January 16, 2018

Dark Passage

It was 4:00 a.m. when I rose to a rainy Monday and a 4 hour drive deep in to the western Catskills of Upstate NY to this abandoned castle! Before leaving Philadelphia, my buddy Matt and I stopped at the local bank where the ATM ate my debit card! To make matters worse AT&T’s data service was out in the entire Northeast, so here we are driving though the rain with directions I had in my head from studying the route the night before! What an adventure so far…

When we finally arrived to our destination we grabbed our gear and headed for the steep incline to the castle. Matt stumbled and flipped over backwards down the side of the hill, but my adrenaline was rushing so fast I failed to notice. Luckily he was OK and we both continued up to the property where this amazing castle sits abandoned. Once inside, we setup our gear in the kitchen area and started to shoot, but after 10 minutes we heard a loud motor coming closer to the castle. At this point we were both in different parts of the first floor and the engine sound became extremely loud, as if it was pulling up to the castle! We became very nervous wondering if someone knew we were there and didn’t want us to be. Then the sound became so loud because this vehicle was right outside the window of the kitchen, now idling we heard some rattling in the back of what appeared to be a trailer on a very large lawnmower. It was the castle’s caretaker coming to do his morning rounds at the property. Finally we heard the mower pulling away and circling around. At this time I met up with Matt and we were freaked out while deciding what to do! Well after 4 hours of driving we decided to stay and finish our shoot and I’m glad we did! While exploring the 3 floors we made sure to stay away from the windows as we could still hear the mower, but now way off in the distance.

No one ever lived in this castle so most of the rooms were very empty. It seems the person responsible for building this castle died before he finished. I was able to walk away from this shoot with a few great shots in my opinion but the exterior was something I was really excited to capture. So after a few hours of shooting we decided to pack up but leave our camera’s on the tripod’s for some quick outside shots, but then the sound of the mower began to get louder again so we headed for the steep hill to the car!

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