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SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Ghostwatcher
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2008, 10:06:46 pm »


Another amazing photograph is that of the Greenwich Ghost. This photo was taken in 1966 at Queen’s House, Greenwich, London by Reverend RW Hardy. Although nothing was seen at the time, the developed image clearly shows a shrouded figure, bent over and climbing the stairs. The photo and original negative were examined at length by Kodak and by other photographic experts. They were completely unable to explain the figure and are sure the photo was not double-exposed.

The emergence of modern science in the first half of the 1800's had helped to dispel the superstitions of the past but scientists were unable to connect the mysterious evidence obtained by spirit photography to the progress they were making in other fields. Because of this, most of the investigation and research into the field was carried out by Spiritualists, who believed that far too many of the photographs were genuine, thus validating their often unpopular beliefs. The debunkers of today simply point to the usually ridiculous images that were produced as proof that the entire field was corrupt. As most of us know though, nothing is ever that clear cut when it comes to the paranormal -- nor are answers ever that easily obtained.

(C) Copyright 2003 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.prairieghosts.com/ph_history.html
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2008, 10:08:11 pm »

- THE HAUNTED MUSEUM -

The World's Most Famous Spirit Photos
You May Not Believe Your Eyes!



Since the invention of the camera, people have been attempting to take photographs of ghosts. What could be better proof of their existence than the ability to capture a spirit’s image on film? Unfortunately, many “spirited” efforts have led to failure and, even worse, outright fraud.

Trickery was introduced in the early days of the photographic process, which coincided with the heyday of the Spiritualist movement. In 1861, a Boston engraver named William Mumler started shooting photographs that included faint images that were alleged to be his customer’s deceased loved ones. Business boomed until someone noticed that the “Spirit Faces” resembled a number of living residents of Boston! The “spirits” in the photographs were soon recognized as double exposures and over-printed images and Mumler was arrested and charged with fraud.

Regardless though, fake spirit photography has flourished ever since because in addition to fraud, there are also literally thousands of photos that allege to be ghosts that are merely mistakes caused in processing or during the actual photography. Camera straps, reflections and light refractions are often mistaken for ghosts on film... but that’s not to say that no real photos of ghosts exist!

In fact, there have been a number of such photos that have been taken over the years for which no clear explanations exist. Photos can often appear for which no evidence of fraud, trickery or mistakes can be discovered. The photos presented here all lay claim to being legitimate. In each case, the photographer claimed to be surprised by the end results of the photograph.
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2008, 10:13:42 pm »



This Series of Photos, from a Spiritualist séance at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana, once stunned researchers. The photos have remained controversial and debate continues both for an against their authenticity.
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2008, 10:14:42 pm »



The photo shown here is the famous “Lord Combermere Photograph”, which was first published in 1895. It gained almost instant fame among psychic researchers and remains a mystery to this day.
The photo was part of an account by Miss Sybell Corbett who took the photograph in December 1891 while staying with her sister at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England. 
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2008, 10:15:32 pm »


The photo was actually taken of the splendid library of the house and the camera was placed with a long exposure of about one hour, details of which were carefully noted in her photographic diary.
Although no one was in the room at the time of the exposure, the developed plate showed the head, body and arms of an older man, seated in a high-backed chair to the left side of the room. The photo was shown to a relative of Lord Combermere and she announced that if did resemble the man. However, not everyone agreed about this. Regardless, the features of the man are hard to distinguish.

The strangest thing about the photo was that, at the time it was taken, Lord Combermere was attending a funeral at the local churchyard in Wrenbury, a few miles away. The funeral was his own! Lord Combermere had been killed a few days earlier in a road accident in London.

As mentioned, the photo caused quite a stir and attracted the attention of Sir William Barrett, an investigator for the Society of Psychical Research. He experimented with a similar photo process and then first dismissed this photograph as an unintentional mistake. He surmised that a servant had entered the room while the shutter of the camera was open, sat down in the chair and then left, leaving behind a faint, and rather “ghostly” image.

After further investigation though, Barrett reconsidered. He later learned that the image did not resemble any of the servants in the house and that all of the male servants had been away attending their master’s funeral anyway. He confessed to being perplexed and the photograph remains mysterious today.

 
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2008, 10:18:14 pm »


This next photo was taken in 1959 by Mrs. Mabel Chimney in a British churchyard. She had just finished photographing her mother’s grave and then took a picture of her husband, who was waiting for her in the car. He was alone in the auto at that time, yet the developed photograph clearly showed Mrs. Chimney’s mother in the back seat of the car. A photo expert examined it for a British newspaper and declared the photo to be authentic. In fact, he went as far as to declare, “I stake my reputation on the fact that this picture is genuine,” he said.
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2008, 10:19:21 pm »

Perhaps the most famous ghost photo of all time is that of the “Brown Lady of Raynham Hall”. In September 1936, a photographer, Mr. Indre Shira, was commissioned by Lady Townsend of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England to take a series of photographs of the house for “Country Life” magazine. Shira and his assistant were just setting up their equipment for shots of the grand staircase when the photographer saw what he described as “ a vapoury form which gradually assumed the shape of a woman in a veil.”

