The Top 10 most famous ghost photos of all time


I love talking about the history behind old haunted houses; it’s cool to know who was there and what all went down that spurred the hauntings to begin with.  But, even more than checking out the history, I LOVE looking at the ghost pictures that have been taken at these haunted locations. I’m going to give you the run down of the 10 most famous ghost photos ever taken.

So, let the countdown begin! Picture #10 is of the ghost known as the Brown Lady, it was taken in 1936, yeah, they had cameras back then! Now this photo wasn’t the result of some prehistoric paranormal investigation, the image was caught completely by accident during a photo shoot performed by Country Life Magazine, yes, they had magazines back in the day too! The Raynam Hall estate in Norfolk England was one of the most posh mansions in the area, the owners were ecstatic when they were notified that the magazine wanted to feature their home in an upcoming issue. This photograph in particular was being taken to show off the majestic main staircase but when the film was developed, the apparition of a woman wearing a brown brocade dress could be seen as she descended the stairs.

So, who was the Brown Lady? Well, according to legend, the “Brown Lady of Raynham Hall” is the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, the sister of Robert Walpole, who was the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. She was the second wife of Charles Townshend, who was notorious for his violent temper. The story says that when Townshend discovered his wife had screwed around on him with Lord Wharton, he punished her by having her locked in her room in there at Raynham Hall. According to Mary Wortley Montagu, Dorothy was in fact held prisoner there by the Countess of Wharton and her husband never allowed her out, not even to see her children. Dorothy remained at Raynham Hall until dying from smallpox in 1726. Reports of folks having encountered the Brown Lady date back as far as 1835.

Picture #9 Is of the Tulip Staircase Ghost and is another example of a specter being caught on film by complete happenstance. The photo was shot in 1966 by Rev. Ralph Hardy in the Queen’s House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Hardy was a retired clergyman that had only intended to take a picture of the impressive Tulip Staircase but again, when the film was developed he discovered that he had also captured the apparition of a robed figure ascending the stairs.

The original negative was examined by experts, including folks from Kodak, all of them concluded that the photo had not been tampered with. People have reported seeing unexplained figures and the sound of footsteps in the same vicinity for years prior to, and after this picture was taken.

I’ve done some digging but it seems that no one knows for sure who the spirit on the staircase belongs to but, I did run across a other documented entities in the Queens House. Many have claimed to hear inexplicable footsteps on the staircase, as well as the sound of chanting children. And one of the most unsettling sightings is that of a pale woman, dressed in old fashioned clothing, who’s mopping up blood at the bottom step. Rumor has it that a maid was thrown from the top of the staircase, a drop of over fifty feet from above, sent her crashing to her death on the bottom landing.

Now that my blog is out, I’m betting that you remember having seen the Tulip staircase somewhere.  Looks familiar right?!  Ever see the movie “Now you see Me” about the magicians called the 4 horsemen. Well if you’ve seen the sequel, there at the very end, the camera is panning a magnificent stair case, yeah, that’s the tulip staircase.

Photo #8 is a little more recent, The Phantom on a farm picture was taken in 2008 during a photo-shoot at a rural farm in Hertfordshire, England. The farm would be the location of a happy occasion in upcoming months, there was going to be a wedding. The couple “to be” wanted a few shots of the farm to use along with the invitations, so they sent their friend, Neil Sanbach, out for a photo-shoot. Again, we have another shocked photographer; Neil couldn’t believe his eyes! There staring back at him, was the figure of a boy dressed in white nightclothes, he was peeking at Neil from behind the corner of a barn. As with most of these pictures, I can’t find a lot on who the boy could have possibly been but, I can add that both the owners and staff here at the Hertfordshire Farm, have had frequent encounters with this spirit usually in the vicinity of the same barn he was captured peeking from behind in this photo!

Pic #7 we have definitely discussed here on the show, I remember telling you guys that this single photo, out of the tens of thousands that I have looked at, sends some serious arctic chills down my spine. This photo was snapped during an investigation performed by Ed & Lorraine Warren in 1976, yeah, I’m talking about the Defeo boy with glowing eyes that was photographed on the stair case. What the hell is it with ghosts and staircases right! Anyway, tons of rolls of film were shot in the house during the investigation, photographer Gene Campbell was frustrated as he examined frame after frame of negatives, but then he found something, out of all of those shots there had been only 1 photo that had captured “something” and man, was it the mother load!

