Have you ever wondered what the first, real ghost picture might have been? What about the first “faux” ghost photograph: when did it first occur to someone that they could fool humanity into believing the false?
But was it really fooling people or, perhaps, actually “inspiring” us to consider the supernatural?
Something (Capturing Ghosts on Film) great for us to contemplate was put forth by writer Robert Irving over a decade ago as a magazine article for Fortean Times, and I think Irving’s thoughts are still very relevant, even in light of today’s far-flung chicanery — the onslaught of false ghost and spirit photos we see being shared, daily, thanks to the smartphone apps that help to create the odd and eerie “phantasmal” imagery. I can sum up Irving’s idea as this: we are mesmerized by the metaphysical.
Mankind has certainly been inspired by media — first artistic renderings, statues, paintings and the like — and in modern times, photography and videography have been added to our art forms, allowing us to “conceive” glimpses into the afterlife, or at least what many of us might choose to believe is a depiction of what could await us at the end of our earthly lives.
In retrospect, I am beginning to wonder if we should continue to hold disdain for the faked photographs polluting the web. Could it be wiser to simply give in and share them with others? Of course, I hate the idea of contaminating possible real evidence with the false; but it seems even the real thing is discounted, anyway, even after laying out the best case possible for each ghostly experience.
Are we better off to share something that may spark an interest or, at least, a consideration of the paranormal? Sometimes, I think so. It could just be a new form of art.