This is a photo taken in 1900 of women working at a linen factory. Nothing too strange about that really. They're just like us: they go to work, sometimes they smile, sometimes they don't, sometimes they cross their arms, and sometimes OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT WANDERING HAND DOING THERE?? GHOST GHOST GHOST!
The photo was submitted to the website Belfast Live by one Linda. She attached a note to the submission, reading...
Great to see an old photo of my Granny, in the by-gone years photo, when she worked at the mill. She was Ellen Donnelly (nee McKillop) and she is fourth on the right in the second row down. My dad has this photo at home... a family ghost picture!!
Of course, the photo — still unverified or discredited — is as polarizing as other photographs of the supernatural, especially ghosts. Some people say they're definitely real, while others say those people that say those things are off their rockers. It's important to understand both sides of the story.
5. The History Of Supernatural Photography Ain't Dead
The origins of supernatural photography are almost as old as the medium itself. (Woah. Medium.) In the middle of the 19th century, photographers began experimenting with new and innovative shooting and development techniques that expanded the artistry. But they could also be exploited.
6. William Mumler, The Godfather Of The Ghostly Photo
The first known photographer to snap pics of the other side was a dude named William Mumler. His first photo purportedly caught the spirit of his dead cousin on film. The image circulated, and Mumler became the go-to guy to capture other people's dead relatives on camera.
The photo started to circulate, and Mumler became rather famous for being able to summon up graphically people's dead relatives. He made a mint. It's hypothesized that he was slipping in already developed glasses into the camera to create the eery effect. Either way, he was eventually caught, charged, and later acquitted of fraud.
But the horse was out of the barn. Spiritual photography became a hit as cameras became more affordable and ubiquitous. One photograph, of the deceased Lord Combermere's study, reportedly caught his ghost too. But the photo took an hour to develop, and servants may have been crossing the frame, and chilling in their erstwhile master's seat.
Digital cameras are no better at preserving the fidelity of a natural scene, and can, thanks to their machinery, produce supernatural effects in a completed image. Digital cameras take photos in stages, allowing for alien figures to overlay on the frames. Furthermore, an effect called "image aliasing" is what happens when a cell phone, in a dark environment, doesn't have enough light to take a fully accurate picture, and so anything in frame could appear distorted.
The organization is headed up by this man, Dale Kaczmarek. He has some strict rules both for submitting and for using ghost photos. For instance, orb photos are straight out. "We are not currently interested in looking at or analyzing orb photographs taken with digital cameras as there are just too many natural explanations for them." And they're so popular too!
But membership to the organization can come at some real monetary expenses. Lifetime membership to the Ghost Research Society can run you $250 very real dollars. And having your photos or establishments checked for ghostly activity can run you even more...
To prove a paranormal photo's validity, you must do so to eradicate even a sliver of doubt. That's not hard as there are so many possible defects or externalities that could cause a ghost sighting on camera. Reflections, light seepage, distortion. If you want to know more about how to spot a fake, check out this guy's breakdown.
But what about that extra hand? It's not so uncommon. Here's another picture where there's an unaccounted for hand — the one on the left shoulder of the kid in black. Looks like it doesn't have to be 1900 for there to be some unexplainable phenomena...