Nikon D3200). Very strange.

Photography Prints

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cemetery and Mausoleum Night Shots

A few weeks ago, I decided to take my camera out one night and see if I could get some good shots in a nearby cemetery. I enjoy walking through cemeteries at night; there is a peacefulness and quiet that you just don’t find anywhere else, at least not without leaving the city.

I ended up parking next to a fairly large mausoleum that I had never explored before, so I checked it out. Most of it was outdoor, but there was an interior that looked like a small chapel on the bottom floor. The doors were already locked for the night, so I was not able to go in. There was a second floor as well, but I couldn’t tell what was in there. As you can see in the video to your left, there was a nice fountain at the far end of the mausoleum; the water from it echoed through building and made it sound like it was raining—a very nice touch.

Besides the mausoleum, the rest of the grounds were well kept and pretty standard cemetery look. I walked around a little, but didn’t go too far away from the building. I ended up doing a big circle around the mausoleum and ending up back where I started.

This is my favorite pic from the night. That is the mausoleum form the backside view.

An overview of the cemetery grounds.
A different side of the Mausoleum.

However, as I circled back, I saw something. It looked like someone was sitting on a bench beside a grave just out of sight; I could only see the silhouette. I froze for a moment, but heard nothing and saw no movement. I already had my camera set for a slower shutter speed, so I steadied it on the partially open tripod and took a discrete picture to see what was there. It turned out to be nothing more than a large vase built into the bench. I’ll admit that I was quite relieved to see that on the view finder.

In the dark that vase looks a lot less like vase and more like someone sitting on the bench. Despite how the pic looks, it was almost completely dark besides the lights on the graves.

Besides that small scare, the night was relaxing and helped take my mind off of everything else—in other words exactly what I was looking for there. I left feeling a lot better than I did going in and got a few good pics and short video as well. 

A stylized picture of the fountain at the mausoleum.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Haunted Flood Tunnels on Sandhill and Charleston

Legend has it that, when passing through the flood tunnels between Charleston Blvd and Sahara Avenue on Sandhill Road in Las Vegas, you can hear the ghostly whisperings of a long dead couple within them. The couple, according the story, was driving down Olive Street and crashed into the construction debris from when the tunnels were being built. Their bodies were not found until hours later.

The spot has long been a local legend, so I decided to check it out on night. Due to the spiked fence, I did not get to walk into the tunnels. From where I could observe, I did not hear any ethereal whispering and nothing out of the normal occurred during my time there. I took a short video and a few pictures though.

These are the infamous flood tunnels. They look more haunted like this though:

Close up of the tunnels. They look to be about three feet in height.
I got a lot of “orbs” in the pics taken around this area; however, I do not think they are anything paranormal. The orbs are likely dust reflected off the flash from the camera. They do not appear in any taken without flash.

I have to conclude that I am skeptical of the haunting of the storm tunnels. I do not believe that anyone could have been driving a motorcycle through them and children do not play in them. I live in the area and have not observed anyone walking through them either; to do so would require climbing the fence and then crawling through a dirty wash. I am sure that they are a great spot to getting high in (and I am certain they are used for such), and the graffiti attests that someone has been in them but it is unlikely that they are used routinely by anyone. No one would be passing through them for any reason.

That being said, the area around Olive and Sandhill does give off a unique, and not wholly welcoming, vibe. I couldn’t help but notice that just as I pulled up, another car parked in front of a house on the opposite side of the street from me. I assumed it to be someone who lives in the house and paid it no mind until I realized that no one ever got out of the car the entire time I was there. The car still sat there when I left; it did not follow me or anything. That was quite odd, for sure. 

Looking down Olive Street. And to sign off with another creepy pic-
Looking towards Charleston Blvd. 
If you want to investigate it for yourself, you can find the exact location here. The area is mostly safe but always be mindful of your surroundings. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Clown Motel

Photo by Osie Turner
The infamous Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada, is one of the area’s most unusual roadside attractions. A clown-themed motel in the historic mining town of Tonopah, right in the middle of nowhere, and located next to an old cemetery to boot seems almost made up. But it is real; in fact you can’t miss it if you drive through the town.

I wrote a three-part article on the history and background of the Clown Motel already, so I’m not going to rehash all of the details here (links are provided at the end of this post). What I am going to focus on is my own experience while staying at the motel.

If the sign and name don’t scare you away from getting a room here, you will have to enter the lobby—where the bulk of the clown collection is to be found. Hundreds of clown figurines, masks, pictures, and various other mediums of clownery cover the walls and bookshelves. And of course the life-sized doll, Bozo the Clown, spends his days sitting in the corner greeting visitors with his unsettling smile. The staff, however, couldn’t be friendlier or more personable. Bob, the motel’s owner, is something of a local historian; he was born and raised in Tonopah and can tell you just about anything you would want to know about the town’s history.

Not afraid of clowns, are you? Photo by Osie Turner

Once you get to your room the clown imagery all but disappears. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and slightly larger than most standard motel rooms. They may have a picture or two inside that are clown-related, but nothing too overbearing or disturbing. It is easy to forget that you are staying at a clown motel once you get settled in. The rooms are simple, but all include cable tv, a microwave, and small refrigerator.

The inside of the room I stayed in. 

Rumors abound on the internet of the motel being haunted. The owner as well as the motel manager, Joe, both assured me that nothing out of the ordinary has ever happened to them in the motel. During my stay, and I was completely alone on this trip, absolutely nothing happened to me either. In fact, I got a great night’s sleep.

Around 11 pm or so, I decided to take a stroll through the cemetery that shares a lot with the motel. I found the walk to be quite peaceful; the lights from the city do reflect off of the metal name plates on the grave markers in a way that makes them look like they are giving off a weird glow, but once I understood the cause of it there was nothing unusual about the graveyard. My photo “Amongst the Shades” was taken during this walk, in fact.

This is what the cemetery looks like at night. The glow of the name plates can be seen here. Photo by Osie Turner

I have to say that staying at the Clown Motel was a great experience. On top of it being an inexpensive place to spend the night while travelling, it also gives you bragging rights to say that you have stayed at such a unique place.

The original article I wrote about the motel can be found here (each page has its own gallery of pictures I took there):