Ghost Photos – Real or Hoaxed?

A friend recently asked me what I thought about the following ghost photos. I rarely talk about ghosts because I think most of this stuff is faked/hoaxed/not-real. Still I know some people who do seem to have had some very real and freaky encounters with spirits on the other side of the veil, so I’m not discounting it altogether.  I also think there are some locations that are rife with spirit activity for reasons unknown.

Let’s just say, I’m much more comfortable with creatures running around in the same dimensions of time and space as we are – the cryptids.

But since my friend asked, I thought it might be fun to share these with you as well, and see what you think. There are 27 photos and I’m going to include my thoughts about each one. Feel free to add your comments below the article. Please refer to the photo number when commenting.


1. Ghost of Boothill Cemetery. This man wanted to have a photo of himself dressed up in period clothing to commemorate an anniversary at the OK Corral. I’m guessing this must be in Arizona. He explained that the reason the photo is centered as it is, is because they wanted to catch the beautiful mountains in the background to the right, which we can’t see very well due to the mist over them, or maybe the photo quality. Anyway, as you can see, someone else seems to have been caught on film.

I think this may be real because I have seen photos like this from Civil War era sites around the country. I’ve heard photo/video experts who have looked into the authenticity of these other photos and they turned out to be legitimate, not tampered with, not fake. So this may be one of those oddball cases where a spirit is caught on film accidentally. Why? Who knows!


2. Ghosts of the SS Watertown. Back in the day, this ship was enroute from New York to the Panama Canal. Two men were working in the cargo tank that subsequently exploded due to a gas leak. In the days following, crew members swore they saw the faces of the two men in the waves. So the Captain took a series of 5 photos, 4 showing nothing unusual, one showing this image, as if there were two faces in it.

I think they’re seeing faces that they want to see in the photo, based on natural wave/wind/water action. I don’t think it’s paranormal.


3.  Meanwhile, at the O’Hare Mansion in Greencastle, IN, a pink lady is supposedly seen in the windows from time to time. The fourth frame has been “digitally enhanced” to highlight a skull in the center of the pane.

Hoax. She looks a little too solid to me, even though I’m sure she was also “digitally enhanced”.


  • 4. A woman visiting the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in 1991 caught this image on her black and white film (taken with an infrared camera).  She swore no one else was around.

This is a tough one. Critics claim the woman in the photo is casting a shadow below her leg, but I thought that was just the folds of her long gown. She also doesn’t seem to be wearing shoes. So I don’t know, this could be a ghostly figure, or just a weird photo. It would take a photo/video expert to say for sure.


5.  The Godfather’s Pizza in Ogden UT did some renovations a few years back. They subsequently started to experience spirit activity. Some saw figures of a man, a woman, and two children. Their jukebox started playing by itself (unplugged), and tiles were seen hovering off the floor about ten inches. Also there was a mysterious whistle from the kitchen.

Well, if we know nothing else from having watched Ghost Hunters all these years, we know that renovations typically set off spirit activity. But this photo doesn’t impress me that much, it just looks like a heck of a glare or flash from the camera’s light.

Also, after seeing that episode of Fact or Faked where they were investigating a similar type of photo that showed a ghostly figure against a mirror – and in a stroke of brilliance they realized it was a shadow cast from an old cast iron coffee grinder. It shocked me, and I’m sure everyone else. So now, looking at this photo, I feel there is probably a more earthly, mundane explanation. Not to say they didn’t have spirit activity, I just think this photo could be more thoroughly investigated.


6. This next photo shows what is supposed to be a farm boy caught on film by a wedding photographer as he was preparing the shots for the bride and groom. The owner of the farm told the photographer he had seen the image of that boy in a white gown roaming his farm, from time to time.

This reminds me a famous photo from the Myrtle’s Plantation (see photo 27). That photo had been investigated and even discussed on an episode of Ghost Hunters. I think that one is real, and this is similar enough for me to think this COULD be a legitimate ghost photo. But again, I always wish a photo/video expert could look into these things.


7. This photo shows the husband of the woman in the photo standing behind her. Only problem is, he’d been dead ten years already.

I think he looks pretty solid, if out of focus. I suspect the family got the dates wrong or confused, and he could have been alive at the time the photo was taken.


8. This next photo was snapped by a furniture collector. Note the disembodied hand.

Hoax! This looks very much like those old hoaxed “spiritualist” photos taken around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.


9. Back in the Boothill Cemetery. A strange shot of a man and what must be a fake headstone. Behind him to the left they say there is another figure that is a ghost because it doesn’t cast a shadow.

I don’t see a shadow for the man in the forefront either, or maybe it’s blended with the shadow of the foliage in front of him. And that other figure is obscured by shrubs, so how can we see any detail, much less a shadow? I think it’s either a hoax or misunderstanding.


10. This photo shows a 180 year old cabin as photographed by some kids visiting the site. They claim they caught this ghostly apparition on their film.

Note how highly reflective all the window glass is throughout the cabin. I think that’s just another  weird reflection from something.


