Imagine the following scenario. You’ve given your child a camera to take pictures of your new house, only when she comes back there’s one photo of her and something else behind her shoulder. As you look closer you realize it’s the face of another girl – and she looks like no one you know – and no one who should be living. And yet despite this being a fairly specific interpretation of the paranormal phenomena of ghosts photo bombing portraits, there has been a steep rise in the number of cases in just the past few weeks.
It’s a fairly disturbing story because this stream of photos making their way into forums and other social media outlets has no real connection other than the fact that a solitary individual is seen in each one with what appears to be a disembodied or incomplete form of a person standing almost crystal clear behind them and staring either directly into the camera or the target they’re standing behind.
The photos themselves have yet to be analyzed, and in the past few years there has certainly been more than a small increase in unofficial campaigns to share humorous or creepy images partially due to the popularity of image sharing hosts across the Internet and the tempting possibility of five minutes of fame (even if it is anonymous fame) as the images gain in popularity. But there is generally one side effect to this phenomenon. It’s often possible to pinpoint where the campaigns begin and even point out an originating image on which the others were based.
Not so with this latest stream of creepy photos. If it is a purely social phenomenon, then it appears to be one that sprang up spontaneously and with no organization or even acknowledgement that such a phenomenon exists from the posters. There is an app for the iPhone that alleges to be able to put ghost photos in pictures, but not all of the pictures are coming from iPhones – with some of them even being captured on old fashioned 35 mm film later scanned and uploaded.
Are these merely double exposures designed to appear like the others? It’s certainly within the realm of possibility. But there’s another possibility we have to consider. What if this is a signal, an indicator of an ever increasing proximity between our realm and the realm of the unknown? And what if one of the myriad ways this change is happening is by having the spirits of the departed or even other extra-dimensional entities suddenly appear to us and burn their own images on film?
And with the other changes seen throughout the world, it seems hardly likely that it’s all just coincidence. And what would cause such a surge of fakes if indeed they turned out to be anything but authentic? Perhaps in time we will be able to say.