There are few questions more perplexing than what happens to our spirits after we die. While many people refuse to believe in the supernatural, technology has now enabled us to capture varying degrees of proof of the existence of earth-bound spirits and ghosts. Whether you choose to believe the evidence or not is up to you!
1The Tulip Staircase Ghost
In 1966, retired clergyman Rev. Ralph Hardy was taking a picture of the spiral staircase (known as the "Tulip Staircase") in the Queen's House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, when he captured this image. Experts analyzed the original negative and verified that it had not been tampered with or manipulated in any way.
This photo served as proof that the many ghostly encounters at the Queen's House were real. Footsteps, slamming doors, and the chanting voices of children are often heard around the staircase. Visitors to the museum have even been pinched by unseen fingers during their tour!
Full-body apparitions have been seen on many occasions; one such apparition appears to be mopping up blood from the bottom of the stairs. Historians say that 300 years ago, a maid was thrown from the top of the stairs and fell 50 feet to her death, which might explain the ghostly clean-up crew.
2The Back Seat Ghost
In 1959, Mabel Chinnery was visiting the grave of her mother in a British graveyard when she took a picture of her husband, who was waiting alone in the car.
It wasn't until Mrs. Chinnery had the film developed that they realized her husband hadn't been waiting alone after all. The picture shows a person wearing glasses sitting in the back seat, and Mrs. Chinnery immediately recognized the figure as being her mother -- the mother whose grave she had just visited.
A photographic expert who examined the print determined that the image of the woman was neither a reflection nor a double exposure, even going so far as to stake his reputation on the fact that the picture is genuine.
3The Eastern State Penitentiary Ghost
When the TAPS crew of the TV show Ghost Hunters visited Philadelphia's historic Eastern State Penitentiary, they captured this remarkable footage of something running up towards the camera and then turning and running back the other way. Check it out:
4The Toys 'R' Us Ghost
The Toys 'R' Us in Sunnyvale, CA, is home to a spirit named John, and that's him leaning against the wall in the photo above. This photo was taken during a TV filming of the show That's Incredible, and no one who was in the room at the time saw the man, yet he turned up on the infrared photograph.
Psychics like the renowned Sylvia Browne have visited the store multiple times and have conducted seances in which they found out John's name, etc. The story is that John was a preacher and a ranch hand back in the 1880's on the land where the store now sits. Reports of how he died vary, but the general consensus is that he bled to death while chopping wood.
Employees of the TRU say that John often plays pranks on them and on customers, including following people into the Ladies' room and turning on the water faucets, tossing dolls off the shelf, and whispering employees' names in their ear, only to have them turn and see no one standing near them.
5Ghost of Grandpa
Denise Russell took this photo of her grandmother in 1997. Her granny lived independently into her 90's, and during a family picnic just before her death, Denise snapped this picture. No one noticed the man standing behind her grandmother for over three years, but when they finally noticed him they recognized him to be none other than Denise's grandfather, who had been dead since 1984.
Old black and white photos of her grandfather confirmed their suspicions.
6The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
Taken in 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, this is perhaps the most famous ghostly image of all time, yet to this day no one has been able to disprove its authenticity. The photographers were visiting Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, to take pictures for Country Life magazine when they captured the original lady of the house, Lady Dorothy Townsend, descending the staircase. Provand witnessed the apparition with his eyes first, then managed to lift his camera and take this famous photograph.
In 1946, a woman named Mrs. Andrews took this picture of her deceased daughter's gravestone in Queensland, Australia. Her daughter had been just 17 when she'd died the previous year. When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was shocked to see the image of an infant girl looking directly into her camera.
There had been no children in the cemetery that day, and Mrs. Andrews didn't know any babies whose pictures she'd have taken with her camera. She also remarked that the child did not look like her own daughter when her daughter was an infant.
Years later, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy investigated the case and found the graves of two infant girls very near to Mrs. Andrews' daughter's grave.
8The Mount Washington Hotel
Opened in 1902, the Mount Washington Resort in Carroll, New Hampshire, is reportedly home to several spirits. Most notably, the ghost of a princess who stayed in the hotel during each summer is said to interact with guests quite frequently. The princess preferred the comfort of her own bed, and the bed remains in room 314 to this day.
Paranormal investigation crew TAPS (of Ghost Hunters) were the first crew to conduct an investigation of the grand hotel, and they produced some amazing proof of spirit manifestations. In this audio clip, taken in the famed Princess Suite, lead investigators Jay and Grant ask, "Princess, are you in here?" and the immediate reply is, "Of course I'm in here. Where are you?"
9Ghostly Farm Boy
Photographer Neil Sandbach was taking pictures around a farm in Hertfordshire, England, when he captured this astounding picture. When Sandbach looked at the digital photo later, he couldn't believe his eyes; he was certain that he had not overlooked a child hanging around the farm that day.
He later asked the farm owners if they'd ever had any supernatural experiences there (he did not tell them about the photo), and the owners confirmed that they had witnessed the specter of a boy in white night clothes many times before.
10Oklahoma Impound Lot Ghost
One night in Oklahoma, there were three fatal car crashes that killed several people. The wrecked vehicles were taken to a local impound lot, and the employees there witnessed something amazing on their surveillance cameras: a white figure moving around the destroyed cars. Family members of one of the accident victims are certain that the figure is their loved one trying to give them a message.