There's a house in the region of Beira-Alta, in Portugal, this is said to be haunted by ghosts of seven ladies, seven maiden sisters, one of whom was a witch...
Deeply influenced by the place he grew up, Tito Mouraz (b.1977, Portugal) created a photographic series about the legend of this rural and reputedly haunted place.
The series is comprised of raw, gloomy black and white portraits of people, animals and their surroundings. Exploring the myth of the place, the images depict night, fumes, the moon, sounds of the trees. Mouraz portrayed people that are attached to the land they live in like trees. The series aims to report a persistent return to the same place that shaped him in his childhood, as to show the changes and aging of the territory.
“It is still said around here that the house is haunted. At the house lived seven ladies, all maiden sisters. One of them was a witch. On full moon nights, the ladies in their white garments would fly from the balcony to the leafy branches of the chestnut across the street. From there they would seduce men who passed by.
In the House of the Seven Ladies, chatting, getting to know what it was like before me, listening and imagining, was as important as the act of photographing.
I started by doing some portraits of people. They interested me because they have always lived here and are attached to land just like trees. They speak about time, about their memories, their losses… many of them already dress in black.
This series gives an account of a persistent return to the same place, so as to scrutinize its differences (the slow deactivation of agricultural ractices, the gradual transformation of the territory, aging …), in spite of listening to the same owl, to the same fox, to the same stories.
Same as in legend, perhaps the magic and appalling features, this cyclical experience, were my greatest wound: night, fumes, corpses, moon, ruin, sounds. A place of affections, after all I was also born here.”