Can You Explain these Strange Snaps?
These photos are from my news column about paranormal images. Some I can explain but others are a bit more difficult to understand. Take a look at the enlargements by clicking on the images here and give me your assessment at the bottom of the page. If you have a spooky snap from a haunted house or location please send it to me at my column for Fate & Fortune Magazine. There’s a link to the website on my biography page.
Ghost Face in Window
SENDER SAYS: I was doing some renovation work to my old house and took before and after photos. The photo was taken three years ago on a disposable camera. When we downloaded the pictures onto the computer, we saw the spooky face in the window on this particular snap. We used to hear odd sounds in the house like money rolling around so it may have been haunted, but we don’t know who the man might be. Do you think we’ve captured a real ghost?
CRAIG’S REPLY: What strikes me most about this picture are the skin tones and how real it looks. Often people think they see faces in shadows and patterns but closer examination reveals them simply to be caused by the fall of drapery or face like patterns in textures. Our subconscious mind tries to make sense of randomness so it will see pictures and faces in haphazard patterns. This face however is certainly not us seeing things in shapes nor is it a reflection as there is nothing nearby to cause it. It looks like a real flesh and blood face. As you would have checked if there was an object or a real person in the window then we are left with a picture that is unexplainable. A ghost? Yes maybe.
The Ghostly Haunted Room
SENDER SAYS: The photo was taken in my haunted lounge. I was actually taking a picture of my cat but she jumped off the table so I didn’t bother checking it. Later I checked my iPhone and there he was. It’s a funny flat where we live, things are ways going missing and turning up in weird places, we call our friendly ghost Matha. This guy looks friendly enough! (The picture was taken on my iPhone camera.)
CRAIG’S REPLY: My first thought was that this could be a double exposure. This happens when you take one picture and then take another shot over the same picture which results in the less well lit image appearing as a phantom. But, as far as I know, you cannot take double exposures on an iPhone. There are a few trick applets you can download to make fake ghost pictures but I can see that you are not using one of these to fool us. I think that you have caught something supernatural. The spirit looks like a yogi or holy man and I agree he seems friendly enough. Let’s hope he appears again.
Tunnel in Yorkshire
SENDER SAYS: My partner and his workmates were doing a job at Woodhead Tunnel in West Yorkshire and took some photos on their mobile phones. later when they were looking at them, they got to this picture and were shocked to see a lady standing on the left side of the picture as she wasn’t there when it was taken. I would love to know what you think of it!
CRAIG’S REPLY: If a picture is too good to be true it’s usually a fake but I have taken a close look at this and as far as I can tell from the pixel patterns it has not been manipulated using photo editing software. A flash has been used and the fall of light and shadow on the figure is as you would expect and would suggest that it has not been added later by photo tricks or a simple ghost app. It could of course be a pile of cloth covered materials that nobody noticed until after the photo was looked at so unless someone was able to verify that there was definitely nothing there when the shot was taken then the jury has to remain out on this one.
The Haunted Stairway
SENDER SAYS: Look at the TV When I took this photo the TV was switched off. I have open plan stairs and they would reflect in the TV like this but looking at the TV the rail at the back of the stairs is mine but the spindles are different to mine. My stairs have a twist in them: those look smooth. There looks like a man with another man behind him on the stairs with a cloth over his head. Is this two ghosts of an execution that I have caught on camera.
CRAIG’S REPLY: The old analogue TVs used to give misleading pictures as the phosphorous on the screen would react to the flash of a camera and result in a eerie green glow. But this looks like a digital TV. To me the spindles look like they DO have a twist in them and the faces look like shapes in the cloth. Sorry but I think you are seeing things in the image that simply are not there.
Weird Street in Turkey
We took this picture of the main street in Hisaronu, Turkey when we were on holiday a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t until we got home and put our pictures onto the computer that we noticed a pair of ghostly legs wearing sandals clearly in the middle of the photo. It can’t have been a reflection as there wasn’t any windows in the bar that we took the picture from, and the weather was fine and dry. Spooky!!
CRAIG’S REPLY: We know it’s not a reflection in a window and it’s unlikely to be a stain on the road outside as the shape would appear in perspective. It’s not someone who has quickly walked in and out of shot as the legs are right in the middle of the picture. It is not a smudge on the camera lens as the legs and feet are casting a shadow on the ground. It’s not a double exposure as we’d see the top half of the figure too. I am out of ideas… it must be supernatural.
Ghost Busting Dog
Please find attached a photo which I taken nearly six years ago of my daughter, myself and our dog and has been baffling me ever since. It was taken on a standard 35mm camera and the photos either side had no anomalies on them when I checked after processing. I saw nothing at the time that was strange other than the dog looking at something that appeared not to be there. If you could please let me know what your opinion is it would be much appreciated.
CRAIG’S REPLY: The print number suggests that this picture was taken on film. There are a number of potential causes of this light: A camera strap can sometimes get caught in the picture and reflects the flash light to create all sorts of strange white shapes. Sometimes bad development fluid can cause a mistiness on the negative or prints. I think this is most probably caused by light seepage onto the film either when you took it out of the camera or by a faulty camera door on the back. Sorry it is definitely not a spook.
SENDER SAYS: My friends and I captured this in a cemetery very near where we were getting a 30 degree temperature drop on our thermometers where everywhere else around it was 77 degrees. We have been told by some paranormal sites that the attached is a “mosquito”. I am sorry, but in NO possible way is that a mosquito. What do you think it is? Mind you – there was no electricity there and no one was smoking and we were not snapping pictures at the same time. We yell out “SNAPPING” so no one else will take a pic and set off a flash at the same time which would contaminate our photo.
CRAIG’S REPLY: Just because you have taken the photos while looking for ghosts in a grave yard does not mean that commonplace camera effects should be interpreted as spooks. The circles are orbs – a term used to describe particles of dust or water that are caught by the short focal length of digital cameras. I think these are most likely water orbs. The lines of light that look like they are in the background are actually very close to the camera and probably caused by something on the camera’s lens or something reflective very close to the lens. Being so close to the camera it is illuminated by the flash. A mosquito is a possibility or it could be a wisp of hair or some grass on the lens. The temperature drops I can’t explain.
You can send your photos for analysis to my column at Fate & Fortune Magazine. Do a search on the web for the magazine and there’s a page where you can email your pictures. You could win a prize if it is featured in the magazine.