Eek! Photographer Uses His Own Kids to Bring 10 Childhood Nightmares to Life

Most parents try to ensure that nightmares don’t steal their children’s peace. Joshua Hoffine, on the other hand, walks his kids directly over to the dark side and leaves them there for a while to marinate in terror.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based photographer is interested in the psychology of fear and believes that “horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the unconscious.”

His un-Photoshopped series of horror photos depicting childhood nightmares were created by staging photo shoots as if he were filming a movie, with sets, props and actors — including two of his four daughters — as he tries to “present the images within the visual grammar of the child” so the viewer shares “their point of view, to feel their vulnerability. The images stress danger, and depict a world where innocence and safety are under constant threat.”

Mission: accomplished. Halloween fright has come a bit early this year. Take a look at Hoffin’s horror photography, but whatever you do — don’t try this at home:


  • Horror Photography, Kid-Style 1 of 11

    Photos by Joshua Hoffine

  • Swarm 2 of 11

    The itsy bitsy spider. Ad infinitum.

  • Balloons 3 of 11

    To make it all eminently more creepy, the clown in this photo is played by Hoffine's mother-in-law.

  • Basement 4 of 11

    Watch your step. Forever.

  • Snake 5 of 11

    "I'm far too big to eat," he cried.


    "Oh, no you're not," the snake replied.

  • Bed 6 of 11

    What? They couldn't make her floor out of a chalkboard material to round out the horror of this situation?

  • Devil 7 of 11

    The floor is now officially added to the list — that includes the closet and under the bed — of places for children to fear.


  • Couch 8 of 11

    Sit back and relax.

  • Closet 9 of 11

    Mirror, mirror on the wall — apparently you know I'm the fairest one of all.

  • Candy 10 of 11

    You'll never look at a lollipop the same way again.

  • Last Stand 11 of 11

    Photographic proof of why children should not be left alone with their fathers.


All photos used with permission from Joshua Hoffine


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Article Posted 2 years Ago
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