Photographing Ghosts

Photographing Ghosts

I like to keep my ghost hunting strategy as simple and as tech free as possible.   I might take a camera to photograph the location, but heaven forbid my actually trying to photograph a ghost.   I know in this need for scientific validation (and Facebook likes) this seems like the deepest heresy in the field and a few people has asked me about this over the years so its time to get my thoughts and reasons down.  The only tech I take is a torch and my phone is firmly switched off.


Growing up I was always fascinated by ghosts and was surrounded by books which detail all the famous hauntings in history.   These were always lavishly illustrated with famous photographs, many of which have subsequently been shown to have been faked.  It  is sad really, my young self was terrified and loved the images - I recall turning the pages fast for the ones which really scared me.  Like most of growing up, it has been a slow disappointment.  There are however a few photographs which i consider as genuine since i was there when the photograph was taken and saw the image on the digital camera.

The most notable one is the image Kath Gearing took at Michelham priory.   Her full account and image can be found here.  I am only interested in apparitions of course, camera blurs and orbs do not really interest me.  Photos such as this are rare, however do happen, however I think there is an interaction between the site, the entities and the people investigating a site and this has an important bearing on the level of phenomena encountered.   Somehow the gestalt seems to object about photographs - at least most of the time although I am at a loss to explain the exceptions to the rule. 

There was one time when I was leading a Ghostclub vigil in the gallery at Ham House.  We were a mixed group where some people wanted to use equipment and others wanted to keep it simple, so since we had an hour we agreed to run the first 30 minutes with everything on, then switch off to see what happens.   The first 30 minutes went without any phenomena and when it was over we settled into a quieter vigil without little LEDs blinking everywhere.  Withing a few minutes things got more active.   A lot of this was subjective with the atmosphere getting deeper and so on.  But people were reporting sparkles in the air, shadows crossing them, draughts and so on - phenomena which was not present previously.   All this was killed dead in a moment when one idiot pulled out their camera and took some random shots.   Nothing else happened at all that evening.

I have seen similar things happen on several occasions and its enough to convince me that more interesting things happen when you leave the cameras switched off.  Why this might be the case really defeats me.  However I suggest people try this at least once and see how their perception of phenomena changes.