William Mumler’s self Portrait – 1860s
William Mumler was a spirit photographer from New York, and he’s generally credited with taking the first “ghost” photo. This self-portrait from the 1860’s supposedly also contains a dead relative. This first one was accidental when he double exposed a negative, but he turned it into a lucrative business of public portraits with the ghosts of loved ones in them. He was soon revealed to be a fraud, but if you didn’t know any better, you’d say this is legit.
Lord Combermere – 1891
Taken at the library within Combermere Abbey in England, you can see the figure of a man sitting in the chair on the left. It’s reported to be the ghost of Lord Combermere, a British calvary commander. The photo, taken by Sybell Corbet, was taken during his funeral, which was over 4 miles away.
Freddy Jackson in his Squad Photo – 1919
This is a pretty popular photo, and pretty scary too. This photo was taken by Sir Victor Goddard, of his squadron. Except it’s an incomplete photo. Earlier that year, Freddie Jackson, a pilot, lost his life when he was hit by a moving propeller. He didn’t want to miss photo day though, and showed up in the background.
The SS Watertown – 1924
This photo was taken by the crew of the SS Watertown, after two of their crew members lost their lives onboard the ship and were buried at sea. A short time after being slipped overboard, crew members reporting seeing their faces in the water. Whether it’s a trick of the light/waves or not, you can’t deny that those are definitely faces that you see.
The Brown Lady – 1936
This is one of the few that experts claim they can’t debunk, and is regarded as actual photographic evidence of ghosts. Taken at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, it’s one of many sightings. It’s claimed that this is the ghost of Lady Townshend, who was locked in a room in the Hall by her husband and left to die, after he found out about her infidelity.
Mrs. Andrews’ Baby – 1947
This photo of a child appearing over a grave was taken in 1947. There was initially nothing there, but when the film was developed, this image of a baby appeared. Except, this isn’t Mrs. Andrews’ daughter. She showed the image to the parents of the child graves nearby, and no one was able to recognize the child.
The Ghost in the Back Seat – 1959
Taken by Mabel Chinnery, the photo was supposed to be a picture of her husband, but when it was developed, she saw her mother-in-law in the back seat. Her dead mother-in-law. Again, take it how you will. Some claim it’s legit, while others think a double exposure is to blame.
Newby Church – 1963
That’s one creepy spectre in the photo, isn’t it. Some experts have said this photo is fake, as it looks posed, but the Reverend K.F. Lord, who took the photo, says there was nothing there. As well, there’s no evidence of double exposures or tampering. So what you see there, is what was hiding in plain sight.
Tulip Staircase Ghost – 1966
This is another photo that’s been declared as true evidence of the supernatural. Taken at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, it shows a ghostly figure holding the handrail of a staircase. With no evidence of tampering present, it’s a place I don’t think I’ll be visiting soon.
Robert A. Ferguson – 1968
What makes this photo super creepy is that it was taken on a Polaroid, so there’s no way it was tampered with. The picture is of Robert A. Ferguson, speaking at a Spiritualist convention in California. The ghost behind him is of his brother who died in 1944.
Worsted Church – 1975
Peter Berthelot took this photo of his wife quietly praying in a church. When he had the photo developed later, he saw an empty pew filled with a ghost. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time either. Going all the way back to the 1830’s, there have been reports of a lady in white, who sits in the church.
The Amityville Ghost – 1976
This photo, taken by famous ghost-hunting duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, shows the ghost of 9-year-old John DeFeo. If you recall, the DeFeo’s were the family that lived in the famous Amityville house and were murdered by their son Ronald.
This photo was taken over a year after the original murders, while the Lutz family was living there. The Warren’s were using an infrared camera that was taking pictures all night, and caught young John peeking.
The Toys ‘R’ Us Ghost – 1978
There’s a Toys ‘R’ Us store in Sunnyvale, California that is allegedly haunted by a ghost named Johnny Johnson. When this particular photo was taken, there was no figure leaning against the shelves. According to the story, Johnny worked on a plantation that once inhabited the land the store was on. He was in love with the owner, and bled to death after injuring himself cutting wood.
St. Botolph’s Church – 1982
If you look at the top right hand corner of the photo, you can see a translucent figure. At the time, there were only 3 people in the church, and later someone recognized the figure as someone who’d recently has their funeral service there.
The Coventry Spectre – 1985
When you first look at this photo, you probably don’t notice anything spooky. Look at the top left of the photo. Do you see what looks like a monk, wearing a hood? He’s not supposed to be there, nor was he there when the photo was taken. Though, the event was for the Coventry Freemen’s Guild, so some suspect he was an way older member that came to keep an eye on things.
The Pawling Fire Department – 1988
While it looks like no one would survive a crash like that, someone did; Rose Benvenuto. She claims that the white figure in this photo is an angel that protected her. Yep, that works.
The Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove – 1991
After noticing some weird readings at the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, the Ghost Research Society of America took this photo. While there wasn’t anything visible on the bench in real life, once the photo was developed, they saw a woman dressed in white sitting there. Why the photo is grainy and in black and white in 1991 is anyone’s guess.
The Wem Town Hall Ghost – 1995
This is a pretty famous photograph that circulated around the world as proof positive of the supernatural. While it looks super creepy, most will say it’s fake. While the original photo shows an old-timey girl standing in the midst of a blazing inferno, there’s a postcard from 1922 that has the same girl in it, leading people to say it was doctored. Or perhaps that same girl from the 20’s, was responsible for the blaze. Who knows?
Boot Hill Ghost – 1996
While it looks old, this is a modern photo of a guy dressed up as a cowboy, at Tombstone, Arizona’s famous Boot Hill Cemetery. In the background, is a cowboy ghost rising out of the grave. He apparently wasn’t there when the photo was taken, and there’s no evidence of manipulation.
The Grandfather Ghost – 1997
Denise Russell took this photo of her grandmother, who was living alone after losing her husband. As it turns out, he wasn’t too far away. He was right behind her the entire time, even though he died in 1984.
Sefton Church – 1999
I think the photo quality has a lot to do with why this photo’s so popular as proof of ghosts. Taken at the Sefton Church, in Liverpool, England, it shows a man wearing a black uniform. It’s believed that this is the old church minister, but there were supposedly only two people in the church that day, and none of them were wearing black.
Random Manilla Ghost – 2000’s
This is one of the few digital photos that should prove that ghosts exist, and it’s pretty creepy. There was no one in the frame other than the two girls, and no one reported feeling a hand or presence of another being. As well, being a digital photo, there’s no double exposure and the girls claim there’s no photoshopping involved.
Tewin Bury Farm Ghost – 2008
According to Neil Sandbach, who took the photo, this was an old farmhouse where his friends were getting married. At the time, it was completely empty, and there most certainly wasn’t a creepy boy dressed in white, peeking out of doors. Except, you can see one on the right hand side of the photo. Apparently cleaners at the farmhouse had reported seeing the spectre as well. Maybe he was early for the wedding.