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The 10 best horror films from ghost house pictures, according to imdb.
Ghost House Pictures might not be as well-known or prolific as Blumhouse, but these 10 horror movies prove their knack for producing good horror.
In this day and age, Blumhouse Productions is easily the most prolific horror production company. They have, for the most part, taken over the industry in Hollywood. But before Blumhouse came into prominence, Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures was keeping horror alive in the mainstream.
Ghost House Pictures was founded in 2000, and its first major release was the 2004 remake of The Grudge . The film made a staggering $187 million against a $10 million budget. This was a clear sign that Ghost House was here to stay. Although the company hasn't made as many movies as Blumhouse, it definitely houses some great ones. So, let's revisit ten of the best ranked Ghost House productions according to IMDb.
RELATED: 5 Of Blumhouse's Best Movies (And 5 We'd Rather Forget)
Boogeyman 2 (2007) — 5.0
As children, Laura and Henry witnessed their parents' murders. Now as adults, they have crippling fears of the boogeyman. Henry goes out of town for a job interview while his sister checks into a psychiatric clinic. While there, she and the other patients are hunted down by the one thing Laura fears the most.
It may seem strange that the sequel has a higher rating than the first Boogeyman , but anyone who has seen both movies can understand why. This movie has little ties to the original, which may be for the best. Boogeyman 2 is essentially a slasher with a more straightforward story.
The Grudge 2 (2006) — 5.0
As a woman visits her traumatized sister in Tokyo, she encounters the same spirit that now haunts her sibling. Meanwhile, the same evil spreads to other people, including a group of students who enter the infamous Saeki house, and a Chicago family whose apartment is under attack by a paranormal entity.
Critics and audiences alike ultimately found The Grudge 2 to be too confusing. It's told in a non-linear manner so the movie is more convoluted than necessary. In the movie's defense, some viewers state the sequel should be owed credit for its eerie atmosphere.
The Tattooist (2007) — 5.1
To learn more about Samoan tattooing, an American tattoo artist moves to New Zealand. In his pursuit, he accidentally unleashes an ancient evil.
Jason Behr from The Grudge starred in this Ghost Pictures Underground movie. The film tackles a topic rarely seen in movies despite the growing presence of tattoos in popular culture. Ingenue notwithstanding, the general consensus is that The Tattooist succumbs to a plodding pace and one too many clichés. Less critical viewers, on the other hand, found the movie to be a change of pace.
RELATED: 10 Twists In Horror Movies That Made No Sense
The Messengers (2007) — 5.4
A teenage daughter has lost the confidence of her parents after she drove drunk with her young brother in the car. To move on, the family moves from the city to a rural farming town. As the father tends to the crops, the daughter butts heads with her mother. And amidst the family drama, a dormant, supernatural force is awakened.
The Pang Brothers wowed audiences with The Eye , a Hong Kong-Singaporean movie that later served as the basis for a remake starring Jessica Alba. Their English-language debut, however, was met with mixed reviews. It's a hodgepodge of ideas, but The Messengers is at the very least an attractive ghost story.
The Possession (2012) — 5.9
A teenager becomes dangerously obsessed with an antique box she found at a yard sale. As times passes, her behavior becomes erratic. This forces the parents to look into the box, which is revealed to be a container for an unspeakable evil.
The Possession doesn't break any sort of new ground. In fact, plenty of critics harped on its heavy use of worn out tropes upon the film's initial release. On the other hand, Roger Ebert praised The Possession so much he said it was "one of the better" movies influenced by The Exorcist .
The Grudge (2004) — 5.9
Two Americans living abroad in Japan are afflicted with a supernatural curse. Karen is assigned a caretaking job when the original nurse doesn't show up. But when Karen sets foot in the patient's house, she's marked for death by a vengeful spirit.
Takashi Shimizu was given the opportunity to retell his story in The Grudge , an English-language remake of Ju-on: The Grudge . Unlike other remakes of East Asian horror movies at the time, The Grudge isn't a total localization. The setting remains in Japan, and the ghost is played by the same actress from the original films. It's a worthy remake of an iconic Japanese horror movie.
A reboot — directed by Nicolas Pesce ( Piercing ) — will be released in 2020.
RELATED: 10 Scariest Japanese Movies To Never Watch Alone, Ranked
Drag Me to Hell (2009) — 6.5
In a bid to prove she can do her job, a loan officer named Christine evicts an elderly woman from her house. Her decision has consequences, though. The woman places a curse on Christine, and her very soul is at risk of being lost forever.
To many people's surprise, Sam Raimi's horror comedy Drag Me to Hell has a lot of heart at its core. Which is why the events of this gross-out, supernatural parable resonate with fans to this very day. Raimi outdid himself with a movie that is both diverting and emotional.
Evil Dead (2013) — 6.5
A young addict is taken to a remote cabin in the woods by her brother and their friends. There, they help her through her withdrawal symptoms. In the meantime, someone finds a suspicious book. When a certain passage is read aloud from said book, something wicked is unleashed.
The slapstick tone of the original Evil Dead films is absent in this severe remake. Though this update follows many of the same beats as its 1981 counterpart, the remake incorporates some significant changes that bode well with audiences.
It's unclear, at this point, if Sam Raimi will produce a sequel to this movie, or simply reboot the series altogether.
RELATED: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts About The Evil Dead
30 Days of Night (2007) — 6.6
The small Alaskan town of Barrow endures a whole month of total darkness once a year. And one particular year, a gang of bloodthirsty and ruthless vampires lay waste to this unsuspecting community.
The movie came out at a time when vampires in pop culture were either depicted as romantic and docile, or brutal and willful. 30 Days of Night falls into the second category and stays there. Based on a graphic novel series of the same name, 30 Days of Night is an incessantly violent and grim vampire actioner.
Don't Breathe (2016) — 7.1
Three small-time criminals living in a struggling economy all seek a better life. For their next heist, they set their sights on a house believed to hold a small fortune. Seems like such an easy job, too, because the owner is blind. Little do they know, though, is their would-be victim is more than prepared. After all, he's hiding a secret of his own, and he's willing to kill to protect it.
Don't Breathe is aptly titled. This thriller feels very no-holds-barred in terms of plot developments and character fates. It's no wonder a sequel is already in the works.
NEXT: 10 Scariest Home Invasion Movies To Never Watch Alone, Ranked
20 Years Of Ghost House Pictures: 8 Essential Movies
Celebrating two decades of haunts..
For horror fans, it's a familiar and welcomed sight: A wooden door left slightly ajar appears on the screen. Suddenly it slams shut, seemingly on its own. Then the camera moves toward the door's keyhole, and as we peek through the opening, a skull leaps into view, and the words "Ghost House Pictures" materialize.
Founded in 2002 by genre legend Sam Raimi and producer/ Xena: Warrior Princess co-creator Robert Tapert, the horror film production company has released some of the genre's best-known entries. Twenty titles have flown under their banner, with the long-awaited Evil Dead Rise set to be the latest. To celebrate their two decades in the business, here's a list of eight of their most essential flicks (along with a few honorable mentions). Some are acknowledged classics, while others are minor bangers deserving of a revaluation after initially being missed or dismissed. All are highlights from a solid twenty-year run of nightmare-making.
The Grudge (2004)
Ghost House's inaugural picture, The Grudge is an interesting entry in the slew of J-Horror remakes that erupted from American studios in the early aughts. Unlike its predecessor, The Ring , whose success officially kicked off the craze, this retelling stays on Japanese soil (though its story is told from the point of view of a few American ex-pats). In addition, Takashi Shimizu, the writer/director of the original Ju-on franchise, was brought on to direct the film. The final product is a little uneven and perhaps not as effective today as when it debuted nearly twenty years ago, but there's a nostalgia connected to the movie for fans of a certain age whose introduction to horror was Kayako's shudder-inducing croak.
The Messengers (2007)
The Messengers is the definition of a mixed bag. The film went through several rewrites (the prequel released two years later, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow , was actually based on the original script before being hacked to bits), which explains the disjointed narrative. It also sports some traits that can make mid-aught horror feel dated, most notably some crummy-looking CGI and an overreliance on jump scares. So, why is it included on this list? For starters, this haunted house picture has some straight-up terrifying sequences of ghostly mischief that feel akin to some of the scares James Wan would craft years later in the first two entries of the Conjuring franchise. Directed by the Pang Brothers ( The Eye , Bangkok Dangerous ), the film has an inventive and unique visual style for its time. The Messengers also has a surprisingly nice score, which isn't all that astonishing when you see that composer Joseph LoDuca of the Evil Dead franchise was its creator. Finally, for all you KStew fans out there, it features an early leading role from Kristen Stewart.
30 Days Of Night (2007)
Based on the hit comic book by the dynamite creative team of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night made vampires scary again. Removing the romantic aura that had effectively defanged the monster by that point, the bloodsuckers featured in the film are cruel, remorseless, killing machines. Coupled with this frightening new approach is an idea so ingenious it's hard to believe it took that long for someone to think of it: What if vampires descended upon a town in one of the northernmost regions of the globe that experienced weeks of complete darkness? Would its unique geography result in an all-you-can-eat human buffet for the vamps, or would the members of its community mount some sort of counterattack against the beasts? Now put that premise in the capable hands of director David Slade and throw in the hunky visage of Josh Hartnett, and you've got yourself a gem of a picture.
The Children (2008)
In 2008, Ghost House launched Ghost House Underground, a film acquisitions company that sought to bring new independent horror offerings to the home video market. Fifteen titles were released during the label's three-year run, and writer/director Tom Shankland's The Children was by far one of its most memorable. Centered around a family vacation that turns into a nightmare when a virus turns its kiddos into homicidal maniacs, The Children is a brutal piece of psychological horror that takes elements of the slasher and zombie subgenres and creates a uniquely terrifying viewing experience. It will stick with you long after the film has finished (especially if you happen to be a parent) and also includes a delicious knee-slapper of a tagline: "You brought them into this world. Now they will take you out."
