Who Forted? Magazine

Paranormal Investigator Calls Ghost Photo “Most Impressive of Entire Career” [UPDATED]

ghostphoto

A spooky photograph captured last month in a New Jersey cemetery has some paranormal investigators saying it’s the holy grail of paranormal evidence. But could there be another explanation for the striking image?

Paranormal radio show host Mark Johnson posted the image to his Facebook page yesterday, telling his friends that the image might just be the best one he’s ever seen in his career.

This photo was taken by a friend’s son last month in a cemetery in Wantage, NJ. This is without a doubt one of the most impressive apparition photos that I’ve ever seen in my career. No description is necessary.

The image appears to show a translucent woman in period clothing sitting by a tombstone, staring vacantly into the dark. But in this new age where every cell phone can download a $.99 ghost hoaxing app, can images this good be trusted?

Wantaj, New Jersey cemetery ghost

I asked Mark if he thought the kid behind the image was trustworthy, and pointed out that, judging by the size of the spooky ghost lady in comparison to the tombstones, she would be the spirit of a lilluputian-sized midget, but he insists that there’s no reason the photo should be fake.

One of the main reasons I’m impressed with this photo and don’t feel it’s a fake is that the friend who shared it with me did so on a whim and showed them to me on her phone. I asked her to send me a copy. She and her son have absolutely no reason to fake a photo. They are not seeking publicity and they would have no reason to try to fool me. I know that we have are a skeptical group of researchers and we call into question everything we see, but sometimes I think we can over-think things and the simple answers may be more in line with the truth. Yes, this could be a fake and we really have no way of proving it one way or the other. So all things being equal, I lean towards it being genuine based on the facts surrounding how the photo came to me.

For what it’s worth, I spent half an hour googling the images used in various ghost apps, and also wasted $.99 on one, and still have been unable to find a matching image of a woman in a dress. So maybe there really is a ghostly midget woman haunting a cemetery in New Jersey.

ghost captured in Wantage, NJ

 

What do you think? Check out the original image below, do your own detective work, and share your findings with us on Facebook, on twitter @WhoForted, or in the comments section below.

UPDATE: It’s a hoax

With apologies to hopeful ghost midget hunters everywhere, we can safely say that the photo is a fake.. as suspected. The spooky gal is a perfect match for a puffy-shirted woman included in a ghost app, as pointed out by detectives Tonya Hacker and Bob Dezon. Stellar work, guys.

Here’s the ghost app image as provided by PSIRO (who provide a great resource for sniffing out suspected fakes):
ghostappwoman

Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Senior Editor at Who Forted
Documentary film-maker, professional monster chaser, and mystery monger, Greg is the senior editor for Who Forted? 'Zine. When he's not occupied by writing about the wide world of the weird, he's busy directing and editing documentary films like The Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching or writing about offbeat travel for Roadtrippers. He's currently in production on his new project: an original documentary web series titled Planet Weird. He currently lives in Cincinnati.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

25 Comments

  1. Aimee

    11/24/2013 at 9:22 AM

    Oh! I find this photo delightful! Not because it’s proof of ghosts, but because it is a perfect example of Victorian styled ghost photography. That ghost was definitely added during “post production.” It has the look of an old Daguerreotype. But this is still lovely, from the point of view of someone who loves those old hoaxes. They were so much more elegant than the crap people try to pass off these days.

  2. Patrick Moore

    11/24/2013 at 9:35 AM

    Not convincing. I also just wasted a half hour looking for a matching old woman and didn’t find one, but that doesn’t really mean anything.

    The thing that bugs me a little bit is the credulity of Mark Johnson. Everyone knows what he does, yet he assumes that showing him that photo is just random? And he believes it because the person who took it would “have absolutely no reason to fake a photo?” Huh? No reason? A) Of course they have a reason! This discussion *is* a reason! And B) It’s impossible to know what someone’s reason might be. A joke. A bet. Just to see if it is believed. Trying out Photishop skills. A thousand other things. And C) Whether they have a reason to fake or not still doesn’t count as evidence of reality.

    Paranormal investigators do themselves a disservice when they lean on trying to guess someone’s motives when promoting things they want to believe.

  3. Andy

    11/24/2013 at 11:40 AM

    The nice thing about this picture, faked or not, is that unlike a billion other “proof” pictures this one is in focus. Keeping an image in focus seems to be a hard thing for paranormal photographers to do. There are too many “mists” and “orbs” that are cameras trying to find enough light to take a decent picture. So the shutter speed is slow to suck in as much light as possible and if anything movies the light streaks, boom ghost mist, or ghost light… insert ghost-ee thing there.

    I know very little about the degree of difficulty it takes to photoshop a picture like this, but my amateur ghost hunting instincts would lead this picture suspect. My reasons for thinking this picture is suspect is that there isn’t enough information about the picture. There is no clear object that is being photographed, it is just one random photo of some random cemetery from some random person.

    There aren’t any reasonable conclusions to take from this photo outside of that it looks really good.

    … but then again, I’m not an expert.

    • Aimee

      11/24/2013 at 12:27 PM

      “I know very little about the degree of difficulty it takes to photoshop a picture like this…”

      I could do it in about ten minutes.

      • Andy

        11/24/2013 at 10:59 PM

        Ten minutes, huh, I always hoped people slave away for hours or days with hoaxing stuff. It is sad anyone with a phone app can take a few minutes and waste everyone’s time.

