I just sent this in to Snopes... anyone else heard of this? (No search hits on BB or site, preciuos little on the web.) Just dropping a line about an interesting story. I first read it as a kid in the 70's, and I believe it was in a Frank Edwards paperback. It was a tale similar to the "KLEE" one (defunct station's call letters appearing on British TV sets), but this one involves a photo taken of a ghostly hand which appeared on the screen of an unplugged television. I've looked for this book for years since then, haunted by the eerie photograph. I was looking through the occult section of a used bookstore recently and happened upon the October 1975 issue of Occult magazine, a quarterly put out by CBS Publications. Flipping idly through it, I was amazed to find the photo! Even stranger, the accompanying story's author, Brad Steiger, is evidently more interested in reading the palm of the mysterious hand than delving into the events surrounding it. The bare bones: "A woman" from "a small town in southern Minnesota" was taking pictures of her husband assembling toys on Christmas Eve, 1968, when she noticed the TV and the image of an outstretched palm just beginning to fade away. She "unknowingly" captured the image (?!?). "She went on to say that the TV was off; as a matter of fact the TV was also unplugged." These are pretty much all the facts offered... The majority of the article is devoted to a palm reader's interpretation of the hand's lines. Here is the URL for a site with the picture and the same facts, although there it is added that the image had appeared the previous Xmas Eve. This detail is not in the Occult article, and probably got tagged on somewhere between 1975 and now. See it at: http://www.eprf.tzo.com/html/tv_gh ost.html
Haven't found much else on the web... hope you find this one worthy of investigation so it makes it to your site! Thanks, psaur
I've seen the photo on Art Bell's website ( http://www.artbell.com i believe), somewhere in the ghost photo section. Looks fake to me. As I understand it, it's pretty easy to double-expose film on many of the cameras made in the 70s.
Erin "It's Bell-oni! Ha Ha! Get it? Never mind." M
Guess I'm just in a cranky mood, 'cause here I go again. Please realize, indridcold, that I'm not criticizing you. I realize you're just asking whether other people think the photo is real, and not endorsing it as genuine. Actually, I'd never seen this photo before, and found it interesting.
Anyway, my observations:
1. Never believe anything written by Brad Steiger. His writings fall into the "purely entertainment" category in the same way as the articles in the Weekly World News. If Brad Steiger wrote in a book that the Allies won World War 2, I would begin to doubt it.
2. Not plugged in, huh? Well, if that's wall-to-wall carpeting, the TV sure as heck looks plugged in to me. It really doesn't matter anyway, given #3 below, but how silly does it sound to insist the TV wasn't even plugged in when this phantom image appeared. How many people routinely leave their television unplugged? Apparently, it was a tremendous coincidence that this phantom image would appear just when the set was unplugged.
3. The quality of the jpeg image is so poor (particularly in the screen area), that it might be assumed any evidence of fakery is forever lost. However, the forger was so incompetent that we can still determine, with 100% certainty, that the picture is a composite. Look at the wall behind the TV. The vertical division between the dark gray area on the left and the lighter area on the right corresponds to the corner of the room. Fair enough. But then what is that darker gray rectangle which surrounds the entire TV? Fenchurch almost had it right - it's a double exposure, but it was done with an enlarger when the picture was printed, not in the camera itself. The negative of the television set was first placed in the enlarger and exposed on the photopaper, then the negative of the hand (photographed against a white background) was placed in the enlarger and the same photopaper exposed some more. The reason the dark gray rectangle doesn't fill the entire frame is because the faker had to shrink the image of the hand down so that it would fit within the border of the TV screen. The reason the rectangle appears darker than the rest of the picture is because for one of a variety of possible reasons, the black area of the hand negative wasn't dense enough to prevent some light from the enlarger from reaching the photopaper.
Trust me, in the first course I took in photography, I was making better composites than this one.
Oh, worry not, my fellow skeptic---I believe little in this world and take absolutely nothing seriously. I just have a soft spot in my heart for this one, as it has remained in my thoughts since I was a child. (An unbelieving child, at that. In Catholic grade school, I'd demand proof of God's existence from my teachers...) Well before becoming reacquainted with the photo, I had several ideas regarding its devising or manipulation, most of which you covered. I didn't present it here for validation, just wondering if anyone else enjoyed this fairly recent chestnut. I suppose I could have made my intentions clearer by actually mentioning them. Duh. Nonetheless, I give you a big hand (ulp) for your reply... thanks...
