A ghost picture…? I’m not sure.
At the 2003 New England Ghost Conference — where I was the opening speaker — a few of us were discussing whether some ghosts need an energy source to manifest. The context was EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena, or recordings of ghosts, talking) and whether ambient noise can be helpful.
In March 2006, I started experimenting with extra ‘noise’ in ghost pictures. I took the following photo at dawn with a FujiFilm A345 digital camera. I was at the fence surrounding the Texas’ Governor’s Mansion in Austin, Texas (USA).
My camera was set to Night mode, so the lens stayed open longer. It’s a hand held photo, not using a tripod. The resulting blurring may have allowed spirits to create effects with the light.
(Worth repeating: The blurring is deliberate. I wanted to see what spirits might do with these images, just as they seem to turn some white noise into EVP.)
I took several photos like this one, but this picture stands out. I’m not sure why.
I haven’t yet identified anything in it, but it’s one of those photos that I look at and think, Something’s in this picture… but what?
I can see the apparent cartoon-style eyes in the tree. That’s probably from the overlap between the tree and the balcony.
I’m looking for something a little stranger than that.
Here’s the background on some of the ghosts of the Governor’s Mansion:
- – In the mid-19th century, Governor Pendleton Murrah’s nephew shot himself in the guest bedroom where he was staying. After that, the room was sealed for years, when his ghost continued to moan and sigh inside. However, the noises continued and the ghost kept rattling and turning the doorknob, so they reopened the room. It’s upstairs, in the area that’s not open to the public, and it’s on the north side of the mansion. That’s what’s shown in this photo.
- – This former governor, for whom the city of Houston was named, never finished his term of office. He haunts the bedroom with the bed that he bought for the mansion, and a large copy of his photo.
- – A loyal supporter of the Confederacy, this governor walked out of the mansion one day and rode to Mexico to avoid being taken prisoner by arriving Union soldiers. He died in Monterrey, Mexico, a couple of months later. He haunts outside and inside the mansion.
Pregnant maid – In addition to the men who haunt the mansion, at least one woman does. She’s a maid who was unmarried and pregnant, and dismissed as soon as her condition became apparent. She waits outside the house, hoping to be invited back.
(You can read more about these ghost stories, and other true ghost tales of Austin, Texas, and vicinity, in my 2006 book, The Ghosts of Austin.)
Below, you can see a normal flash photo of the same scene, taken minutes earlier.
I’ve received many great comments about this photo. I’ll definitely continue our experiments with this photographic technique.
To read highlights of comments we’ve received, see Ghosts in Texas: What people see in the Texas Governor’s Mansion photo
What do you see in this photo?
If you see anything odd in the photo at the top, leave a comment below.
And, if you’d like a printable copy of this unusual photo to examine more closely, here’s a link to a PDF copy of it: Texas Governor’s Mansion Ghost Photo by Fiona Broome