Create a story, with some element of horror. An even that would give you nightmares, if it happened to you.
Don’t start with a family photograph. I think that would be a bit creepy, for you and your family. Find an old photograph, black and white works well for the dramatic effect. Also, anyone in the photograph is likely no longer living, if it really is an old photo.
Build a life for a person, or people, which could be real, but might not be. If you want to work on it, look into history for the local area. Find real stories which you can link to the people in the photograph.
Make a mix of non-fiction, possibility, and your worst nightmares.
Writer/Director James Marsh’s first feature, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film is inspired by Michael Lesy’s book of the same name which was first published in 1973. Lesy discovered a striking archive of black and white photographs in the town of Black River Falls dating from the 1890’s and married a selection of these images to extracts from the town’s newspaper from the same decade. The effect was surprising and disturbing. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists.
Wisconsin Death Trip – About
See also: Dakota Death Trip – Site by Derek Dahlsad. (Archived, but still online).
Could you go this far and make a site about your own town? It would be tricky, the mix of real stories, real people in photographs and the addition of speculation.