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Marking the triumphant return of Sam Raimi to the genre that helped establish him as one of film's most exciting directors, Drag Me to Hell is a delightfully satisfying piece of horror. Its story is simple but effective: A young woman fights to find a cure for a curse placed upon her, lest her soul is, well, dragged to hell. Everything in Raimi's horrific bag of tricks gets hurled at us in this picture, from his frenetic camera work to his trademark mastery of the gross-out gore gag. It also has a wonderful score by legendary composer Christopher Young and a surprisingly bleak ending that still hits you hard in the gut today. While its CGI has aged almost as poorly as its stereotypical depiction of the Romany, Drag Me to Hell is still a must-watch in Ghost House's filmography.
The Possession (2012)
It tends to get lost in the innumerable exorcism films studios were regurgitating at the time, but The Possession was actually a pretty solid entry in the subgenre. Inspired by the 2003 viral story of a supposedly haunted wine cabinet that was being sold on Ebay (its owner would later recant his story, essentially saying he did it for the lulz), the film follows a similarly cursed box that a family buys at a yard sale. The demonic baddies inside end up relocating into the soul of the youngest member of the clan and spooky hijinks ensue. While The Possession doesn't reinvent the wheel in terms of the tropes too often seen in the countless movies attempting to spider-walk in the footsteps of William Friedkin's The Exorcist , it doesn't need to, thanks to the strength of what it does well. It has an undeniably creepy atmosphere, presents sympathetic and believable characters, and showcases some genuinely unsettling imagery.
Evil Dead (2013)
Easily the most divisive entry on this list, Fede Álvarez's reimagining of Sam Raimi's signature film is thankfully finally getting recognized as one of the best remakes in horror history. Looking back at some of the insanely negative responses Evil Dead received (I specifically remember one prominent podcast at the time ranting for an entire episode about how much of a sacrilege the film was), you can't help but scratch your head a bit. It honored the original's tone and esthetic beautifully while giving us a film that truly felt like its own unique beast. A masterful balance of ambition and fan service aside, it also sports some of the best gore effects seen in years (I still can't see an X-Acto knife without thinking of that scene) and a lead that could have filled Ash's shoes nicely if she'd been given the chance. What more could you want?
Don't Breathe (2016)
Three years after Evil Dead , Fede Álvarez returned to the big screen with a film that would prove to be Ghost House's biggest hit since 2004's The Grudge . Continuing the filmmaker's penchant for crafting stories that drip with suspense and brutality, Don't Breathe tells the tale of three young burglars hoping for a big payday when they break into the home of a wealthy blind man. Unfortunately for them, it turns out the house's owner is a killing machine who's more than capable of dealing with the unlucky trio who are now locked inside with him. With a deeply chilling performance from Stephen Lang as the homicidal homeowner and a climax so unexpectedly gnarly it made this writer's skin crawl, Don't Breathe snuck up on audiences upon its release and became one of Ghost House's highest-grossing pictures to date.
Seventh Moon (2009)
Another fun one from Ghost House Underground. If you can ignore its truly agonizing use of shaky cam, you'll find a spooky piece of folk horror with a surprisingly emotional finale. And for a movie whose biggest flaw is its camera work, its final shot is an absolute stunner. To quote David Johansen in Scrooged : "Niagara Falls!"
The Grudge (2020)
I'm genuinely baffled by the hate this movie received. True, it did away with Kayako, but the spirit of the franchise and its mythology was all there, along with gorgeous art direction and some deeply emotional performances from its ensemble cast. I will die on this hill; however lonely an end it may be.
The Unholy (2021)
This one surprised me. It relies too heavily on jump scares and has a third act that crashes down quicker than Wile E. Coyote plummeting off a cliff, but The Unholy also has a neat little story that attempts to examine the nature of belief and the commodification of faith. And its creature design is actually pretty darn gnarly, to boot!
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Best Real Ghost Pictures Ever Taken
They say seeing is believing. And while in this day of digital image manipulation that might not be as true as it once was, these photographs are considered by many to be the real deal - photographic evidence of ghosts . Faking ghost photos through double exposure and in-the-lab trickery has been around as long as photography itself; and today, computer graphics programs can easily and convincingly create ghost images. But these photos are generally thought to be untouched, genuine portraits of the unexplained.
The Brown Lady
This portrait of "The Brown Lady" ghost is arguably the most famous and well-regarded ghost photograph ever taken. The ghost is thought to be that of Lady Dorothy Townshend, wife of Charles Townshend, second Viscount of Raynham, residents of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in the early 1700s. It was rumored that Dorothy, before her marriage to Charles, had been the mistress of Lord Wharton. Charles suspected Dorothy of infidelity. Although according to legal records she died and was buried in 1726, it was suspected that the funeral was a sham and that Charles had locked his wife away in a remote corner of the house until her death many years later.
Dorothy's ghost is said to haunt the oak staircase and other areas of Raynham Hall. In the early 1800s, King George IV, while staying at Raynham, saw the figure of a woman in a brown dress standing beside his bed. She was seen again standing in the hall in 1835 by Colonel Loftus, who was visiting for the Christmas holidays. He saw her again a week later and described her as wearing a brown satin dress, her skin glowing with a pale luminescence. It also seemed to him that her eyes had been gouged out. A few years later, Captain Frederick Marryat and two friends saw "the Brown Lady" gliding along an upstairs hallway, carrying a lantern. As she passed, Marryat said, she grinned at the men in a "diabolical manner." Marryat fired a pistol at the apparition, but the bullet simply passed through.
This famous photo was taken in September 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, two photographers who were assigned to photograph Raynham Hall for Country Life magazine. This is what happened, according to Shira:
"Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something.' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: 'What's all the excitement about?'"
Upon developing the film, the image of The Brown Lady ghost was seen for the first time. It was published in the Dec. 16, 1936 issue of Country Life. The ghost has been seen occasionally since.
This photograph of the Combermere Abbey library was taken in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The figure of a man can faintly be seen sitting in the chair to the left. His head, collar and right arm on the armrest are clearly discernable. It is believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere.
Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. Combermere Abbey, located in Cheshire, England , was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictines, and the Abbey later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice-Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendant of Sir George, took the title "Lord Combermere" and in 1817 became the Governor of Barbados. Today the Abbey is a tourist attraction and hotel.
Lord Combermere died in 1891, having been struck and killed by a horse-drawn carriage. At the time Sybell Corbet took the above photo, Combermere's funeral was taking place some four miles away. The photographic exposure, Corbet recorded, took about an hour. It is thought by some that during that time a servant might have come into the room and sat briefly in the chair, creating the transparent image. This idea was refuted by members of the household, however, testifying that all were attending Lord Combermere's funeral.
This intriguing photo, taken in 1919, was first published in 1975 by Sir Victor Goddard , a retired R.A.F. officer. The photo is a group portrait of Goddard's squadron, which had served in World War I at the HMS Daedalus training facility. An extra ghostly face appears in the photo. In back of the airman positioned on the top row, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson, an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped. Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson's. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo.
Tulip Staircase Ghost
Rev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia, took this now-famous photograph in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the elegant spiral staircase, known as the "Tulip Staircase", in the Queen's House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development, however, the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak , who examined the original negative concluded that it had not been tampered with. It's been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and unexplained footsteps have also been heard.
This photo isn't the only evidence of ghostly activity at the Queen's House. The 400-year-old building is credited with several other apparitions and phantom footsteps even today. A few years ago, a gallery assistant was discussing a tea break with two colleagues when he saw one of the doors to the bridge room close by itself. At first, he thought it was one of the lecturers.
Other ghostly goings-on include the unexplained choral chanting of children, the figure of a pale woman frantically mopping blood at the bottom of the Tulip Staircase (it's said that 300 years ago a maid was thrown from the highest banister, plunging 50 feet to her death), slamming doors, and even tourists being pinched by unseen fingers.
The Back Seat Ghost
Mrs. Mabel Chinnery was visiting the grave of her mother one day in 1959. She had brought along her camera to take photographs of the gravesite. After snapping a few shots of her mother's gravestone, she took an impromptu photo of her husband, who was waiting alone in the car. At least the Chinnerys thought he was alone.
When the film was developed, the couple was more than surprised to see a figure wearing glasses sitting in the back seat of the car. Mrs. Chinnery immediately recognized the image of her mother – the woman whose grave they had visited on that day. A photographic expert who examined the print determined that the image of the woman was neither a reflection nor a double exposure .
The Ghost of Boothill Cemetery
Terry Ike Clanton is an actor, recording artist and cowboy poet, and is also a relative of the legendary Clanton Gang who clashed with the Earps and Doc Holliday at the famous gunfight at OK Corral. Clanton took this photo of his friend at Boothill Graveyard . The photo was taken in black and white because he wanted Old West-looking pictures of himself dressed in Clanton's 1880-period clothes. Clanton took the film for developing to the local Thrifty Drug Store, and when he got it back was startled at what he saw. Among the gravestones, just to the right of his friend, is the image of what appears to be a thin man in a dark hat. By height, the man appears to be either legless, kneeling... or rising up out of the ground.
Ghost in the Burning Building
On Nov. 19, 1995, Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England burned to the ground. Many spectators gathered to watch the old building, built in 1905, as it was being consumed by the flames. Tony O'Rahilly, a local resident, was one of those onlookers and took photos of the spectacle with a 200mm telephoto lens from across the street. One of those photos shows what looks like a small, partially transparent girl standing in the doorway. Nether O'Rahilly nor any of the other onlookers or firefighters recalled seeing the girl there.
O'Rahilly submitted the photo to the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena which, in turn, presented it for analysis to Dr. Vernon Harrison, a photographic expert and former president of the Royal Photographic Society. Harrison carefully examined both the print and the original negative and concluded that it was genuine. "The negative is a straightforward piece of black-and-white work and shows no sign of having been tampered with," Harrison said.
