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Old 18th May 2010, 07:02 AM   #1
monoman
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15 year old ghost mystery possibly solved

There's an interesting article here about a man who spotted the, supposed, Wem ghost in a postcard from 1922.

They look very similar to me.
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Old 18th May 2010, 07:23 AM   #2
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The folds in her dress around her waist look identical to me. Interesting.
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Old 18th May 2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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As ridiculous as i think ghosts are, they dont really look that much alike, IMHO, to make a compelling debunking case.
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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Well, the mystery, was how the photo was manipulated in the first place, not whether it was really a ghost ..
I think that has been solved ..
Don't know why you don't think the girls are a match .. Looks like they are twins to me..
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Old 18th May 2010, 05:42 PM   #5
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I have to say they don't look very alike to me.
Which is not to say the spook's not faked.
And they'd have got away with it, if not for them pesky kids.
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Old 18th May 2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
I have to say they don't look very alike to me.
Which is not to say the spook's not faked.
And they'd have got away with it, if not for them pesky kids.
And their dog!

The girls in the photographs look identical to me ... the tilt of the heads, the expression on the faces, and angle of the necktie are the same. It might take some NASA-level comparison studies to increase the confidence level, but there are too many similarities to dismiss the claim completely.
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Old 18th May 2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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"Ghost" pic has rail or fence of some sort in front of the girl, street scene doesn't. The face in the "ghost" pic is much more clear, also and seems to be turned up towards the camera more. Some of the folds in the hat seem different to me as well.
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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There are strong similarities, but also some significant differences. In particular, the postcard photo blown up to a similar scale as the ghost picture is indistinct. Perhaps other pictures of this girl exist taken on the same day as the street scene with improved definition.
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Old 19th May 2010, 08:23 AM   #9
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Can't say I can see the "AHA!" in the picture - in fact they look very different to me.

I find this

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...c-surgery.html

even more mysterious....and scarier too
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Old 19th May 2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
Can't say I can see the "AHA!" in the picture - in fact they look very different to me.

I find this

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...c-surgery.html

even more mysterious....and scarier too
Holy crapcakes! It looks like the Joker and a villain from that Dick Tracey movie.

As long as we're derailing, I heard a good comedy bit about ghosts from Paul Mooney (all time great).

Please note I'm paraphrasing:

"White people, you gotta stop making televisions shows about ghosts. There are no ghosts. You know how I know that? Because if there were, ghosts of slaves would be haunting your ass all the time."

Obviously better with his phrasing and cadence, but I enjoy a good joke attacking woo-woo.

Back on topic: I don't think they look alike either. In the least, removing the hat was an impressive bit of photo manipulation in 1985, much less 1922...

Last edited by TraneWreck; 19th May 2010 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 19th May 2010, 09:13 AM   #11
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I think it is more likely that the original photographer of the "ghost" picture dressed a young girl up in a similar outfit, and then photographed her. As has been mentioned previously, the face is clearer in the "ghost" picture than in the postcard, and turned at a different angle.
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Old 19th May 2010, 10:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
There are strong similarities, but also some significant differences. In particular, the postcard photo blown up to a similar scale as the ghost picture is indistinct. Perhaps other pictures of this girl exist taken on the same day as the street scene with improved definition.
Perhaps there are better copies of the post card in existence..
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:09 PM   #13
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At first I thought they looked very similar, but zoomed in on Photoshop, you can see some pretty big differences. I also question the scale; even if there's a much higher quality copy of the postcard, how (and why) would an enlarged copy of that girl have been used in the forgery? If the trick was done with manipulation, a tiny character on a postcard is a poor choice of source image.

Edit: Also, nobody has considered that maybe the girl in the postcard is ALSO a ghost. This is clearly the most logical explanation.

Last edited by Pythra; 19th May 2010 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:22 PM   #14
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...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picard-facepalm.jpg (7.1 KB, 6 views)
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Old 19th May 2010, 04:40 PM   #15
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Oh my word.