11. The woman in this photo visited the Fleet Air Arm Center in Yelverton, Somerset, England. She was the only one in the helicopter when this photo was taken. She said she felt “strangely cold” while inside the copter. It was a warm day in 1987. She believes a spirit was sitting next to her.

I just see a lot of sun glare. I don’t doubt she was chilled, but that could be for a lot of reasons. That said, there are tons of reports of sightings of soldiers around military bases and such around the world. I guess it’s possible that some spirit was there, but it still just looks like sun glare to me.


12. This photo supposedly shows author Robert A. Ferguson on Nov. 16, 1968. He wrote a book called, “Psychic Telemetry: New Key to Health, Wealth, and Perfect Living.”  At the time of the photo, he was speaking at a convention to  a group of Spiritualists. Mr. Ferguson believed the photo showed his late brother who had died in WWII.

Either a double exposure, or a fake. These spiritualists’ photos have been debunked over and over again on paranormal shows over the last ten or more years. Mr. Ferguson was SELLING the idea of the psychic telemetry and all things spiritual – what a great way to boost sales by showing his own ghostly encounter. I don’t believe it.


13.  Is this a ghost at the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts? People claim a small boy can be seen behind the shrubbery, peeking over the top.

I’ve been there, it’s a great place! There are also TONS of tourists crawling all over it. I think this is just a kid in a badly focused photo who looks a little spooky because of the poor quality of the photo.


14. Class photo, year unknown. They claim the child to the left of the photo looking creepy and out of line with everyone else is a ghost.

I think this is just a messed up photo. The “ghostly” child has its own space, as though a living child were standing there – probably because they are. It looks like the child just turned away and caught a shadow so she looks creepy.

Another possibility is that this could have been photoshopped. Someone could have put a spookier face over the face of a regular child in the photo. Either way, I don’t think this is one to get excited about.


15. This ghostly figure was supposedly snapped in 1959 in Australia. It kind of looks like the figure of a woman.

This one is intriguing, although I have to wonder why was someone taking a photo of that not so gorgeous or interesting spot? That alone is a clue it may been taken in preparation for altering back in the dark room.

I don’t know enough about photos to say for sure, so it would take a photo/video expert to weigh in on this one, and they’d probably need the film to be able to tell for sure.


16.  A couple visited Worstead Church in Norfolk, UK back in 1975. The husband took a photo of his wife as she was praying. The figure behind her was not there in real life.

Another tough call. The photo is so out of focus, it’s hard to see anything clearly. And I think the “shoes” on the spirit’s feet look pretty solid. So this could go either way.


17.  This photo shows two men working on the remains of an abandoned hospital. The photo, from 1918, also shows what could be a spirit in the upper left corner.

I think this one could be real. What we’ve learned from Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures is that some crazy spirit activity DOES seem to occur at abandoned medical facilities. So this may be a ghost still hanging around whatever facility that once was.


18.  Angel near a car crash. This is a very old photo that’s been around on the internet for almost as long as there’s been an internet.

I believe in angel activity in the lives of humans. I’ve also read how this photo was debunked as some kind of camera glare or something like that.  If there is a normal explanation for it, fine. But I do believe angels are active in our lives more than we can ever know.


19.  In 1947 a woman went to visit the grave of her 17 year old daughter. She caught this baby on the grave in a photo. She investigated and found out that her daughter was buried next to the grave of two infant girls.

I think this is a hoax. Baby is too solid, too much detail in its face, clothes, etc. This could have easily been manipulated back in the dark room.


20.  This photo was taken at the remains of a building damaged in the Civil War era. He looks like a Civil War soldier. As I said before, a LOT of unexplained images have been caught on film around Civil War areas. I think this could be a ghost, but it’s odd how he’s ascending the stairs, isn’t it? I mean, that’s one heck of a leap up.


21. This photo was taken in January of 1985 at a meeting in St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry, England. The assembled company had their heads bowed in prayer.  The oddity is the tall, hooded man in the top left of the photo. The one who doesn’t seem to have a shirt on.

No one remembered seeing a man dressed (or undressed) like that during the whole event.  So who or what was it?  Hard to say because that photo is also out of focus and very grainy.  Who knows?


22.  Photo of a man as he lay dying, with his spirit supposedly exiting his body.

Without a doubt – camera malfunction.


23.  People claim to see ghostly figures in this photo of an electric chair.  This chair, from Tennessee, was made from wood that had been part of the state’s old gallows.  The photographer later found what he thought were ghostly images in the chair.

I think this is a case of matrixing, where our eyes, programmed and accustomed to finding human faces from infancy onward, makes something out of nothing.  We all do it with clouds, don’t we?  I could go into my old dining room set and find faces or whatnot in the stains and scratches there, and I can assure you, that furniture is NOT haunted.

So I don’t think this is anything to get excited about either.


24.  I like this one. It just looks so creepy, I wish it was real. It was taken at a 16th century palace that had belonged to King George VIII. Supposedly they all heard an alarm in the early afternoon that meant some fire doors had been opened. Guards investigated but the doors were closed. The photo was found on the security footage.  They say it happened three days in a row, but they don’t say if it was caught on the security cameras three days in the row.

