Spirit photos

Photo by William Mumler
One of the chapters I'm working on for THE GIRLS' GHOST HUNTING GUIDE is the history of spiritualism and the fascinating realm of spirit photography of the mid-19th - early 20th century.

Infamous for his spirit portrait featuring the deceased Abraham Lincoln cozying up to his very-much-alive-but-slighty-wacky wife, William Mumler turned an amateur photograph of himself and a reportedly deceased young cousin into a media sensation in 1862.Turning a double exposure into a thriving business by capitalizing on the grief and deep pockets of others during and after the Civil War, Mumler continued to churn out hazy photographs of the living and their +1.

Mumler was eventually brought up on fraud charges in 1869 after it was discovered that some of his "ghosts" still had a pulse, though the charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence. The popularity of spirit photography continued past his death in 1884, however he never managed to pop up into any other photographs.

Photo by William Hope
Photo by John Hollowell
[I thought Queen Victoria and George Washington were a nice touch]
Image credit: Collection of National Media Museum
Image credit: Collection of National Media Museum
[note the hand creeping up the seance table]

What are some of your favorites?

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