1. ParanoidSkeptic

    ParanoidSkeptic Closed Account

    In the mid 1940s a woman took a photo of her daughter's grave. When the photo was developed, on the image she saw a supposed ghost of an infant. The supposed ghost wasn't her daughter as her daughter was 17 when she died. Is there any other explanation for this photo aside from it being a ghost, or is this evidence for ghost existing?

    I've originally found out about this photo in Matthew Santoro's most recent video: 10 mysterious photos that shouldn't exist. This photo was at number 2 (from 1:42 to 2:26).
    The transcript of that section:

    I believe this is the source he used for the video:


    (Image of the alleged Ghost baby)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  2. Spectrar Ghost

    Spectrar Ghost Senior Member

    It's almost certainly a double exposure, IMO.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    Slightly better quality, uncropped photo if that helps.


    There must be another, fuller image available - this one has been cropped at the sides.

    Ray Von
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The possible explanations are (in decreasing order of magnitude):
    1. Deliberate Fake
    2. Accidental Fake
    3. Paranormal
    We know that there are millions of provably deliberate and accidental fake photos. We know of no provably paranormal photos.

    So by far the most likely explanation is a fake. It's unlikely that you could ever find out now if it was deliberate or accidental, with the people involved long dead, but there's not pressing need to prove it.

    However, given the lack of double exposure elsewhere in the photo, and accidental double would need the child photographed on a large dark background by someone other than Mr Andrews. So I lean towards deliberate fake.

    Additional evidence for "deliberate" is what looks like part of an arm, which does not really seem to fit either photo, and it's hard to see how it could be accidental.

    The grave is real


    There's an older article here:
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I suspect many young people are unfamiliar with just how common double exposures were back in early film days. They grew up with highly reliable film cameras, or increasingly entirely digital cameras.

    A double exposure is simply taking two photos with the same piece of film. Normally you'd wind the film on after each photo, and the cameras were designed to require this before pressing the shutter button. But it was possible to bypass it manually on many cameras, and it can happen accidentally if the film slips - more common in older cameras.

    Fake photos using double exposures have been around since the 1860s
    Many examples of these fake photos (including the "Mrs Andrews" one)

    There are more varied examples here, both deliberate and accidental.
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  6. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    I was trying to date the photo from the other graves, but only found that it couldn't have been taken in 46-47, the date on the second panel on the black double grave to the right is April 1948. That could be Mrs Andrew's poor memory.


    I also wondered if the foliage to the baby's left is part of the double exposure, as the bush looks transparent, the child could be sat on a lawn. Though that wouldn't fit with the extra arm holding the kid.

    Ray Von
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  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder if the "part of an arm" might just be a chubby baby leg. Like if the kid is sitting cross legged
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    no people put hte headstone up before the last date. Note the wife wrote "my husband" and after she died in 48 the kids added "our mother".
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i cant find bushes around the church in old photos, there is one back near the grave now, but not that close to the graves. The perspective is weird, the cross stone and building look so close but the grave is in the back. it's all odd. this is 'between 1920-30' and there must have been later construction adding the 'buttress thingys', so the over growth so near a grave is odd.



    the only bush i ever found
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    But the 1948 engraving is in the "ghost" photo, so it must have been taken after that.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    :) oh yea...
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder what the actual source of this story is. I can't find anything before the about.com post by Stephen Wagner (a ghost believer) in 2004

    There's the reference
    But can't find anything more than the thousand retellings of the same story.

    Given the discrepancy with the dates (1946 or 1947 is claimed, but it has to be 1948 or later) then perhaps it's all fake. Maybe someone just combined two photos in the 1990s, made up a story, took the names and dates from the headstone.
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  13. ParanoidSkeptic

    ParanoidSkeptic Closed Account

    Seems quite likely, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  14. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    I agree about the perspective and the overgrowth, and it's why I think that foliage might be part of the baby picture. The grave really does look to be close to the church, I think the tall cross in this picture is the one that can be seen three graves back in the "ghost" picture, which would make that grave a considerable distance away.


    And I should REALLY start reading links properly. The info about the 1948 date on the other grave is in the haunted history link Mick posted, although it does cast doubt on whether it's the correct stone. As far as I can see the spacing and position of the engraving is identical, and there's no other stone in the picture archive that matches (unfortunately I know, because I checked :( ).

    Interestingly that link also identifies parents, John William Andrews and Mary Elizabeth Colquhoun, but doesn't point out that they're also buried in the same cemetery, and that the mother died in 1977.


