Despite being more than a century old, the art of photography never ceases to yield results which spark the curiosity of thousands. Whether it’s the creepy photo of a ghost, or a Facebook profile picture that inexplicably makes a girl look far hotter than she actually is in real life, there are countless photos that continue to baffle and intrigue mankind. Let’s take a look at some of the more noteworthy examples…
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
This picture, taken in 1936, is one of the earliest examples of spirit photography, and in an age where avid Ghost Hunters fans get all hot and bothered whenever they run across a blurry snapshot of some “orbs” (aka dust) floating around a cemetery, it remains one of the more convincing examples.
It is said to capture the ghost of “The Brown Lady” (so called because of the color of her dress) which reputedly haunts Raynham Hall, a house in Norfolk, England. As the story goes, in the early 18th century, Lord Townshend, who occupied the house at the time, took a wife named Dorothy. After approximately a decade of marriage, Dorothy passed away. However, there were some who believed that her burial had been staged, and that, in fact, Lord Townshend locked her in one of the rooms of the house, where she wasted away to death.
In the passing years, visitors to the house reported seeing the apparition of a lady, one which very much resembled Lord Townshend’s late wife, wandering the halls of the house and descending the staircase at night. Those who only got a brief glimpse of her assumed that she was another guest. Others, who were able to study her characteristics more closely, remarked that her skin seemed to glow. One reputable gentleman even claimed that she appeared to have had her eyes gouged out.
Things went on like this for two centuries, until, in 1936, two photographers on assignment for a magazine visited the estate overnight, hoping to capture the spirit on film. They worked into the late hours, and saw very little, until one of the photographers noticed some movement on the staircase and quickly snapped a photo. When it was developed, the infamous image of the Brown Lady was revealed.
Since it was first made widely available to the public, the legitimacy of the photograph has been debated. Paranormal enthusiasts champion it as definitive evidence for the existence of ghosts. Skeptics, on the other hand, argue that the photograph is a fake and was perhaps achieved by superimposing two images together, a process which could potentially generate such an image.
Although no one is certain as to whether or not the photo is actually the image of a ghost, or simply a very convincing fake, it is important to mention one odd fact: ever since the photograph was taken, sightings of the Brown Lady have decreased remarkably.
The Face on Mars
When this famous image from Viking 1 orbiter was released in 1976, UFO buffs rejoiced, celebrating the fact that David Bowie’s immortal question, “Is there life on Mars?,” was finally going to be answered once and for all. Not only was there life on Mars, but it wasn’t just microorganisms or decaying plant matter, the kind of life that is exciting only to NASA scientists and journalists who don’t mind coming up with misleading headlines. No, this was intelligent life, the kind of life that spent years erecting monuments which looked like massive, ugly human faces. On top of that, several of the hills in the area surrounding the face appeared to be in the shape of ancient pyramids that had acquired layers of dust and rocks over the years.
We had, it appeared, found the Martian equivalent of ancient Egypt.
Well, not quite. Those killjoys known as scientists were fairly dismissive of the photograph, arguing that it depicted nothing more than a run of the mill feature of the Martin surface that, due to the angle of the photograph and the light striking the hill, appeared to resemble a human face. When NASA returned to the region years later, higher resolution pictures of the same hill showed that it no longer bore such a strong resemblance to human features. Although many who saw the later photos still insisted that it looked like a person, one can’t help but wonder if they would have made such claims had the original photo not been so striking.
Either way, there are those who still believe that this particular region of Mars is, in fact, the remains of an ancient city from a Martian civilization. The area, now known as the Cydonia region, has become the subject of even more outlandish theorizing on the part of fringe scholars who claim that the apparent pyramids and monuments of the area correspond geographically to parts of the Earth’s surface. Although no one is precisely sure what the significance of that would be, it certainly makes for a great story anyway. Somewhere, a dedicated sci-fi fan is writing a novel about it for sure.
The Belmez Faces
While we’re on the topic of creepy pictures of faces, we might as well cover the faces of Belmez, which first appeared in Spain in 1971. A woman was in her home one evening, when she looked down at her cement floor and saw that what appeared to be the image of a human face had formed on the floor. She noticed that the face almost looked as though the person was experiencing some form of pain or suffering.
She recruited her son and husband to get rid of the disturbing image. They took a pickaxe to the cement, removed the face, and poured new cement over the hole. However, after doing so, the face eventually reappeared, and went on to be accompanied by more faces throughout the house. Word spread, and the house became an area of great interest for paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics alike. Many regarded the phenomena as among the most bizarre and substantial cases of paranormal activity ever recorded (after all, so many visitors flocked to the house that the faces ended up being seen by countless people). Skeptics, on the other hand, were fairly certain that some form of trickery must have been involved.
Samples of the cement were taken, and over the years, they have been subjected to various studies. Although no obvious evidence of trickery has ever been found, studies have indicated that some slight traces of chemical elements which may show that the faces were somehow painted onto the cement were found. Although many skeptics took this revelation as proof that the images had been faked, it should be noted that the process of creating them would still be intricate and, apparently, involve a strong knowledge of chemical compounds. The family that resided in the home did not seem to possess such knowledge.
What is even more notable about this particular case is that, over the years, faces have continued to appear in the home. Of all the images mentioned in this article, this one remains the most baffling.
Have some more light to shed on the subject? Post a comment below!
- – The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall: http://www.prairieghosts.com/brown_lady.jpg
- – The Face on Mars: http://www.scibuff.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/aliens-on-mars-2.jpg
- – The Belmez Faces: http://www.occult-underground.com/img/belmez2.jpg