My Darling, My Ghost: Turn of the Century Spirit Photography

Paralleling the growing popularity of photography and the rise of Spiritualism at the turn of the century, the late 1800’s and early 1900’s saw an explosion of so-called “spirit photography.” Photography enthusiasts ranging from dedicated mediums to well-known charlatans used a variety of techniques to document hovering ghostly figures and streaming ectoplasm for turn-of-the-century believers. You can read a short history of spirit photography at the Library of Congress, or peruse a collection of the notorious ghost photos by medium William Hope.  Martha Stewart even got into the action in October 2006 with this primer on creating your own ghostly double exposures, a technique little changed from the vintage photos in the gallery below. Enjoy!

Photos via Museum of the Macabre, the US Library of Congress, and the National Media Museum.

Related Posts:

“The Return” by Minna Irving

31 Scary Things #12: Ghosts

Gothic Gloom in the Heart of Paris

About these ads

21 thoughts on “My Darling, My Ghost: Turn of the Century Spirit Photography

  1. Pingback: My Darling, My Ghost: Turn of the Century Spirit Photography « West Coast Review

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Kimberly. :-) It makes me think of the story about people fleeing in terror from very early film screenings. Although our awe may fade as a technology becomes familiar, simple evolution in the medium can be enough to recreate that primal response.

  2. Pingback: Spirit Photography « Madeleine Swann

  3. Pingback: In the Gray Wood-Mist: Denise Grünstein’s Dark Fairy Tale Photography | The Year of Halloween

  4. Pingback: Death by a Thousand Cuts: Bizarre Li Hongbo Paper Sculpture | The Year of Halloween

  5. Pingback: Eerie Photography by Amber Ortolano | The Year of Halloween

  6. Pingback: I Dreamt of a Black Sea at Night: The Sinking of the Titanic | The Year of Halloween

  7. Pingback: Bury the Carnival: 50 Eerie Photos of Abandoned Amusement Parks | The Year of Halloween

  8. Pingback: Death by a Thousand Cuts: Bizarre Li Hongbo Paper Sculpture | The Year of Halloween

  9. Pingback: It Is the Hour of Departure: Turn-of-the-Century Ghost Rides | The Year of Halloween

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s