No Mutants, Just Decay: Artist Captures Soviet Ghosts


As you might expect, it all starts with zombies.

Photographer Rebecca Bathory has created something truly eerie in her latest collection, Soviet Ghosts. Her itinerary reads like something you’d find in a post-apocalypse novel, including a trip to Chernobyl; all told, she went to 10 Eastern European countries, former satellites of the Soviet bloc, to capture what was left of the old regime. Take a look: the only thing missing is the mutants.

As you might expect, it all starts with zombies. Bathory didn’t really give abandoned buildings much thought until 2012 when, thanks to a friend, she ended up doing a zombie engagement shoot in an abandoned warehouse. That kicked off her current love for urban exploration, and since then she’s been pretty much everywhere she can sneak into, up to and including the abandoned Wonka Mansion, chocolate ghosts and all.

As you might expect, dodging the authorities is part of the thrill, and so far Russia’s the only place she’s been detained. She and a friend were scouting a former radar base, when they noticed a lone guard. “We snuck round and went through the forest once we saw the radar,” she recalls, but unfortunately, “We were suddenly surrounded by military.”

The pair were detained and interrogated for 12 hours, but were finally released when the soldiers realized they weren’t spies. “Definitely a story to tell the grand kids!”

Soviet Ghosts is available for purchase in the UK and the USA.

Image Source: Rebecca Bathory

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