F. M. Kearney began his photography career as a photojournalist for New York City newspapers. His focus soon shifted to capturing the beauty of our natural world. As an award-winning nature photographer, Kearney’s images have been widely published. He is a columnist for the North American Nature Photography Association's eNEWS publication. His latest endeavor – a slight departure from photography – is a fictional horror novel, “They Only Come Out at Night,” about supernatural happenings in the New York City subway (partially inspired by his travels as a photojournalist).

 

STORY BEHIND THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT

 

Like most New Yorkers, I don't own a car. It's much easier and faster to get around town by taking the subway. After all, you never have to worry about parking a subway train when you reach your destination. It served as my primary means of transportation as I traveled to and from my photography assignments.

 

When most people (especially tourists) think of the New York City Subway, visions of Times Square, Grand Central or Penn Station will undoubtedly come to mind. These are large, busy hubs filled with thousands of commuters and non-stop activity. Much in the way of how the Empire State Building defines New York City, these stations have become the iconic symbols of the New York Subway. However, they are only a tiny portion of the 468 stations that comprise the entire system. En route to many of my photo shoots, I became quite familiar with the stations in the outer boroughs – the stations that, in my opinion, represent the real New York City Subway. These stations are fairly quiet, dimly lit and sparsely populated... and that's in the middle of the day! I've been in sections of some stations that were so ominously desolate that they've since been permanently sealed and closed off to the public. The sheer creepiness of these environments makes me wonder why Hollywood doesn't regularly use the subway as a set location for horror movies.

 

The title is derived from a mid-80's disco classic by Peter Brown of the same name. Although hardly the typical inspiration for a horror novel; the song features a saxophone with an unusually haunting quality. I envisioned it as the type of sound one might hear in the distance while walking along deserted city streets late at night.

 

Between the song and my observations in the subway, "They Only Come Out at Night," is the product of my overactive (some might say "warped") imagination.

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