The Mystery of Photobombing Ghosts
- by Ninja Ross, 31 March 2017
Spirits have been appearing in photographs for nearly as long as photography has been around, showing up as blurry images behind unsuspecting posers and haunting family photos. But why have these spooks and spectres been photobombing our snaps?
Experts had difficulty finding ways to prove his work was fake, but they were thought to have been done by inserting a previously prepared positive glass plate, featuring the image of the deceased, into his camera in front of an unused sensitive glass plate before taking the picture of the living client.
Mumler was put on trial for fraud, but managed to get away with it and continued his work. However, the damage that the trial caused meant that his client list began to shrink rapidly.
This didn't stop people from pursuing spirit photography as a vocation, of course. Englishman William Hope formed the Crewe Circle, which consisted of six photographers continuing the tradition of spirit photography.
But just because there's plenty of fakes in history doesn't mean every photograph or video with a strange apparition is false.
In 1936, Captain Hubert Provand and his assistant Indre Shira were taking photographs in Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England for Country Life Magazine when Shira spotted a ghostly figure walking down the stairs. A photo was taken and has since been dubbed “The Brown Lady”, believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, who had died in 1726.
While some claim this was caused by the camera being shook during the exposure, this is believed to be one of the few genuine images of a ghost.
And ghosts have been appearing in photographs even to this day. But WHY?!? Why do ghosts insist on jumping into shot?
The afterlife is still very much a mystery to us. You'd have to be dead to know exactly what's going on over there and I can only assume the majority of Trash Mutant readers are alive. More or less.
Ghosts didn't stop appearing in photos in the 1930's. They can be seen throughout history. Below is an image of the moon landing from 1969. Can you see the ghost in the background? Look hard and you can just about see Napoleon.
But big historical events aren't the only places you'll see ghosts popping up on screen. The below image shows the ghost of a young boy appearing on the set of Three Men and a Baby. People have speculated that this apparition is the ghost of a small boy who died there years before, when he turned a shotgun on himself.
However, this is not the case. It's actually a cardboard cut out of Ted Danson that was left there by mistake. But there have been many incidents caught on camera that have not been proven to be a cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson.
Here was have a behind the scenes shot of 2014's RoboCop reboot. Notice anything out of the ordinary?
That's the original RoboCop haunting the set right there in the background. This could be dismissed as Photoshop or a trick of the light. A one-time thing that can never be recreated. But here's ED-209 discreetly hiding out of sight.
Many people believe ghosts are spirits who need to resolve something. Some believe that ghosts try to warn people of impending disasters, similar to the Mothman myth from Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The latter does make a lot of sense, suggesting that the original RoboCop was warning everyone involved with the reboot that it wouldn't be any good. Was the original Alex Murphy trying to save Michael Keaton? Was he trying to shut down filming? Who knows.
Evidence of this can be seen on the sets of movies like Total Recall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even in the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man.
But the real reason as to why spirits show up in photos is still yet to be determined. Warnings of disaster? Trying to communicate with loved ones? Vanity? Accidentally walking into shot? Unfortunately, we may never know. All we can do is continue to speculate.
What do YOU think, Trash Mutant reader? Let us know in the comments!