But who is the little girl? Wem, a quiet market town in northern Shropshire, had been ravaged by fire in the past. In 1677, historical records note, a fire destroyed many of the town's old timber houses. A young girl named Jane Churm, the legends say, accidentally set fire to a thatched roof with a candle. Many believed her ghost haunted the area and had been seen on a few other occasions.
UPDATE: This photo may have been proved to be a hoax. An article in the Shropshire Star presents evidence that the image of the girl in the photo may have been lifted from an old postcard.
Ghosts of the SS Watertown
James Courtney and Michael Meehan, crew members of the S.S. Watertown , were cleaning a cargo tank of the oil tanker as it sailed toward the Panama Canal from New York City in December of 1924. Through a freak accident, the two men were overcome by gas fumes and killed. As was the custom of the time, the sailors were buried at sea off the Mexican coast on Dec. 4.
But this was not the last the remaining crew members were to see of their unfortunate shipmates. The next day, before dusk, the first mate reported seeing the faces of the two men in the waves off the port side of the ship. They remained in the water for 10 seconds, then faded. For several days thereafter, the phantom-like faces of the sailors were clearly seen by other members of the crew in the water following the ship.
On arrival in New Orleans , the ship's captain, Keith Tracy, reported the strange events to his employers, the Cities Service Company, who suggested he try to photograph the eerie faces. Captain Tracy purchased a camera for the continuing voyage. When the faces again appeared in the water, Captain Tracy took six photos, then locked the camera and film in the ship's safe. When the film was processed by a commercial developer in New York, five of the exposures showed nothing but sea foam. But the sixth showed the ghostly faces of the doomed seamen. The negative was checked for fakery by the Burns Detective Agency. After the ship's crew had been changed, there were no more reports of sightings.
UPDATE: This photo may have been proved to be a hoax. Blake Smith has written an in-depth analysis and investigation of the photo for ForteanTimes .
Madonna of Bachelor's Grove
This photo was taken during an investigation of Bachelor's Grove cemetery near Chicago by the Ghost Research Society (GRS) . On August 10, 1991, several members of the GRS were at the cemetery, a small, abandoned graveyard on the edge of the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, near the suburb of Midlothian, Illinois. Reputed to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the U.S., Bachelor's Grove has been the site of well over 100 different reports of strange phenomena, including apparitions, unexplained sights and sounds, and even glowing balls of light.
GRS member Mari Huff was taking black and white photos with a high-speed infrared camera in an area where the group had experienced some anomalies with their ghost-hunting equipment. The cemetery was empty, except for the GRS members. When developed, this image emerged: what looks like a lonely-looking young woman dressed in white sitting on a tombstone. Parts of her body are partially transparent and the style of the dress seems to be out of date.
Other ghosts reportedly seen in Bachelor's Grove include figures in monks' clothes and the spirit of a glowing yellow man.
Railroad Crossing Ghost
A strange legend surrounds a railroad crossing just south of San Antonio, Texas. The intersection of roadway and railroad track, so the story goes, was the site of a tragic accident in which several school-aged children were killed - but their ghosts linger at the spot and will push idled cars across the tracks, even though the path is uphill.
The story may be just the stuff of urban legend, but the accounts were intriguing enough that an article about the phenomenon, " The Haunted Railroad Crossing ," was written. The article included a photograph submitted by Andy and Debi Chesney. Their daughter and some of her friends had recently been to the crossing to test the legend, and she took some photographs. Inexplicably, a strange, transparent figure turned up in one of the photos. "They had no idea that it was in the picture until the next day when I printed out the picture and showed them," said the Chesneys. "It was really freaky. It appears to be a little girl carrying a teddy bear."
Other readers who have viewed the photo think it shows a little girl with a dog sitting at her feet. What do you think?
Specter of Newby Church
This photograph was taken in 1963 by Reverend K. F. Lord at Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England. It has been a controversial photo because it is just too good. The shrouded face and the way it is looking directly into the camera makes it look like it was posed – a clever double exposure. Yet supposedly the photo has been scrutinized by photo experts who say the image is not the result of a double exposure.
The Reverend Lord has said of the photo that nothing was visible to the naked eye when he took the snapshot of his altar. Yet when the film was developed, standing there was this strange cowled figure.
The Newby Church was built in 1870 and, as far as anyone knows, did not have a history of ghosts, hauntings or other peculiar phenomena. Those why have carefully analyzed the proportions of the objects in the photo calculated that the specter is about nine feet tall!
Ghost of the Seven Gables
While touring the historic House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts – the birthplace of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne – Lisa B. snapped this remarkable photo. The ghostly image of a small boy seems to be in the shrubbery, peering over the wooden fence.
The most amazing part of the story of this photograph is that she subsequently did some research about Hawthorne and the house. While looking through a library, she came across one of Hawthorne's books, " Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny " by Papa. On the cover of that book is a portrait of Hawthorne's five-year-old son, Julian. And as you'll see by clicking on the photo at left, the portrait of little Julian bears a striking resemblance to the ghost in Lisa's photograph.
Ghost in the Choir Loft
In 1982, photographer Chris Brackley took a photograph of the interior of London 's St. Botolph's Church but never expected what would appear on the film. High in the church's loft, seen in the upper right-hand corner of his photograph, is the transparent form of what looks like a woman. According to Brackley, to his knowledge, there were only three people in the church at the time the photo was taken, and none of them were in that loft.
Robert A Ferguson
This photo was taken on Nov. 16, 1968, when Robert A. Ferguson, author of " Psychic Telemetry: New Key to Health, Wealth, and Perfect Living ," was giving a speech at a Spiritualist convention in Los Angeles, California. Faintly appearing next to Ferguson is a figure that he later identified as his brother, Walter, who died in 1944 during World War II . At first glance, this might seem to be a double exposure or some kind of darkroom trickery, but this photo is a Polaroid (one of several taken of Ferguson at the time), making any kind of hoaxing quite unlikely.
Vacation Party Ghost
These two photos were taken in 1988 at the Hotel Vierjahreszeiten in Maurach, Austria . Several vacationers gathered for a farewell party at the hotel and decided to take a group photo. One of the party, Mr. Todd, set up his Canon film camera on a nearby table and pointed it at the group. The table is the white band at the bottom of the photos. He set the self-timer on the camera and hurried back to the table. The shutter clicked and the film wound forward, but the flash did not fire. So Todd set the camera for a second shot. This time the flash fired.
The film was later developed, and it wasn't until one of the party members was viewing the photos that it was noticed that the first (non-flash) photo showed a somewhat blurry extra head! No one recognized the ghostly woman, and they could not imagine how her image appeared in the picture. Besides being a bit out of focus, the woman's head is also too large compared to the other vacationers, unless she is sitting closer to the camera, which would put her in the middle of the table.
The photo was examined by the Royal Photographic Society, the photographic department of Leicester University, and the Society for Psychical Research, all of which ruled out a double exposure as the cause.
Godfather's Pizza Ghost
Several unnerving instances of ghost and poltergeist activity were reported by the management, staff, and customers of the Godfather's Pizza restaurant in Ogden, Utah in 1999-2000, prompting an investigation by Utah Paranormal Exploration and Research (UPER) . Phenomena included:
- The sighting of several spirits, including those of a man, a woman, and two boys
- A jukebox that played by itself, even when unplugged
- A tile floor that inexplicably bulged up as high as ten inches then leveled itself; a later examination showed nothing out of the ordinary beneath the tile and the concrete was intact
- As many as 40 fluorescent light tubes flew out of their boxes and smashed on the floor
- Mysterious whistling was heard from the kitchen several times.
UPER's investigation found that the restaurant might have been built upon a very old pauper's field—a cemetery for the poor. It also resulted in this photo, taken by Merry Barrentine, UPER's general manager, in 2000. This misty apparition was actually seen with the naked eye for a few seconds as it materialized in the middle of the room.
This interesting photo was taken sometime around the year 2000 in Manilla, Republic of the Philippines. According to The Ghost Research Society , two girlfriends were out for a walk one warm night. One of them entreated a passing stranger to photograph them using her cell phone's camera (hence the low-resolution picture). The result is shown here, with a transparent figure seeming to tug on the girl's arm with a firm if friendly grip.
Without further information on this photo, we have to admit that the ghost could have been added with image processing software. But if it's genuine and untouched, it certainly qualifies as one of the best ghost photos.
This early 20th Century photo of a beautiful Queen Anne style bureau was taken at the request of a furniture dealer by Montague Cooper, a well-known and respected photographer of the day. Cooper was at a loss, however, to explain the transparent hand that appears to rest near the top of the bureau. Is it the ghost of a previous owner who was reluctant to let it go?
Cemetery Ghost Baby
A woman named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter in a cemetery in Queensland, Australia in 1946 or 1947. Her daughter Joyce had died about a year earlier, in 1945, at the age of 17. Mrs. Andrews saw nothing unusual when she took this photo of Joyce's gravemarker.
When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was astonished to see the image of a small child sitting happily at her daughter's grave. The ghost child seem s to be aware of Mrs. Andrews since he or she is looking directly into the camera.
Is it possibly a double exposure? Mrs. Andrews said there were no such children nearby when she took the photograph and, moreover, did not recognize the child at all – it was no one she would have taken a picture of. She remarked that she did not believe it was the ghost of her daughter as a child.
Investigating this case, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the late 1990s. Near Joyce's grave he found the graves of two infant girls.
Decebal Hotel Ghost
Authorities have warned people to stay away from the Decebal Hotel because construction was taking place on the 150-year-old building. What they didn't warn people about was the ghost. The spirit of a tall woman in a long white frock has long been reported at the spa. The hotel in Romania is rumored to hide ancient Roman treasure, and the ghost, it is said, appears to protect it from treasure hunters.
