Ossian Brown Haunted Air


As a collector of vintage photography with a penchant for the curious, horrific, and sometimes downright traumatic, it is no surprise that I gravitated to Ossian Brown‘s book Haunted Air published by Jonathan Cape in 2011. There also appears to be a new 2022 edition available. I am reviewing the book now as it is seasonal. I am also trying to work backward with American Suburb X on book reviews that escaped our attention when first published to create a more extensive depository of photobook reviews and contextualization. Haunted Air is an essential book to me for several reasons.

First and foremost, I have been collecting vernacular photographs for nearly 25 years. I have a small but charming collection of Halloween photographs in my own collection that mirrors Brown’s style of choice and the era in which they were produced. That said, I have fewer 19th Century photographs of Halloween than Brown as they are much harder to come by and can fetch quite a significant price on the open market. As a side note, the author is also a musician whose involvement with Coil and Cyclobe is crucial to my aural education. He is also the partner of Stephen Thrower, a once-member of Coil and current member of Cyclobe, a horror film scholar who has written a significant text on Jess Franco and Lucio Fulci-both instrumental in my Skinemax evenings. Ossian also plays the hurdy-gurdy…


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