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Newry photographer captures Swedish urban legend

June 13, 2016

A budding Newry photographer has managed to complete an ambitious mission to capture amazing pictures of a legendary abandoned car graveyard in Sweden.   On Friday 3rd June Sean Donegan of Newry Man Lost photography set off on an epic adventure to track down the scrapyard, which has become something of an urban legend in Sweden, travelling to the heart of a rural Swedish forest miles from civilization.

The forsaken vehicles were amassed by two Swedish brothers who collected the cars left behind by US servicemen after WWII.  Over one thousand classics including Buicks, Mustangs, Beetles, Dodge and even Morris Minors reside in the forest.  The collection thrived as a business up until the eighties due to the high price of cars in neighbouring Norway, before being abandoned to the elements in the nineties. It is believed that the vehicles left behind have a scrap value of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Spurred on by the fact that they would be the first Irish photographers to locate and hopefully capture this urban legend, Sean and fellow photographer Cathal from Uncharted Ireland photography, flew to Gardermoen airport in Norway where they hired a car and set off across country for the Norwegian Swedish border.

Their base for the weekend would be a hostel in the small Swedish town of Tockfors.  Armed with nothing but hope and some local knowledge, the pair set off early on Saturday morning driving deep into the countryside.

Picking up the story of his Swedish escapade for The Examiner, Sean continued,

“The small winding road went on for miles and miles and we began to give up hope. The road turned into a gravelly track and we were about to turn back when suddenly up ahead we could see what looked like a dodge truck sticking its nose out of the forest.

“We drove on another few hundred metres and more and more rusted relics of automotive history began to appear between the trees.  We knew then that we were getting close. We drove another half a kilometre down the track and when we turned the next bend suddenly out of nowhere the Valhalla of classic decaying vehicles was right in front of our very eyes.

“There was nothing else for it – we jumped out of the car and grabbed our cameras and spent the next 14 hours in 32 degree heat swarmed by mosquitoes trying to capture the magical scenes that lay in their rusting resting place.”

Sean describes the momentous find as a day of “mixed emotions” where the delight at discovering the classic relics was combined with sadness at the decay and disrepair of the vehicles.

“One thing is for sure,” adds Sean, “It was an adventure I’ll never forget!”

Sean is well known locally for his avid interest in all things historical and spooky and as well as being member of Paranormal Searchers and Investigators Ireland, he is also behind the hugely successful Nocturnal Ireland Paranormal Investigators in Newry – a company which offers members of the public the chance to become paranormal investigators in some of the most notoriously haunted locations in Ireland.

Through the local paranormal group he continues to bring something different to the city, with murder mystery nights, paranormal tours and ghost hunts regularly booked out.  Having recently branched out into photography under the guise of Newry Man Lost and Sean of the Dead Photography, Sean is definitely carving a name for himself in the industry, capturing atmospheric and unusual images of the world on his travels.

To check out Sean’s work, find him on Facebook as both Sean of the Dead Photography and Newry Man Lost.

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