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By Joseph Dempsey House on a Hill

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Until the thunderstorm rolled up, this house on a hill did not look sinister or spooky. It just looked "rode hard and put up wet."

The storm was moving fast. By the time I dismounted the pickup, gathered up my gear, and clambered through the underbrush to what I believed was the best vista for viewing this abandoned domicile, the storm was making a strong visual and auditory statement. A good thing for dramatic imagery. The sun at your back and a stormy sky in the background is a gift from the Almighty.

Once the storm transformed the light, the house took on an eerie presence as if to say, "My glory days are long past, but I can still put on a show." And so it did.

A house on a hill is generally considered a good thing. If you look closely at this one, someone took the trouble to include some decorative details, to wit, the little fake shutters by the windows. Since most people in this neck of the woods default to basic bucket white paint, the nice ochre coating on the house may indicate the owner's desire to think outside the box. Probably more than one tire swing dangled from the limbs of the fine oak tree in the front yard.

All in all, a nice location on State Highway 189, a few miles south of Hebron, Arkansas — and probably not a bad house in its day. All of which is a head scratcher. Why was it summarily forsaken? How did it lose its value? Perhaps it had two lives, as evidenced by the hasty unpainted plywood addition to the rear of the house.

If you glance inside, the interior is nicely illuminated by the skylight created by the snaggle-toothed roof. There was wall paper. The yellow motif of the outside was repeated on the inside doors, further evidence of an attentive and imaginative home owner.

the inside

I have included a shot of the inside, since many readers may have more than a modicum of fear and trepidation when approaching deserted structures. Not to mention the lingering fear of hauntedness. The clutter of lumber, rusting bed springs, and miscellaneous other detritus is typical. The weather has showed no mercy. I observed one phenomenon worthy of mention. In the midst of the carnage lies an intact mason jar.

At least something survived.

N O T E S:  
Nikon D200 / Sigma f4-5.6 10-20mmD DC/HSM / Tripod mounted / Post processed with Photoshop CS3 Extended /Photomatix HDR Pro3 and Genuine Fractals Print Pro.

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