Since I’m quite a huge skeptic (even if I’m not as skeptical as a lot of people I know) I don’t buy into ghost photos very easily. I think that for the majority of every “really authentic” ghost photo there is, well they are fake. Somehow faked. I’ve done research on a ton of them over the years just to verify for myself that they can’t possibly be real and/or there is no supernatural or other worldly explanation behind them. Some of the photos on this list are widely believed to be real by many people. Obviously, some people are so steadfast in their beliefs that they will still disagree with me even when I provide evidence of them being hoaxes but I thought I’d make the list anyway.
- The Solway Spaceman:
This is a picture that I see making the rounds A LOT. At first, even I somewhat bought into it but then realized it really didn’t make sense. That somehow an astronaut was there behind this girl and the man taking the picture didn’t notice it? That’s a pretty huge thing to miss. We aren’t even talking a ghost, we are talking an alleged man in a spacesuit standing there. It’s not as if something like that can appear and disappear at will. Have you seen this one?
As much as you might not want to believe it, this is just a case of weird lighting or exposure to lighting of the girl’s mother standing behind her. Since this was taken with an old-fashioned, non-digital and HD camera, you’d have to expect for mistakes to be made. In fact, there was another photo taken on that day with the mother right next to the little girl.
If you take the time to adjust some of the color settings and lighting in the background, you can see the blond hair of the mom and you can see the same bluish colored dress she was wearing (featured in the picture on the right).
BBC News Quote:
“One of the other stills [taken that day] shows Jim’s wife who, according to him, was standing behind him when he took the photo of Elizabeth,” he said.
“I think for some reason his wife walked into the shot and he didn’t see her because with that particular make of camera you could only see 70% of what was in the shot through the viewfinder.” (Source)
Sorry folks but this one just isn’t real, even if it were, what would the big deal be about a Nasa space man appearing somewhere? It’s not nearly as creepy or cool as an alien or ghost. I guess unless this was a ghost spaceman? In any case, it’s just the girl’s mother. End of story.
2. The Cooper Family Photo (Falling body)
This one is one that I see the most and really have never bought into. My first thought was double exposure but that also didn’t seem to make sense due to the angle and lighting of the photo. I tried to find anything official (news articles) debunking it as fake. You probably know this one too:
From what I know it has not been officially debunked, which is fine, however, there is a statement from a man who was originally photographed in this picture. He even provided another picture of him and his brother (at a birthday) for comparison. He also said his name is Copper, not Cooper and was blown away to see that someone had this picture and had doctored it. Also, the additional picture he provided as proof is higher resolution which means it would make no sense for the same camera to take a grainy black and white picture for some reason.
A statement from Copper claims the following:
When my older brother sent me this link I was floored. We are the two boys in the picture. Well we were back in 1959. I have many picture like this one, but not this one. My mother had a habit of throwing away pictures that she didn’t like. Eventually the ones she kept were passed along to me. What annoys me is that somebody got hold of a family photograph. The story is almost entirely fiction. Our last name is Copper, not Cooper. Does anybody know who did this?
The reason the photo has not been officially debunked is that in order to do that, one would have to find the picture manipulated into the image to prove it as fake (I’ll be getting to photos like those next). The current theory, according to the web forum where I found this information is that it’s a dancer (ballet) in a ballet type pose that has been flipped and added into the picture. Not to mention that the shadows don’t match the light sources in the photo and the necklace around the person’s neck is upright and not dangling like it should be if a person were hanging upside down.
3. The Wem Ghost
This picture is regularly included in various compilation lists and videos of “TOTALLY REAL GHOST PICTURES” but it has actually been debunked.
Allegedly, the original photo was taken (and is super real) in 1995 of a burning building down in Wem, Shropshire, England. The building was 90 years old and supposedly this is a girl who started a fire years and years ago and burned down the building that was there before (or some such nonsense). The problem is that a very similar looking girl is found on a postcard.
