It was my first ghost hunt. I went with friends who booked a tour to Pennhurst Penitentiary located in Spring City, PennsylvaniaAsylumNo25 known for its paranormal experiences. Not only was I interested in the possibility of encountering some spirits but I also thought it would make for an interesting photo shoot. And yes we did experience something with the spirit known as Emily.

While waiting for the sun to set and darkness to take over, I was busy taking photos. I’m usually in the habit of checking my camera for every photo I take and everything looked fine until I uploaded to edit and noticed that mostly everything I shot was blurry. I have a steady hand so I’m not sure whether it was nerves or something else. Strangely I did find my camera to be a bit uncooperative that night. Anyway, it all makes for an interesting opportunity to portray the ghoulishness and unwelcome feeling that permeates the place.

12319Pennhurst was opened in 1903 and was originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic. Residents were admitted into three categories; mental, physical, and dental and were generally considered unfit for citizenship and a menace to society and as a result recommended for custodial care.

After years of allegations of abuse by institutional caretakers, Bill Baldini a CBS10 correspondent anchored a five part television series entitled “Suffer the Little Children” exposing the neglectful and appalling conditions of widespread abuse that eventually led to a class action suit on behalf of its patients. You can view this documentary at

The Halderman Case was a federal case that alleged that the conditions at Pennhurst were unsanitary, inhumane and dangerous and a violation of the fourteenth amendment. In 1983, nine employees were indicated on charges of beating patients some of whom were in wheelchairs.

newspaper-full-page-1972 Pennhurst was closed on December 9, 1987 after a settlement agreement that required all of its residents be provided a more civilized service. It’s listed on the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience as an historic site dedicated to remembering the struggles for justice. It is currently available for private haunted tours and is a major attraction during Halloween. To learn more or book a tour visit

To view the entire series of Asylum please visit my website.

CURATOR’S COMMENTS: Crisis: The Day the Oil Stopped Pumping

Crisis: The Day the Oil Stopped Pumping is a photographic narrative that ponders the question of what would happen to the United States if it ran out of oil? Oil is a non-renewable energy resource that is becoming scarce. Currently there is no alternative plan in place for the day when oil can no longer be produced. Without an alternative plan the world will find itself in a time before electricity.

So what would happen the day the oil stops pumping? The affects on medicine, culture, transportation, trade, economic stability and food production would be on a global scale and lead to widespread poverty. Starvation and anarchy would ensue in the most extreme cases and more wars would be waged for the quest for oil. Our daily lives are completely dependent on oil. Is our thirst for oil so great that we are willing to lose a countless amount of lives and destroy the world as we know it?

This project was inspired by the current events surrounding climate change and the energy crisis. My objective is not be lecturing or take sides on a a controversial issue. Instead, the pictures in this piece are meant to provoke thought and become a motivator for change. Lack of political will and a public hesitant to change is tragic. But without a plan for change it will be tragedy for sure. – Rebecca A. Battle

Below is a link to a photographic short that shows our dependence on oil and how integral it is to our daily lives. For the photoplay please visit:

BATTLE STUDIOS NEWS TICKER: G-Woman Takes Over Times Square

G-Woman, starring Maureen “Mo” Whelan was selected as a participant for Art Takes Times Square premiere event June 18th, 2012. It appeared on a 9 x 12 LED screen and was selected amongst thousands of participants.

A photo of G-Woman was taken by attendee, Lee Jacob Hilado. For more photos of the event taken by Lee Jacob Hilado, please visit his Facebook page at

For news coverage of Art Takes Times Square please visit:

ABC 7 Coverage of Art Takes Times Square

Art Takes Times Square Slide Show

To read about Mo Whelan’s Hollywood adventures and view her work please visit her blog:

BATTLE STUDIOS NEWS TICKER: Factorium Featured in The 570 and The Weekender


BATTLE STUDIOS NEWS TICKER: Factorium Interview with Go Lackawanna

Go Lackawanna interviews Rebecca A. Battle on her Factorium exhibition at Camerawork Gallery in Scranton, Pennsylvania.