No one really knows for sure just how ghosts end up on film. I believe that it has something to do with
the camera's ability to freeze a moment of time and space in a way that the human eye cannot do.
Science tells us that the human eye does not see things as they really are.... it takes the brain to
process the information gathered by the eye and then present it to out conscious minds in a way that
we can understand. Perhaps the brain simply doesn't allow us to see ghosts. I believe that many
sightings of ghosts are "accidental", when spirits somehow slip past the brain's screening process. But
some people see ghosts.... perhaps if the human mind is like a radio receiver, then some people are
simply tuned to the "right channel".
The camera's ability to freeze time may also combine with the intense energy pattern of the ghost,
which somehow imprints itself on film. I also think that it may be likely that ghosts, or spirit energy, are
made up of a different spectrum of light. A spectrum that the human eye cannot see and yet the camera
manages to pick up, acting simply as a machine and not being fallible like the human mind and body is.
The photos that researchers do manage to capture often show spirits in what I feel is their true form, as
clouds of ectoplasm-like fog, mists, balls of glowing light and white shapes that sometimes appear to be
But how does it work? That's a tough one to answer.... there are countless theories as to why it works but no one seems to know how, they just know that it does. Most researchers simply find a method for producing ghost photos and then adapt it to work for them. Often though, ghosts are captured quite by accident, leaving no clues as to why that particular photo was successful.
Each photo that we take and display should be under intense scrutiny by the researcher before it is
presented to the public. There are dozens (dare I say hundreds?) of terrible photos out there claiming to
be authentic.... and many of them are not. This sort of shoddy ghost research is damaging to all of us
because we are all under tremendous pressure to provide some kind of proof that ghosts exist.
Thanks to the fraud and trickery of the past, and to some of the so-called "ghost photos" of today, the
public questions nearly every photo and investigation which is brought to light. This is where your
knowledge of cameras, films and natural lens effects becomes so important. I encourage everyone who
wants to be a legitimate ghost hunter to go out and purchase standard books on photography. Know
your camera, your shutter speeds and what can happen with lens refraction\u2019s and light reflections. By
doing this, you have protected yourself from the arguments and barbs of the "skeptics". If you have
already checked the sort of natural effects which they will suggest, then you can be confident about the
photos you are taking.
Also, try experimenting with what fake photos look like. Try bouncing your flash off of a reflective
surface and see if you can make "globes" appear; take photos in the rain; drop various things like dust,
flour and water in front of the lens and see what effects you get; try photographing your camera
strap.... and I think you will be amazed when you realize that you have debunked a lot of photos which
you may have previously thought were real!
People often ask me to suggest cameras and films for ghost hunting, but there is no set answer about
what equipment to use either. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about what works best but I
recommend a good quality 35 mm camera with adjustable settings and Kodak brand film. I also usually
recommend 400 ASA film as well.
I will often carry two different cameras in an investigation.
I always use my 35 mm with adjustable settings but I also carry a good quality, 35 mm "point and
shoot" camera also. My favorite is the Canon "Sure Shot". I have gotten a number of good photographs
with this brand over the years and I have found it to be reliable and easy to use in dark locations. I will
also sometimes load one of the cameras with infrared film (see a another section for more information
Remember that trying to take photos of ghosts is not an easy process. Many investigators only use their
camera when they encounter anomalous readings with their equipment and still others cover the alleged
haunted location with their camera to document as much of it as they can. You just never know what
might turn up on the developed film.
Do plan to use a lot of film when ghost hunting. It is a common fact that sometimes it takes dozens (or
even hundreds) of snapshots to come up with even one paranormal photo that you can prove is
genuine. There is no question though, if you are in the right place at the right time, you will get a ghost
Here's a warning for you though: turning to the camera for proof that ghosts exist does not insure
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