Expressionist Haunting

Rate this Entry
It has been said that Expressionism began as a response to impressionism. Impressionist art may be thought of as seeking to create accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, focusing on relatively ordinary subject matter.
Name:  impressionism.PNG
Views: 25
Size:  397.2 KB
Expressionist art, however, seeks to bring out a feeling or emotion in the viewer by depicting the world the way it feels as opposed to the way it looks. The images are distorted and psychologically intense. The intention is to invoke a powerful reaction of unease or imbalance. Sound familiar?
Name:  expressionism.PNG
Views: 5
Size:  401.5 KB

To achieve this sense of imbalance, nothing is square or straight in Expressionist art. Colors are garish and weird and buildings or trees loom and twist in a grotesque manner, giving a distorted vision of a dream or nightmare world.

This looks a LOT like lighting you'd expect to find in a haunt, doesn't it?

Many good Expressionist films were made in Germany in the early nineteen hundreds. Films, such as the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Nosferatu (1922) and Metropolis (1927), depicted worlds much like Expressionist paintings-with unreal nightmare scenes and characters in severe emotional states, overcome by the madness of their surroundings. Of course, the colors were lost in the black and white film. Still, many haunters and film lovers consider these works as iconic and seminal. The world of expressionist cinema is bold, dreamlike, disorienting.

I guess I would argue that if what haunters do is so similar to what the expressionists sought to do, wouldn't it be a good idea to take inspiration and tips from them?

Doesn't this creepy piece by Joseph Milton, entitled “Inside”, feel like something you'd want to recreate (at least emotionally) in a haunt?

Submitted for your consideration.
Happy haunting!


  1. Godzilla's Avatar
    I agree and I find the post fascinating. I had never thought about haunting in this way, but your description of what we do and what the artists are doing are spot on. Thank you, this is a very insightful post. I have to visit this site more often. I thought facebook was where everything in the group was happening. I was obviously wrong.
  2. JustJimAZ's Avatar
    Thank you Godzilla! I am glad you enjoyed the post. I hope to see some of yours here some day!