Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Abandoned Motel Photoshoot

So I mentioned in a recent post that I met my photography group at an abandoned motel for a photoshoot. Plus, I also stated that I’d share some images with all of you, didn’t I? I sure did. And there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve all been chomping at the bit just dying to see photos of this abandoned, rundown, rusty, decrepit, condemned place. Because I just know that you all have nothing better to do with your lives than hang around here. Colour me humble, wontcha?

First, some quick information about the location:

The Midway Country Motel is located between Gananoque and Kingston on Hwy 2, and has been closed for almost 20 years.

Now, let’s get to it...

Remarkably enough, the motel sign is intact...


...unlike the motel itself, which is falling to pieces.


This place would be perfect for a horror film, and the images would look that much more ominous if taken on a cloudy day, or when it’s darker.


Abandoned buildings that still have curtains on their windows freak me out somewhat. I always get the feeling someone – or something - is standing behind the curtain watching.


But like those morons in horror films, I willingly enter this eerie place without hesitation. Without a weapon. Without a flashlight. For all I know, an axe murderer might be waiting inside.


I mean, seriously, do you really think it’s smart to enter a door where it looks as dark as hell inside? I was ready to bolt if I heard “GET OUT”.


So what do you find inside? A mess...




Destruction...


And rust...



In the middle of nowhere...a glove. ?? It really had me wondering what the story behind this is. Why is it here? Who did it belong to?


Generally speaking, bibles don’t creep me out, but this one did. It brought to mind the movie ‘the Exorcist’. And I was alone in this room, which was very dark, when I took this photo. [shudder]

(Since I didn’t meet up with an axe murderer and I’m alive and well, let’s look at the positive side of this bible photo experience: I discovered that not only does my camera handle poor lighting fabulously, but that I also have a steady hand when the shutter speed slows down considerably.)


We head on to the back through this door. Either this is the cleanest glass I’ve ever seen or there is no glass on this door. I dunno, but I’m betting on the latter.



What’s back there?

More creepy doors...


More destruction...


And some additional sinister-looking buildings. Surrounded by overgrown greenery. And mosquitoes. Tons and tons and tons of mosquitoes. That will eat you alive no matter what time of day it is.


Not exactly what you’d call a cute cottage in the woods. This is where the axe murderer lives.


The windows are boarded up, so you can’t see anything inside, but you just know that somebody is behind there...watching...waiting...grinning...


And just like the main building, everything is falling apart.



There is also a lot of rust. Lots and lots of rust.



Which suits me fine, because one of my favourite photography themes is urban decay. There is an overabundance of that in this abandoned motel.


This is the type of place where you can find interesting things to photograph.


I read somewhere that there had been a murder in this motel many years ago, but couldn’t really find any substantial information about it. It’s probably just a story that an overactive imagination created.


When I asked one of the other group members what happened to this place, he said that it was simply abandoned. Most likely the reason was financial.


No matter what the story is, this is a good place to come and practice your photography skills. With a group. Never alone. You could easily disappear in these woods and no one will ever find your body.

This will be one of the zombie hangouts when the zombie apocalypse occurs. Just so you know.

30 comments:

  1. I love these photos! Especially the one of the doorknob - so many possibilities. You certainly found plenty of decay there - I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to spend longer than 5 seconds in a place like that.

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    1. I would be afraid, too, if I was alone, but there were a lot of us there, which made it so much easier. Plus, it was in the middle of the day. I can't imagine this place at night. Creepy!

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    2. hi there just wanted to say that i was the last to run that motel and it finally met it's day in 1996 august that was when every soul left the ground's and i agree havint been back since the original owner is name is tony antersary a man from iraq when his wife left him he ran it for year's i lived in unit 5 for many year's and i landscape the ground's and rented room's but the furniture was way better at the time i had it hahahaha and i can assure you noone was murdered in there but people have passed away due to natuarl causes feel free to contact if needed any info on this site i have the history of it since i was 5 years old ive been a part of it midway motel was my home for many year's

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  2. LOL! Wontcha! I love you intro Martha....not to mention your dry wit!
    I am so jealous of this shoot you had!! Look at all that history and decay....slowly but surely disappearing into the brush.
    Your photos are magnificent and you could easily be heading into career here along these lines of documenting and recording your surroundings. Seriously you have an 'eye' for it. Not to mention a great imagination too!

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    1. Thanks so much for all your kind words, Jim. I really appreciate all you've said. I have so much more to learn; I'm really just getting started. And although I don't know where this is headed, I am having a lot of fun in the meantime. I do plan to pursue this and we'll see where I end up.

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  3. I like how you discussed the murder right beside what appears to be a blood-spattered sharp instrument, LOL! Seriously, great photos of a creepy place.

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    1. You're very perceptive, Debra! I kind of snuck that in and waited to see what happens. I believe it's paint, but it can pass off as blood. Makes this place that much more interesting.

