The Paris Review

Old Ghosts

Advances in technology, despite their benefits, often coincide with spikes in fear, paranoia, and doubt. Just as the internet has fertilized the rich soil of conspiracy theory, the advent of photography and the birth of modern spiritualism in the nineteenth century are inextricable. Purported paranormal encounters, previously the subject of rumors and candlelit retellings, could now be reproduced and circulated in so-called spirit photographs. Emboldened by new forms of communication, such as the

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