Monday, February 15, 2010

A new ghost pic.

Gwrych castle, in Abergele (if you're not Welsh, it's best not to attempt pronounciation. Untrained attempts at the language can be fatal), has long been regarded as a haunted place. Now there's a new and very clear photo of a girl at a first floor window.

It looks like a reflection in the glass, of someone standing outside, but if you click on the arrows below the photo in that article, it's clear there's nobody outside.

A couple of notable points:

a) In the UK, 'first floor' is upstairs. I believe in many places, 'first floor' is the one at ground level. In the UK we call that 'ground floor' and start numbering above it.

b) There's no floor in that room. Most of the castle is a ruin and unsafe. If she's a dressed-up fake, she must be on a pretty tall stepladder and since she's not holding on to anything, she must have nerves of steel. The floor she should have been standing on is now a mass of rubble on the floor below.

So it's a hard one to explain away. She can't be a reflection from outside unless you accept both levitation and corporeal invisibility as realities. She can't be standing inside because there's nothing to stand on. Photoshop? Well it could be done in photoshop but the photographer is not a ghost hunter, is making no money or publicity (the article says he's a company boss but doesn't name the company) and has no obvious motive to produce a fake.

She's not explainable by pixellation or pareidolia. Far too clear an image. Her manner of dress is nondescript, could be 18th century or could be yesterday.

I can't explain this one away or find any non-ghostly explanation other than photoshop, and you can apply 'photoshop' to any ghost photo that has ever been or will ever be produced since the invention of the computer. So that's no help.

It's a pity he used digital rather than film. Then again, film is harder and harder to find these days.

Looks like it could well be genuine to me. If it's not genuine, then it would have to be deliberately faked, and I can't see any reason for this photographer to do that. Some of the comments below the article cry 'fake' but they have not (so far) provided any real explanation. They're just the sort who would cry 'fake' if a ghost poked them in the eye.

Take a look while you can. Newspapers tend to drop older stories to make way for new ones and the images are copyright-locked so I can't copy them here.

Nice to see the paranormal getting in the news again. It's been a while.


misa ramirez said...

Wow, this is spooky! Makes me want to believe, but so many things are faked these days, it's hard to totally buy it. Still, you make good points. Interesting!

Sandra Ferguson said...

You should visit:
she writes time travel, but loves the paranormal element, and truly understands it. Lots of great links on her site.

I've seen this castle covered on Most Haunted Places. I did not know that the first floor had crumbled, however. I can't imagine being the poor chap who downloaded his pics and got way more than he bargained for. Yep, spooky, anyway you snap it.

heyjude said...

Sorry Rom, have to disagree on this one. If you follow the link in one of the comments under the article you can go to a flicker set fo photos of Gwrych Castle. In some you can ID this window from the color patterns around it, the bricks above it and the broken grillwork within it and even the wisp of vegetation growing up the side of the photo. It is most definitely ground floor window. Further ther are shots of it from inside and one if lightened show a definitely solid floor intact.

That makes 'ghost' harder to believe.

Clover Autrey said...

That's pretty amazing, but also a pretty clear picture. I believe in ghosts, but not sure I believe this is one, but who knows?

Regina Richards said...

She seems so well-defined. Are ghosts really ever well-defined. Come to think of it she looks a little like Harry Potter's Hermione.

L.A. Mitchell said...

So *that's* how you found me. I'm so glad you did. Thanks for the comments.

As far as the picture, you're right..with computers comes cynicism. If it is a fake, then I suppose he got the 15 minutes of fame he was seeking. If not, then he knows the truth and that must sit nicely with him at the end of the day.

I'll be back for another visit :)

Romulus Crowe said...

Misa - that's the problem. It's so easy to fake a ghost photo now that it's almost impossible to use one as proof. Now that film cameras are being overtaken by digital, and everyone has photo-modifying software, the fakes are harder to spot so the real ones will just be assumed to be fake too.

New technology makes finding proof harder, not easier!

Romulus Crowe said...

Sandra- these photos always come with the 'I didn't see it when I took the picture' line. Sometimes it's believable, sometimes it's easy to spot that the reason they didn't see it at the time was that it wasn't in the picture until they pasted it in later. There was one of a 'ghost' at a gate, but the ghost stood perfectly upright even though the camera wasn't held straight.

I'll have to look around some more blogs. My blogroll is looking rather sparse.

Romulus Crowe said...

Heyjude - if that's so, it points to 'fake'. I can see the frame of a door through the woman's shoulder so it's not 'mistake'.

Either it's genuine or it's a deliberate fake. Can't be certain which just yet but lying about the window location doesn't put the report in a good light.

Romulus Crowe said...

Clover, Regina, it's rare but not unheard of to get a well defined photo. There are a few that have not yet been proven fake.

It's extremely rare to get such a well defined image in broad daylight. So I have to stay on the fence on this one for now.

Romulus Crowe said...

L.A. - computers and digital cameras are the worst thing that could have happened to ghost investigation. Anyone with a cheap camera and some cheap and easy to use software could make a convincing fake.

On the plus side, all digital cameras pick up infrared so you don't need fancy and difficult-to-use infrared film, just the filter. But then, there's no fixed negative. Digital images can be manipulated and re-dated with ease.

There's no defence against the 'Photoshop' charge any more.

I still have my film cameras but it's getting difficult and expensive to find places that will sell or develop the films. Last time I took one into a photo printer's shop they didn't know what it was! All they did was print images from little cards. This strange round tin didn't fit in any of their slots.

There are fewer and fewer places dealing with real film, it seems.

Southern Writer said...

Hello, Heyjude. I searched for the Flickr pictures you mentioned, but I'm not sure if I found the right ones. I did, however, find some on Flickr that are here that may or may not be the ones you referred to. Maybe you could provide us a link so that we can see what you saw?

At first I was bothered by the fact that the floor is missing in this place and it is in such ruin, and yet there's still glass in the window. Hmm. But now that I've seen more pictures of the place, I can accept it.

In the Flickr pictures I found, there is one that looks like it could be the same window, and it is at ground level, but I'm doubting it's the same. Just because it has that single dark stone to its left doesn't make it the same window. And from the size of this place, I imagine there are dozens of windows that look similar. In the newspaper picture, I think that window is high enough up to be ruled out as a ground floor window.

While I was searching for the particular pictures mentioned, I found these wonderful photos of other places that I believe are near you, Rom, that you might want to investigate. What a beautiful country you live in! It breaks my heart to see these places go to ruin, and I love imagining the kind of life the former residents must have had in them. Just give me a $300 million Powerball win and one of these places, and I'd never be heard from again.

Now, with all that said, I'm going to email a copy of the posted picture to you because the girl is in it twice. Tell me what you think about that, would you?

Must go, My cats are pacing back & forth on my keyboard because it's time to play.

Romulus Crowe said...


The other places are in Wales, relatively nearby on the American scale because this entire island could hide effectively within most states. I visit Wales often, usually in summer so I'll look them up.

There is another image behind the girl but it's not as clear. If it;'s another image of her, it's not a reflection because the position is different. Could a ghost produce multiple images? There's no real reason why not, they aren't solid beings. All we can see is what they project so maybe a skilled one could project more than one image.

That needs some thought.

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