Only anecdotal evidence for this ghost existed until 2008 when 33-year-old Victoria Iovan snapped this photograph, which indeed seems to show the ghostly image of a tall figure in long white garb.
"I photographed my boyfriend in the hotel," said Iovan. "Back home I was shocked to see another woman's shadow in the picture. She looked like a priestess in long white clothes."
On Jan. 22, 1985, the Coventry Freeman organization were having a dinner event at St. Mary's Guildhall in Coventry, U.K. Everyone in the group had her or his head bowed in prayer when this photo was taken, including a towering, mysterious figure standing top left. The strange cowled spectre appears to be wearing clothing much like a monk frock from another time. Lord Mayor Walter Brandish, who was present at the dinner, said there was no one at the event who was dressed like that, and he could not explain the presence of the interloper in the photo.
St. Mary's Guildhall dates back to the 14th century and served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots.
This photo was taken at Corroboree Rock at Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia in 1959. What does not seem to be a trick of light and shadow is a human form, semi-transparent, wearing what looks like a long white dress or gown. More curious, the figure seems to be holding something in the manner that a person holds a camera or binoculars.
One possibility is that this is a double exposure of a living person. In 1959, this image would have been captured on film.
If it is not a double exposure and this is a spirit captured on film, then a number of questions arise: What is the entity looking and why? Do they have cameras and binoculars in the afterlife? Or is this an instance of a time slip in which the camera has recorded a scene from a different time?
It has even been speculated that this figure might actually be a time traveler or interdimensional being , who has been photographed in the act of watching us!
The Phantom Pilot
Mrs. Sayer and some friends were visiting the Fleet Air Arm Station at Yeovilton, Somerset, England in 1987 when this photo was taken. They thought it would be cute to take a picture of her sitting in the seat of a retired helicopter. No one, Mrs. Sayer insists, was sitting next to her in the pilot's seat... although a figure in a white shirt can clearly be seen sitting there. She told an investigator with the Society for Psychical Research that she remembered feeling rather cold sitting in that seat, even though it was a hot day. Other pictures taken at the same time did not come out.
Worth noting is that the helicopter was used in the Falklands War, but there is no information as to whether or not a pilot died in that aircraft.
This amazing photo was taken by photographer and graphic designer Neil Sandbach in 2008. Neil was photographing some scenic shots at a farm Hertfordshire, England, as part of a project for wedding stationery; the couple planned to have their wedding ceremony held there.
Later, Neil was astonished when he examined the digital photo on his computer. There, as if peeking around a corner at him, is a ghostly, white, almost glowing figure of what looks like a child. Neil says he is quite sure there was no one there at the time.
There is further corroboration that this is a true ghost photo. Neil had shown the couple the anomalous photo, and before the wedding they asked the staff at the farm if they had ever had any spooky experiences there. They did not mention Neil's photo. Indeed, they admitted that the figure of a young boy, dressed in white night clothes, had been seen on several occasions around the barn.
Apparently, this is the ghost that Neil photographed.
The Pink Lady of Greencastle picture
These photos were taken by Guy Winters when he and friend were investigating the O'Hare mansion in Greencastle, Indiana. They were told about the old abandoned house by another friend who said he and his girlfriend were scared away from it by some ghostly entity. So with the permission of the owner, Guy and Terry went to explore the property. Armed with video and film cameras, the team spent a couple of days, in both daylight and at night, looking for evidence of possible haunting activity.
The above photos are the remarkable result of a picture Guy took of one of the upstairs windows. The image of a vaporous pink ghostly woman is rather clear. Guy did not see the figure at the time he snapped the photo but saw it only after the film was developed. An analysis of the film determined that the image is present on the film's negative. The bottom right photo is a digital enhancement, which reveals a skull-like appearance for the ghost's face.
Several other anomalies and paranormal activity were experienced thereby Winter's team.
White Lady of Worstead Church
In 1975, Diane and Peter Berthelot along with their 12-year-old son visited the Worstead Church in north Norfolk, U.K. Peter took a photo of his wife sitting and praying on one of the church benches, and when they reviewed the developed photos some months later, a friend of Mrs. Berthelot asked, "Who's that sitting behind you, Di?"
The figure in the photo Mrs. Berthelot appears to be wearing light-colored, old-fashioned clothes and a bonnet.
The Berthelots returned to Worstead Church the next summer with the photo and showed it to Reverend Pettit, the church vicar. He explained to Diane the legend of the White Lady , of whom she had never heard. It is said that the ghost is a healer who appears when someone near is in need of healing. When she visited the church at the time of the photo, Diane was in ill health and was taking antibiotics.
Reports of the ghost date back well over 100 years. According to one story, on Christmas Eve of 1830, a man boasted a challenge to the White Lady. He said he would climb to the top of the church's belfry and kiss her if she would appear. So up he went. When he failed to reappear after a time, however, friends went to search for him. They found him in the belfry, cowering in a corner, terrified. "I've seen her," he told them, "I've seen her...." And then he died.
For a time, Mrs. Berthelot said she felt a calming tingling sensation whenever she looked at the photo, but that feeling has since subsided. Today, the church has been remodeled into a pub.
Electric Chair Ghost
Engineer Fred Leuchter was hired by the state of Tennessee to evaluate, modify and update its electric chair, which is used for executions. The heavy oak chair was made from the wood that was once a part of the state's old gallows.
Leuchter offered his services to modify the old equipment to make the chair both more effective and more humane. The state of Tennessee sent the chair to Leuchter's home, where he intended to work on it in his basement workshop. He took several photos of the chair before he started work to document his progress. This is one of the photos.
When the photo was developed, Leuchter noticed several anomalies. Apart from the orb-like shapes, a few ghostly images can be seen.
The orbs can most likely be attributed to the overhead light source reflecting on the camera lens. And the "face" on the back of the chair (enlarged on the top of the photo above) could just be interesting pareidolia.
A little harder to explain, perhaps, is the ghostly hand image at the end of the right-hand armrest of the chair (enlarged on the bottom of the photo above). This, too, could be pareidolia, but its resemblance to a limp hand exactly in the place where an executed man's hand would be is striking.
Could it be the ghost of an executed man?
Leuchter points out that the chair and its occupants were subjected to strong electromagnetic forces. Could they have imprinted it with these haunting images?
Sefton Church Ghost
Sefton Church is an ancient structure (started in the 12th century and finished in the early 16th century) in Merseyside, England, just north of Liverpool. This particular photograph was taken inside the church in September 1999.
According to Brad Steiger's " Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places ," where this photo was found, there was only one other photographer in the church beside the person who took this picture. Neither of them recalled seeing the ghost or any flesh-and-blood person standing there who could account for this image. Because the figure is all in black, it has been theorized that the apparition could be that of a church minister.
Reader Mark Tomlinson reports that a pub next door to the church, called the Punch Bowl, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man in blue nautical garb, which has been reported there for many years.
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The Creepiest Real Ghost Photos Ever Taken
Throughout the history of photography, there have been taken thousands of real ghost photos that support the theory of the existence of the other world. Photographers got interested in capturing ghosts in the middle of the 19th century, and nowadays they continue following this tradition.
22 Real Ghost Photos You Should Definitely See
I think I won’t surprise you by saying that most “real ghost photos” are fakes. But at a certain period of history, such pictures made their creators famous and confirmed people's faith in the afterlife.
1. Spirit Photos by William Mumler (1862-1875)
William Mumler can be called a pioneer in this photography genre. In the 1860s, he helped hundreds of people by creating “real” images of his clients standing next to their dead relatives.
Even now, you can find hundreds of pictures of ghosts created by this talented photographer on the net, but the most popular is the one in which the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln appeared in the photo of his wife Mary Todd Lincoln.
Of course, the deceased American president didn’t rise from the dead to pose together with his wife. It was an accidental case of double exposing, which caused a real sensation. An American showman P.T. Barnum sued Mumler for alleged fraud, but the court acquitted him.
2. Lord Combermere's Ghost Photo by Sybell Corbet (1891)
This rare historical photo was taken in the Abbey Library by Sybell Corbet, who left the camera for 1 hour in the empty room, while all the employees were paying their last respect to Lord Combermere. When she developed the plate, she noticed a see-through image of a gentleman sitting in the armchair, which was the one favored by the dead lord.
Staff members claim that the “man” in a photo looks like the late 2nd Viscount, though there is a huge percentage of skeptics, who believe that a camera captured a servant, who came into the room and sat briefly in the chair.
3. Irish Linen Girls (1900)
This photo of ghost depicts Irish linen workers in their workshop. In 2015 it was included in the Getty Images collection and first appeared on the net.
Looking at the image for the first time, you are unlikely to notice any weirdness, but have a closer look at the lady sitting farthest to the right. Do you notice a hand on her shoulder? Can you see anyone who can place this hand there? Neither do I!
4. Disembodied Hand Touches Bureau by Montague Cooper (1900)
Photographer Montague Cooper took a picture of his desk in his studio. After developing the picture, he noticed a hand without a body that touched the table from above.
He assured that no one came to the table while the camera was working, and there was no mirror or reflector in the studio.
5. A Somerset Haunting by A. S. Palmer (1908)
S. Palmer also wanted to take pictures of ghost and went to the haunted house to complete the mission. He took an army officer with him and they spent several hours in that place without noticing any disturbances.
Suddenly, at about 2.45 AM, they noticed a strange light in one room. Palmer retrieved his camera and took a flash photo of that area. When the film was developed, he noticed a clearly recognizable figure there.
6. A Christmas Ghost (1919)
The realism of this ghosts photograph is questionable, but I decided to add it to this thematic selection. The people in the image are Newton D. Baker, the US Secretary of War, his wife and children.
The photographing process required producing a glass negative, which often underwent the chemical reaction of the glass with the environment, which eventually resulted in the degraded photo quality. That’s why many people believe that a “ghost” in this picture appeared because of some problems with a glass negative.
