Capturing the image of a ghost on film is one of the most difficult tasks for even the most experienced ghost hunter, and really good photos that are difficult for skeptics to dismiss are literally once in a lifetime events.
The first challenge to photographing a ghost, and it is a huge challenge, is that in order to catch an image of a ghost, you have to be in the presence of an apparition, and that is in and of itself a monumental challenge. Visible apparitions are incredibly uncommon. Many serious ghost hunters work for years without ever seeing a confirmed apparition, because they are so random.
However, there are scores of people who’ve captured apparitions on film which are undeniable to most ghost hunters, because the figure on film is clearly human. These photos are the most difficult for skeptics to criticize.
Unfortunately, for each real ghosting photograph there are fifty fakes, photos which are digitally changed or even staged. During the actual spiritualist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century numerous fake pictures were created with the “wet glass plate” technique, because the pictures could often generate huge profits for the scammers.
Once this process was exposed every ghost picture was carefully examined and most were rejected as fakes, and today any real ghost photograph or video will generate an enormous skeptical response.
However, but there are a number of well known ghost photos which have been reviewed by experts and are regarded as real by most ghost hunters. The following is a review of some of the most famous ghost photos.
1. Freddy Jackson
Taken in 1919 by Sir Victor Goddard
A standard group photo of a World War I squadron became infamous when an additional face appeared behind one from the airmen located on the top row, fourth from the left (see insert for a clearer view).
The airmen instantly recognized the face as belonging to Freddy Jackson, a mechanic who was killed by an airplane propeller two days before the photo was taken. Freddy’s funeral had taken place on that day, but apparently Freddy Jackson’s ghost decided to show up anyway.
2. The Fire Girl
Taken November 19, 1995 by Tony O’Rahilly
As the Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England burned to the ground, local residents took photos of the wreckage from across the street.
Tony O’Rahilly utilized a 200mm telephoto lens to snap this photo of a small girl framed in the doorway. None of the other onlookers or fire fighters working the scene remember seeing a little girl, and there would be no reason for her to be in the dangerous shell of the burnt out building.
Dr. Vernon Harrison later examined the photo and it’s negative and determined that it was genuine. Further investigation into the young girl’s identity uncovered records of a child named Jane Churm who passed away in 1677 in northern Shropshire after lighting fire to a thatched roof with a candle.
3. The Brown lady
Taken in September 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira
Believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Townshend, this ghost has been haunting the oak staircase of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England since the 1700s.
Legend has it that Dorothy’s husband, Charles Townshend, believed his wife was having an affair and locked her in a tiny room of the great house until she eventually perished there.
When materialized, she is often seen wearing a brown, satin dress. One report tells of her having hollow sockets where her eyes should be.
4. Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove
Taken on August 10, 1991 by Mari Huff
Mari Huff of the “Ghost Research Society” took this photo during an investigation of of Bachelor’s Grove cemetery near Chicago. The photo was snapped in an area where the group’s equipment had been acting strangely.
The small, abandoned cemetery was empty except for the paranormal investigation team, and yet when the film was developed this image of a young woman materialized.
Bachelor’s Grove cemetery is considered to be one of America’s most haunted places, and is known for hundreds of paranormal incidents (including full body apparitions).
5. The Back Seat Ghost
Taken in 1959 by Mabel Chinnery
During a visit to her mother’s grave site, Mabel Chinnery took this candid picture of her husband while he waited patiently in the car.
After Mabel developed the film she noticed the eerie figure in the back seat, just behind her husband’s right shoulder. Mabel swore that the ghostly aperition was her mother.
An expert examined the photo for signs of fraud and was noted as saying, “I stake my reputation on the fact that the picture is genuine,” adding that the image was not a reflection nor a double exposure.
13 thoughts on “Top 5 Most Famous Ghost Photos”
The Fire Girl photo has since been proven to be a fake.
i just watched a story on Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove cemetary so iam goin to try to visit there my buddy has gone at night and says its creepy he also states he had a few incounters
The lady at the cemetary I would have to question. I have taken so many pictures of apparitions and that one to me does not look real. But on the other hand I have taken some when no one else was in the room and had an apparition that looks just like we do; so who knows.
The Brown Lady photograph has also been debunked.
the first one is really weird. you know its not fake because this looks like a old war photo. they didn’t have the stuff to edit it.
Great post! I’ve been ghost hunting for years now and love reading other people’s experiences and thoughts. I will def. keep coming back here to read more!
I have a ghost hunting blog you might want to check out. I have some evps and pics I’ve collected overtime. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Great post! I\’ve been ghost hunting for years now and love reading other people\’s experiences and thoughts. I will def. keep coming back here to read more!
I have a ghost hunting blog you might want to check out. I have some evps and pics I\’ve collected overtime. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Great to see an informative blog for a change, nice layout as well, bookmarked.
Interesting coincidence regarding photo number 1 re Sir Victor Goddard’s photo.
I have an old photo album which contains several photos of Sir Victor Goddard on a sailing trip on the Norfolk Broads in England with 2 friends in September 1913,6 years before he took the famous Freddy Jackson photo.
On one of the album pages there are 2 nearly identical photos of Victor sailing a yacht.The photo on the left has the top of his head cut off and the photo on the right is as it should be.His friend who took the photos must have realised that he had missed the top of Victor’s head and took the other photo seconds after.There is a gap between the photos in the album page where Victor has written.He is joking about being bald in photo 1 then applying hair restoring ointment called ‘killum kwik’and suggests that in 3 minutes his hair was fully restored complete with parting!
I am in no way suggesting that the Freddy Jackson photo could be fake but only dislosing that Sir Victor Goddard had a connection with ‘head photos’ in the past and in this particular case it was his own!Ijust think it’s a strange coincidence.
I appreciate your effort its such a nice nice, and has very informative
Phtography is wonderful, it’s changed so much in the last 50 years but it still such a powerful medium 🙂
I HEAR THESE ORBSTIRS ALIENS & SPIRITS HAVE BEEN FOR 17 YEARS NOW.
i have some evidence the earth should see
ALL THE FACES ON MY SIGHT I HAVE GOT FROM INN MY HOME
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This is a topic that is close to my heart…
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