Famous Ghost Pictures & Photos

A collection of famous ghost pictures, remarkable ghost photos! 

This section is reserved for 'special' ghost pictures, those that have become famous from their spectacular appearance and convincing stories.

Most all of the photographs have endured intense scrutiny over time - even decades. You will be intrigued by their history and, of course, the striking images of ghosts they possibly reveal.

Allow your mind to wander through the famous ghost pictures assortment- some of the best ghost photos ever captured.

Famous Ghost Photos Curation

Since 2004, we've been studying the most famous of ghost photos, chasing down their stories to get to the bottom of them.

Most ghost pictures are taken by accident and that often makes such evidence of haunting inconclusive. The lack of comparison photos, witnesses and immediate analysis are a rarity even though a few famous pictures have been photographed in haunted locations with the hopes of recording a glimpse of spectral appearance.

When a possible ghost picture first surfaces, it usually is because it was a surprise find, something noticed well after the image was recorded (thus eliminating a chance for a more thorough investigation into it, the location, the time of day, etc.). The photo may make its way to a Facebook and Pinterest wall or a paranormal website with the hopes of determining if it is 'real' or not. And from there, ghost photos can gain Internet attention, especially if picked up by an online newspaper and made famous.

How to View Famous Ghost Pictures

It's important to understand that our cultures differed greatly in the last couple of hundred years.

In the mid-1800s, when photography first surfaced (see Capturing Ghosts on Film), people did not have an understanding of how cameras worked. Superstition thus prevailed and photos must have seemed like magic. When the earliest ghost pictures began appearing, people were very willing to believe that the camera possessed a special way of seeing what the human eye could not: the invisible spirit world.

But the spectators did not understand how easily the photographer could place 'spirits' in photos by using double-exposure techniques. And, some of the photographers became incredibly famous (e.g. see William Mumler Spirit Photography) while the public believed their ghost photos were real (even Mary Todd Lincoln!).

As the number of camera owners gradually increased, more ghost pictures were inadvertently snapped; and some of these photographs could not be explained away by camera tricks. Many of these artifacts discovered in photos were certainly caused by explainable, natural things. But some phantasm pictures were spectacular and not able to be reproduced, being something paranormal. Those that became renowned found fame by way of books, magazines or newspapers prior to the computer age.

Today, a ghost photo can be snapped anywhere and shared because of our smartphones, the advance of digital photography and the web.

Our technology and understanding of the world has progressed quite a bit over the past two centuries. Keep this in mind when viewing famous ghost pictures. Consider how people might have perceived them during their time period, given the existing knowledge, culture and religious beliefs.