Ghostly Activities looked at 5 famous ghost pictures to debunk them or confirm them as real. Listed below are the pics, their history and our conclusion.
The White Lady of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery has a long history of hauntings and ghostly activities. In 1991, the Ghost Research Society visited it to document its famous orbs and other apparitions. They used both infrared and standard cameras to record any sightings during the day. The cemetery was empty when
Mari Judy Huff captured this picture on infrared film. (Note: Corrected on March 28, 2016, from Mari to Judy Huff, based on info from Dale Kaczmarek of Ghost Research Society)
Location: Checkered tombstone on south side of cemetery
Date: August 10, 1991
It’s real. There’s no evidence to suggest tampering with the original film and the group had no reason to alter the negatives. The blurry face and feet would need multiple shots and the group only captured one picture of the ghost
Mother in Backseat
A woman had visited her mother’s grave in Ipswich, England. She snapped a picture of her husband in their car to finish a roll of film. Once developed, she saw the ghostly image of her mother in the backseat.
Location: Ipswich, England, United Kingdom
Date: March 22, 1959
It’s fake. We don’t think the woman altered her picture. It looks like a double exposure. The ghost-mother’s place in the backseat doesn’t match either – she’s too far forward. You can also see color distortion between the front of the car and the back. The front has darker gray dots and the back is clear. Reportedly, there is no tree where the photo took place.
Emotional imprinting could explain the ghost photo. Some paranormal theorists argue a person’s strong emotional state can place people into photos. Ghostly Activities doesn’t support this theory until more test results become available for peer review.
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
Raynham Hall has a long history of apparitions. Photographers have captured many ghosts on film, but this spirit, The Brown Lady, is the most famous. Two reporters went to the hall to take some ghost pictures. At the end of their stay, the spirit manifested on the stairs in broad daylight and moved toward the crowd gathered below.
Location: Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Date: September 19, 1936
We believe it’s real, but there could be a natural explanation. The original negatives exist and many experts have reviewed them. Most of them agree the film is not altered. The witness accounts also verify the entity appeared. It also appeared during daylight.
If you look for a natural explanation, it may be sunlight creating an illusion. A sunbeam crosses the railings on both the left and right sides. The stairs show the light, too. It’s plausible for the 3 reflections to create a moving illusion – as the sun sets, it would move the illusion along the stairs.
Phantom Monk of Christ the Consoler Church
An English pastor took this photo at his church in 1954. He and a friend decided to take a picture of the altar on their way out. When he developed the film, he saw the giant apparition next to the altar.
Location: Church of Christ the Consoler, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Date: August 1954
It’s fake. The clues are in its perfection. The spirit is well-defined with perfectly semi-transparent. Also, the scale is wrong. Human spirits keep their human characteristics. That means it would be the person’s height, weight and facial features. This spirit appears 7-ft. tall and it wears a hood. There’s no recorded history of anyone wearing a hood who was that tall.
Friendly Ghost Photo Bomb
Two girls walked around a newer section of Manila. They wanted to capture the moment, so they asked a stranger to take their picture using their phone. He snapped a few pictures and the girls discovered something in their pic.
Location: Manila, Philippines
Date: Summer 2001
Correction – It’s a fake made using Ghost Cam, a mobile phone app. Information provided by Dale Kaczmarek of Ghost Research Society on March 28, 2016.
It’s real. There’s no evidence to suggest the photo was faked. Digital images are great to check because they store metadata (information about a file) about the pictures. You can see the raw image and get all the details about the type of camera, light conditions, all the settings and when it changed. If someone used photo-altering software, it would leave tampering marks in the metadata. The ghost’s characteristics also make it a credible image. It’s the right height and has clearly human features like the hand. The face isn’t well-formed, but it has the correct proportions. Also, double exposure just doesn’t happen on digital film. We would like to interview the girls in the photo for more information.
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about monsters in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.