7. The Fairmont Banff Springs Ghost Bride (1920)
This photo of a ghost has a real backstory related to a bride, whose wedding was organized in the Fairmont Banff hotel and who fell to her death while she was going down the stairs.
There are several versions of why she felt, but hotel workers and visitors aren’t interested in any, as they feel rather terrified seeing that bride going up and down the staircase ever since. There are some people, who even claim that they saw her in the ballroom waiting for the first dance she never had. This woman has become a Canadian legend and there even was released a coin with her picture in 2014.
8. The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall (1936)
The real prototype of the “Brown Lady of Raynham Hall” is Lady Dorothy Walpole, who was the second wife of Charles Townshend. This man was believed to have a really bad temper, which has affected all spheres of his life.
Charles Townshend hit the roof when he discovered that his wife has a love affair with Lord Wharton and decided to teach her a lesson by locking in the family home, Raynham Hall. The woman spent there many years until she died in 1726 from smallpox.
9. The Queen’s House Ghosts by Reverend R.W Hardy (1966)
Former clergyman Ralph Hardy, wanted to take several shots of an unusual spiral staircase in the Queen's House section of the museum. After developing the pictures, the photographer noticed the fuzzy outlines of a human figure holding on to the railing.
According to the surviving evidence, the maid was thrown from this staircase about 300 years ago. This ghostly photograph attracted the attention of Kodak experts. After carefully studying the negatives, they concluded that the image is real.
10. The Amityville Ghost Photo by Gene Campbell (1976)
In November 1974, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Junior shot dead his parents and four siblings in his own house. Two years later, a professional photographer Gene Campbell spent the night in this house and took many pictures.
In 1979, the owner of the house showed the world the pictures taken by the photographer. One of them clearly shows the ghost of little John DeFeo - one of the children killed in the house.
11. St Botolph’s Church Ghost by Chris Brackley (1982)
This is one of the most famous paranormal photos that was examined by experts and proven to be real without undergoing any tampering or Double Exposure manipulations. The author of an image is Chris Brackley, who decided to take some photos in the church in 1982.
Together with Chris, there were 4 people in the church, but none of them was standing in the loft, where the figure of the ghost is visible.
12. Madonna of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery by Mari Huff (1991)
Ghost Research Society visited this place in order to inspect it on August 10, 1991. Mari Huff, one of the scientists, took B&W infrared images of the surroundings but didn’t notice anything attention-worthy.
She was really shocked when she developed the film and noticed a woman in the photo. Pay attention to her meditative posture and old-fashioned attire. See more Victorian Era photos .
13. Boothill Graveyard Ghost by Terry Ike Clanton (1995)
Terry Ike Clanton took a photo of a friend in a cowboy's clothes. After he developed the film, there appeared a strange man in the background.
The figure looks like a man in a black hat, soaring over the ground in such a way that it seems as if he either has no legs or is on his knees. This is one of the creepiest real ghost photos.
14. Wem Town Hall Ghost by Tony O'Rahilly (1995)
This photo of ghost was taken on November 19, 1995 by Tony O’Rahilly, who was just beginning this photography career at that time. He was the witness of the fire which ruined the entire building and managed to take images of the blaze from the distance using a 200mm lens.
When he looked at the ready photos, he noticed a girl standing in the doorway of the burning building. The local residents claimed that it was the ghost of Jane Churn, who was called an arsonist in 1677.
15. The Ghost in the Corner by Niki Harless (2000)
This image has long been featured as one of the real ghost photos. Not so long ago, it was uploaded to the website that contains fake ghost pictures taken by visitors, so its “nature” raises many questions.
16. Manila Ghost Photo (2003)
This ghostly photograph was taken by a passer-by with Nokia 7250. Girls asked to photograph them and once they saw an image on the screen, they got really scared as there is a strange creature holding a girl’s arm.
17. Waverly Hills Sanatorium Ghost (2006)
The abandoned tuberculosis hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, witnessed a fair amount of suffering and death while it was functioning in the second half of the 20th century. This photo shows the ruined corridor.
Some say that the figure resembles Mary Lee, the nurse who hanged herself when she found out that she got pregnant by a doctor who, learning about her pregnancy, didn’t want to admit that he was the father of the unborn child.
18. The Boy on a Farm by Neil Sandbach (2008)
In 2008, photographer Neil Sandbach took photos of a farm in Hertfordshire, England, for a couple who planned to organize their wedding there.
Looking through his digital photos later, Sandbech was surprised to see the distinctive ghostly figure of a boy peering around the corner of the building. Some people said they saw the figure of a boy dressed in white nightwear.
19. A Ghost Child by Matthew Summers (2008)
This photo looks rather ordinary, so you may guess why I included it on the list of the really ghost images. The photographer, Matthew Summers, didn’t notice at first anything odd as well, but when he zoomed in, he saw a little girl between the legs of gals on the left.
Ciaran O’Keeffe, who claims to be a “parapsychologist” and takes part in the TV show “Most Haunted”, suggested that there is no apparition in the shot. It is the result of pareidolia, which means that people are inclined to perceive random objects and patterns as faces.
20. The Sixth Swimmer by Kim Davidson (2014)
The family in this photograph had a rest in Murphy’s Hole, which is in southeast Brisbane, Australia. There were only 3 kids there that day, but looking at the photo we can also clearly see another child.
This photo of ghost was posted on Facebook and a random viewer commented on it, explaining that a 13-year-old girl drowned there in 1915 and that’s probably her image was captured by a camera.
21. A Surprise at the Museum by Jonathan Hanna (2017)
Jonathan attended the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra, Nother Ireland and took this ghosts photograph there. He was alone in the carriage, but examining the photo, you can clearly see 2 other “creatures”.
One of them looks absolutely terrifying with the hollow eyes, while the figure on the right is sharply defined and has a reflection on the floor. In general, this picture resembles those taken with long exposures with people moving in and out of the image.
22. Spirit of the River Ystwyth by Dave Newnham (2018)
On October 30, 2018, Dave Newnham was checking the footpaths on the estate at about 6:15 PM and suddenly saw a woman standing in the River Ystwyth, near Dologau Bridge.
He thought that she might be in trouble and called the lady to let her know that he is standing nearby. Later he explained that pretty soon he understood that she wasn’t a human, so he decided to snap a shot of a woman, who seemed to “disappear and merge into the river”.
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- 19th century ghost photos
- 20th century ghost photos
- 21th century ghost photos
The most famous ghost photographs ever taken.
Ghosts, the paranormal and the supernatural have always been debated. Do they exist? Are the photos the proof?
Ghosts, the paranormal and the supernatural have always been debated. Do they exist?
Many people have reported sightings before, but without any real proof, they're usually disregarded as mere stories. Being able to take photos of spirits obviously helps the cause, but are all of them real or have some been doctored?
Here is a round-up of the most famous "ghost" photos of all-time. Some have been faked no doubt, but they look so good on first inspection they could definitely convert some non-believers.
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Catherine Howard - 1800s
This image purports to show Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII who was executed for adultery in 1542. She is said to haunt the Horn Room at Hampton Court Palace.
Naturally, these sorts of images are usually spoofed through double-exposure.
An unexpected guest - 1950s
Two boys sit happily on their mother's laps but a pretty terrifying and unexpected guest has also dropped in. Hanging disturbingly from the rafters.
The Ghost Pilot - 1987
In 1987, Mrs Sayer was visiting air airfield in England with her friend. She thought it would fun to take a photo of her sitting in the cockpit.
When the image was developed, there was a man sitting in the pilot's seat who hadn't been there when the photo was taken. A long lost pilot? No one is sure.
Boot Hill Ghost - 1996
Only Ike Canton's friend was seen when this photo was taken, The mysterious man wearing a hat behind him wasn't. Canton later looked more closely at the photo and decided the figure was in fact holding a knife, with the point ending just above his collar.
Goddard’s Squadron - Freddy Jackson - 1919
This image was taken by Sir Victor Goddard, of his squadron in 1919.
The ghostly image behind the fourth sailor from the left, at the top, is believed to be of Freddy Jackson. Jackson died a few days before the photo was taken by walking into a moving propeller.
Amityville Ghost - 1976
This photo, taken by Ed and Lorraine Warren, claims to show the ghost of 9-year-old John DeFeo.
DeFeo, along with his other brother, two sisters and parents, was killed by his older brother Ronald at their house in Amityville. Ed and Lorraine Warren were paranormal experts who entered the house and captured this image using a camera that consistently took infrared photos during the night.
The DeFeo murders were the inspiration for The Amityville Horror books and films .
Coventry Spectre - 1985
At first glance, you'd think there's nothing wrong with this photo. But look again, and you'll see a tall, dark figure wearing what could be a monk's frock, with a hood, in the top left.
This is a photo of the Coventry Freeman society showing everyone at the event, including the mysterious figure, bowing their heads. Nobody at the event was seen wearing that style of clothing.
Grandpa’s Ghost - August 1997
Somehow this lady's husband managed to appear in this photo despite passing away seven years before.
Denise Russell took this photo of her grandma, who lived alone at the time, on 17 August 1997.
Even though the photo had been developed, copied and given to other family members, nobody noticed the male figure standing over her until Christmas Day 2000. The Russell family say it's a spitting image of their grandpa who died in 1984.
Pawling Fire Department - 1988
The white figure in this photo is believed to be some sort of angel, overlooking Rose Benvenuto, who was involved in the car crash.
She said it could only have taken a miracle for her to survive the crash, and lo and behold, there's an angel-like figure in attending firefighter Sharon Boo's photo.
The Back Seat Ghost - March 1959
This photo was taken by Mabel Chinnery in 1959. It shows her husband in his car, but who is allegedly her dead mother-in-law on the back seat.
While paranormalists believe it to be real, others have debunked it as being a case of double exposure.
