False & Fake Ghost Pictures

Learn about false ghost photos created by natural causes as well ghost photographs deliberately faked.

Over many years, we have received photos from all over the world. Some have been outright fakes while others have been false anomalies misindentified as ghosts in photographs. It is our hope that this page helps answers some questions we receive every month from viewers, such as, "How can I tell if this is a ghost, or not, in my photo? How can I tell if a ghost picture is faked?"

There are 3 types of pages found within this section:

  • Scientific Explanations - some of what we see just aren't ghosts but can be explained by science.
  • False Ghost Photos - examples of natural anomalies and camera settings that create "things" in photos that are not ghosts.
  • Fake Ghost Pictures - Examples of deliberately and artistically faked ghosts.

Years ago, we began working with other ghost investigators to reproduce false photo anomalies that are typically misinterpreted as being ghosts. Our goal was to attempt to have representations of the most common photographic effects and blemishes for comparison to photos we receive, monthly, from our audience. Today, we are pleased to have a nice collection of "explanations" and example images for many of the most common photo abnormalities one might encounter while ghost hunting.

We have also found that pictures mislabeled as having ghosts, we have found, may be due to proven scientific facts. Other supposedly supernatural photographs may be downright frauds created by talented photographers, graphic artists or computer programs.

Ghost Hunting Tip: Know Your Camera
Most of the false ghost photos that are generated come from improper use of the camera. Before ghost investigating, read your camera's owner's manual to learn how the different settings of the camera can alter the end result. Also, take photos with your camera while attempting to create the false ghost photo anomalies listed at right. By doing this, you'll learn, firsthand, what is real and what is not!

Interesting Note: Spirit Photography
Ghost photographs have been faked since the 1800s when photographers used lengthened exposures to create spirit-like effects in photos. If a person were to slide in and out of the picture during a lengthened-exposure, their image would appear see-through.

Sometimes, for families who lost a loved one, photographers would overlay another photo of the deceased relative in with family portraits, creating the effect of the whole clan being back together. To do this, they used a technique known as "double exposure." The shutter was exposed more than once to two different images: the family, and the photo of the person. To learn more about this, see: Spirit Photography.