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 Raynham Hall

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Ian
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PostSubject: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 6:51 am

The Brown Lady is probably one of the most famous ghost photographs of all time. I have heard it mentioned that it is the only ghost to be photographed twice, but I have only come across one picture and I am unsure how true it is. http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/hauntings/brownlady.html
Do you think this photograph could be the result of light coming through the window at the top of the stairs? Is it a real ghost? Any opinions?

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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 7:24 am

I'm dubious of most spirit photographs, but if I had to believe in one, this would be it. There's just something about the way the light falls that makes it look real.

then again, my comment about the light proves your point, Ian! (grin)
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mysteryshopper



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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 9:58 am

I doubt all ghost photos showing a transparent figure. The vast majority of credible apparition reports suggest that ghosts usually look perfectly solid, not transparent at all. This 'transparent ghost' idea is probably a stage or film invention.

Also, transparent figures are easily done with a long exposure (as this undoubtedly was) by someone being present for only part of the time the shutter is open. Of course, such photos always come with a story about how they supposedly taken but I always tend to trust the photo before someone's memory.

Sorry but transparent figures in photos don't impress me one bit!
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 11:44 am

I think we have to very cautious of any form of media claiming to show a ghost. We can't conclusively say that we actually see ghosts in the traditional retinal sense of the word, so we can only assume that cameras are capable of capturing images of these things. Notwithstanding the massive potential for fraud, misperception....
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 11:53 am

matt.h wrote:
... we can only assume that cameras are capable of capturing images of these things. ....

I don't assume cameras are capable of photographing ghosts because I can't justify such an assumption. I've never seen an alleged photograph of a ghost that couldn't be reproduced quite simply, without any need for fraud. It is people making claims about ghost photos who are making assumptions. They think that if an object appears transparent in a photo then it may be a ghost. I can think of no evidence to support that idea from the literature of ghosts.

Generally, the only reason why someone thinks that a photograph shows a ghost comes down to the story of how the shot was taken. Take away the story, which relies on memory, and the evidence that the photo shows a ghost is pretty much nil.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Wed 09 Apr 2008, 1:28 pm

Playing devil's advocate.... how would you go about reproducing the Wem Town Hall photo simply? There are some "ghost" photographs that go beyond misty shapes.

However, I agree that the story we project (created through social conditioning, the way society presents ghosts etc) has a massive bearing on what we regard as paranormal in photos. You only have to look at the whole sorry "orbs are manifestation of spirit" debacle.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 4:13 am

Wem's easy! I'd just do it exactly as I believe it actually happened. It looks like a smouldering, glowing plank of wood lying on the bannister.

If you look at the original photo, the 'face', which is strangely square, is mysteriously perched precisely on top on the bannister while underneath, the 'body' is a curiously shaped long narrow rectangle - the same shape as a plank, in fact! The 'face' itself would require several shots just to ensure you get one that happens to resemble a face. It shouldn't take too many shots as we humans have an in-built propensity to see faces and figures in random patterns.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 5:59 am

I agree with you about our natural tendency to see faces where there isn't any, but I don't think Wem could be easily recreated. If it could, there'd be hundreds of copycat pictures! You'd be there for years before a similar configuration of falling wood etc occurred.

That's not to say I believe in any way that the Wem photo is a ghost, of course. It's a one-in-a-million coincidence and probably the best example of paradeilia since it's almost impossible to disengage your brain from actually seeing a human figure.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 6:05 am

I think you have hit the nail on the head Mysteryshopper. Do you believe the story behind the picture? In some cases like that of the Tulip Staircase where the photographer is a retired reverend, you imagine they would be beyond reproach, but do you believe them?


Can the same be said for witness accounts of potential paranormal experiences? Do we know enough about what we would expect an individual experience to be like to be able to weed out potential liars or misinterpretations?

If we are to turn around and show that all apparitions are a form of hallucination, surely that makes all ghost photographs fake. I take it the opposite would also be true, if these photographs are genuine apparitions then they cannot be hallucinations

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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:37 am

matt.h wrote:
I agree with you about our natural tendency to see faces where there isn't any, but I don't think Wem could be easily recreated. If it could, there'd be hundreds of copycat pictures! You'd be there for years before a similar configuration of falling wood etc occurred. That's not to say I believe in any way that the Wem photo is a ghost, of course. It's a one-in-a-million coincidence and probably the best example of paradeilia since it's almost impossible to disengage your brain from actually seeing a human figure.