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  4. Oh wow, Martha, those are really fantastic. Quite a contrast to your photos of cute chipmunks and ducks. :-) You capture the eerie ambiance of that place perfectly---I was totally creeped out! I like the ones of the tin can and the paint scraper the best. It's so interesting how the paint scraper looks like somebody stopped right in the middle of their work...*shudder* *cue screeching violins*...almost as though they were...interrupted.

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    1. I know...it is a huge contrast. From sweet, innocent little critters to an evil, perhaps haunted place. Hahaha...love the part of the screeching violins. When I saw that scraper, I felt the same way. I imagined someone stopping in the middle of the job -- or being MADE to stop!

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  5. Holy shmoley, Martha! That was one intense tour! I was really expecting an axe murderer. I mean what self respecting axe murderer wouldn't want to live in a place like that? So much to wonder about, even the lighting had an eerie feel. Really enjoyed this - from the saftey of my little room!!

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    1. Hahaha..yes, any self respecting axe murderer would love this place. Honestly, the whole place gave me the creeps. It truly is unnerving. But terrific for photos!

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  6. What a fantastic spot for a photo shoot. The rust, decay and textures have all combined into an increidibly interesting patina. You certainly are developing your photopgraphic 'eye' Martha - really outstanding pics. Did you notice the traces of former icy fingers that had slid across the bible cover? Hopefully that didn't happen while you were there... lol! I also really liked that window, the broken light fixture, the paint scraper and doorknob - heck, I loked them all :)

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    1. From what I gathered, it's a very popular place for photographers. I can't say I'm surprised; there are so many photo opportunities. I imagine the group I'm in will book another date at this place. I did not notice those fingers on the bible until after I unloaded my camera! The room was too dark and there was no way to notice. Imagine my surprise when I saw that photo on my computer. I can't be sure that it didn't happen while I was in the room :0

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  7. Creeepy! Your photos turned out amazing!
    I really liked the shot of the hotel with the grassy foreground.
    The colours are so vibrant and varied.

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    1. Definitely creepy, but a perfect place to practice taking photos.

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  8. Martha, the door handle one is my favorite. They are beautiful...

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    1. Thanks, Ana. That is one of my favourites. "Enter if you dare..."

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  9. Great photo shoot! Your images are so detailed and the colors so pure. This is one very creepy place!

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    1. A perfect spot for a Halloween party -- by candlelight!

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  10. Man, there were *several* murders committed here, with that broken spatula thing (3rd photo from bottom), and maybe the rusty pipe. The Bible looks dirty, which kinda implies it's been there awhile, otherwise I'd connect it to the glove. Which would then lead to wondering who came here recently, apparently feeling this was a great place to pray and meditate. Are those your finger marks on the Bible, or.. ?
    The 3rd and 4th pictures from the top are my favourites.

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    1. Nope, those are not my finger marks on the Bible! Makes you wonder!

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  11. this motel was my home for many of year's and it is sad that it has perished i was the last one to have set foot in that locaition i use to landscape it all the time and keep the room's rented after the owner was deported back to iran tony antersary but none the less people have lost there live's there but i can assure you not by murder hahaha all natuarl causes but anyway if you want or have any question's about this site i know the history of the place there use to be cabins seperate from the motel that we use to rent but we took them out in the late 80's

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    1. Wow, that is amazing. Thanks for all the information. I am fascinated by abandoned, decaying places because I wonder about their history. It's as if there are ghosts around. I'll keep you in mind if I want more info, and I thank you!

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  12. hahaha actually there is a cabin in the wood's a distant way from the motel but still on the ground's that a old man lived in noone ever saw this man only once in a while the 15 year's i was there i saw him maybe four time's but if anyone was a creeppy murderer it wouold be him bahahaha

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    1. That is funny, Donald! This was a fun place to do a photo shoot at, but I'd never go alone. It feels so creepy.

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  13. wow i am the son of the owner. i remeber lots of the stuff in the photos ..... wow im speacless

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  14. midway motel junkieJuly 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    No murder...but a couple decades ago...a boy got a bike for his birthday, took it out for a spin and was hit and killed by a drunk driver right in front of the Midway Country Motel. This is the true story. The "drunk" was from Gananoque, did time in prison. He was released, back to drinking (by all accounts) and died a few years ago.

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    1. Wow, that's quite tragic. Drunk drivers...ugh... I hope he doesn't end up killing someone else.

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    2. Ah yes, my friend Tommy. That was in Grade 9. Was completely devastated by that. He had just left the motel store and was on his way home when drunk/drugged driver ran him over. I still remember the details of the event and it still makes me feel sick. Tommy was my science partner in elementary school. One of the few people to talk to him. Then he was my grade 8 graduation dance partner. My first, and last school dance where I actually danced. When he died, the populars went around inviting people to the funeral. Somehow they walked right past my house. Funny how this one thread has brought back all these memories. But it was my friends dad who owned the motel. I used to sleep over there frequently, and later on, lived in one of the rooms briefly. The dad is apparently in California. The mom died in 2012 or so. The motel was owned by them, and one of their brothers and sisters. The number company dissolved, but was still owned by the foursome. Its my understanding that the kids now live in BC. So weird to see this home away from home in such a state.

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