I think it's the same girl!
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Old 19th May 2010, 05:17 PM   #16
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It certainly looks like a similar girl in a similar outfit, but on close, critical inspection and comparison of shapes, it's clear that the photos are not the same. In addition to the other differences noted above, the ruffled hat-brim creates different shapes on each of the girls' foreheads.

Meanwhile, why the exact photo used in the double-exposure needs to be found remains a mystery. The "ghost" image is obviously a double-exposure, whether we have the actual, separate image used to create the illusion, or not.
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Old 19th May 2010, 06:30 PM   #17
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Slightly better copy of the postcard here
The scowl on the girls face looks pretty similar to me.
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Old 19th May 2010, 06:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Matty1973 View Post
Slightly better copy of the postcard here
The scowl on the girls face looks pretty similar to me.
You can see more of the girl's face in the ghost picture. Not a match, unless her face was retouched in that picture.
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Old 19th May 2010, 08:22 PM   #19
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There's no question the images of the girl are identical, except for some contrast difference. The highlights, shadows, cap curls -- all identical.
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Old 19th May 2010, 09:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Orthoptera View Post
There's no question the images of the girl are identical, except for some contrast difference. The highlights, shadows, cap curls -- all identical. http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4a9b61df22.jpg
I stand corrected about the "cap curls". Comparing the features side-by-side like that, and sized to match, they do appear to be the same image after all. Good work, Orthoptera!
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Old 20th May 2010, 02:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Vortigern99 View Post
I stand corrected about the "cap curls". Comparing the features side-by-side like that, and sized to match, they do appear to be the same image after all. Good work, Orthoptera!
Seconding this. I was a bit dubious about the quality of the match, but this spells it out perfectly. Nice work
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Old 20th May 2010, 03:29 AM   #22
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Sorry, I still disagree. Though the images of the girl are remarkably similar, they are not an exact match. This is as close as I can get and some of the details are still jumping around a bit. I have mostly concentrated on lining up the creases in the bonnet and making sure the belt is as lined up as possible.

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Old 20th May 2010, 03:40 AM   #23
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Stray cat, what struck me about your animation was the way the belt and collar of the dress line up absolutely spot-on.

I do think there are tiny differences in the face, but maybe those can be explained by the way the source image was enlarged and possibly slightly distorted when it was added to the photograph. I wouldn't say I'm 100% certain it's a match, but that higher quality image Matty found is very compelling evidence. I think it's the same image.
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Old 20th May 2010, 03:41 AM   #24
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Is the sidewalk a ghost to? Sorry I mean the wall to.

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Old 20th May 2010, 04:33 AM   #25
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Stray Cat- great animation, funny thing is it had the opposite effect on me, I thought they were similar but not the same image until I saw your comparison (and Orthoptera's too), now I'm 100% convinced it is the same.
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Old 20th May 2010, 04:42 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
You can see more of the girl's face in the ghost picture. Not a match, unless her face was retouched in that picture.
Yeah, no way that happened .. Must be a real ghost ...
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Old 20th May 2010, 04:56 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Stray Cat- great animation, funny thing is it had the opposite effect on me, I thought they were similar but not the same image until I saw your comparison (and Orthoptera's too), now I'm 100% convinced it is the same.
Well I did say it's "remarkably similar". But it's certainly not 100%
If I get some time, I'll do an enlargement to highlight the differences.
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Old 20th May 2010, 05:30 AM   #28
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Ignoring the face for a moment, just look at the belt.



The shape matches perfectly, from where it does up in the middle to the outline on the left, where it's concealed by the girl's sleeve. Above the belt on the left is a wedge-shaped shadow, which also matches. Even if two girls were dressed identically, or even the same girl was pictured twice, you'd have a hard time replicating such uncanny similarities.

In the 'ghost' picture, though it's hard to say for sure, it also appears that the belt overlaps the railing in front of the girl. Not that anyone here needs convincing that the photo is fake, but that is only possible if the image of the girl was added on top of the original image.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:12 AM   #29
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There's an excellent link here that lets you fade and zoom between the two pictures. It makes it pretty clear that it's the same picture.

