To Merilee, a photo doesn’t have to be blatantly macabre to be eerie. But it can have a mysterious, otherworldly vibe — the viewer wonders what lurks in the shadows. Something eerie has a story to tell — one you aren’t quite sure you want to know. Finding inspiration in Merilee’s work, as well as celebrations like Halloween and Día de los Muertos, let’s go out and capture black and white images that are eerie.
We arrived in Santa Catalina, a remote town on the Pacific coast of Panama, at dusk. Soon after we arrived, a rain storm blew in and the electricity went out. I have never seen such total blackness! You literally couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I was thankful we had some fixings for a cold dinner, which we ate by flashlight. I think the experience was even more eerie than the photo.
Today is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Panama. It isn’t like Halloween in the US with parties, scary stuff, and candy. Here it is a quiet day where people honor their departed ancestors, and go to cemeteries to put flowers and gifts on the graves. There is no loud music or liquor sales today.
Tomorrow this will change because it’s another holiday, Separation Day. The next day is yet another holiday, and then there are still more holidays to come! November is holiday month in Panama! Later, there is Mother’s Day on Dec 8th which is a very big deal here, and then Christmas. If you love to have fun and celebrations, this is a good time to be in Panama.