What follows is my top ten ghost photos of all time. I’m not saying that they provide the best photographic ‘evidence’ of ghosts, in fact, people have put forward convincing explanations for some of them, but they are the ones that have given me the most joy over the years.
A question though : is there such a thing as a genuine photograph of a ghost? It’s a hotly debated topic but I must admit that I have my doubts. After saying that I find the area of ‘ghost’ photography fascinating and it was coming into contact with many of these images as a young child that set me off on the road of becoming a paranormal investigator.
Move over ‘Orbs’, this is the good shit!
10. The Tulip Staircase Ghost – Queen’s House, Greenwich
This photo was taken in June 1966 by the Rev R W Hardy and his wife who visited the Queens House whilst on holiday from British Columbia, Canada. Only after it was developed he discovered a strange hooded figure on his photograph of the Tulip Staircase.
At the time the photograph was taken (between 5.15pm and 5.30pm) Rev Hardy and his wife stated that there was nobody on the stair and that the staircase itself was closed with a rope and ‘No Admittance’ sign.
The photograph negatives have been examined by experts at Kodak and they found no evidence of tampering or manipulation. Some have suggested that there are a number of other figures or possibly the same figure that can be seen in the photo leading to suggestions that a long exposure of a ‘real’ person walking up the staircase may be to blame.
9. The Pink Lady of Greencastle, Indiana
This is from a series of photos were taken by Guy Winters when he and friend were investigating the O’Hare mansion in Greencastle, Indiana.
Armed with video and film cameras, the duo spent a couple of days, in both daylight and at night, looking for evidence of possible haunting activity. This photo is the result of a picture Guy took of one of the upstairs windows. The image appears to show a pink ghostly woman which Guy did not see at the time he snapped the photo, but saw it only after the film was developed. An analysis of the film determined that the image is present on the film’s negative.
I’m always a bit suspect of ghosts taken in windows because they are very often just reflections that have been misinterpreted (pareidolia), but this is such a good example it makes me wonder if this could actually be the spirit of Irene O’Hare herself, the woman who lived and died at the mansion.
8. The Extra Guest, Hotel Vierjahreszeiten, Austria
During a farewell party at Hotel Vierjahreszeiten in Austria a guest, Mr. Todd decided to take a group photo. Using the the self-timer on his Canon film camera he hurried back to the table. The photo was taken but the flash did not fire, so Mr. Todd set the camera for a second shot. This time the flash fired.
When the film was later developed it was noticed that the initial non-flash photo showed a somewhat blurry extra head. No one seated at the table had the faintest idea who this ‘spirit extra’ was, and they could not imagine how her image appeared in the picture. Besides being a bit out of focus, the woman’s head is also too large compared to the other vacationers, unless she is sitting closer to the camera, which would have put her in the middle of the table.
The photo was examined by the Royal Photographic Society, the photographic department of Leicester University, and the Society for Psychical Research, all of which ruled out a double exposure as the cause. I like this image because it’s just so odd.
7. The White Lady of Worstead Church, Norfolk
Taken in 1975 when Diane and Peter Berthelot along with their 12-year-old son visited the Worstead Church in north Norfolk. Peter took this photo of his wife sitting and praying on one of the church benches. She had been recently been sick and was taking antibiotics. It wasn’t until they were home from their trip that they noticed the mysterious figure that appears to be wearing old-fashioned clothes and a bonnet seated behind his wife. The Berthelot’s were totally taken aback, as they knew that she had been sitting there alone.
When the couple returned to the church at a later date, they took along the picture. The couple showed the mysterious image to a local Reverend and it was then that they learned the legend of the White Lady. They were told that the ghost is known to help those who are sick and will appear in the church when someone is in need of healing.
The church has since been turned into a bar. Does white lady ghost of Worstead Church still linger and watch over the bar patrons who may become a bit worse for wear?
6. Ghostly Passenger, Ipswich
Mrs. Mabel Chinnery was visiting the grave of her mother one day in 1959. She had brought along her camera to take photographs. After visiting the grave site and snapping a couple pictures of her mother’s headstone, Mabel Chinnery decided to take a quick snap shot of her husband waiting in the car, as she needed to use the last exposure on the roll.
When the film was developed, the couple was more than surprised to see a figure wearing glasses sitting in the back seat of the car. Mrs. Chinnery immediately recognised the image of her mother – the woman whose grave they had visited on that day.
A photographic expert who examined the print determined that the image of the woman was neither a reflection nor a double exposure, however others have pointed out the the scarf of the figure in the backseat seems to bled over the metal of the car in one area, a possible sign of a double exposure. Either way this image left a distinct impression on my childhood when I first saw it.