Edit: The fading is useful, I think, because it makes the changes in contrast easier to work past versus a flick from one to the other (Still, nice work lining them up, Stray Cat - but even before trying the link above I thought that your animation made it look like a good match!).
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:24 AM   #30
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Hi Richard
Originally I did the animation with a slow fade, but decided it allowed the eyes to adjust to the slight variations and disguised them to an extent.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:33 AM   #31
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Yeah, I don't really like fades (as compelling as it is) because the details in the transitional images make you see matching details where there are none.

Although at this point I am completely convinced it's the same image of a girl.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:35 AM   #32
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When you take a photo of another photo, you are going to lose a lot of detail. When you take a photo of an old post card, you are going to get even less of the original detail.

The newly discovered copy of that postcard shows how losing details in contrast makes it appear that the angles are different.

There are so many of the same details found in Stray Cat's comparison, that it is proof that the post card image was used in the fire picture.

Any details that are not the same, are contributions from the fire picture. The rail for example. ParrotPirate, were you joking? There is a rail on the building that is on fire. That is why you see it in the picture. There is no fire in the street scene, either. Point?
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:40 AM   #33
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Stray Cat, you've done a pretty good job of proving that it is the same image!

What details are you claiming don't line up? Using your animation I checked the base of her nose, the edges of the eyes, the three central frills on her cap, the bottom of the tie (if that's what it is), the folds of her dress round her waist and the shadow caused by these folds, and (following Pythra's observation) the full outline of the wedge-shaped shadow next to her right sleeve. The positions all match almost perfectly, except for the tip of the cap frill to her left (which is very blurred in the copy).

What is the probability, do you think, of all these matches happening independently - head and body angles, frills, folds and shadows (including details such as the waist shadow and the wedge-shaped shadow above being cut off in the same place by the right sleeve)?

I'd say the correspondence is so striking that it has to be the same image (or another one taken within a few seconds, which seems far less likely).

Pythra, it's not a belt - it's a shadow caused by her blouse overhanging her skirt where it's tucked in at the waist. It's obvious that the image of the child can't be on top of the railings.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:48 AM   #34
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I thought this one had been solved ages ago.
A couple of years after the photo came out, there was a TV show which demonstrated that the image of the girl must have been photographed from a TV screen - the image showed telltale horizontal lines when blown up. The show mocked up a near-identical photo, using photography and imaging equipment the photographer was known to have.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:52 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
Pythra, it's not a belt - it's a shadow caused by her blouse overhanging her skirt where it's tucked in at the waist. It's obvious that the image of the child can't be on top of the railings.
Oh, sorry, you're right about it being a shadow! Optical illusion.

If you're saying the image of the child isn't double-exposed on top of the railing, how do you think the forgery was made? What I'm referring to, though it's impossible to say conclusively, is where the shadow crosses the railing in the ghost image. There's a darker stripe on the railing at that point, which appears to line up with the shadow.
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:59 AM   #36
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It's the same image. Can't understand why anyone would doubt it.
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Old 20th May 2010, 07:08 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Hi Richard
Originally I did the animation with a slow fade, but decided it allowed the eyes to adjust to the slight variations and disguised them to an extent.
Originally Posted by Pythra View Post
Yeah, I don't really like fades (as compelling as it is) because the details in the transitional images make you see matching details where there are none.
The point is a good one. I liked it anyway, not least for that very reason - because it disguised the minor variations and drew the eye to the considerable similiarities.

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Old 20th May 2010, 07:58 AM   #38
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Looking at the more in-depth image comparison it has swayed me - probably* the same image.



*I rarely admit to 100% volte-faces!
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Old 20th May 2010, 08:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
It's the same image. Can't understand why anyone would doubt it.
And I don't understand how any sceptic could be so certain at this point.
Certainty is a step too far.

To clarify, I'm not saying it isn't, just that there are differences. When time allows I'll have a closer look at both pictures and compare them pixel by pixel.
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Old 20th May 2010, 09:16 AM   #40
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Well, I am certainly convinced. Definitely the same image in both pictures.
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