For the fifth year (not in a row), I’ve made the journey up to Harlem the Friday before Halloween to bare witness to the most stunning Halloween spectacular currently being produced. No, it’s not a haunted house or some fright fest, each year, St. John the Divine Cathedral hosts a classic silent movie, screened over the narthex for thousands of people. In the past, the sanctuary has played Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera, and this year was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Sure, watching a pseudo horror movie in one of the creepiest churches in the world is pretty awesome, but what makes this show so staggering is what follows the film. Through a door under the movie screen begins a procession of some of the most stunning ghoulish costumes ever assembled. They pour out of the door for what seems like an hour, staggering down the aisle like monsters from hell—each one more frightening than the next. Smoke fills the room, a skeleton plays the cello, a dead pope stumbles up on a podium—words just can’t describe how awe inspiring this show is.
Here are some photographs I took at the event. Even with a monopod, it was almost impossible to focus on anything with the fog machines in full force, super low level lighting, and a ton of flash photographers firing off every other second.