His Favorite ChairRemember how Archie Bunker liked his recliner so much that he never let anyone else sit in it? Well, ol' Archie doesn't have anything on Lord Combermere. After being ran over by a horse-drawn carriage he died in 1891. A photographer set up a camera with its shutter open for one hour in the manor's library while the entire staff was off at Lord Combermere's funeral, some four miles away. When the plate was developed, the startling image of what looks to be a man's head and arm sitting in the chair was immediately noticed. Many of the staff said that the image looked very much like the late lord, and it happened to be sitting in Combermere's favorite chair in the library.
Freddy Jackson's ComebackFreddy Jackson was a mechanic in the Royal Air Force in World War I. Freddy Jackson's squadron served onboard the H.M.S. Daedalus. Freddy Jackson was killed in 1919 when an airplane propeller hit him. Two days later when the squadron assembled for a group photo, Freddy Jackson faithfully showed up, grinning behind the ear of a fellow comrade. Guess nobody bothered to tell Freddy Jackson that he was dead. His face was widely recognized in this photo by members of the squadron.
Stair Case Ghost of National Museum, Greenwich, EnglandRev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia, took this now famous photograph in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the beautiful staircase in the Queen's House section of the National Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development, however the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak, who examined the original negative concluded that it had not been tampered with. Its been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and unexplained footsteps have also been heard.
Darn Backseat Drivers!In 1959 Mable Chinnery went to the cemetery to visit the grave of her mother, as any devoted daughter is apt to do. She took some photos of the gravesite and then turned and took this picture of her husband sitting alone in the car's passenger seat. The film was developed and this came out: somebody sitting in the backseat wearing glasses, clear as day. Mrs. Chinnery swore that the "backseat driver" was none other than her own mother... whose gravesite she was standing next to when she took the picture! Hmmmm... a live husband and a deceased mother-in-law looking over his shoulder: there's a joke here, I just know it.
What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?Back in 1996 Ike Clanton took this photo of a friend wearing western duds, in the middle of Tombstone's Boothill Graveyard. They swear that nobody else was in sight when they made this picture. Furthermore, some time later they tried to restage this picture with someone standing at the spot where the "mystery man" appears in the background. Ike Clanton says that it was impossible to take such a picture and not show the rear person's legs. Clanton said he wasn't so sure about Tombstone being haunted, but this photo made a believer out of him. There's so much ghostly activity going on in the famous town that Clanton's set up a special section of his website dedicated to Tombstone's population of yesteryear. Well worth checking out, if nothing else than for the sense of history that this excellent website conveys.
Come On Baby, Light My Fire
Of all the ghost photos I've seen (well, except for that one that I can't show at the present time), this one is hands-down the most eerie. Probably the most disturbing too. I didn't know about this one until a few months ago. Almost ten years ago, on November 19th, 1995, Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England was engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. As firefighters tried to stave off the inferno a town resident, Tony O'Rahilly, took pictures from across the street using a telephoto lens on his camera. There, rather clearly in one of the photos, is what looks very much to be a small girl standing in a doorway, with the brightness of the flames behind her. No one ever remembered there being a small girl present on scene, much less in that close a proximity to the fire. The photo and the original negative were turned over to a photo expert who decided that the picture was 100% authentic: "The negative is a straightforward piece of black-and-white work and shows no sign of having been tampered with." Okay, so what's a girl ghost doing in such a big fire? Well in 1677 a fire destroyed many of Wem’s wooden houses. The fire was said to have been caused by a 14-year old girl named Jane Churm, who had been careless with a candle. Churm died in the fire along with several others, and her ghost is said to still haunt the area. Whether there's such a thing as ghosts or not, it must be said: if this is just a trick, an illusion of smoke and fire that happened to be captured on film, it's a zillion-to-one coincidence that it just so happened to appear in the form of a girl who also died in a terrible fire at the same location. But hey, stranger things than that have happened in this world, right?
Ghost of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, ChicagoThis photo was taken during an investigation of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery near Chicago by the Ghost Research Society(GRS). On August 10, 1991 several memeber of the GRS were at the cemetery, a small abandoned garveyard on the edge of the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, near the suburb of Midlothian, Illinois. Reputed to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the U.S., Bachelor's Grove has been the site of well over 100 different reports of strange phenomena, including apparitions, unexplained sights and sounds, and even glowing balls of light. When developed, this image emerged: what looks like a lonely looking young woman dressed in white sitting on a tombstone. Parts of her body her partially tranparent and the style of the dress seems to be out of date.