The figure slowly began to ascend the stairs and, very excited, Shira took a hasty photograph. The assistant however, was amused by his employer’s excitement, maintaining (even afterward) that he had seen nothing on the stairs. In fact, he admitted that he thought Shira was delusional.
 

He changed his mind after the plate was developed though and saw the phantom outline of a human figure on the stairs. Experts who examined the plate were puzzled and agreed that the image was not the result of any form of trickery.

Author and researcher Thurston Hopkins also studied the photo and he too declared it genuine. “It may well be the most genuine ghost photograph we possess,” he added, “and no study of the supernatural is complete without a reference to it.”

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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2008, 10:21:38 pm »


The next print is a color photograph that was taken in the Australian outback by the Reverend R.S. Blance at Corroboree Rock, located 100 miles from Alice Springs. The photo was taken in 1959.
According to the legends of the site, the place was known for being a spot where the Aborigine tribesmen carried out terrible ceremonies in the past. According to the minister, there was no other human activity in the area at the time the photo was taken.
 

This photo, and others like it, have become important pieces of evidence in the search for authentic photos because in many cases, the identity of the photographer (in this case, a respected reverend) go a long way in making it possible for the photos to be deemed authentic. Rarely is a witness or a photographer as far above reproach as a minister is.

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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2008, 10:22:53 pm »

This photo is another that has become quite famous over the years. It shows a hooded figure that seems to float on the steps of the altar at England’s Newby Church. The photo was taken in the 1960’s by the Reverend K.F. Lord, who was merely photographing the front of the sanctuary. He reported that he saw no such figure at the time of his visit.

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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2008, 10:25:04 pm »


This photograph comes to us courtesy of Jude Huff-Felz and was taken during an investigation of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery near Chicago.
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« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2008, 10:26:33 pm »

The photo was taken on infra-red film during a daytime excursion to the reputedly haunted graveyard. In the developed photograph, there appeared a semi-transparent figure of a woman seated on a tombstone within the cemetery grounds. She was not visible to anyone who was present and in fact, the image appeared in a much larger, almost panoramic view of the cemetery. The portion of the photo where the woman appears was enlarged when investigators noticed there was something out of the ordinary about it.

Skeptics declared the photo a hoax (as usual) but I have every reason to believe it is genuine. I had a copy of the photo examined by a number of professional photographers and while they would have liked to say that it was a fraud, they admitted that they were unable to. They ruled out the possibility of a double-exposure and the theory that it was a photo of a live woman who was made to appear like a ghost. One critic declared she was casting a shadow, but this is nothing more than the natural coloring of the landscape. Besides that, if she is casting a shadow in that direction, why isn’t anything else?

This last photograph is another fascinating one. It depicts a cowled figure that was photographed by a Canadian tourist, Reverend R.W. Hardy, who was visiting England in 1966. The photo was taken at Queen’s House in Greenwich and it was intended to be solely of the grand Tulip Staircase there. When the photo was developed, the figure was seen, apparently climbing the stairs. The photo has been examined many times over the years, but thus far, has withstood all allegations of fraud.




http://www.prairieghosts.com/grphotos2.html
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« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2008, 10:30:22 pm »

- The Haunted Museum -

WILLIAM HOPE
Secrets of the Crewe Circle of Spirit Photographers

 

William Hope was one of the premiere spirit photographers of the early Twentieth Century and was considered by believers and supporters to be a true master of the art of producing spirits on ordinary photographic plates. To others, he was a clever trickster and while he had more than his share of detractors, he was often accused of fraud but was never caught at it -- thanks to the controversy that surrounded the main attempt to expose him.

Hope was born in Crewe, England in 1863 and as a young man, went to work as a carpenter. His talent for capturing the spirits in photographs allegedly came about around 1905 when he and a friend were taking turns photographing one another. In a photo that was taken by Hope, there was an "extra" -- the image of a person who was not physically present when the photo was taken. As it turned out, the extra in question was the deceased sister of the photograph's subject.

Not long after this incident, a group of six people organized a Spiritualist hall in Crewe for the purpose of creating spirit photographs. The group became renowned as the "Crewe Circle" with William Hope as its leader. During their early efforts, the circle destroyed all of the negatives of the photos they took for fear of being suspected of witchcraft. However, when Archbishop Thomas Colley, a lifelong enthusiast of both the supernatural and Spiritualism, joined the circle, they began to make their work public.
 