If this was happening near you, and it happened twice in a row, wouldn’t you try to be there in case it happened a third time?  To see it for yourself?

I’d like to see more of the security camera footage too.


25.  In Quezon City, Philippines, there is a myth that says a woman in white with long black hair stands in the middle of Balete Drive. The legend says if there is one empty seat in the back of a car, she’ll get in, so the young people always make sure to have a full back seat.

I say, headlight glare.


26.  This photo was snapped in London’s St Botolph’s Church in 1982. It shows the choir loft with a supposedly ghostly figure present. One man went so far as to say he recognized the figure from a previous funeral (the deceased).

For me, there is too much glare in the photo from all the open, arching windows, and it’s kind of out of focus. I don’t seen an image there, just some bad camera work.


27.  Finally, the classic photo of Chloe, the slave girl from Myrtle’s Plantation. Many have investigated this photo and this plantation. I think this one is real.

What Do You Think?

So that’s my take on these “ghostly” photos! As I said, I’m no expert. So what do you think?


  1. No offence but I’m not into ghost stories. My scientific mind finds it difficult to accept because of lack of evidence However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so I don’t rule ANYTHING out. It’s just that I don’t see any tangible proof of it as compared to unidentified aerial phenomenon. Also I haven’t studied it so I really cannot give an opinion.
    Good work however.


  2. I do believe in ghosts and spirits and I do believe they communicate with us. But I feel we need to be in tune with our own inner spirit to feel and recognize the signs and messages that are there……some of the photos may be real, but I would need evidence to be convinced.

  3. Thank-you, Susan for taking the time to analyze and comment on these. I guess the only way to truly know is to have been there taking the picture and then to see the extra person afterward that wasn’t there.

  4. Greetings.

    In photo 11 this looks like a reflection of the woman herself. If you notice the cut of the shirt, the coloring around the spectral head, it shows the same hairdo. the photo is not catching the color difference on the jacket. Remember there is a practice of using an angled reflective surface to create a spectral image. the window is angled away from the camera but the lighting is from directly ahead. You can also see the reflection on the control.

  5. In photo 11 this looks like a reflection of the woman herself. If you notice the cut of the shirt, the coloring around the spectral head, it shows the same hairdo. the photo is not catching the color difference on the jacket. Remember there is a practice of using an angled reflective surface to create a spectral image. the window is angled away from the camera but the lighting is from directly ahead. You can also see the reflection on the control.

  6. I have visited the myrtles many times and have had many strange outcomes. If you would like to see the last time I went (11/1/13) send an address.

  7. Hello
    My name is Lisa … I happen to have taken the “Ghost of the Seven Gables” photo …. The photo happen to be cropped out of a panoramic shot where you can clearly see NO one was in the area but me … surely no child. …I believe the camera i used for this shot was Minolta..high end
    But everyone wants to think they are a pro at analyzing ghost images 🙂
    We all have a lot to learn about this Phenomena, before we judge what is or what isn’t
    that is what investigations are for.. may be surprised at what one can learn when you take the time to research yours claims…in general…. Mr Wagner is one of the best and He is the very Man that made this image what Its is today..”The Ghost of the Sever Gables”. One of the best Ghost photos ever taken with a full background investigation ,,, not just a story., given Reason and or Possibility to why this apparition came about in the in the first place…
    by Me Lisa B

    • Hi Lisa! I’m delighted to hear from you! First hand accounts are always best! I take what you said about your photo seriously. I’d love to see the full version of the photo just for fun.

      I think sometimes,when photos are cropped or “zoomed in” they lose something. Look at just about any Bigfoot photo and you’ll understand why the Bigfoot community in general labels them “Blobsquatches”! LOL!

      If you would like to share your photo, please email it to I’ll post it with your comments for the other readers to enjoy. Thanks! … Susan

    • Interesting, Ray. That would make sense especially as we can see his feet below the benches and they look pretty solid.

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille!

      … Susan

  8. You keep saying about some of the ghosts being too solid ,but many who say they have seen a ghost say they are solid and not wispy looking
    Who knows,interesting and an open mind to all things

    • That’s why I rarely cover paranormal topics – I’m highly skeptical that any of it is real, at least the photographed stuff. Not to mention the ghost hunting shows.

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

  9. In pic 17, are we sure they are not building a new facility (which would debunk the ghost). i just dont see demolition here, and the structure is fairly pristine.

    • Hi Tony, I see what you mean, it almost looks like they’re putting the finishing touches on it, getting the yard ready to landscape. I went by the accompanying write-up when I first saw it. I really don’t know. That’s why I hate the paranormal – it’s almost impossible to get any kind of evidence since these entities aren’t even sharing the same dimensions of time and space as we are.

      I prefer the cryptids who, if they’re real, at least share the same dimensions that we do. At least most of the time.

      Thank you for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

    • Hi Korrtni! Look at the photo again. Look by the gunslinger’s left shoulder (right shoulder from our viewpoint). Look down a little and you’ll see a man’s face with a black top hat (or some kind of hat) on it. That’s the “ghost.” I don’t doctor any photos so people can evaluate them in their original state and make up their own minds.

      Thank you for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

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