Ghostly Graveyard Gaff

Welcome to a new series in the Singular Journal where we explore the paranormal on film. With all the modern technology and software available to us, it is becoming more and more difficult to determine if a capture of the supernatural is real, falsified, or simply natural phenomena that can be explained. As a professional photographer with a college degree in the field, I am able to use my knowledge to determine whether or not a spooky image is in fact the weird, impossible thing that we think it might be. We invite you to send us your ghostly captures and hopefully we can find answers for you. Perhaps we can also help you discover your own critical eye.

This week's image is of a ghostly figure crossing a graveyard. The photograph is definitely digital, and the figure crossing the scene is transparent. The photograph is very low quality, under 75 dpi (dots per inch), which is typical photographic quality for the web. A high-quality photograph that I might deliver to a client is at least 300 dpi. With this poor resolution, there is a lack of clarity there which naturally makes this image more difficult to decipher. Whether or not the creator of this image used its poor resolution to their advantage is a matter of speculation, although it is a common tactic in hoaxed photography.

Two of the components that help capture an image to film or a digital sensor is shutter speed and aperture. Aperture is the function that controls how much light is let into the camera. Shutter speed is how fast the shutter snaps down (the click that you hear) when the image is captured. By slowing down a shutter speed, you are allowing for more light to enter through the mirror of the camera, and effectively, movement.

The ghostly figure you see in this camera is of an individual leaving their camera shutter open for at least 30 seconds or more, crossing in front of the frame, and his movement is blurred causing him to appear transparent. This phenomenon is very common with photography and is used as a unique effect with fine art photography and advertising.

Anyone can fake a ghost, and this is just ONE of the ways!

Unusually yours,


ghostsTobias Wayland