Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

"What is your name?"

For those of you who have been coming to GhostTheory for some time now, you know that I’ve been interested in the “polaroid ghost” case. As the story goes, there’s a house in the outskirts or Downtown Los Angeles that harbors some form of energy that can communicate with the home owners by writing on photographs. The energy or ghost, calls itself “Wright”.

I first learned about this phenomena back in my early teens while watching the FOX television show called Sightings. Years later, I find myself attending a gallery of the “Polaroids of the dead” during a Halloween exhibit in 2007. After viewing and examining the polaroids up close I could only conclude that if this was a hoax, it was a very elaborate hoax.

Almost two years later I sat down with John Matkowsky in his photo lab for an interview. With me, I had a list of questions that several GhostTheory readers had submitted to me so that John could address them. The interview went well and I was left with even more questions and uncertainties.

Last week, the investigative show Fact or Faked which airs on Syfy’s investigated the “ghostly polaroids” phenomena. Doing a thorough investigation with modern equipment, the team set out to debunk the claims of divine communication. Even though I personally don’t like the show as much, I have to give it to them and say that their controlled tests were pretty thought out and on the mark. They tried out some debunking methods that I’ve never even though of. Very well organized. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.

This is why for this installment of Friday Video I wanted to share it with you guys. You’ll appreciate the Fact or Fake team’s vehement effort. Especially Chi-Lan Lieu. I wonder if she’s single?


    I still remember watching this case back on the Sightings show hosted by Tim White. They actually did a follow up again on Sightings with this case and filmed there in the house, taking pictures with the film crew filming and still got writing to come out. Sightings even brought in their own film and cameras to prevent tampering and still got writing.
    It was a fun case, and being younger back then, I always was curious if anyone would follow up.
    The psychic they referred to in the re-telling of the story on Fact or Faked was Peter James, who has since passed away. He was a regular on Sightings back then. He did a walk through of the house and I still have on video somewhere, the episode where’s he’s at the house and says he feels stuff all around him and they start taking photo’s and what came out was mist and swirls of that white stuff above him and beside him.
    Just a fun and interesting case. And if you look very hard online, there is a VHS tape called Sightings: Ghost stories(I believe this is the title), and it features a “best of” of cases from Sightings. Included on that tape is this case.
    I have most of the Sightings episodes on tapes somewhere in my storage lol

  • Elfishgene

    Nice one Jav, been waiting for an update on this case myself i guess sensationalistic paranormal tv for the masses will do :P, did you ever get invited to one of the infamous halloween parties in the end?

  • PCWilliams

    I saw this episode of Fact Or Faked.

    Their investigation started out great when they brought their own, new film in and took pictures … nothing appeared. They then went about trying to duplicating the effect but subjecting a fresh, new pack of film to some limited exposure inside their makeshift darkroom, reloading the film into the polaroid film cassette and retaking shots inside the house.

    The retake photos showed some kind of possible anomaly in one of the shots. I immediately thought it could have easily been a by-product of their makeshift darkroom … maybe some accidental exposure, maybe a mishap when reloading the tampered film back into the polaroid cassette.

    So here they were, first round of shots with new film showed nothing. The second round of shots with film they tampered with had one picture with a possible anomaly. I felt they should have taken a third step to figure out the discrepancy with the tampered film. They didn’t. They simply left this discrepancy out there unresolved.

    I don’t think they did much at all to resolve this case. If you run two similar tests and get two different results, i think it’s incumbent upon the investigation team to resolve the conflicting data.

    Personally, i would have gone into this location with a hundred new packs of polaroid film and keep clicking away until every last bit of film was gone. My guess is, none of the shots would have shown the ghost writing.

    I also find it suspicious the owners are told by Peter James (at LEAST 10 years ago) there is a body under the house in a specific location yet, as of present day, the owners haven’t done any investigation into whether a body is buried under their house? The first time anybody went looking for a body is when the Fact Or Faked team shows up? This strikes me so odd as to be untrue.

    So far, i’m not impressed with Fact Or Faked.

  • Elfishgene,

    No. Never received an invitation. Story of my life….



  • I didn’t think this show was too bad, but now I think they are “over doing it”. I still like the concept, But they need to take it down a notch.

  • as for the case, funny how the owners get’s “ghost writer photos” but not the fact or fake crew? odd.

  • Bill

    i believe that in case of ghost writer,either we speak about a perfectly accomplished hoax for that time or something bizarre indeed happened then.It seems so perfect to be real….

  • Peter

    Only thing I can postulate is that spirits aren’t always cooperative, perhaps they approached the question and photo session wrong. It’s hard to tell with their video since it’s been edited down.

  • hall442

    You can’t MAKE a spirit do something it doesn’t wish to. The same with the living. I think the spirit didn’t like something about the Crew, and simply refused to co-operate with them. As for their debunked, pre-exposed Polaroid film, it did not really resemble the actual product that much. That and the fact that they did not show how the re-sealed the film to look factory fresh, after exposing it. In the REAL photos and videos, the packages are always opened fresh, on camera. it’s DAMNED hard to re-seal something of that nature. Glue won’t work, and is liable to gum up the camera mechanism. Scotch tape is out too. The only thing I can think of, would be some sort of heat re-sealing device. And considering how long ago this started, I’m not sure those were even commercially available. So for the sake of the argument, I don’t think the film was pre-exposed, just because it would have been damned near impossible to fake the packaging on camera.

    I never held much faith in Peter James. One has to distrust ANY medium type person, who makes his living by tv and personal appearances.

    I would certainly like to see further investigation into this, but perhaps by someone more respectful of the entity? just that way the Fact or Faked team was going about it, I think whatever was there felt insulted, and just said “Screw you guys. I’m not talking to you.”

  • Phil

    Jeez, come on people. IT’S A HOAX. So damn obvious.

    LA = la la land.

  • Jen

    question: do you think it writes using ectoplasm? that’s a serious question, not a joke. especially since most spirit photography looks like smoke or fog.