Halloween Extravaganza in Saint John Divine


Let’s take you to a door to another world hidden in Harlem.

Last year around this time, I was in New York, and with how little I like American parties and churches, I ended up swallowing my words.

Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls is the name of the event last year, a show performed every year in the Cathedral of Saint John Divine (Amsterdam Avenue, 1047, New York, NY 10025, in Harlem). This is not another event that decorates the cathedral with cobwebs. Instead, ghosts and various spooky elements open a door to hell with unstoppable spectres and beings that are each more extravagant.

Last year, when my partner said we were going to see a Halloween thing in a cathedral, it did not attract much of my attention at first. However, when I began to learn more about the premise of the event, I completely changed my mind.

The show had two passes, one in the earlier evening and one at night which occurs entirely within the cathedral. The event looked great on the outside. Too bad I did not take more film rolls with me for fear of running out of film, I just did not shoot a lot of photos before entering.

Upon entering, I began to enjoy my surroundings. The whole cathedral was disguised, but not with pumpkins and other simple Halloween paraphernalia. High-quality cobwebs; ghosts in motion; a giant spider inside, on the front door…and cello music played by a creature from the underworld (lift up those horns metalheads!).

After a while spent admiring everything, the lights began to dim and we are invited to be seated. Soon, the sound of the cello died away and, like a hurricane, the great roar of an organ (of which are played) filled the cathedral.

All superfluous light went out, leaving only faint green, red, and orange lights, which filled the huge room as a ghostly tone.

Suddenly, a movie screen began to fall from the ceiling, and there with the perfect accompaniment of the organ, we could see the Office of Dr. Caligari (if you know don’t what I mean, you are already grabbing some popcorn and finding the tape on the internet).

No words.

At the end of the medium-length film, the sound of the organ became confused, something happened. At that point, a gateway to hell opened, and bizarre (how could it be otherwise) things began crowding into its mouth to exit into the world for a few hours.

Before I knew it, two hours has passed. Two hours full of magic.

Finally, I will not stop recommending that you go, in the event that you end up in that area. Each year they try to do something new (this year, they have something from the Phantom of the Opera).

P. S. All photos were taken with the Diana Mini and a roll of 800 ISO Lomography film with different gels on the flash (thank goodness I loaded the 800).

Related links:
Saint John Divine Cathedral in Wikipedia
Buy tickets through the Internet

The Diana Mini is the ultra-compact, petite version of the Diana F+. This camera takes soft-focused, lo-fi images in 35mm and allows you to change between half-format and square shots with a flick of a switch. Get your own Diana Mini now!

Who says film is dead? Lomography’s got its very own emulsions to keep the fire burning! Visit the "Shop:http://shop.lomography.com/films/lomography-film and see which Lomography film is right for you.

written by jodidopanki on 2011-11-11 #places #cathedral #halloween #location #ghosts #new-york #hell #harlem #art-and-culture #saint-john-divine
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One Comment

  1. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    i love this church, then you go to hungarian bakery

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