The planning for this campaign began more than a year prior when we applied for the NEA Big Read Grant. Ultimately we were awarded the highest grant available at $15,000 and began putting our vision together. Over the next 18 months we worked on designing the exhibit and visiting the locations that would be featured in that exhibit. At each location I photographed areas of interest and interviewed those who knew the location intimately. We worked during that time to plan a month of events which accompanied the NEA Big Read book that was chosen, "Pretty Monsters," and the planned exhibit. I worked tirelessly on this campaign from the writing of the grant to all media and the exhibit, through teaching the Thriller choreography and leading dance through the town streets on the last day.
Haunting Histories was an exhibit that showcased items, places, stories, and experiences from the paranormal realm. This exhibit featured physical items said to be cursed or have a spirit attachment and photos of structures that are said to be haunted. Each item and photo collage featured the true history and story in order to educate the community on the “life” the objects and structures once had. First hand experiences by Amanda Hankinson and Tandy Floyd who have traveled to these destinations, often spending the night in haunted rooms along the way, are also shared. The exhibit will also feature stories from those who work at these places, have ventured inside, or had dealings with the items, and well-known folklore that may surround the items or locations. Several of the items and locations have been featured on television shows and in movies. The exhibit featured local paranormal attractions such as Hayswood Hospital, Phillips Folly, and the Russell Theatre as well as locations that are quite prominent in the paranormal world such as the Myrtles Plantation, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Earnestine & Hazel’s, and Bobby Mackey’s.
Haunting Histories Exhibit