For Sale: Legendary Photographic ‘Proof’ of Fairies and Gnomes:
In Summer and
Autumn of 1917, teenage Elsie Wright and her adolescent
cousin, Frances Griffiths, borrowed a glass-plate camera from Wright’s father
and tromped to Cottingley Beck,
in West Yorkshire. They photographed each other on the bank of the stream and
in the grass of a sun-dappled glen—and also captured some special guests.
One image shows Griffiths, looking wistful, chin in hand,
with a cavorting troupe of fairies. In another, a smiling Wright greets a gnome
high-stepping through the grass.
reading at Atlas Obscura.
Inside a Victorian Photo Shoot at Stonehenge:
The image above, which was recently made
public by the photo research company TimePix, is from 1867, and is part of
the first known photographic sequence ever taken of Stonehenge. (There are
older individual photographs, in the Royal Collection.) It’s from a book
called Plans and
Photographs of Stonehenge, released by the U.K.’s Ordnance Survey and
written by the department head, Colonel Henry James.
Since the Ordnance Survey began in the late 18th century,
its workers have used
various tools to get the nation down on paper. In the 1860s, much of
the agency’s energy was focused on mapping all of Great Britain, county by
county, at six inches to the mile. As James’s preface explains, Plans
and Photographs of Stonehenge was made for the agency’s officers, to
prepare them for encounters with any “Objects of Antiquity” that they
might come across during their work, as well as to “stimulate them to make
Plans and Sketches.”
“It was a very gentlemanly pursuit to have an
interest in archaeology, or antiquities as they called it back then,” says
TimePix founder Elaine Owen. James didn’t want his employees to come across an
ancient treasure and mess up how they measured it.
Inside Britain’s most haunted prison which held infamous gangster Reggie Kray:
The spooky snaps were taken by an urban explorer known as
The Elusive who claimed to have felt the presence of the many executions that
took place there.
They said, “It is damp and windy and quiet with doors and
corridors everywhere while footsteps, voices and door hinges could be heard
from a long distance away. It’s sad that a lot of people were executed there
and, given the age of the prison, you can really feel it. The prison existed
long before burial laws so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were unmarked
graves all over the complex.”