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it..."I first saw this photo over twenty years ago. It was the first "ghost photo" I ever came across and it still wigs me out to look at it. In 1924 James Courtney and Michael Meehan, two crewmen of the tanker S.S. Watertown, were accidentally killed by gas fumes while cleaning a cargo tank. The crew of the Watertown - on its way to the Panama Canal from New York City – buried the two sailors at sea off the Mexican coast. That was on December 4th. On December 5th the first mate reported that the faces of Courtney and Meehan were appearing in the water off the port side of the ship. Over the next several days every member of the crew witnessed the faces appear and disappear, including the ship's captain. When he reported this to his supervisors after docking in New Orleans it was suggested that he try to photograph the faces. Captain Keith Tracy bought a camera and the ship was soon underway again. Sure enough, the faces appeared, and Tracy took six pictures, then secured the camera in the ship's vault. The camera was not removed until it was taken to a commercial developer after docking in New York City. Five of the photos showed nothing unusual, but the sixth clearly showed what was said to be the faces of the two dead crewmen. No evidence of forgery or tampering of the film was ever discovered. The faces stopped appearing after a new crew was brought aboard the Watertown.
The Newby Church MonkReverend K.F. Lord took a picture of the altar at his church in North Yorkshire, England (why are the GOOD ghosts always found in England?) and this is what came out. The picture and the negative are said to have been thoroughly examined by photographic experts and they can't find any evidence that this was either a double exposure, or artificially altered. The "thing" is calculated to be standing nine feet tall, and no one's found any record of a monk that humongous ever being at Newby Church. Who is it? What is it? Trick of light or something else? Either way it's way too creepy to not mention on this list.
Ghost Child at CemeteryA woman named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter Joyce, who died at 17. Andrews saw nothing unusual when she took this photo of Joyce's gravemarker. When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was astonished to see the image of a small child sitting happily at her daughter's grave. The ghost child seem to be aware of Mrs. Andrews since he or she is looking directly into the camera. Is it possible a double exposure? Mrs. Andrews said there were no such children nearby when she took the photograh and moreover did not recognize the child at all. It was no one she would have taken photograh of. She remarked that she did not believe it was the ghost of her daughter as a child.
London's St. Botolph's Chruch GhostIn 1982, photographer Chris Brackley took a photograph of the interior of London's St. Botolph's Chruch, but never expected what would appear on the film. High in the Church's loft, seen in the upper right hand corner of his photogarph, is a transparent form of what looks like a woman. According to Brackley, to his knowledge there were only three people in the church when this photograh was taken, and none of them were in that loft.
Church Minister GhostAccording to Brad Steiger's Real Ghosts, restless spirits and haunted places, where this photo was found, there was only one other photographer in the church beside the person who took this picture. Neither of them recalled seeing ghost or any flesh-and-blood person standing there who could account for this image. Because the figure is all in black, it has been theorized that the apparition could be that of the churuch minister.
Grandfather Ghost Standing Behind Grandmother"The lady in the color photo is my granny," she says. "She lived on her own until age 94, when her mind started to weaken and had to be moved to an assisted living home for her own safety. At the end of the first week, there was a picnic for the residents and their families. My mother and sister attended. My sister took two pictures that day, and this is one of them. It was taken on Sunday, 8/17/97, and we think the man behind her is my grandpa who passed away on Sunday, 8/14/84. We did not notice the man in the picture until Christmas Day, 2000 (granny had since passed away), while browsing through some loose family photos at my parents' house. My sister thought it was such a nice picture of granny that she even made a copy for mom, but still, nobody noticed the man behind her for over three years! When I arrived at my parents' house that Christmas day, my sister handed me the picture and said, "Who do you think this man behind granny looks like?" It took a few seconds for it to sink in. I was absolutely speechless. The black and white photos show that it really looks like him."
I don't need what might be a ghost's photograph to attest to this truth: when you're in love with that one special someone, nothing will stop you from being with that person. But it's still pretty nice to get a tangible confirmation of that every once in awhile..
Railroad Crossing Ghost in San Antonio, TexasA Strange legend surrounds a railroad crossing of San Antonio, Texas. The intersection of the roadway and railraod track, so the story goes, was the site of a tragic accidents in which several school-aged children were killed - but their ghosts linger at the spot and will push idled cars across the tracks, even though the path is uphill. Andy and Debi Chesney's daughter and some of her friends had recently been to the crossing to test the legend, and she took some photographs. Inexplicably, a strange, transparent figure turned up in one of the photos.