A Crewe Circle photograph from 1919 that shows a Mr. and Mrs. Gibson with the spirit of their deceased son
 
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« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2008, 10:31:58 pm »

Ironically, Hope's first brush with exposure as a fraud came when Archbishop Colley arranged his first sitting. According to the story, Hope doctored the photograph with the wrong spirit extra, substituting another elderly woman for Colley's mother. When Hope tried to confess his fraud to Colley, the other man dismissed his confession as "nonsense"-- he would recognize his mother when he saw her and the extra in the photo was certainly his mother, he stated. To prove his case, he even put a notice in the local newspaper and asked that all of those who remembered his mother should call at the rectory. No fewer than 18 people selected Hope's mistake from among several others and said that it definitely showed the ghost of the late Mrs. Colley.

In February 1922, Hope was almost exposed again but this time, the attempt almost backfired on the accuser and there remains some questions about the incident to this day. By this time, Hope had moved to London and had established himself as a professional medium. The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) decided to investigate Hope's claims and sent a new member, Harry Price, to look into it. The young Price had a good working knowledge of conjuring and would later make a name for himself as one of Britain's leading ghost hunters. During the investigation, Price claimed to detect evidence of trickery by Hope but questions immediately arose as to whether it was Price, and not Hope, who had tampered with the photographic plates.

Price told a different story of the incident and blamed his problems with the Spiritualist community on the controversy. Even though he had recently joined the SPR, Price had already exposed a number of fraudulent mediums, earning him the dislike of much of the community. During the sitting, which was organized with hymn singing and prayers like a standard séance, Hope and Price went into the adjoining dark room. Price examined the photographic slide that Hope planned to use and he secretly impressed 12 small punctures into it with a needle. He then was asked to open a packet of plates that he had brought with them. These plates had come from the Imperial Dry Plate Co. and had been imprinted (at Prices' suggestion) with their trademark in the corner. The trademark would then appear on the negative of whatever picture was developed. Price loaded two plates into the slide and then Hope asked for the slide.

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« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2008, 10:33:22 pm »



Harry Price and the supposed "spirit extra" that was produced during his séance with William Hope. Price would later swear that the plate he have Hope was replaced with a fake that contained the "ghost"

As he took it from Price's hand, Harry watched his movements very carefully, which was hard to do on the dull, red darkness of the room. Very quickly, in one smooth movement, Hope placed the dark slide into the left breast pocket of his coat and then, apparently, pulled it back out again. Price knew that the slide had been changed but sat down for the photograph to be taken anyway. When it was over, he refused to sign the plates, as Hope wanted him to, and as he examined the slide, he discovered that his 12 needle marks had "mysteriously" vanished. It was clearly not the same slide that he had given to Hope to use!  He did not accuse Hope of a swindle on the spot, fearing that his evidence of deception would be destroyed, but took away two photographs that had been taken of Price, one of which contained a beautiful female "extra" --- but on neither plate was the Imperial Dry Plate trademark! Hope had managed to switch the plates as well. He was able to show that they were not the same type of plates that he had given to Hope to use, as they were a different thickness, weight and color and were "fast" plates, while the ones that Hope gave back to him were "slow" ones.
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« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2008, 10:34:28 pm »

In the May issue of the Journal of the London SPR, Price published a report under the title "Cold Light on Spiritualistic Phenomena" and it was later reprinted as a separate booklet. Immediately, he was attacked from the Spiritualist camp. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a supporter of the Crewe Circle, denounced Price and his methods. He and the Spiritualist newspapers accused Price of trickery and of switching the plates himself in a plan to discredit the medium. Although Sir Oliver Lodge, who was a proponent of Spiritualism, believed that Hope was fraud and wrote to Harry Price saying: "I don't see how your proofs of Hope's duplicity could be more complete."

More than 11 years after this incident, the widow of a man who worked for Hope admitted in an article that after Price's séance, her husband went through Hope's luggage and "found in a suitcase a flash lamp with a bulb attachment, some cut-out photographic heads and some hairs." Unfortunately, these devastating facts were suppressed in 1922 and Price would later comment that if not for this suppression, his entire relationship with Conan Doyle could have been preserved. "This vital information would have ended my controversy with Sir Arthur," he said. "Incidentally, it would have ended Hope too!"

Although Hope certainly had his detractors, he had his supporters too, including Conan Doyle, who wrote his book The Case for Spirit Photography in response to the Price incident. He was also supported by Sir William Crookes (of Florence Cook / Katie King fame) and Sir William Barrett. Many have suspected that trickery was involved in Crookes' sitting though. The physicist was in his 80's in 1916, when he had his sitting, and had just recently lost his wife. His assistant at the time, J.H. Gardiner, told Crookes' biographer that the negative from which Hope's photograph of Lady Crookes was reproduced showed clear signs of double exposure but that Crookes preferred to ignore this.

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