Since the dawn of humanity people have wondered, what happens when we die? The question was the basis of many different myths and guesses, but we still don’t know for sure. For some we are reborn or taken to a higher plain, for others, we’re just gone. Tales of spirits come back from the dead are prominent across the world, and looking at these photos, you might start to believe them.
William Mumler’s self portrait – 1861
A famous spirit photographer from New York, Mumler is generally credited with taking the first “spirit photo” with the girl in the photo supposedly being his dead cousin. While his first one was accidental, he made a living of making portraits of people with the ghosts of their loved ones. While many people believe his photos to have been made using a simple double exposure technique, others insist the pictures are real.
Freddy Jackson’s Squad Photo – 1919
One of the most famous spirit photographs, this photo was taken by Sir Victor Goddard. It was a photo of his squadron, but when he developed it he saw something surprising. There was a figure standing at the top who hadn’t been present when the picture was taken, and that multiple people swore was Freddie Jackson, a pilot who was part of the squadron before he lost his life in an accident with a moving propeller.
The SS Watertown – 1924
The oil tanker S.S Watertown sailed from Panama Canal to New York City in December of 1924. In a freak accident, two men were killed by gas fumes as they cleaned out a cargo tank. Their names were James Courtney and Michael Meehan. The were buried at sea, as all sailors were at the time. But unlike most sailors, they didn’t stay buried. The next few days the remaining crew members claimed to see the faces of the two sailors in the water, as if they were following the ship.
Keith Tracy, the ship’s captain, reported the sightings to his employers, but they didn’t believe him, asking him to take photos as proof. He did, and their faces can be clearly seen.
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
This photo appears to show a ghost known as “the brown lady” descending a staircase as Raynham Hall in England. She is known as the brown lady for the brown brocade dress she wears, but she’s believed to be the ghost of Dorothy Walpole, the second wife of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend, who died in 1729. While she officially died of smallpox, there were always rumors that her husband murdered her by pushing her down the stairs.
The Andrew’s Baby
This photo was taken by Mrs Andrews in 1947 of her daughters grave in Gatton, Queensland, Australia. She said she had seen nothing unusual when she took the picture, and was shocked when the developed photo showed a child happily playing on the grave.
Mrs Andrews said she didn’t know who the child was, but it didn’t look like her daughter. A researcher has discovered that there are two other graves of infants nearby, and that one of them could belong to this child. There is no solid ideas on who the child is, and the photo has never been discredited.
The Tulip Staircase Ghost
This photograph was taken in 1966 by Rev. Ralph Hardy. He just wanted to photograph the Tulip Staircase, an elegant spiral staircase in the Queen’s House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. But when the photo was developed there was a clear image of a figure, holding the railings with both hands. Experts have examined the original negative and have said it hadn’t been tampered with. The building is known for the appearance of unexplained figures and footsteps.