The woman who shoots ghosts


Did I accidentally stumble upon


The woman who shoots ghosts frauds.


Both spiritualists and skeptics want for documentary photographers.

Nope. Skeptics already have lots of photos that don’t have ghosts in them.


Reminds me of this image, from the book 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey which was popular when I was a kid - not really all that great of a ghost story book but I think the librarians liked it because it was tame enough for the adults to accept and spooky enough for the kids. This is such an obvious pre-Photoshop fake but still, her “ghost companion” Jeffrey gave her cred.

Anyhow, anyone but me think that last image looks like the guy is holding a flashlight under his jaw?


Oh man, I can think of sooo many ways to create crazy images like this without ever using photoshop. Can you actually get a whole show on that premise?

It’s just, the thing is, I don’t really want to glorify frauds :confused:


Anyone with any photography experience can see how most of those shots were done. All kinds of neat tricks can be done with long exposures.

The ectoplasm shot really makes me laugh. Its clearly store bought fake spiderwebs. You can see him spreading it out with his hands and holding part of it in his mouth.

On the grandmother channeling you can see the streaks where the camera was moved. Looks like the camera was aimed with her face in the center, they started the exposure waited a moment and aimed the camera about a foot to the left of the subject for the rest of the exposure.

How can anyone take this seriously?


Here is a photo of me fighting off a demon from possessing me.

Welcome to the team!

Oh, you mean with a camera.


“I don’t know how it happened. Whether it’s a hand actually getting large in front of my face and I was creating a photograph that documented it, or whether it’s that I was tricked somehow or I had a hypnotic experience and then my camera, through its dysfunction, mimicked that experience… I mean, all of those are interesting perspectives. I love that they’re all there.”

Pretty sure I know how it happened…

Still don’t know what ISO it looks best at.

Besides if I was her I’d be shooting IR film instead and using a damn tripod.

It’s depressing to see this nonsense on boingboing. Glorifying the amoral hucksters that perpetuate exploitative scams like these is unconscionable. The author should be embarassed, but the boingboing editors should be ashamed. Every time this bs gets creedance, the chance increases of someone in a compromised state of mind being taken in by some spirit medium promising to connect their mark to the ghost of a loved one, etc.


Jeffrey looks like he wasn’t dipped completely in the stop bath. If you don’t neutralize the developer, that area will still be photosensitive a little longer. My guess is that someone turned the lights on right after shoving this in the fixer.

Please don’t glorify these frauds. Are posts on homeopathy and quack cancer cures next?

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I don’t think it’s glorifying the frauds. The photos are so obviously basic photographic tricks, it becomes satire even when presented ‘as is’

It’s like the quacks aren’t even really trying to make good fake photos anymore.

Oh for pity’s sakes, people. It’s an article about photographing religious events conducted in dim lighting. It’s not like someone’s claiming rape is okay sometimes.

Spiritualism, the religion, is real. Taggert’s photographs are real – motion blurred, long exposures, and real.

I really don’t see the need for a shrieking, condemning reaction to an article that says, “Hey, this photographer took these photos at a religious event, and thanks to the dim light and the techniques she chose to use, the photos came out just like the subjective experience of the believers! How cool is that?”

The article actually takes some pains to point out Taggert doesn’t believe these photos are “proof” of anything, so there’s no need to grab the pitchforks and torches with shouts of “FRAUD! FRAUD!”

And I’m saying this as an atheist.


If it were actually about how cool the photos were, I would have no problem with it. Instead it’s about refusing to state that the photos aren’t real despite knowing so. Thus, they’re open to being used to trick people, perhaps people who are vulnerable at that point in their lives, and perhaps costing those people money/dignity. I’m not saying SHE does that, but that’s what her photos can be used for.

Magicians do cool tricks and tell you they are tricks. Frauds do cool tricks and let you pretend they are real.

Saying we must loudly denounce fraud at every turn is just another way of saying “think of the children”. It also smacks of the Victorian rationalist’s “You must be hysterical, madame, because Mr.____ is a gentleman, and a gentleman would never countenance doing such a thing.”

I’m not ready to purge the world of everything fanciful just in case someone doesn’t spot it’s fanciful. That’s getting way too close to the territory of Zamyatin’s We… but wait, that’s a novel, and oopsie, we mustn’t misrepresent reality or consider anything imaginative.

Did it ever occur to you that denouncing the Spiritualists would cut off access to them, thereby removing the opportunity to take more photos?

Besides, ALL photography is basically a trick of the light. Even a bog-standard exposure with regular focus is forcing the viewer to look through a finite, bounded frame through a specific angle. But to denounce all photography as tricks would be ludicrous. At least I hope it would be.

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your atheist revolution.


Yes, I think fraud should be denounced at every turn. Fraud being taking advantage of people by lying. To be clear, I don’t consider telling children Santa brings presents to be fraud. I don’t follow the part about Victorian rationalists and how it pertains to this at all.

I don’t want to get rid of fanciful things either. The world is full of cool fanciful things. But this photographer is outright lying by stating she doesn’t know why the photos come out like they do. There’s no wink and a nod for those in the know. This has no relation to novels or storytelling at all.

No, people will be doing cool things with cameras even without the spiritualists. If I really wanted to I could just make those photos myself.

Yes, all photography is an illusion in some sense. Of course nobody denounces all photography.

Nobody’s wants you to stop dancing unless you’re claiming your dance will heal the sick for $50.00 a pop.

Summary: The photos are cool. I am very turned off by the photographers “Oh, who knows?” attitude when she DOES know. It provides support for belief when she knows there is nothing special about them. I don’t totally dismiss the possibility of supernatural things, but want evidence before I believe and these are not it.

Also, nobody’s shrieking. I like the chance to discuss things like this.

Let’s just say that even when I was 9 years old I didn’t find this photo very convincing proof of the existence of spirits. Whatever method was used, it wasn’t the most sophisticated fake.

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