Ghostly fakery in the 19th century

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PostFri Oct 29, 2010 3:59 pm » by Abyssdnb

Just in time for Halloween comes a collection of spooky photos from beyond the grave. Well, not exactly. They're blatant fakes. But folks didn't know that when they first came out in the 19th century. And, even now, the collection of creepy pics from photographer/huckster William Hope is well worth a look.

Back in the early days of photography, Hope discovered how to double-expose photos to make it seem like spirits were hovering next to people. He would superimpose a face on top of the original photo, and the result was quite startling. Gizmodo explains that even very smart people like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fell for the trick.

Being an entrepreneur as well as a morally ambiguous chap, he and his followers, the "Crewe Circle," used this knowledge to create ghostly images. They then sold them to people who had lost their loved ones. ("See, there's old Aunt Gertrude right there! She looks so happy!")

You can check out a slideshow of some of his work below. The results (pre-Photoshop, of course) are remarkably creepy. We can only imagine how many people fell for the scheme. ... -photoshop :ghost:
Image "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it."

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