What with yesterday having been Halloween, and today being All Soul’s Day, I thought I would try to do a more spooky fake for you guys. But rest assured, it’s a fake, so don’t get scared. Trust me, if I can handle this, you can handle this.
For all that photography was intended to serve as a scientific tool to accurately record the world around us, the sad truth is that photography has been used, practically from its invention, as a tool to trick people. The simple belief that Photography as a medium could capture events as they were immediately occurring prevented people from entertaining the possibility that photographs could also be manipulated at any point. This made (and let’s be fair, makes) the general publix particularly susceptible to photographic “proof”. Especially where the supernatural is concerned.
“Ghost Pictures” have been around since the nineteenth century, with many photographers using the limitations of Photography, including long exposure times and even double exposures, to create the illusion of spectral apparitions caught on film.
What is interesting about this picture is that is has been doing the rounds on the Internet as it does almost every Halloween. It shows the probable spectral image of a young girl peering over the balcony of the Town Hall of Wem being engulfed in flames during a fire in 1995. It was taken by an amateur photographer who claimed that the image of the little girl only appeared after the film was developed.
For years people speculated as to the identity of the girl, many claiming that she was the ghost of a girl who had died in a similar fire in the 1600s on the same site. Although it was verified as genuine by photographers, it was later debunked as a simple copy and paste job, the image haven been taken from a local newspaper clipping in 1922.
You could read more about the debunking of this photo (and many others!) here.