Mrs Andrews baby - 1947
This photo of a child appearing over a grave was taken by Mrs Andrews in 1947. She noticed the ghost when she had the film developed, but said it wasn't her daughter in the picture.
Despite there being some graves for children nearby, the child in the picture has never been identified.
The SS Watertown - 1924
This image taken from the SS Watertown shows the faces of two crewmen, James Courtney and Michael Meehan in the water. The two men died while onboard the ship and were given a burial at sea.
Other crew members on the ship saw the faces in the water but didn't initially take photos, they went back to a similar spot and saw them again. Five of the six photos showed nothing, but this was the sixth and clearly shows the faces of two men.
Newby Church - 1963
Some analysts think this photo taken at Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England is a fake because the character looks to be posing too much.
However, Reverend K.F. Lord insists there was nothing visible to the naked eye when he took the photo, and photo experts say it hasn't been double exposed.
Toys 'R' Us - 1978
The Toys 'R' Us store in Sunnyvale, California is allegedly haunted by the ghost of Johnny Johnson, and this image shows a silhouette leaning up against the shelves.
The same figure wasn't there when the photo was taken. The story goes that Johnny had a thing for a girl named Elizabeth, the daughter of a plantation owner - the plantation used to be on the Toys 'R' Us site - Johnny bled to death after cutting himself chopping wood, and now roams the aisles of the store searching for her.
St Botolph's Church - 1982
In the top right of this photo you can see a figure who apparently bears a similarity to someone that had recently been buried nearby.
If you look carefully in the upper right-hand corner of this photo, you can just make out a translucent figure. It was taken at St. Boltoph's Church in 1982, and at the time, there were only three people in the building.
A builder later contacted Chris Brackley, who took the photo, to tell him he recognised the face as being the same as someone he'd previously seen in a coffin in the church.
Worstead Church - 1975
Another church, another ghostly visitor. This ghost has been reported as being seen before in this location too.
Peter Berthelot took this picture of his wife, Diane, sitting on a pew at the Worstead Church in Norfolk, England in 1975. When they had the film developed, they noticed a ghost sitting on the pew behind Diane.
A man allegedly stayed in the church all night sometime in 1830 to try and disprove the theory of ghosts, but he claimed the following morning he had in fact seen the white lady seen in this picture.
Lord Combermere - 1891
This image taken of the library at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England by Sybell Corbett clearly shows a figure sitting in the chair on the left.
It's believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere, a British cavalry commander in the 1800s.
The Brown Lady - 1936
This photo of 'The Brown Lady', is considered by many to be actual photographic evidence of ghosts. It was taken at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in 1936.
There had allegedly been many sightings of the figure before this photo and it's said to be the ghost of Lady Townshend. She was locked in a room in the hall by her husband when he found out about her infidelity and left there to die.
Corroboree Rock - 1959
Some of these ghostly photos could just be explained away as double exposures, but there's no denying they're interesting.
Nobody knows who the ghostly figure in this photo is, but it was taken in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia in 1959.
Some people think it's just a case of double exposure, while others think it could be a spirit watching us, or something else, because it looks like they're holding binoculars.
Tulip Staircase Ghost - 1966
This photo taken inside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, clearly shows a ghostly figure holding the handrail of the Tulip Staircase.
Photo experts have all agreed that it hasn't been tampered with, so is considered a genuine example of ghosts' existence.
Robert A Ferguson - November 1968
Because this photo was taken on a Polaroid, it's been deemed by many to be legitimate. It shows Robert A. Ferguson giving a speech, and the ghost of his deceased brother Walter peering over him.
Madonna of Bachelor's Grove - 1991
The Ghost Research Society of America took this photo at Bachelor's Cemetery in Illinois, after they noticed strange readings on their equipment.
They didn't see anything at the time, but when this image was exposed, it showed a woman in white clothing sitting on one of the graves.
The Wem Town Hall Ghost - November 1995
Although Tony O'Rahilly's photo appears to show the ghost of a young girl in the doorway to a burnt-down Wem Town Hall, it was later deemed to be a fake. The girl in question apparently appears on a postcard that appeared in the local paper.
Sefton Church - 1999
This picture at Sefton Church in Liverpool, England, clearly shows a man wearing a black uniform, believed to be the old church minister.
There were allegedly only two photographers in the church on the day it was taken, and neither of them recall seeing a physical being standing there when the photo was taken.
William Mumbler - 1860s
William Mumbler is credited with creating the first photo to show a ghost in the 1860s. But it in fact wasn't a ghost at all, it was simply an accidental case of double exposing a negative while taking a photograph of himself.
The entrepreneur in him turned this into a business, where members of the public would have their portrait exposed with an image of a dead relative.
Girls in Manila - 2000’s
A digital photo shows a ghostly figure touching one of the two girls seen in this photo, yet no one was there.
The two girls in this photo, taken in Manila, Philippines, didn't report seeing anyone or feeling any presence when this photo was taken. It was also taken on a digital camera, so it can't have been the result of double exposure.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium - 2006
This image was snapped in an abandoned tuberculosis hospital in Louisville, Kentucky in 2006. As you can imagine, in its heyday, the hospital saw an incredible amount of sickness and death - leading many to believe in the possibility that it could be haunted.
In recent years, it has become one of America's most popular destinations for ghost hunters.
This eerie image apparently depicts Mary Lee, a nurse who hung herself in the hospital. The story goes that this poor woman was impregnated by a doctor who worked in the hospital but later wanted nothing to do with her.
Tewin Bury Farm Ghost - 2008
Neil Sandwich took this photo of a farmhouse where his friends were getting married.
When he put the photo into Photoshop and adjusted the exposure, he noticed a mysterious white figure on the right-hand side, appearing to be peering out of a doorway. Cleaners at the farmhouse had apparently seen the ghost of a young boy wearing white clothes before, too.
San Antonio crossing ghosts
Years ago, sometime in the 1930s, it's said that a school bus full of children broke down near a railway crossing in San Antonio, Texas. Tragically, a speeding train hit the bus, killing several children and the bus driver.
This photo taken by Andy and Debi Chesney appears to show some ghostly apparitions that people have suggested look like ghosts of the children. Like any of these images, there is some debate about whether they're real and even if the history itself is true, but they're still spooky.
A ghostly pooch
This photo shows a tale of two four-legged friends. The dog on the left had a much larger pal (pictured on the right). When the little one died, he was later photographed seemingly appearing with his friend from beyond the spirit world.
A demonic spirit on a hospital bed
This weird vision shows a CCTV camera in a hospital. A demonic spirit appears to be trampling over the bed.
Apparently, the person in the bed passed away shortly afterwards. This image could easily appear in our list of the most famous monster photographs instead .
The Pink Lady
This image from Greencastle, Indiana was taken by Guy Winters and chums who were investigating paranormal reports about an abandoned house in the area.
This photo seemingly shows a ghostly woman bathed in pink and includes a final shot where the image has been digitally enhanced showing an incredibly human face on the apparition.
The Grey Lady - 2015
This image from 2015 was captured on an iPhone and seemingly shows a ghostly apparition. This figure could be that of the ghost of Dame Sybil Penn, a lowly servant of the Tudors who has haunted Hampton Court palace since 1829 .
The photo was snapped in the King’s Apartments of the Palace. While the so-called Grey Lady of Hampton Court is usually said to walk the corridors of the State Apartments and Clock Court. Interestingly this ghost is also said to be linked to weird and wonderful noises of a spinning wheel. That sound keep coming from behind a wall, which at one point was removed only for people to discover the spinning wheel behind it. Spooky stuff.
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7,480 ghost house stock photos & high-res pictures, browse 7,480 ghost house photos and images available, or search for the ghost house trail to find more great photos and pictures..
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Ghost House Pictures
Ghost House Pictures was established in 2002 by Sam Raimi (who is the founder of Raimi Productions ) and Robert Tapert to produce high-concept horror films. Most of its theatrical films are produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures .
1st Logo (October 22, 2004-)
Visuals: In dim light, an old door slams shut by itself. The view then moves to the door's keyhole, through which an evil-looking smiling skull suddenly moves into view from the left. The view pulls back to show the skull vignetted in the keyhole. As the view pulls back, the company name surrounds the keyhole in a "ghostly" manner in white.
Variant: On Ghost House Underground DVD releases, the word "PICTURES" is replaced by "UNDERGROUND".
Technique: Stop motion by Prologue.
Audio: First, a sound that sounds like someone screaming in the distance (possibly a victim in the haunted house) and then a loud bang when the door slams, causing the screaming to stop, then typical spooky horror movie music with ghostly singing in a high pitched tone. A whoosh is heard when the skull slides from the left.
- On The Possession , when the skull appears, it makes a louder and scarier whoosh sound than the normal version, sounding like a short roar.
- Sometimes, it's the opening theme of the movie, and/or we only hear the door slam and the ghostly singing, or only the door slamming, or no sounds at all.
Availability: It debuted on The Grudge and can be seen on films from the company since. This logo, however, does not appear on the films released by Ghost House Underground, due to distributing horror movies from other companies.
2nd Logo (March 15, 2009-May 22, 2015)
Visuals: On a black background, the skull from the previous logo emerges from the darkness and zooms in, this time shown in full view. The company name appears below like in the previous logo, but now they have some stains dripping down on the words " GHOST HOUSE ". The skull seems to vibrate while the logo goes.
Technique: Computer animation.
Audio: Same as the previous logo, but the whoosh sound is omitted. Sometimes, it's the opening theme of the movie.
