These are the things that go bump in the night.
From murdered slaves to tortured hospital patients to forgotten sailors, ghost stories will send a shiver down most people”s spines.
But this collection of images will call into question everything you think you know about the spirit world… and how easy it may be to cross back over from the “other side”.
Paranormal investigators have spent decades painstakingly researching each photograph, debunking some and failing to disprove others.
Taken at Corroboree Rock at Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia in 1959, this photograph appears to show a woman holding her hands toward her face, peering out into the distance
Locals of Quezon City, Philippines, steer clear of Balete Drive at night. They say a woman in white with long black hair, her face covered in blood, stands in the centre of the road. Drivers pack their backseat with passengers because if there is one empty seat, an uninvited guest just might take it
This woman was visiting the Fleet Air Arm Centre in Yelverton, Somerset, in 1987. Posing for the photo, she said she felt strangely cold, though it was a hot day. She also claims she was the only one in the aircraft… so who is that sitting to her right
Chloe was a slave at the house on a plantation in St Francisville, Louisiana. After being caught snooping on her master”s private conversation, he cut off her ear. Seeking revenge, Chloe baked a cake out of toxic oleander leaves, intended for her cruel boss. When his wife and daughters ate it instead, she fled but was lynched by fellow slaves. She still haunts the plantation to this day
Take the tale of the white lady of the Philippines.
Locals of Quezon City steer clear of Balete Drive at night as they say that a woman in white with long black tresses, face covered in blood, stands in the centre of the road, staring at oncoming vehicles.
Drivers try to avoid the street at all costs – but if they must pass, they pack their backseat with passengers because if there is one empty seat, an uninvited guest just might take it.
In photographs, she appears as a bright, white light in the road, legs barely visible.
Or consider the story of Chloe the inquisitive slave.
Chloe lived at the house of Myrtle”s Plantation in St Francisville, Louisiana.
She would often listen in on conversations she wasn”t supposed to, snooping in on her master”s private talks.
One afternoon, Chloe was caught. According to legend, her master cut off her ear as punishment.
For revenge, Chloe baked a cake out of oleander leaves, which are poisonous.
She wanted her cruel master to taste it, but his wife and daughters beat him to it.
She fled the house, but was lynched by her fellow slaves. She still haunts the plantation to this day, listening in on the conversations of its visitors.
Chloe can sometimes be seen hiding behind the doors, columns, or bushes on the residence.
This picture was taken in February 2002 of what used to be a local general store. It appears the building has attracted some shoppers from the other realm as well
This early 20th century snap of a bureau was taken at the request of a furniture dealer by Montague Cooper, a well-respected photographer of the day. It appears he was so good, even a ghost wanted to pose for him
The Pink Lady of Greencastle, Indiana, was discovered by ghost hunter Guy Winters when he went with a friend to photograph the woman who haunts the O”Hare Mansion
This photograph was taken during the American Civil War. A ghost, believed to be that of a dead soldier, was captured walking up these stairs in a basement
But not all ghosts have been scorned.
An Australian woman named Mrs Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter in a cemetery in Queensland, in the 1940s when she took a photo.
Her daughter Joyce had died the year before at the age of 17. She was shocked to find a child in the photo that she did not recognise sitting on top of the grave.
Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the late 1990s to find out what had happened.
He found that near Joyce”s grave, two infant girls were buried.
Diane and Peter Berthelot visited Worstead Church in Norfolk in 1975. Peter snapped a photo of his wife praying silently in the pew. They didn”t realise until later that she was not alone
THE SCIENCE OF GHOSTS
Researchers have studied many photographs of ghosts, and believe the majority can be explained as a trick of the light, or a technical issue with the camera.
Recently, Professor Richard Wiseman carried out an experiment to try to explain ghost pictures.
He concluded that most were down to shadows or, in some cases, double exposures on a camera.
University College London researchers also found that when we gaze around in a poorly lit room, it can sometimes fool our brains into seeing things that are not really there.
The same could be true for photographs, effectively “tricking” the brain.
Diane and Peter Berthelot visited Worstead Church in Norfolk in 1975 with their 12-year-old son.
Peter snapped a photo of his wife praying silently in the pew.
When they looked at the photos a few months later, a friend asked “Who”s that sitting behind you, Di”
The mysterious figure appeared to be dressed in old-fashioned clothing, including a bonnet, according to About.com.
Confused and confounded, the couple returned to the church the next year to share their photograph.
The church vicar, Reverend Pettit, told the Berthelots the legend of the White Lady.
The ghost, Reverend Pettit said, was known to visit people who had fallen ill, offering them comfort and healing them.
Diane was shocked because when the photo was taken, she was taking antibiotics and was not doing well.
The legends of the White Lady date back more than 100 years. She is said to appear on Christmas Eve every year and the church in which she once dwelled is now an aptly named pub: The White Lady.
Robert A. Ferguson, author of Psychic Telemetry, was speaking in Los Angeles, California, on November 16, 1968. He believed his brother Walter, who died in 1944 during World War II, was standing beside him
Robert A. Ferguson, a spiritualist and the author of Psychic Telemetry: New Key to Health, Wealth, And Perfect Living, was speaking in Los Angeles, California, on November 16, 1968 when the photo above was taken.
He believed his brother Walter, who died in 1944 during World War II, was standing beside him during the speech and he just may be right.
Apparently, this photograph was taken with a Polaroid camera, making a double exposure hypothesis very unlikely.
Many ghost hunters even argue that the ears on the apparition and the man are vastly different, proving they are not the same man
Mrs Andrews took this picture while visiting her daughter”s grave in Queensland, Australia in the 1940s. Her child Joyce had died the year before aged 17. She was shocked to find a young stranger sitting on the grave. When paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the 1990s, he found that near Joyce”s grave, two infant girls were buried
In 1924, the SS Watertown was en route to the Panama Canal from New York City when James Courtney and Michael Meehan were killed by gas fumes in a freak accident while cleaning a cargo tank. Soon after, crew members saw two faces in the water following the ship
Some of the photographs have been researched for decades, with paranormal aficionados looking into their origins.
In 1924, for example, the SS Watertown was en route to the Panama Canal from New York City.
James Courtney and Michael Meehan were killed by gas fumes in a freak accident while cleaning a cargo tank.
In the days following their deaths, crew members began reporting seeing two faces in the water following the ship.
The captain snapped several photographs of the water where their faces appeared and of five, one appeared to contain the apparitions.
This photograph was taken hours before this dying man”s last breath. Three mysterious orbs appeared in the images, which some believe to be spirits and others swear are fingerprint smudges
Blake Smith looked into the history of the image after it frightened him in elementary school.
He says the story originated with the oil company Cities Service (CITGO) who were the owners of the Watertown. The first publication of the image was in the in-house magazine Service in 1934, Mr Black says.
He found another paranormal investigator”s research, which included information about how the captain”s film was developed.
A commercial photographer in New York apparently took hold of the film once the ship docked.
Mr Blake consulted Joe Nickell, investigator with the Centre for Inquiry about his opinion.
Two men are seen working on renovations for this old and “empty” hospital in 1918 – but on the far left balcony, they”re not alone
“That picture has a suspiciously hard edge to the (viewer’s) left side of the face on the left, and this ruler-straight line (the edge of a rope) extends all the way to the top of the (cropped) picture. This looks like some form of photographic skulduggery (indicative of cutting and pasting, or possibly masking in conjunction with an airbrush).”
Despite his findings, he believes that one of the ghost faces may be real, the second added for effect.
“The photo does date from a time when bogus spirit photos were commonly produced,” he admits.