The cemeteries are the ones similar to the movies… but these are not as they seem and even more original than one could ever imagine. Endless rows of stone, listing a faded number assigned to that of the forgotten and unloved. The stones change from era to vanishing era. Some stones stronger than others, some unluckily struck over by trees or vandals. Some now down in the gully that borders three of the four cemeteries on the grounds. Most are legible, some are not. Some have names; most do not.
When filming in a cemetery, it is important to be respectful in the greatest sense. When filming in the Peoria State Hospital cemeteries, I had the utmost consciousness of being constantly watched. That sensation was so prominent I honestly cannot express it enough with words on a screen. And I cannot expect anyone to actually believe when most cannot believe anything that isn’t “real”. With all these eyes on me while I set up my shots, I felt the urge to explain myself. [I’ve never seen an apparition with my own eyes, only with my lens… and hope it remains that way.] I explained that I was there to tell their stories and that I was sincerely heartbroken that I couldn’t know or tell all of their stories. In the numerous occasions I have spent doing work in these cemeteries and the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital, I’m candidly telling you that I’ve mostly felt sadness and confusion. When opening oneself up to anything possible, the energy on the grounds portrays such a painful existence. When filming, I tried to ignore it, tried to work and concentrate on why I was there at that very moment. Yes, I’m here to tell their stories but I’m actually here to film a cemetery, so it’d be best to keep doing that. My head kept being pulled in different directions, too much wondering for one day. The worst part about all the wondering is, forever, I will always wonder about those who truly were unloved.