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Top 5 Best Ghost Photos Ever Taken

Famous photograph showing faked spirit touching woman's shoulders

Famous photograph showing faked spirit touching woman's shoulders

It is very, very difficult to capture the actual image of a ghost on film. In order to capture a picture of a ghost, you would have to be in the presence of an apparition, and visual apparitions are extremely rare. I have been ghost hunting for years and have never seen a ghost with my own eyes (and I honestly don't want to) although we have captured several "maybes" on film and one that is definitely a paranormal figure.

There are scores of other people, however, who have captured apparitions on film that are undeniable--the figure is clearly human. Unfortunately, for every real ghost photo there are fifty fakes, stills that are digitally altered and touted as genuine. The spiritualist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was riddled with fraudulent photos created through the "wet glass plate" method, which involved overexposing or double exposing the negatives to create an image in the background. Since that hoax was uncovered, ghost pictures have fallen under scrutiny.

But there are a number of famous ghost photos that have been examined by experts and have stood the test of time, and are considered to be real.


1. The Brown lady

Taken in September 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira

Thought to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Townshend, this anomaly has haunted the oak staircase of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England since the 1700s. Legend has it that her husband, Charles Townshend, suspected his wife of adultery and locked her in a small room of the great house until she eventually died there. When materialized, she is often seen wearing a brown, satin dress. One report tells of her eyes being gouged out.


2. Freddy Jackson

Taken in 1919 by Sir Victor Goddard

A run of the mill group photo of a World War I squadron became infamous when an extra face appeared behind one of the airmen located on the top row, fourth from the left (see insert for a clearer view). The airmen instantly recognized the face to be that of Freddy Jackson, a mechanic who was killed by an airplane propeller two days prior. His funeral had taken place on that day, but apparently Freddy Jackson wasn't aware that he was not required to show up for it.


3. Madonna of Bachelor's Grove

Taken on August 10, 1991 by Mari Huff

During a routine investigation by the "Ghost Research Society" of Bachelor's Grove cemetery near Chicago, member Mari Huff took this photo in an area where their equipment had been acting strangely. The small, abandoned cemetery was empty except for the ghost hunters, and yet when the film was developed this image of a lonely young woman clearly appeared. Bachelor's Grove cemetery is considered to be one of the most haunted in America, and is known for over 100 instances of paranormal phenomena (including apparitions).


4. The Fire Girl

Taken November 19, 1995 by Tony O'Rahilly

When the Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England burned to the ground, local residents took photos of the wreckage from across the street. One resident, Tony O'Rahilly used a 200mm telephoto lens to snap this shot of a small girl standing in the doorway. None of the other onlookers or fire fighters present at the scene remember seeing a little girl, and there would be no reason for her to be in a burnt down building. Dr. Vernon Harrison examined the photo and it's negative and determined that it was genuine. Further research into the young girl's identity uncovered records of a child named Jane Churm who died in 1677 in northern Shropshire after setting fire to a thatched roof with a candle.


5. The Back Seat Ghost

Taken in 1959 by Mabel Chinnery

While visiting the gravesite of her mother, Mabel Chinnery took this spur of the moment picture of her husband, who was waiting in the car. Upon developing the film and noticing the eerie figure in the back seat, just behind her husband's right shoulder, Mabel exclaimed that the ghostly person was her mother. An expert examined the photo for signs of fraud and was noted as saying, "I stake my reputation on the fact that the picture is genuine," adding that the image was not a reflection nor a double exposure.

**Side Note** The "flashing eyes" seen in this shot are a common occurrence when capturing ghosts on film; I have experienced it several times firsthand, but still don't understand why. My theory is that the picture was snapped while the ghost was in the process of either materializing or dematerializing.


