They say seeing is believing. And while in this day of digital image manipulation that might not be as true as it once was, these photographs are considered by many to be the real deal – photographic evidence of ghosts. Faking ghost photos through double exposure and in-the-lab trickery has been around as long as photography itself; and today, computer graphics programs can easily and convincingly create ghost images. But these photos are generally thought to be untouched, genuine portraits of the unexplained.
5. HMS Daedalus Photo, 1919
Another classic and one of the better captures, this photograph from 1919, taken by retired RAF officer Sir Victor Goddard, shows his squadron from the Royal Navy vessel HMS Daedalus. Notice the transparent face peering around the man in the upper left corner of the photo. Several men from this squadron identified the face as belonging to mechanic Freddy Jackson, who had been killed two days earlier when he accidentally walked into a spinning propeller blade. His funeral had taken place earlier that day. Apparently, Freddy didn’t want to miss all the fun.
4. Cowboy Ghost Or Mysterious Stranger, 1996
In 1996, Ike Clanton thought it would be a pretty cool idea to deck himself out in cowboy attire and have his friend snap a picture of him while he stood in Boothill Graveyard in the famous Tombstone, Arizona. Upon examining the picture Clanton noticed a man in the background of the photo that was not there when the photograph was taken. Clanton was intrigued by this and set out to recreate the photo with a friend standing in the background and discovered it was impossible to recreate the picture without having the legs visible.
3. The Lord Combermere Photo, 1891
This well known photo—and perhaps one of the oldest examples of a bonifide spirit photo—was taken in the Combermere Abbey Library in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The exposure length was approximately one hour, and the figure of a man appears to be sitting in the armchair located in the foreground (it’s difficult to make out, but a head and arm can just be made out sitting in the chair). At the time this photograph was being taken, Lord Combermere (a top British cavalry commander) was being buried four miles away and the house was said to have been locked and empty at the time. Additionally, those who knew Lord Combermere claim the figure looks exactly like the man, so we have to wonder if the old gentleman wasn’t simply just visiting his old “haunt” one last time.
2. Brown Lady, 1936
This photograph is considered by many to be the most famous “ghost” photograph. It was taken in 1936 at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England and still today cannot be explained. The photogenic ghost is thought to be that of Dorothy Townshend who lived in Raynham Hall with her husband, Charles Townshend, in the 1700s. Legend has it that Dorthy was a mistress to Lord Wharton and Charles found out about it. He then imprisoned her in a remote section of the Hall until she died from his abuses. Legal records show she died in 1726, but many believe this to be a sham, as Charles wanted people to believe she was dead, so he could punish her for her infidelity.
1. Stairway To The Afterlife, 1966
In 1966, Rev. Ralph Hardy visited the National Museum in Greenwich, England. While in the Queen’s House section of the Museum, Hardy snapped a photo of the beautiful staircase. Upon developing his photography Hardy made a shocking discovery. One of his photos showed a ghostly figure climbing the staircase. The figure was not in the photography when Hardy took the picture. The photograph and the negatives were examined by experts, some of which were from Kodak, and all have concluded that the negative was not tampered with nor is it a double exposure.