    Ray Von
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    So if the mother died in 1977, then who did she give the photo to? Who did she tell the story to? It really seems to have come from nowhere.

    Perhaps though it was in a local paper, and did not get coverage until Tony Healy saw it, and put it in one of his books or newsletters.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well it has to be in the first row there because it is nearest the church. i agree with the large cross (which is vogler). and then the 'black' one to the right farther back must be augusta beutel. they are all older than 1948.

    But mostly the bushes are odd, although im trying to decide if its just really tall grass since she seems to be sitting on the ground. But did they have telephoto lenses, the general public, back in 1950. The church seems way way too close for a typical persons 1948 camera.

    either way its not a ghost because his moms arm (or dad but it looks like a mom or older sister) is around the ghosts waste (probably keeping her from falling off the photo platform).

    There is also a fence in the back. But i cant find photos of the church in teh 50s to see if the fence was there yet.
    Looks like a fence anyway.


    add: oh heres a good shot you can zoom in to see the 1948 one whihc is near the bush in the other pics.. cant quite place the Andrews one, must be hidden a bit. http://flickrhivemind.net/blackmagic.cgi?id=3266204334&url=http:/%
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
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  17. Macro Cosmos

    Macro Cosmos New Member

    Found one with no watermark.

    The photo is obviously cropped and it seems like a shot from a somewhat wide-medium distance lens. Probably a 35-50mm type on a fullframe. I think it's a deliberate fake.
  18. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    Couldn't it just be that this is Joyce, the deceased girl, when she was a baby, and it was her mother who ordered the combination to the photographer? I don't know if it's usual for a parent to take pictures of a son's grave, but she did it, and maybe she wished to illustrate it with her daughter when she was a baby. As this wasn't supposed to be a real baby in the grave, just an allusion to her daughter in the grave, she might deliberately wish it to be shadowy.

    I also think that the history of the picture would be highly valuable. Who found it, where, who shared it to the media, and so on.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  19. Wendy B

    Wendy B New Member

    I have been researching my family history and just came across this story. Mary Elizabeth Andrews was my Grandmother. Joyce was an Aunt who passed away before I was born. My Father passed away last year but one of his sisters as well one of his brothers are still alive. I will ask what knowledge they have of this incident. By the way...this is a photo of me as a young child. I believe that I can see similarities ! 27972946_10215859730584162_9108802578810122409_n.
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  20. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

    Has nobody else noticed that the 'ghost' looks the size of a small elephant compared to the grave he/she's supposedly sitting on? As Mick said, it's either a deliberate fake spirit photo where perspective was NOT taken into consideration or an accidental double exposure.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  21. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    I hope your Aunt and Uncles will soon help us understand the history of that picture and perhaps make clear what the "ghost" baby (you late Aunt) is in the picture. Yes there are similarities with you, indeed :) I hope you'll feel proud of this thread on your family.

    As I told before "I also think that the history of the picture would be highly valuable. Who found it, where, who shared it to the media, and so on." Your relatives will be invaluable.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  22. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    Or it's a photo-montage ordered by the mother in memory of her late daughter, when she was a baby, as I conceded before.
  23. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

    That's what was inferred by 'deliberate fake spirit photo'.

    But, if by 'the mother' you're referring to 'Miss Andrews', then that would mean the story of the photo is fake as all accounts of the story say:

    And, if 'upon developing the image, she noticed the ghostly image', then she didn't order a photo montage as you suggest.

    Either way, what I am suggesting is that the photo is fake, whether deliberate ghosting portraits to commemorate the dead or not, and is not a 'real ghost photo' as the 'stories' suggest.
  24. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    Thanks for the clarification, I didn't get that. I think I wouldn't call that a "fake" in a sense that the mother wouldn't aim deceiving anyone, but I think your explanation is reasonable in substance.

    The "official" story is second-hand and was perhaps fabricated to justify the video. That's why I think knowing as much detail as possible about picture's history would be so invaluable.

    We're very lucky in that a member of this family is now member of Metabunk, too.
  25. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    Well, I could find this case is reported in a 2006 book by Tim the Yowie, Haunted and Mysterious Australia: Bunyips, yowies, phantoms and other strange phenomena:


    This is perhaps the inaugural source. It tells about Lester, Joyce's brother, 87-years-old at the time (2006 or earlier), who witnessed about the picture, and said the mother developed the negative at a photographer's a few days after taking the picture, and that his mother was surprised by the "ghost". She had taken the grave's picture to send other relatives. Lester said he had never seen the negatives. It seems, from the report in the book, that the baby wasn't acquainted to the mother, as also commented on the video. Maybe Lester is our member's late father, or her living uncle.

