Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Strange Turn of the Century "Ghost" Photo

This turn of the century cabinet photo intrigued me from the get-go, although its nature is unclear. The photo was purchased by me on eBay for a nominal price. While somber poses were common in this era, black attire such as this was usually reserved for mourning a death. The chilliness of the photo goes beyond the intense stares of the subjects-- the icy winter scene evokes the same harshness.

But these qualities are not the most interesting aspect of the photo.
The little girl in the window...what is her purpose? A rational person would say: "She was in the house, and she got in the shot." But, I must admit, it's more fun to be irrational. It's more fun to speculate that she's the dead person that they are mourning with their black attire and that her spirit has manifested itself, appearing in the photo. Okay, not likely, but I have wondered if perhaps this is an example of what was known as "spirit photography." During this time period, people would sometimes have photographers add in images of their deceased relatives into photos of themselves. Is this a spirit photo? It's hard to say.

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