One other thing left rattling around my head regarding the "unplugged" aspect... I've heard that in the early days of television's popularity, people often left their TV's unplugged (for whatever reason) when the sets weren't in use. However, I'm sure this practice had been long abandoned by 1968. As I was born a year later, maybe someone else a bit older might expound on this.
I wish you could see the photo in Occult--it's obviously been lightened (or otherwise enhanced) to bring out detail and cropped to exclude the gray rectangle. In the website photo, it appears to me almost as if the arm can be seen extending above the TV. This isn't evident in the magazine pic.
One other thing---is that a Lava Lamp on top of the set? Maybe I'm grasping at straws while sitting on a whole haystack, but one could argue that only a certain "type" would own one of those back in the day, the very type which may have been given to laughingly perpetrating such a hoax...
Perhaps it is hand print from time when someone moved it. The hand is pointing to down so it would be how when someone was carrying it. The fading electricity may do funny thing to dirty smudge mark.
Ooops. Different photo, the one on Art Bell's site and the one you're talking about.
With THIS one, I can see why the storyteller would feel the need to assert that the tv was unplugged---it just looks like the image of a hand broadcast on tv, to me. But, *sarcasm on* ohhh, if the tv was unplugged, that means....spoooooky! *sarcasm off*.
The commentary on the Art Bell photo ( http://www.artbell.com/ghosts5.html , sixth one down) is just about as hokey. "I no longer own this TV set." Because it was haunted, right? Suuuuuuuure.
And I agree with Mosherette. Even if that photo is fake, it gives me the willies, too. All the other pictures look really fake.
The Art Bell photo of the "woman in black -- who has no legs!" is creepy, but it could just be a case of camera angle for someone pushing a baby carriage real fast (and wearing a voluminous cloak to boot).
I don't have the URL for the "no legs" photo, but if you go to Art Bell's website and search for "ghost" you'll get page after page after page and she's on one of them.
rosa (I'll leave the light on for ya) debonneheure
------------------ We now return you to our feature presentation ....
Maybe I'm just too negative, but I think that the no-leg lady photo is just about the only one on that page that even comes close to convincing me it might be supernatural in nature. The pictures don't creep me out or anything...
I've wondered frequently why the ghost photos I saw in my childhood (thanks to books by author Daniel Cohen, who also has a few kids' collections of ULs published) seemed to always at least sort of resemble human forms, while so many of the newer ones--published on the web and such---are more frequently wisps of smoke-like stuff or "orbs" that glow. I don't know, even a person with a sheet draped over his/her head is more convincing than cigarette smoke.
Erin "err, I know Arthur Dent, but Tailor Paul skips my memory..." M
The photo of the hand seemed kinda creepy to me, in a Twilight Zone sort of way...when I was little one of the TV stations here showed the original Twilight Zone late at night; I would sneak out of my room and sit (alone) on the (dark) stairs to watch it while my parents watched it in the living room. I'd get totally creeped out. Makes me think of that.
The photo of the ghost girl with no legs (not the one mentioned above, I'm talking about the girl with the glowing green eyes holding what looks like a doll's head) was a little creepy, but also familiar...I think I've seen it in a movie or something. It looked REALLY faked to me. I wasn't really impressed/affected by the other woman with no legs.
I just checked again...she's holding a doll, not a doll's head...that's what I get for just looking at the thumbnail and not enlarging it.
[This message has been edited by tommi (edited 07-19-2000).]
You guys are doing this just to piss me off, aren't you? Somewhere, somehow, you all got together and decided "Let's bait Jow Kewl, and laugh at his replies".
Okay, I'll play along.
The first picture was taken with a flash. Although this may not be immediately obvious, if you look at the left edge of the poster, you'll see the white border is completely washed out because it's reflecting light directly back at the camera. Similarly, the overexposure of the centermost portion of the flowery bedsheets, and the dark shadows in the wrinkles both reveal a flash was used. Because of the awkward cropping, the photo is very disorienting, but it appears to me the poster is crammed into one corner of the room, in order to avoid the nearby window. (It took me a while to figure out that the structure on the left edge of the picture is a set of drawn venetian blinds with a tan window shade rolled down over them - perhaps this is an upper bunk bed in one of the dorms?) Anyway, notice two things: the ghost is only a little feller (from shoulders to hips barely the length of the pillow), and the "pelvis" disappears behind the upper right corner of the pillow. That second item indicates the "ghostly image" was truly a part of the scene, and not a result of a double exposure or a developing flaw.