    If Wendy B can certify Mr. Lester, and Tim's account account is genuine, and I guess so, not much can be added to the story, except hypothesis...
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  26. Wendy B

    Wendy B New Member

    I have asked my Auntie Val about this photo. Val never married and lived at the family farm with my Grandmother (Mary Elizabeth Andrews) until Grandma passed away. Val had not seen or heard of this photograph until a few years ago. She believes it was a double exposure. She did not know who had taken the photo. One of her sisters (my Auntie Mable) was an amateur photographer so we suspect she may have taken it. I travelled down to Ma Ma Creek last week and have attached some more recent photos. I did see questions asking what had happened to Joyce and Cecil. Cecil was in the RAAF - his plane disappeared and was never found. Joyce had an ear infection which went into her brain. She died in Toowoomba hospital. 32089164_10216568417300887_2730695921389010944_n. 32461881_10216611879427413_4975652881509122048_n. his plane
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  27. Wendy B

    Wendy B New Member

    Another update from one of my cousins - Uncle Lester has the photo, it WAS taken by Grandma Andrews on a box brownie. Uncle Lester was married to Auntie Shirley. Tony Healy is a cousin on Auntie Shirley's side and writes about those types of mysteries and he has visited the Ma Ma Ck cemetery.
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  28. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    is the "ghost" in the photo? or no?
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  29. Wendy B

    Wendy B New Member

    I have not seen the original but I assume the " ghost" is in the photo which is why Uncle Lester showed it to Tony Healy.
  30. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    a photo of the original would be great, if your Uncle could send it to you. (a photo of the photo..or the actual photo itself if he doesn't mind parting with it. Is Tony Healy Uncle Lester's son?
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  31. LREKing

    LREKing New Member

    I find this discussion wonderful because it is rare to be able to hear from directly linked secondary sources. Hope we get a nice copy or high-res scan of the original. I wonder what became of the negative...?

    A couple of questions, though, about the differences in the original and contemporary photos. In the "ghost" photo, the grave sits in the middle of a concrete rectangle of some sort. There is no trace of it in the contemporary photos. I suppose it could have sunk, but then it would have been necessary to raise the headstone to keep it above ground.

    Similarly, in the original photo, there appears to be something between the Andrew headstone and the Robson headstone which is no longer present. Because of the foreshortening from the lens, it's difficult to be sure where it was located, but I'm thinking the foot of the Robson grave.

    I'm not suggesting anything out of the ordinary, but is it typical to "tidy" graveyards by removing parts of the graves?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I'd prefer a photo of the photo (sitting on a table etc) myself. a scan wouldn't really help identify if the ghost is in the original photo or not. Only because the OP quote says the photographer [allegedly] claims she doesn't recognize the child, which makes double exposure doubtful. IF, big if, this part of the 'story' is true.

    I'm assuming they removed the garden boxes because upkeep (mowing vs. having to use a weedwhacker) was too problematic.
  33. Tedsson

    Tedsson Member

    Yes it is.

    I was taking photographs of Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey for a website (mostly of the graves of Turkish pilots who were shot down in Britain by German aircraft in WWII - a strange story) and chatted to a groundsman about the dire condition of some of the older graves.

    Brookwood was where a lot of Victorian Londoners were buried. It is also a large military graveyard (more specifically a collection of graveyards). The military graves are impeccably looked after by the CWGC but unless there is a family to tend the civilian graves they gradually become decrepit. The groundsman just tidy them up as best they can and mow around them. Sometimes they are filled in but whilst they try to keep the headstones it is not always possible, given they can be 150 years old.
  34. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    and some were looking a bit untidy. There is a war memorial there (ma ma creek war memorial) that is on a lot of tourist sites, so that too may have played a bit of a part in tidying up.
  35. kasparovitch

    kasparovitch Member

    @Wendy B your information and pictures are quite amazing and helpful.

    In the book I found by Tim the Yowie, he says your uncle Lester showed him the picture and that he was 87 at the time.

    Can you tell us he's year of birth, so that we can date when he showed Tim the pic?

    Does anyone here know where the picture in post #1 with a caption telling about Tony Healy was first published?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018