Except that the 'human figure' has a box for a head, a beam for a body and is apparently leaning on its head on the bannister! That's the way I see it - I don't see the 'little girl' any more at all. To recreate the effect exactly you'd need to mess around leaning burning planks on rails, hoping to get enough photos to produce a face. You also would need a bright light source behind to simulate the fire. The whole exercise would be dangerous and impractical. You could probably do a reasonable approximation using cold glowing objects and bright light sources.

I'm not sure the odds are as high as one in a million. All you need is the beam and photographer in the right position. As for the 'face' - you can find those in many pictures if you look for them - see ASSAP's recent demonstration of this at http://www.assap.org/newsite/htmlfiles/Edge.html for an example.


Last edited by mysteryshopper on Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:46 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:44 am

Ian wrote:
...Do you believe the story behind the picture? In some cases like that of the Tulip Staircase where the photographer is a retired reverend, you imagine they would be beyond reproach, but do you believe them?

It's not a question of people being liars. Everyone confabulates to some extent. Whenever they access one of their memories they may potentially change it. Over time your memory of an event can change completely. It doesn't make people liars nor do they even have to have poor memories. It's just that memories alter over time (or more accurately, the more often they are accessed). Such memory alterations can be affected by beliefs, either of the witness or people talking to them.

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If we are to turn around and show that all apparitions are a form of hallucination, surely that makes all ghost photographs fake. I take it the opposite would also be true, if these photographs are genuine apparitions then they cannot be hallucinations

Without a lot more evidence, we can't say whether all ghosts are hallucinations though many seem to have their characteristics. I've examined hundreds of paranormal photos and I've yet to come across one that couldn't be reporoduced easily, without any need of digital manipulation. They all fall into simple categories like long exposure (transparent ghosts), focus problems (orbs) and misperception (faces, figures in random patterns).


Last edited by mysteryshopper on Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:46 am

Perhaps not one-in-a-million, no - it was more a turn of phrase than a precise estimate.

Still, to my mind Wem is a far more striking and convincing example of paradeilia than most - including ASSAP's macabre flagpole image. The fact that you have a plausible body shape with what look to be folded arms as well as the suitably forlorn face real sells it!
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 10 Apr 2008, 8:54 am

matt.h wrote:
Still, to my mind Wem is a far more striking and convincing example of paradeilia than most - including ASSAP's macabre flagpole image. The fact that you have a plausible body shape with what look to be folded arms as well as the suitably forlorn face real sells it!

It's a very contrasty image due to the bright fire and the dark night. That has destroyed valuable detail that would otherwise make the 'face' unconvincing. If you show someone almost any picture with two shapes forming 'eyes' in roughly the right position with respect to a 'mouth' and most people will see a face by a process of misperception.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Sat 12 Apr 2008, 6:57 am

Quote :
It's not a question of people being liars. Everyone confabulates to some extent. Whenever they access one of their memories they may potentially change it. Over time your memory of an event can change completely. It doesn't make people liars nor do they even have to have poor memories. It's just that memories alter over time (or more accurately, the more often they are accessed). Such memory alterations can be affected by beliefs, either of the witness or people talking to them.

I wasn't trying to imply they all liars and I did mention misinterpretations.

Quote :
weed out potential liars or misinterpretations?


I totally agree with your comments about memories, but we should be aware of liars. My first investigation was in a nightclub where they caught a ghost on film. It was a bleed over from the tape being used previously and after speaking to a member of staff some time later he admitted it was a fabrication to help drum up business.

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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 18 Sep 2008, 3:39 am

Hmm... Raynham Hall... anyway, this image is 'most probably' an inadvertant fake. It may in fact, be soemthing on the lens, which was then matched up with lore. There's a chance it's legit, however. MS dosn't like transparent ghosts, something I agree with, however, lack of a solid image is not proof of fraud of equipment failure. I've seen many shadowy shapes on film which are acredited and vetted by film anylists as legitimate images, untampered with by digital foolery.
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PostSubject: Re: Raynham Hall   Thu 18 Sep 2008, 5:29 am

baroniveagh wrote:
MS dosn't like transparent ghosts, something I agree with, however, lack of a solid image is not proof of fraud of equipment failure.

I never said transparent figures were faked or equipment failure. They are easily produced by someone walking into a photo, and pausing briefly, during a long exposure.
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