Sunday Soliloquies no. 2: A haunting tragedy


Detroit Public Library, Mark Twain Branch, Detroit, Michigan

This image to me, is by far the scariest thing I have seen this Halloween season. The demise of the Detroit Public Library, Mark Twain Branch is not new news. More upsetting images can be found on flickr at

It closed for renovations in 1996 and unfortunately, never re-opened.

But there’s no blood and gore! No skeletons, no creepy spiders, no boiling cauldrons of smelly goo…. How can I think this is scary? Take a good long look at it. Make it your wallpaper, stare at it, and try not to be terrified. I dare you. From the viewer’s perspective, you might be at the entrance to this large, nearly vacant room. A misplaced couch and two armchairs dwarfed by the enormous windows and fireplace bemoan a solitary torment. There are no books, and no other vestiges of a library. The silence, the loneliness, and the emptiness disturbs. I am getting very uncomfortable.  Are you?

What do you see? What does this image “say” to you?