Tammy on June 04, 2013:

I thought the first photo was of Abraham Lincoln's wife and his apparition. The story I read was that she carried that photo around with her thinking it really was him. But the mystery of whether the photographer did it or if it was real was the big Question. ??? The photographer burned all his photos and equipment before he died. So the big mystery remains.

boombox4ever on September 27, 2012:

wow i cant belive it

emma on December 14, 2011:

soooo fake!!!!!!!!!!

girl on December 14, 2011:


john cena on September 18, 2011:


AnimeFiguresFan on September 11, 2011:

nice hub and nice selection of photos :)

Shannon on August 24, 2011:

Hiyah, great photos, but photo 4 of the fire girl turned out to be a fake, here's the link to the website i found whilst looking at other ghost pictures on google, she is from a postcard taken in 1922 in wem. http://www.ghosttheory.com/2010/05/17/wem-ghost-gi...

darren on May 01, 2011:

Hey, I have a picture that will interest you, i made a vid for youtube if you would like to take a little? look and let me know what you think it could be, thank you .. youtube.com/watch?v=Qo0cONN-_C­c

darren on February 22, 2011:

Hi, i took a photo on my digital camera last night of the sky cos it was looking so amazing with so many stars but what came out was very creepy. Can someone please tell me what i should do with the photo or who to show it to?

Sam Little from Wheelwright KY on February 11, 2011:

These are pretty good. I think you have picked 5 good pictures.

lindatymensky on January 27, 2011:

Really good piece. I'm going to follow you. Keep 'em coming! Linda

SLM on December 09, 2010:

The girl in the fire in Wem actually set fire to the town hall the first time in 1677 by accident by dropping a candle. As this was in 1677 can you really claim to have spoken to the girl's mother? (to shanaynay)

charlotte hale on November 02, 2010:

hahaha xD all fakes :D

kamehameha on September 14, 2010:

me tooo see the face in pic #3 just at the botoom near the tree and i think that the girl is real

lorrane on September 08, 2010:

love the photos great hub

michael on April 28, 2010:

lol funny i read a book with all photos in it

Deborah Sexton on April 25, 2010:

I thought the first photo might either be faked or something wrong with the film.

Anything about ghosts is always fun. Thank you. Great hub.

gijs on April 21, 2010:

on #3. i see a face on the botom near the tree, and the girl loops priity real to me nothing ghosty bout her

Meghana on March 25, 2010:

what's new in this? Ah. boring

nawal on February 05, 2010:

nothin is scary not a thing is scary

3cardmonte on April 22, 2009:

excellent! love a bit of ghosty jiggery fakery!

Beanie on March 25, 2009:

Erm guys, just something i thought of.. In the 3rd picture, it seems that Freddy Jackson appeared as though he was expected (what i mean is, it looks like the other guys in the picture were aware of him at that time, otherwise they wouldn't have left some space for him to stand right?). Also, if you imagine for a moment that Jackson wasn't standing in the picture, the void that would've been left would be a little unnatural right (considering the fact that everyone in the picture was standing very close to each other, with some even having to squeeze in from behind)? Something to think about indeed...

P.S: I'm not a disbeliever in ghosts by the way

mayhmong from North Carolina on March 02, 2009:

Yep, these are very common famous ghost photos I've seen all over the net!? Thanks for the story behind each photo!

mayhmong from North Carolina on March 02, 2009:

Yep, these are very common famous ghost photos I've seen all over the net!? Thanks for the story behind each photo!

Mike on February 16, 2009:

What the heck?This is so fake!!!I rather collect toe nails!!!!

Shanaynay on October 21, 2008:

Well it did freak me out the story of the girl that tryied to escape from the fire but died. I didn't believe until several people told me, and the mother of the girl told me too! She says that every time that she walks near that burned place, she feels a paranormal air, and strange feeling. But she calms down knowing it's her girl...!

saadsavino on September 30, 2008:

I always thought the lady/apparition was wearing glasses? ( lady in back seat).

Aphroditei on November 01, 2007:

Great hub! I like the picture of the madonna..and to think it has been taken in the 90's but she looks like wearing a dress of the 50's or 60's and even her hair...

And the last one is quite hair raising..and the one of the Freddy Jackson..amazing and yet sad..

Great hub..keep on writing!!(^^,)..

Alan on October 23, 2007:

Oh my god. that's for real.

stubbs from London on October 22, 2007:

No problem, Much better. Best one is the freddy jackson ghost...weird

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on October 21, 2007:

Stubbs -- point taken! I made the images so they can be clicked and enlarged. Thanks :)

stubbs from London on October 21, 2007:

great hub! possibly make the picture so you can enlarge them.

taylorblue from Canada on October 21, 2007:

Awesome pics and hub!

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