  4. bob dezon

    11/24/2013 at 11:43 AM

    Fake. Here is the source image for this manipulation : http://www.psiro.com/index.php/continued-education/ghost-app-photos.html#

  5. JeremyZero

    11/24/2013 at 12:31 PM

    Man, all these fakes are really getting me down. Ghost apps are making me start to miss orbs. At least orbs weren’t deliberate fakes, they were just misidentified.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/24/2013 at 12:39 PM

      The ghost app I just wasted a dollar on literally has a selection of orbs you can add to images. No joke.

      • JeremyZero

        11/24/2013 at 1:48 PM

        Ugh.

  6. stiver

    11/24/2013 at 1:06 PM

    Congrats to detectives Tonya Hacker and Bob Dezon. Interesting names. Can we learn more about their work, website?

  7. Chris

    11/24/2013 at 1:50 PM

    Once again, another hoax that makes ever proving something real all but impossible. If anyone ever comes forward with a decent image that is real, good luck proving it.

  8. Carla Baron

    11/25/2013 at 4:46 PM

    THIS photo I still have on my flip phone (Nokia – not a smartphone) is BY FAR the best evidence I have seen yet for the afterlife.

    Not altered in any way. No flash. Just a standard utility flashlight shone into the empty cell @ Alcatraz.

    http://www.carlabaron.net/mystery_quest/alcatraz/a-27.jpg

    Psychic Carla Baron
    Star of TruTV’s “Haunting Evidence”

  9. Lon Strickler

    11/25/2013 at 10:08 PM

    Well…show how much of an expert Mark Johnson is. He probably asked Irene Allen-Block, the ‘psychic’, if it was real.

    • Mark Johnson

      11/26/2013 at 7:27 AM

      How’s the copy & paste career coming along, Lon?

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  11. Mark Johnson

    11/26/2013 at 7:25 AM

    Typical of the so-called paranormal community, I post a picture that I thought was impressive at first glance and asked other people for their opinions. I didn’t think it was faked due to the source and how it came to me, but the thought that it was a phone app creation never occurred to me. So the photo was proven as a hoax and I learned something from it. Big deal, life goes on.

    What I don’t understand is the hate and vitriol that comes from people in the community when we’re all supposed to be working together. Is this what we’ve become, a group of wild pigs ready to tear someone apart for stating an opinion, or worse, making an honest mistake? Mr. Newkirk thinks this makes him the hero for calling out someone’s mistake and raking them through the mud instead of having a constructive dialogue that can help educate people. No wonder the paranormal community has a bad reputation. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I have no issue admitting when I’m wrong. If people see that as a weakness, that’s their problem.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/26/2013 at 8:51 AM

      woah, dude, at one point was I anything other than reasonable? I even stated that I was unable to find any evidence that it was fake myself. I never raked you through the mud, I never made fun of you or mocked you for believing.. in fact, if you head over to the WF Facebook page, you might see that I talked people out of making fun of you because that’s a shitty thing to do. I don’t know where you got this “hero” thing.. I just write about stuff I think is weird and interesting.

      • Mark Johnson

        11/26/2013 at 12:35 PM

        Greg, I didn’t see your article until someone pointed out to me that it was here this morning, after the photo was revealed to be a hoax. So when I came here and read it as a whole it seemed to me to that you were making fun of me and attacking me for my mistake. I see now that you wrote the article in two parts and I can see the context for which you intended.

        I apologize for coming down on you the way I did, and for the second time this week I admit when I’m wrong. I’ve been under constant attack by Lon Strickler and his cronies for the past few months, and incorrectly assumed that you were attacking me in a similar fashion. Just be aware that Mr. Strickler is currently posting your article all over Facebook in his continued attempt to harass and bully me. Again, I apologize for jumping the gun and misunderstanding.

        • Lon Strickler

          11/26/2013 at 6:10 PM

          You seem to make a habit of jumping the gun, getting caught, then blame others. Later you play the victim, attempt to offer a cursory apology for over-reacting while crying that you’re being harrassed and bullied.

    • Lon Strickler

      11/26/2013 at 9:49 AM

      That’s right Mark…blame it on the ‘paranormal community’ after you step deep into crap in an attempt to show people how much of an ‘expert’ you are.

  12. Teresa Chance

    11/26/2013 at 2:30 PM

    Nice article. I too wondered if it may be real. We should be helping the others in the community to find solutions, not putting another down for what we see as shortcomings. We have all made mistakes – even those who have been at it for years. I’m sure most people have trusted another individual with what is shared only to find out it’s not the truth. I know I was duped into believing hogwash about things before finding the truth for myself.

    Simply stated, Mark Johnson took the pic that was shared with him by an acquaintance and then shared it with the community. The acquaintance DID NOT fake the pic but someone close that person did, unbeknown to them. What Mark asked is the opinion of the community in which he places much trust and works diligently to be a part of.

    What I see in some of the previous responses is nothing more than school yard BS and bullying. No need for such things unless the one bullying is less than confident in his/her own abilities and needs to belittle those that he/she finds threatening in some way. Pity that some people never grow up enough to find their own true potential but instead hide in the confines of their own little worlds and damn other folks ideas and work simply out of hatefulness.

    What I find most amazing is how many in the paranormal community fall for the lies and schemes of those who would simply steal ideas from another and use as their own. Blindly following a fake guru down a trail of BS and plagiarism. THAT is a topic that should be expounded upon somewhere for all to learn about. Perhaps there will be a source for that someday.

    Always think twice about your words as they may come back some day to haunt you…

  13. charlene

    11/26/2013 at 5:40 PM

    I have an app on my phone that does the same thing and it was free on top of that the photos I did look much better then this one a little more real. He got screwed paying .99 for the app that did that!

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