Bespoke hauntings are a fascinating idea. Did this come from any real examples you encountered?
Haunted houses have always been a great source of fascination. We don’t have that kind of lore or relationship to the afterlife in Bulgaria, so there’s no tradition of ghost stories or ideas about spirits trapped in a place. I’d say we’re too pragmatic for that, though I joke it’s that nobody wants to stay in Bulgaria after they die. I’ve wanted to experience a haunting and the idea has been on my mind ever since a friend of mine travelled to ‘the most haunted inn in England’ in attempts to encounter at least one of the many ghosts or the infamous succubus said to reside there still.
Sadly, he didn’t, though he came home with eerie photographs of the interior. People are drawn to this morbid form of tourism and I’ve read about the extreme haunted houses like McKamey Manor, where you have to sign a liability waiver to enter. I wanted a mellow amalgamation of those two things. You go to a quaint B&B expecting to be scared and you get what you paid for, knowing it is not real… (or is it?)
What would you sacrifice to achieve your artistic goals?
Maybe the blood of my enemies. Or a chicken. Is that too pageant of an answer? Certainly not what good, old Bernadette did in my story.
Consistently, I’ve sacrificed my peace of mind. I’ve had a few burnouts in my creative life so I’d say my sanity. There’s still some left to fuel my artistic ambitions. I’ll tell you a thing or two about sacrifices though. You may give too much of yourself and still not get what you wanted. This goes for life as well as deals with demons.
How has the pandemic impacted your life?
The pandemic laid waste to my life as soon as Bulgaria entered into lockdown and the first thing everyone did was buy all the non-perishables in sight. I lost my source of income for a good while and it’s been a gradual build-up of assignments to get to a position, where I’m secure enough. My family as a whole has had it rough from the onset. My partner had to quarantine with his family in another city for over a month and my mental health took a sharp turn for the worse. I’m still not sure how I am and what has happened to the flow of time, because these past few months have felt like a decade.
I’m still reckoning with the effects of the pandemic especially now that the second wave is picking up steam. The future looks troubling and doing what I’ve always done in my day-to-day feels bizarre, even though that’s the only thing I can realistically do. Even so… I’m one of the privileged in this nightmare. We’re potentially looking at a second lockout right now, because schools have opened, closed sports events have resumed, parties are hosted and it’s going to get bad real fast.