Various news websites have reported on an alleged ghost photo taken at Beechworth Asylum in Australia. The claim is that the photo cannot be explained and that is shows a semi-transparent “figure” standing behind people who were present.
I know this might be shocking, but the photo can be explained using my carefully crafted ghost explaining formula:
profit from ghost events x bad photography skills + invested in ghosts being real = explanation
Reduced, this formula looks like this:
profit x skill deficit + subjectivity = explanation
The photo was shared with the media by Geoff Brown who is the co-director of Beechworth Asylum Ghost Tours. When paying customers are involved, it makes me question the integrity of those promoting paranormal claims. To keep business coming, people who do these sorts of ghost events have to constantly keep up the interest in the idea that the place is actively haunted and worth visiting. It is also my opinion that this will lower the threshold of what people involved in these events are willing to accept or claim is paranormal in nature.
It’s clear that Geoff Brown is heavily invested in promoting the ghost stories of Beechworth Asylum which means that he isn’t able to objectively review any alleged ghost evidence produced there by either himself or by his customers. There’s nothing wrong with having a subjective perspective of a situation as long as you remember that you are not being objective and don’t make wild claims that would require an objective standpoint to be valid. For example, saying a photo cannot be explained or is incredible, when it can be explained and is not incredible.
This article by Hawkesbury Gazette says that some people have pointed out that the anomaly in the photo is likely caused by a long exposure setting on the camera being used while people are moving around. Geoff Brown was apparently quick to shoot this down. He is quoted to have said “We know a couple of professional photographers who work with photo manipulation and Photoshop, so I will send the original over to a couple of them and see what they say.”
Mr Brown. Geoff. Can I call you Geoff? Buddy. Dude. Do you really need to send this photo to photography experts before you are willing to recognise that the whole photo is blurry and poor quality? Can you not see that someone’s finger is partially over the lens in the lower right corner?
Geoff, babe, can you not see that the people a the front of the photo have no faces? Where are their faces, Geoff? Why do they not have faces? Why does this photo have a similar quality to the profile photos I would use, as a teenager, on MySpace? That sepia filter, that grain… it’s bringing it all back.
I have a free resource available on this blog called Photographing Ghost Investigations which outlines some simple ways to ensure you do not create unnecessary anomalies in your photos. The so-called unexplainable ghost photo from Beechworth Asylum falls foul of most of these basic rules.
It’s pretty disingenuous to look at a photo that’s been taken in the dark, without a tripod, and with a long exposure as anything other than a poor quality photograph. Sometimes, I think ghost hunters need a reminder to stay humble.