Taken at the former Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio, Laura Larson’s Monitor (2005) is part of a series of photographs called Asylum. The Athens Lunatic Asylum can be characterized by the unfounded 19th century mental health practices that included lobotomies and electroshock therapy. Unsurprisingly the building, which was purchased by Ohio State University is thought to be haunted. Larson has a background in filmmaking and her photographs have a cinematic feel. The series is partly inspired by 19th century spirit photography, where the realistic aspects of the medium were used to prove that spirits exist, despite the fact that many of the spirit photographs were staged. In a similar manner, Larson uses cigarette smoke to create the effect of looking at a “spirit”. However, perhaps what evokes the sense of a spirit more than than the smoke are the parts of the image that are in the shadows. What ghosts lie beyond that dark open doorway surrounded by light?