- Logos with content warnings for a jump scare
- Logos with audio issues
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- American film logos
- Logos made by Prologue
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Pictures of Ghosts and the Images That Outlive Us All
Recife, in northeast Brazil, is filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho’s birthplace, his home, and his recurring muse. When Filho, who began his career as a critic, began making scripted features, the dramas he constructed didn’t just take place in the city, but delved into its changing textures. Neighbouring Sounds explores the paranoia of middle-class residents in a developing area who are approached by a private security film, while Aquarius is about the ruthless efforts of a developer determined to throw out the last holdout in a grand old beachside apartment building. Filho’s beguiling new work, Pictures of Ghosts , is a documentary, one that makes explicit how personal the themes and images in his work are. It’s a meditation on architecture, history, and cinema, but it’s also about what it means to be a capturer and viewer of images that outlast the places and memories of what you’ve managed to place in your frame.
Pictures of Ghosts begins with the apartment Filho moved into when he was a child — a spot near the beach in Boa Viagem, which as Filho demonstrates by cutting between old photographs of the area from the ‘60s and current ones, is now dense with high rises and an influx of capital. He skips between time periods frequently in the film, which is part personal meditation and part historical essay, and which he narrates, weaving together shots of the present day with archival photos, old footage that he shot himself, and clips from movies by him and by others. Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, on vacation decades ago, walk in dreamlike slow motion in black-and-white along the sidewalk of a downtown now hollowed out and half-abandoned. A ‘70s polyester sofa becomes a plush-armed present day one in the space of an edit.
Filho was apparently inspired to make Pictures of Ghosts when he and his family moved to a new place in the city, leaving behind that childhood home. He didn’t just grow up in that apartment, which represented a new start for his mother after her divorce — he shot movies there, both as a student and as a full-fledged filmmaker. The dog next door, forever barking, became an element in Neighbouring Sounds and made cameos on screen. Years after the animal’s death, Filho hears that familiar ruckus again, and realizes it’s audio from his movie, which is being shown on television and watched by his neighbors. Time may eventually come for everything and everyone, but the camera creates its own afterlife. Filho dredges up an old photo he took in the living room that has a mysterious blurred figure he describes as a ghost, but the specters that haunt his film are less literal — all that history that remains in spaces, even after that have been abandoned, revamped, resold, or demolished and rebuilt.
When Pictures of Ghosts leaves Boa Viagem for Downtown Recife, a once grand neighborhood that’s fallen into disuse (though it’s still home to Carnival), it finds more apparitions from the past in the form of the cinemas that Filho used to frequent. Most are gone, having undergone transformations into churches or retail spaces, their past lives preserved only in recollections and in old images. The temptation to get maudlin about the moviegoing past has been irresistible for filmmakers , but while there’s a certain amount of nostalgia to the way that Pictures of Ghosts regards the grand movie palaces of another era, the film’s prevailing sentiment is one of rueful bemusement at the way things change, and the way a building that was once one of the gravitational centers of your life can be awkwardly repurposed as a mini-mall. “It’s kind of sad to become attached to a product,” Filho muses. “The problem lies in the fact that you spent years of your life going to this cinema, so the relationship gets emotional and confusing.”
There’s a sense of loss there, but Filho isn’t interested in giving the past a rosy gloss. He includes his own deeply affectionate footage of Mr. Alexandre, the late projectionist at the Art Palácio, working shirtless to withstand the heat in the booth and talking about how sick he became of the score for The Godfather after it ran for four months. But Filho also doesn’t elide the fact that the Art Palácio, which now has a flower stand crouched under its crumbling edifice, was originally built to be a cinema for the German distributor UFA as a venue for Nazi propaganda (“Pretty good story,” he notes, wryly). That, too, is a layer of history lost under the patina of years. The question of what becomes of a filmmaker and film lover if the world moves on goes unspoken but is deeply felt. What happens if the medium that once drew 200,000 in Recife to see Hair in defiance of the government, who thought it anti-military, no longer merits the same huge spaces that were once dedicated to it? But Pictures of Ghosts is so lovely and alive that, if anything, it only reassures you that movies aren’t going anywhere.
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‘Pictures of Ghosts’ Is a Beautiful Eulogy for a Sense of Home
The new documentary from Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho that recalls the power of being in a cinema and the power of your roots.
Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho once photographed a ghost in his apartment’s living room, and his friends were so impressed that they suggested he take it to a “spiritist center” because they thought he was a medium. Years later, he now assumes that role, figuratively speaking, with Pictures of Ghosts , a haunting (and, to some extent, haunted) documentary about Recife, the hometown where he grew up and began his professional career, and whose long-gone theaters nurtured his movie passion. A wistful non-fiction memory piece that’s highly personal and yet deeply attuned to universal feelings about the forgotten and vanished past, it floats through time and space like a specter, seeking to locate and connect with other spirits—a process that’s filtered, always, through a cinematic lens.
Premiering in theaters Jan. 26 following celebrated showings at last year’s Cannes , Toronto , and New York film festivals, Pictures of Ghosts is a collage comprised of photographs, analog tapes, archival films, and clips from Filho’s own Aquarius and Neighboring Sounds , the latter of which is often featured in its early passages about the director’s apartment in Setubal, where he lived with his single mother Joselice, a historian who studied 19th-century Brazilian abolitionists. Joselice renovated the apartment twice, expanding it until it resembled a fully-fledged house (in part thanks to Filho’s budding-architect brother), and it became the birthplace of the auteur’s love of moviemaking. Filho intersperses glimpses of his earliest amateur works—frequently shot with the participation of his non-professional neighbors—with snapshots of the district from various eras, echoing what the filmmaker himself says in his guiding voiceover: “Over all these years, I learned how time changes places.”
While that may not be a revelatory notion, it’s one thing to hear it and another to see and feel it, and Pictures of Ghosts ’ montage-y structure imparts a piercing sense of the various ways (death, abandonment, disrepair, reconstruction) that yesterday evaporates into thin air. As in every movie ever made, Filho’s images are of the departed, be they of his beloved mother (who passed away in 1955 at the age of 54), the barking dog Nico who lived next door, or his former younger self, who’s now turned into his gray-goateed current iteration. Scenes from Neighboring Sounds help underscore the means by which film filters reality into something otherworldly, as well as preserves that which is destined to disappear, whether it’s the termite-destroyed house that Nico called home or the open windows and passageways that soon became closed off by netting, bars and gates designed to keep out the area’s multiplying stray cats.
Real and cinematic life are intertwined in Pictures of Ghosts , and that extends to its longer second chapter concerning downtown Recife’s movie palaces. Editing his material as if guided by dreamy instinct, Filho moves freely between different eras while revisiting these cherished monuments of his youth. Between the ages of 13 and 25, Filho visited the city’s downtown several times each week to see the latest Brazilian and Hollywood productions in grand interiors on massive 70mm screens. The three most important sites (at least for the director) were the Art Palacio and Trianon on Sun Street, and the Sao Luiz—which faced the other two from across the river—on Dawn Street. Together, they were a holy trinity where dreams and desires were broadcast big and boldly before one’s eyes, although with money having abandoned Recife’s once-thriving downtown, they’re now hollowed out husks, skeletons, that have been transformed into mundane functional spaces.
A production still from Pictures of Ghosts
Pictures of Ghosts isn’t a timeline but a winding journey through remembrances of things past, and it moves with entrancing gracefulness through a history that’s near and dear to Kleber Filho’s heart—as well as those millions of people who visited the Art Palacio, Trianon, and Sao Luiz during their heyday. From slow-motion images of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis strolling down the streets of Recife, to pictures of the military beneath a marquee promoting John Boorman’s 1967 classic Point Blank , to the gala opening of the chic Veneza Cinema (the night’s attraction: Universal’s Airport ), to the Art Palacio’s projectionist Alexandre Moura (aka “Mr. Alexandre”) toiling away in a sweltering un-air-conditioned booth, the documentary is a swirl of recollections of bygone moments that have nonetheless been frozen, and thus kept alive, by the camera’s lens.
Filho blends the personal, the regional and the national in Pictures of Ghosts , which glides on a pensive wavelength that’s not just nostalgic but heartbroken for all that doesn’t remain. Everything is ephemeral and Filho crafts his latest as an idiosyncratic investigation into his own affection for the many institutions and areas that had such a formative impact on his future. That his fictional movies are innately tied to these things, and by definition contextualize and memorialize them at a very particular moment in time, is another central element of his documentary. His is a layered look back, touching upon the Nazis’ plans to turn Recife into an epicenter of Third Reich propaganda during WWII, and the once-prominent presence of almost every big American and international studio, whose offices would discard memorabilia in their back-alleys—thus allowing a local port-authority worker to collect and sell them on the city’s streets.
Uninterested in a straightforward chronological recitation of Recife’s evolution as a metropolitan cine-mecca, Filho flips through old newspapers to run his finger along ads for King Kong (which was all the rage upon the 1976 remake’s debut), gazes at footage of himself sweeping the lobby floor of the Art Palacio during the week it ceased operations in July 1992, and discusses how his favorite theaters have always been likened to churches—and sometimes replaced (or were replaced by) them. That’s a fitting notion given that Pictures of Ghosts is an act of communion between a filmmaker, a setting, an art form and a shared past that can never be reclaimed and yet lives on in eternity, flickering brightly in the dark—so close and vibrant one can almost reach out and touch it—at twenty-four frames per second.
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Missing dog last seen in November found dead in Greene; owner adopts second husky
Missing since November, Ghost the dog was until recently believed to be in Acton but was found dead on a roadside much closer to home.
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GREENE — It was news so sad, the town of Greene collectively mourned.
Ghost the husky has been missing from his Greene home since mid-November. Submitted photo
The body of Ghost, a white husky missing since November, was found on Tuesday in a roadside ditch. Indications were that the animal had been dead for at least a month.
For James Ember, owner of the dog, it was a grim homecoming. After spending a week in Acton, in search of Ghost after sightings of a dog matching Ghost’s description, he came home with his second dog, Charlie, to face the worst news possible.