Greg Hobson, the curator of photographs at the National Media Museum in Bradford, said: ‘The postcard offers pretty conclusive proof that this is a hoax.
‘I think we can say the mystery has been solved.’
Mr Hobson said the technique used to produce the doctored photograph was probably similar to one used by Edwardian era mediums who purported to capture images of spirits with their relatives during the relatives’ consultations as a way of boosting their credibility. (Source)
4. Time Traveling Hipster
People love to use this as an example of time traveling being a real thing. Even though I wish that were true more than anything (As it would mean I could eventually travel back in time and see David Bowie perform live) it’s just not true.
Even though Snopes has debunked this one a long ass time ago, I still see it sent around in the year 2017 as a real picture and real proof of time travel. The picture is real and there is nothing doctored about it. The guy really is a hipster. What’s the problem then? The guy is more a hipster of his own era than a hipster of now. Snopes explains it best but if you don’t want to read it the general summary is that the glasses he was wearing were available at the time, just not common.
It’s the same with the camera he’s holding. Available but not common. Everything he has on in this picture was something that could be purchased and worn at the time. He just stands out because his fashion sense is different, not because he traveled from the future.
5. Hampton Court Grey Lady
This is a more recent photo that was taken and I saw making the rounds. It does look creepy and I’ll definitely admit that but I didn’t think it could possibly be real because I don’t believe most of these photos are.
Of course this immediately got me to researching how this might have happened and how real this photo could possibly be. NBC News posted an article not long after this photo started making the rounds, explaining that the ghost was nothing more than an iPhone glitch.
…it’s just the result of taking a panoramic photo in low light on the iPhone. Panoramic photos are done by holding the camera up, and panning from left to right. The camera takes lots of photos and then stitches them together into a single image. (Source)
There are many hoax photos out there. Some are more obviously faked than others. Some are not intentional fakes but merely double exposure that has tricked people into thinking a ghost might be there. There’s another picture and a great article that explains why it’s double exposure about a woman in the back seat of an old car. It even goes on to explain how easy double exposure is to accidentally accomplish these days, even when people know it’s an issue with their cameras. When it comes to ghost photos there is usually a more reasonable explanation than an actual ghost. This article lists some of those reasons that usually get overlooked:
Accidental Multiple Exposure
With the popularity of digital photography this kind of error is becoming rarer and rarer. In film-based cameras, it was sometimes possible to accidentally shoot the same piece of film twice without advancing to the next fame. In most cases, the result would be easily recognized as garbage when the two merged images were developed. Occasionally a merged image would result in a ghostly figure or the face of the recently deceased (who had been photographed while alive) who then showed up in a later photograph as a multiple exposure artifact.
Long Exposures and Moving Figures
Many alleged ghost photos from the early 20th century resulted when photographers took photos with long exposure settings and someone moved through the scene. This type of photo can show a faded figure, similar to those seen in multiple exposures, but the tell-tale sign of this kind of photo is when a portion of the ghostly figure is repeated or motion blurred as they pass through the frame of the shot.
A mysterious glowing blob appears in the photo – yet no one saw anything unusual when the photo was taken. What could it be? Was it an angel? A ghost? Chances are it was your camera strap, partially obscuring the lens and out of focus from the rest of the photo. These weird looking shapes convince many people they’ve captured a ghost. (Read more Here)
The truth in all of this is that I actually would like one of these photos to be real. On this list you will even see photos that “experts” have “Sworn to God” were “totally not fake” and there is sufficent evidence to actually prove them as fake. Who are these experts and why are they claiming this? Honestly, with how many paranormal investigators stake their entire career on also proving that ghosts exist, those would be the exact types of “experts” to claim that some ghost photos are real.
I believe there are still things out there unexplained. Some video footage, some photos, and other events. I also believe that a ton of “real ghost” and other paranormal recordings are usually due to human error or technology error and should be taken with more of a grain of salt than they usually are.