Monday, April 19, 2010

The Most Famous Ghost Picture

Faking paranormal pictures is an age-old practice and has gone on as long as people have been taking photos. There are some famous images, however, who are considered genuine -- having stood up to time, studies, investigations and laboratory tests. The portrait below is arguably the most famous of this elite grouping.

The Brown Lady
Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount of Raynham, and his wife Dorothy Townshend, were residents of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in the early 1700s. Before their nuptials, it was rumored that Dorothy had been a mistress of Lord Wharton and the Viscount came to believe the affair had never ended. Although legal records say Dorothy died and was buried in 1726, it is suspected that Charles staged a fake funeral and kept his wife locked away until her death many years later.

The Sightings

Dorothy's ghost is said to haunt Raynham Hall, particularly the oak staircase. While staying at Raynham Hall in the early 1800s, King George IV witnessed the spectre as a woman in a brown dress standing beside his bed. Christmas 1835: Colonel Loftus saw her twice in her brown satin dress. A few years after, Captain Frederick Marryat and two friends also witnessed The Brown Lady gliding along an upstairs hallway carrying a lantern. Marryat fired a pistol at the apparition. The bullet passed through it.

This famous photo was taken in September, 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, two photographers who were assigned to photograph Raynham Hall for Country Life magazine. It was published in the December 16, 1936 issue.

The Brown Lady is still seen occasionally.

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