“We just dug Ghosty Boy out of the deep snow. He’s now in my car,” Ember wrote on Facebook Tuesday afternoon. “Charlie understands that this is his brother. He’s staying close and he’s so sweet while I weep. I never stopped trying to find my boy. I’m so tired. He was such a good boy, I love him so much. That’s not how this story was supposed to end.”
Ghost update: Greene man says he’s been pursuing the wrong dog in Acton
Ember said he came home Tuesday to get a change of clothes and to visit his other pets when he got a call from a man who reported finding Ghost in a ditch.
“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but I noticed your dog in roadside ditch a month ago,” that man told Ember. Advertisement
It was not clear exactly where Ghost’s body was found.
Later Tuesday night, Ember returned to East Wakefield, New Hampshire, neighbor to Acton, and successfully took possession of that second husky he had been tracking assuming it was Ghost. He named her Spirit Shadow. For the many who have followed the drama of the search for the missing dog, that was a comfort after the tough news that broke earlier in the day.
The unidentified man who found Ghost’s body said he had contacted the animal control officer Dec. 20 about finding the dead husky, but said he never heard back. Until recently, the man didn’t realize that the entire town of Greene and surrounding communities had become invested in the search for Ghost, a search that featured a variety of twists in recent days.
Ember and several others had been searching for Ghost in the town of Acton after photos emerged of a white husky running wild in that town some 70 miles away. For several days and nights, the search continued, with homeowners opening their garages to serve as traps for the wayward dog.
It was only on Monday that Ember got a close enough look at the white husky to realize it wasn’t Ghost. In fact, that dog was a female that has been running wild with a pair of other dogs.
Ghost had been Ember’s pet for several years and was said to be a comfort to Ember after he lost his daughter to a car crash in 2021. Advertisement
For Ember and a whole lot of others in Maine and beyond, the sad search for Ghost is over, not with a happy climax and possibly a parade in Greene, as some had suggested, but with genuine grief shared by thousands.
“Rest in peace my Ghosty Boy,” Ember wrote. “I wish you could know how many people cared about you. Your life and death has affected whole communities.”
On the Citizens of Greene Facebook page, within minutes of Ember’s post, dozens had already weighed in with sympathy, for Ember, for Ghost and for themselves.
“I am just sitting here blubbering,” wrote Kim Schortmann. “My heart breaks for you. So glad you were able to get him and bring him home to rest. I pray for you and all that you’ve been through.”
“Tears streaming down my face as I read this,” wrote Mary Sylvain Leonas. “Heartbreaking news.”
Ghost update: Greene man says he’s been pursuing the wrong dog in Acton
Ongoing saga of missing dog’s 80-mile trek galvanizes Maine communities
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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
Julia Fox lives with a ghost who is the ‘matriarch’ of her home
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Julia Fox has revealed she is being haunted by a ghost called Beauty but she’s pretty happy about it.
The Uncut Gems star, 33, moved into her new home with three-year-old son Valentino last year and has described how she was drawn to it by the supernatural entity.
The house even came with its own set up shrine all set up for the ‘matriarch’ spirit – but even before she discovered this, Julia knew something was up.
‘I was being drawn to this home, and then when I bought it I went downstairs and there was a whole shrine set up to the ghost that lives there,’ she explained to Vulture .
‘Before I saw the shrine I knew there was a ghost drawing me to the house because every time I would go it would be on a full moon, it was all very magical and mystical, and supernatural.’
She added: ‘But yeah, I believe in another dimension. ‘ The model confirmed that ‘Beauty’ is a friendly presence.
‘Yeah, she’s the matriarch of the home, she watches over us,’ she said.
The topic of hauntings came up while talking about Julia’s new film, called Presence, which was inspired by director Steven Soderbergh’s personal experience of haunt haunted.
Co-star Callina Liang also said in the group interview that while filming she experienced another friendly presence in her hotel room.
She described hearing inexplicable knocks on her wall and became ‘friends’ with the presence, attempting to calm it down, as her alarm clock also randomly went off without being set.
Julia isn’t the first celebrity to open up about their supernatural experiences .
There’s been a whole load of stories from famous faces in recent months, including ones from Alan Carr and The Crown actor Dominic West , who both opened up on The Graham Norton Show.
Alan described the awful moment that a ouija board outed him. Yes, you heard that right.
He was playing with one of the so-called spirit-conjuring devices with his mother, when it spelt out the letters ‘HOMO’.
Meanwhile, Dominic – who plays King Charles in the Netflix series – calmly described the time his house was haunted by a poltergeist, and he exorcised it by throwing a kids party.
‘It had a poltergeist, it was 300 years old and next to a plague pit in Hoxton where they used to bury people 20-deep,’ he explained of the London house.
‘My friend was there and stuff was flying around.’
Coronation Street star Michelle , who was also on the sofa, asked what everyone was thinking, ‘Did you see anything there?’ to which he replied: ‘I didn’t but it always had a weird feeling to it, and I went away and his friend moved in. His friend was a vicar and the poltergeist started chucking stuff around.’
‘So I then looked into exorcising it,’ he said. As you do. ‘Anyway, it all worked out. It’s still there. I didn’t tell the guy who bought it off me. Hopefully he’s not watching,’ he joked.
‘I looked into exorcism, and it’s a real thing. It’s quite the process and you have to look into the history of the whole house and work out who might be the unsettled spirit.
‘Then you go to the catholic church and the bishop has to approve everything, and there’s a whole office in the Vatican that does all this.
‘And this guy was advising and said, “Or you just have a kids party. Just get a load of kids in there and it settles the spirit and cheers everything up. One of the kids’ heads might spin around, but that’s fine,”‘ he joked.
But no, seriously… ‘So we just had a couple of parties. And it worked. So that’s how you exorcise a house. Chuck the kids in there.’
You learn something new every day…
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The one constant of life is change, and our own individual relations to the place we grew up, or came of age, in are invariably complicated not by just the alterations in the landscape but the way our perspectives shift. Shortly before his death, the great filmmaker Orson Welles wanted to shoot a film based on his real-life experience producing the play The Cradle Will Rock in New York. (The project was brought to fruition many years after Welles’ death, in a film rather disrespectful of Welles directed by Tim Robbins , who had some nerve.) Roger Hill, Welles’ mentor and lifelong friend, asked Welles in a phone conversation whether he’d shoot the thing in Manhattan itself. “I’ve been to New York many times in the past few years, and I have no sense of coming back to a town where I used to live.” This was 1984, when I myself first started living in Manhattan (I moved to Brooklyn sometime later), and now I often don’t entirely recognize the place I called home, because what made it home when I was a whelp just isn’t entirely there anymore.
The Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho understands this feeling just as well as I and maybe you do, and he’s made a lovely, enveloping film about it, called “Pictures of Ghosts.” The subject here is his hometown of Recife. It’s not a place that looms as large in North American discourse as Rio or San Paolo, but it is a major metropolis in a country that, we ought not forget, is larger than the contiguous United States by a not inconsiderable margin.
While Filho is best known here as co-director of the audacious dystopian 2019 quasi-Western “Bacarau,” his prior feature films are set in Recife and were shot there, on occasion in the apartment in which the 53-year-old director grew up. He divides this documentary into three parts; the first is about his childhood home, with particularly affectionate memories of his mother, a progressive political activist who informed his sensibility and his conscience and who died in her early fifties. He includes clips from the crude horror movies he made as a boy, and the more polished ones he made in his adulthood, and we recognize archways and window in the apartment. He tells the tale of a neighborhood dog, Nico, whose barks on weekend when his people would abandon him would keep his household up. Years later, he hears Nico’s bark again while staying in the old place and wonders if he’s hearing the ghost of the dog. But no: national television is screening Filho’s first feature film, “ Neighboring Sounds ,” and the residents of another apartment are watching it; Nico has been resurrected by his own film’s soundtrack.
The ghosts of the movie’s title are sometimes particular. There’s a still photo Filho took on a trip around the neighborhood, highlighting an ectoplasmic figure that could be a phantom. And later, transferring analog film to digital, a moving image of a movie theater marquee starts glitching in a way that suggests a coded message. In the movie’s second part, Filho takes us on a tour of Recife’s film culture, mostly by way of now-closed movie theaters, two of the most-missed ones once facing each other across the Capibaribe river. One of them had been set up with German money and was being used to spread Nazi propaganda in the 1930s; dirigibles such as the Hindenburg apparently visited Recife on the regular.
Running still photos and archive footage as his fancy takes him, the director makes wordplay out of marquee titles “’My Name is Nobody’ … ’My Name is Earthquake,’” he intones, conflating the then-now-playing Spaghetti Western with the coming attraction boasted underneath. He interviews a projectionist who screened “ The Godfather ” in a single theater for a whole month. We may consider that a movie one could never get sick of, the projectionist, Alexandre Moura , begs to differ, at least a little.
Is Filho being sentimental here? As Raymond the butler responds to a similar question in Welles’ “ Citizen Kane ,” “Yes and no.” “It’s kind of sad to become attached to a product,” the director says at a certain point, but he can’t help but associate the cinema with the church, particularly if the cinema was built on a church, like the still-extant São Luiz theater. On the ground where an 1838 Anglican church once stood, almost a century later, when British influence in Brazil had waned, up went the São Luiz, whose interior is resplendent in Fleur-des-Lis motifs. It’s possible Filho has a hand in running the theater; in a fictionalized coda at the end of the picture, the director takes a cab ride (the scene is slightly reminiscent of something out of Jarmusch’s “Night on Earth”) and tells his driver he manages a movie theater. It looks like one well worth visiting.
Glenn Kenny was the chief film critic of Premiere magazine for almost half of its existence. He has written for a host of other publications and resides in Brooklyn. Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .
Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire
Christy lemire, film credits.
Pictures of Ghosts (2024)
Kleber Mendonça Filho as Self / Narrator
Rubens Santos as Driver
Sônia Braga as Self
Maeve Jinkings as Self
Lucrecia Martel as Self
- Kleber Mendonça Filho