Where Ghosts Roam: Matt Shallenberger’s “The Leaping Place”
Are there portals in this world between earthly and supernatural planes of existence? It may seem like a loaded question for some, but the concept is part of photographer Matt Shallenberger’s cultural history as a Hawaiian. In ancient Hawaiian mythology, he explains, the souls of the dead are guided by their deceased ancestors and “guardian gods,” searching for the pathways—in the forms of cliffs, trees and caves—that will lead them to the underworld. They are called “leaping places,” and Shallenberger set out to map locations across his native island that bear significance to his childhood and invoke a sense of the supernatural.
These sites feel like secret places, and they are shared with us, the viewers, as Shallenberger ushers us by—much like the guardian gods who guide the souls of the recently deceased. See more from the project, which he plans to publish in book form, on his website: mattshallenberger.com
Photos © Matt Shallenberger