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.