Portsmouth, NH – Portrait of a Real Ghost

Ghostly man in wondow of Portsmouth house.

Portsmouth house, Portsmouth, NH
October 1999, about 11 a.m.

This photo was taken outside a Portsmouth private residence. While living in that house, I saw two ghosts and experienced considerable poltergeist phenomena. I took several photos of the house in late October 1999, to illustrate my pages about this very haunted house.

When I had this film printed and examined the photos, I kept returning to the photo shown above. Something about it didn’t seem “right.” My attention was drawn to what seemed to be window reflections of the old lilac bush in front of the house.

The following day, I decided to enhance the image with my computer, simply making it larger so I could determine what was bothering me about the picture. That enlargement appears below:


Either this photo looks like a man looking to the right, with longish hair and 19th-century dark sunglasses, or it looks like a reflection of lilac leaves. Nobody seems undecided about this photo!

If you’d seen the male ghost in that house, you’d recognize the window reflection right away: That’s our ghost. He has a broken-looking nose, a scar under his right cheekbone, and his hair is thinning on top.

My sketch from memory, and from the photo.

In spectral appearance, he was about 5’5″ tall and stocky. He looked like a hastily-groomed, slightly British version of Buffalo Bill… sort of.

Among people I know in modern times, our ghost reminded me of folk singer Jaime Brockett.

When our ghost wasn’t wearing sunglasses, he had average no-particular-color eyes, somewhat tanned skin, and slightly sun-bleached brown hair. He favored brown clothing, usually wore a suit, rarely buttoned his jacket, and he always seemed in a hurry to go nowhere. When I took this photo, I had the sense that someone was at the window, but I didn’t notice the man’s face.

It seemed reasonable that the current residents of the house might have been peering out at the strange woman taking photos of their house. I don’t put any significance on my discomfort at the time.

Read about our experiences in Portsmouth – real ghosts, private home

Camera: Olympus AF-1, point-and-shoot
Film type: Kodak ASA 400 b&w film, 35mm
Negative shows: Same image. Nothing unusual.
Developed and printed by: Shaw’s Supermarket overnight photo service

2 thoughts on “Portsmouth, NH – Portrait of a Real Ghost”

  1. The thing is, when I looked at this picture I immediately saw a sinister face with pointy teeth! What you see as a moustache, I see as an opening of a mouth. I see the face looking towards me, not a profile like you see. It appears to me that its looking towards the left. But thats what I see. I do see what you see also, but my first reaction was sheer shock of a more sinister face there. And from what you have told story wise of the spirit, I see it as more menasing then nice & from the 60’s.

  2. When I first saw it it looks like a smirk on his face before I read the rest of your post. I wasn’t looking for a beard and it took some time to see what you were seeing. Then after looking harder at it I saw your drawing in the photo. But then it changed again with the ‘scar’ looking like a mouth giving a kind of shocked expression.

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