Now with this pic, we know who the spirit belongs to. Just about everyone who’s seen it, along with myself, believe this to be the ghost of John Mathew DeFeo who was only nine years old when he was murdered by his older brother, only one of the brutal deaths that spurred the Lutz family nightmare, which we have all come to know more commonly as the Amityville horror.


Photo #6 is titled The Backseat Driver. It was taken by Mable Chinnery in 1959. She and her husband had just driven out to visit her mother’s grave, her husband had remained in the car during the visit. Well when Mable wrapped up her conversation with her mother’s headstone, she starts walking back toward the car. In a burst of spontaneity, she takes a quick snapshot of her husband sitting in the car staring back at her as she neared. Well, when Mable gets the film developed, she comes unglued! There in the backseat of the car sat her mother!

Considering that film quality wasn’t really “all that” back in the 50’s this is one amazing shot. You can plainly see a woman sitting directly behind Mr. Chinnery. Her facial features are vivid all the way down to the white collar and dark jacket that she was wearing when she was buried. Mable stated that her mother, Mrs. Hammell, loved riding in the car and the day she snapped that picture, her mom was sitting in the exact same spot where she sat every time they took her for a ride.

Photo #5 was shot in 1946, and it’s really kind of chilling to me, not the same as the Defeo boy chilling, this is something different. A woman named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter in a cemetery in Queensland, Australia in 1946. Her daughter Joyce had died about a year earlier, in 1945, at the age of 17. Mrs. Andrews saw nothing unusual when she took this photo of Joyce’s grave marker but when the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was astonished to see the image of a small child sitting happily at her daughter’s grave.

The ghost child seemed completely aware of Mrs. Andrews and is looking directly into the camera.

Some doubters claimed that it could have possibly been a double exposure, but Mrs. Andrews said there were no children nearby when she took the photograph and, moreover, she did not recognize the child at all – it was no one she would have taken a picture of. She added that it was not the ghost of her daughter as a child.

Investigating this case, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the late 1990s. Near Joyce’s grave he found the graves of two infant girls. Could it be that one or both of them venture over to Joyce’s grave in hopes that she will arise to play with them?


Photo #4 was taken in 1919, and this picture has always made me smile. The photo wasn’t made public until some time in 1975 by Sir Victor Goddard, a retired R.A.F. officer. The photo is a group portrait of Goddard’s squadron, which had served in World War I at the HMS Daedalus training facility.

An extra ghostly face appears in the photo. In back of the airman positioned on the top row, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson, an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped.

Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson’s. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo.

Pic #3 is the Corroboree Rock Spirit photo taken in 1959 by another holy man, Reverend R.S. Blance at Corroboree Rock, at Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. This famous photograph appears to show a woman holding her hands toward her face, peering out into the distance. To me it looks like she’s sipping on a cup of coffee and maybe enjoying a morning walk in the front yard of what may have been her last mortal home. And again, with this photo, we have no idea who the woman could possibly be.




Photo #2 is the Lord Combermere Ghost photo from 1891. Taken by Sybell Corbet, the stillframe shows the figure of Lord Combermere seen sitting in a chair in the library in Combermere Abbey, England. His head, collar and right arm on the armrest can be clearly made out.

The second Viscount Lord Combermere died after being struck by one of London’s first electrically powered motor cabs. It said that while Sybell Corbet was taking the famous photograph, Lord Combermere’s funeral was taking place four miles away.

An interesting foot note here: The first Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800’s, who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. In 1817 he became the Governor of Barbados. While serving as Governor, he is mentioned in unverified stories of the Chase Vault as being a witness to its allegedly “moving coffins”. We talked about this case a while back remember that! That was some crazy shit right there!

And then last but not least, photo #1 is the The Spectre of Newby Church. This photograph was taken in the Church of Christ the Consoler, on the grounds of Newby Hall in North Yorkshire, U K. The picture was taken in 1963 by the Reverend K. F. Lord. The image appears to resemble a human, that many believe to be the spirit of a 16th-century monk, wearing a white shroud over his face, a common remedy for masking leprosy or other disfigurement back in the day.

Initial claims suggested that the figure would have to be somewhere around 9 feet tall, but its feet are not visible and it could easily be standing on a box or something, giving the impression of an impressive height. In looking into the image, photographic experts have concluded that the image is not the result of double exposure, nor has the film been tampered with.


Love Haunted History and Urban legends? Catch my show live on Monday evenings 7:00 CT  8:00 ET on Facebook!

This entry was posted in haunted history and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *