Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ghost photograph or something else?





Books, magazines, the Internet, all are littered with photographs purporting to show ghostly apparitions. Many, too many in my opinion, show what has become popularly termed as ‘spirit orbs,’ those innocent little specs of moisture and dust that for reasons I am at a loss to comprehend, have convinced a few that what they are seeing are the disembodied spirits of the dead.  Most, if not all ghost photographs are clearly faked, or a misinterpretation of something perfectly natural, as is the case with spirit orbs, 'dust halos' to professional photographers. There are however a few photographs that appear to defy explanation and rigorous photographic laboratory tests occasionally concluded; “we find no evidence of tampering.” In an age when special effects often have an audience trying to figure out what is real and what is not, I can't help but wonder, given the right software and the technical know-how, just how many photographs could slip under the radar of even the most meticulous of photographic examinations.  That is not to say that the second photograph above has been manipulated technically in any way, of that I am sure.

I was asked to give my opinion of these two photographs which came into my possession recently. To protect all concerned, the whereabouts (though in Wiltshire) will remain unspecified. They were taken earlier this year by the husband of one of the staff who works at this property. He had been killing time waiting for his wife to finish work. He took several photographs that evening all in quick succession. This was the only one to show a rather strange and unaccountable set of images.

The two photographs above were taken seconds apart but if you look carefully at the bottom of the second photograph you will see what appears to be a set of white footprints. However, on closer inspection (suggest copy and enlarge) the footprints take on a more startling image, that of slippers or shoes which seem to progress from left to right. What is more curious, is the amorphous, snaking mist which appears to be hovering above the shoes. I have it on good authority the photographer was blissfully unaware of what he had taken until he downloaded the file onto his PC that same evening.

It is interesting to note, that the property has a violent history and was the scene of a murder and subsequent suicide in the 1940s. The victim - a woman, used to walk this path regularly to meet with a member of her staff where they would spend time reading poetry together.














This second photograph was taken at the Red Lion Salisbury on 13th January 2013 by the daughter of Kevin Taylor using her mobile phone. The image was not picked up until she downloaded the data on to her computer. It appears to show a face immediately above the bed.




8 comments:

Nelly said...

Having looked closely at the footprints for ages I couldn't figure out why they looked so odd. Oddly shaped, oddly spaced, then, like you said, suddenly they seemed to make more sense as a 3d image. It is very odd. When you zoom in closely they look like little white 30s style ladies shoes with a tiny heel. Would be interesting to know the history of the house and see the other photos, although I know this is not possible. Would be interesting to see what others make of it.

Willow said...

I agree Nelly with your point about the style of the shoes, they do seem to suggest a 30s -40s style of ladies shoe. What intrigues me is the snake-like mist that seems to be hovering above them.

Nelly said...

I know! Even when you zoom in to the point that it becomes pixels it still clearly shows something above the shoes. I think it looks like there could be the hem of a long black dress above them? Might sound mad but that is just what I can see. Interesting that they just seem to vanish. Perhaps into the frosty grass?

Willow said...

No you're not mad Nelly, there does appear to be something there.

Zach said...

This is a long exposure photograph of someone running from right to left in the picture. It's fairly obvious.

Willow said...

It could well be just that Zach. But in my experience, I would have thought a long exposure photograph would still have shown some evidence of the owner of the shoes.

mark byatt said...

Hi, having considered the image in question, it is clear that there are a set of prints visible and the wisp of smoke is present also. I have only one question - if ghosts have no substance then how can they leave footprints? Or are we to assume that this is a poltergheist capable of moving matter, in this case the snow underfoot? If this is the case then why do we not see more sets of ghostly prints during winter? I think it more likely to be a clever hoax or something perfectly ordinary caught in the lens on that day that appears to be more than it is...

Willow said...

Thanks for your comment Mark.

You have raised some interesting points. Ghosts having substance for example. Yes most likely if you are to believe the countless reports of people encountering ghosts that appear as solid as you or I, in which case there is every possibility that such an apparition maybe capable of leaving its ‘mark.’

The photograph has sparked quite a bit of interest. I am assured that there has been no tampering.