Psychic photography, also known as spirit photography, is the single most important evidence an investigator can have to support the claim of supernatural or preternatural presence at a location. This is a technique widely used by researchers all around the world not only to document a haunting but also to find one.
Psychic photography was first introduced in 1862 by William Mumler, a well respected professional photographer in Boston. Upon developing the plate the sitter, Dr. Gardner of the same city, was amazed at what he saw. On the plate appeared to be a figure which closely resembled Dr. Gardners cousin, a person who has been deceased for twelve years prior to the photo session. Through this picture and the recognition given to it by Dr. Gardner, who published his account excessively around the world, it was quickly picked up by the spiritualist and used to support their beliefs. Although many spirit photographs and psychic photographers were proven to be fraud it was that small handful of pictures that were authentic, or at least no trickery was found in them, that has enabled psychic photography to still be researched and performed today. Theory of why Psychic Photography works:
Since this field of work is not an exact science there are no right or wrong answers to why the phenomena of psychic photography occurs, only theories. Although I have always tried to stay open minded to other investigators opinions, I myself as an investigator have decided to stick with one. Many investigators, including myself, believe that spirits allow us to take their photographs, but not because we were at the right place at the right time but because they let us. What I mean by this is that when entering a haunted location you have now become a target. Many spirits, after they have become familiar with you, will decide if they want to communicate or not for whatever purpose they might have, and sometimes the way they choose to express communication is by psychic photography. They achieve this by implanting their image onto the film bypassing the camera lens and directly placing it onto the negative. We must remember that film is a very sensitive and delicate material that is very susceptible to light, heat, magnetic, and many other types of energy. Most of these sources are the same energies that spirits utilize! See the connection?
How to perform Psychic Photography:
As previously discussed, Psychic Photography is not an exact science therefore there are no set rules for how and when this should be attempted but by popular belief this is the best method. When arriving at the location that has been decided upon load up the camera with the film, not before. Through this recognition the spirits will be attracted to you. Then walk around the site for half an hour or so without taking photographs. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the surroundings as well as letting the spirits get used to you, a very important factor. Once you have done this you can now start taking photos. Chances are that no entity is going to be that co-operative and just pose for you, so here are a couple of signs you should be looking for
that would indicate an opportune time to take a shot.
1) When there is a temperature change in a specific location.
2) If an odor becomes present.
3) If there is a feeling of being watched.
4) If tiny sparkles appear when the flash goes off.
Results of Psychic Photography:
Many people believe when you take a psychic photograph that you are going to end up with a full body apparition, that is very rare. There are many types of ways that a spirit can appear but a complete specter is unlikely. In this section we are going to discuss the most common types of appearances in Psychic Photography.
Globules or Orbs-
These are the most common of psychic photographs. They are spherical in shape and can be transparent or translucent. Globules are mostly seen hovering over a specific grave.
When a globular is illuminated or has a distinct color it is known as a ghostlight. Ghostlight are usually seen in multiples and sometimes within the camera flash when photographing. They are also commonly known as sparkles.
Ectoplasm appears as a foggy substance which can be seen fully on the photograph or concentrated in one specific area. When evaluating a photograph which has ectoplasm present look deep and you might be able to see appendages closely resembling limbs of a body or even a face. Ectoplasm is also called psychic fog or spirit energy.
Light Rod -
The Light Rod appears in a stick or bar like shape. This form sometimes will have a bend to it which it is then referred to as a Swirling Light rod. When reviewing this type of photo notice often there are globules present around or in the rod.
The Vortex is an uncommon photo but when taken itís a keeper. The Vortex appears as a funnel shaped image similar to the Swirling Light Rod.