In all the time I spend searching for real ghost pictures to post on our site, I have seen more fake ghost pictures than I care to remember. The thing that gets to me though is how blatantly fake most of these fake ghost pictures look.
For example, there are an increasingly large number of ghost pictures from primarily Asia featuring a female “ghost” who looks shamelessly like the ghost in “Ringu”, or “The Ring” for my fellow Americans. Now, maybe the makers of those films know something about the paranormal that I don’t, but I’m pretty sure every spirit from that region isn’t taking the same form.
Inspired by these, and the other laughable fake ghost pictures I’ve come across, as well as the poor gullible people I see falling for them, I’ve compiled a list of common sense checks I use when looking for real ghost pictures for our site. I’m not an expert on photography, and I’m not saying passing any of these benchmarks proves an image to be paranormal. However, hopefully they help you dismiss blatant frauds, giving you more time to spend on possibly real ghost pictures.
Five Common Sense Ways to Spot a Fake Ghost Picture: (In no particular order)
1. What is the source? This one should be the most obvious. Like anything else in life, can you trust where the picture is coming from? Doing a little research on sources can help stop hoaxers from wasting your time.
2. Does it look too good to be true? It probably is, you should have listened to your mother! With bootleg copies of powerful photo editing software being so easily available, you have to assume anything too clear or too perfect is fake.
3. Pay special attention to the shading/lighting angles. Most new photo editors don’t know how to match lighting and shadows. Does the sun appear to be shining on a “ghost” in an indoor picture? That’s an extreme example, but I’ve seen it.
4. Are there any other “glitches” in the photo? It has been my experience that most frauds are not made by skilled photo editors. There are usually scale issues, perspective issues, and a whole mess of other telltale traits when a picture has been tampered with.
5. Is your picture of an orb? It’s probably not paranormal. This may be a controversial stance, but in my opinion, there are just too many perfectly natural ways “orbs” can show up in a photo. I’ve heard they can be considered real if they emit their own light. Even this could be explained as ball lightning, etc. This is not to say people presenting orb pictures are trying to pull a fast one, they may be totally convinced its legit. It’s just such a grey area, and they tend to be naturally occurring so often, why waste the time?