The "skeletal image" is actually the light from the flash reflecting off ripples and wrinkles in the poster, and then being reflected symmetrically by something on the opposite wall. Just what is on that other wall is beyond me. It's tempting to label it a mirror, but what that vertical white stripe (it's actually the same color as the other wall) down the middle is is anyone's guess. For the record, it looks like the light from the flash is actually bouncing off the "mirror" and onto the poster, not the other way around. The picture taker didn't see the "ghost" when he was taking the picture because it only appeared the brief instant the flash went off.
Now the only remaining question is why would anyone have a poster of some guy picking his toes on their wall?
Regarding the picture of the "monks", it's clearly a double exposure (of very low quality, I might add ). The least they could have done was scale the monks to the stairs so it looked a little more convincing. Also, note other details in the "monk" photo show through the photo of the stairs. And what's that about the guy by the bannister being headless? I must have extraordinary powers, because I can see the highlights of his face very clearly .
Seriously, if this is all it takes to make "ghost" photos, I'm going to become a full-time ghost photo forger and sell prints of my work.
Jow "why does it always seem like I'm either using the rolleyes or the frowny face smilies?" Kewl
P.S.: To Xia - Please realize I'm only kidding in this post. I assumed you might want to know how these pictures were really made, but I didn't mean to spoil your fun if you didn't.
[This message has been edited by Jow Kewl (edited 07-20-2000).]
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV
From the explanation of Whatever's top link (ghost3):
quote:It shows a young woman sitting on a tombstone with parts of her lower and upper body being somewhat semi-transparent. The dress she is wearing is also out-of-date.
She doesn't look transparent to me, but maybe that's just the reproduction. But "her dress is unfashionable, so she must be dead!"? Clutching at straws, surely. It just looks like a grainy black-and-white photo of somebody sitting on a gravestone to me.
Richard "Dead for years" W
Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000
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Hey, I never said I *believed* the pictures were ghosts... The other picture which I'm still search for is even labeled as the fake that it is, and it is still pretty darn creepy.
Posts: 2110 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Jul 2000
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The Red and the Green Stamps
quote:Originally posted by WHATEVER: Jow Kewl- What about these?
To add to what Richard W said regarding the first picture:
There is nothing in that photo to lead me to the conclusion that this is really a cemetery. The object "she" is sitting on looks awfully wide and blockish to be a gravestone (at least compared to all the ones I've ever seen), and looks a lot more like a plain old wooden box. Note also there are absolutely no other gravestones visible in the picture, even though we're shown a generous portion of the foreground. In all the cemeteries I've ever been in, the graves are located close together because space is at a premium and space=money. This isn't a picture of someone in a cemetery, it's of someone sitting in a back yard. Judging by the posture and build, I'm not even convinced it's a woman - it could well be a guy with long hair in a shirt (with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows) and jeans.
The "transparency" of her legs is an illusion caused by the fact the infrared film renders the graytones of the grass similar to the graytones of her legs, both of which aren't in direct sunlight. In order to genuinely conclude her legs were transparent, we'd have to see details of the background through them, which we don't. Notice too, that by their standards, the bottom of the "gravestone" is also transparent.
The whole concept of "we didn't see it, but it appeared on infrared film" is bogus. The object would still have to be solid in order to reflect light of any wavelength. Even though we can't see the ultraviolet patterns on flowers, we still see the flowers. You can't make your kitchen table invisible by painting it infrared .
Moving now to picture two, we first have to question why "Granny" is so short (about two feet off the ground), while her "bulldog" seems to have unusually long legs. Fortunately, we're told no one was in the house at the time, otherwise we'd be inclined to think these were real individuals . Notice the window on the door is actually composed of a series of horizontal panes or "slats". Then notice that there are breaks in the image of Granny and Fido which correspond to the edges of the slats - illustrating that the "image" is light filtering through the surrounding trees and reflecting off the outer surface of the glass panes. The scariest thing in that whole picture is the kid.
On picture 3, we're told "not much is known about the specifics of this photograph, except the couple are now both deceased". I'm not entirely sure they weren't deceased when this picture was taken. You'd think the webmaster would have learned something about the photograph from the televison program he did the videocapture from. Regardless, what in the picture leads him to conclude that the whitish blob is the form of a human being? It's just a blob of roughly oval shape, whose most probable explanation is a processing error when the original negative was developed. The faint "details" within the blob are actually just areas of light and dark from the background showing through. Did you ever accidentally drip mustard on your shirt? Did you conclude the resulting stain was a ghost?
Jow "going down to the hardware store for a gallon of infrared paint" Kewl
[This message has been edited by Jow Kewl (edited 07-20-2000).]