It would seem that hucksters and hoaxers were faking ghost photos almost as long as photography has been around. Simple double exposure, something we see as amateurish today was a trick that few had even heard of in the 19th century. One of the best at doing such eerie images of ghosts and paranormal goings on was William Hope. William used his new found technique to scare the bejeebers out of people.
Just in time for Halloween comes a collection of spooky photos from beyond the grave. Well, not exactly. They’re blatant fakes. But folks didn’t know that when they first came out in the 19th century. And, even now, the collection of creepy pics from photographer/huckster William Hope is well worth a look.
Back in the early days of photography, Hope discovered how to double-expose photos to make it seem like spirits were hovering next to people. He would superimpose a face on top of the original photo, and the result was quite startling. Gizmodo explains that even very smart people like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fell for the trick.
Being an entrepreneur as well as a morally ambiguous chap, he and his followers, the “Crewe Circle,” used this knowledge to create ghostly images. They then sold them to people who had lost their loved ones. (“See, there’s old Aunt Gertrude right there! She looks so happy!”)
You can check out a slideshow of some of his work below. The results (pre-Photoshop, of course) are remarkably creepy. We can only imagine how many people fell for the scheme.
Even big time smarties such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were fooled by Hope’s ghoulish images. If you can fool a guy like Artie Doyle imagine how easily the average Joe was tricked.
Today, not much has changed. People are still eager to see photos of spirits. Web searches on “ghost pictures” are always popular, as are related lookups on “real ghosts” and “ghosts on camera.” And with Halloween just around the corner, we expect those searches to really surge over the next several days.
Clearly, Mr. Hope started something that stood the test of time, if not the test of truth and accuracy.
Source: Yahoo News
As is mentioned above, this type of chicanery hasn’t slowed down since those early years. In fact, as we all know it’s gotten more and more sophisticated over the years. The problem with cutting edge technology is that it causes many to call hoax without so much as a second look. Of course there are still plenty of “born every second” types and those are the people that our sly colporteurs prey upon. Just like anything else we are always going to have those that believe and those that don’t. We have all seen quite a resurgence of all things paranormal and with that resurgence so too the voo dooers doing that voo doo that they do, the voo doo to fool the fool.
As Halloween fast approaches I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more of this stuff. While the vast majority of videos and pictures are explainable there are still a few examples out there that have yet to be explicated. Which side of the graveyard fence are you on?