This photo has recently popped up in popular media once again, as part of an article by the Huffington Post on ghosts, featuring a haunted mirror that recently sold on eBay. I had seen this photo before, but seeing it mentioned once again sparked an interest that sent me on another disappointing research journey, lol.
The photo is found throughout the web, being shared on blogs and forums alike, but unfortunately, the information is VERY scarce...and seems to be a near-copy and paste job. A few sites mentioned a few additional details, but the basic story goes as follows:
In August of 1916, Arthur Springer, a retired member of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) now commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, took this photograph of two ladies having tea while a maid looks on. The photo was taken at the home of Kate Townsend, who appears to the left of the photo, in Tingewick, Buckinghamshire, England. At the time of the photo, the dog, which some say appears to be a golden retriever, or possibly some type of long-haired hound, was allegedly not seen, and some sites go on further to claim that Mrs. Townsend did not own such a dog.
The Ghost Dog of Tingewick has appeared in several books, two of which I own personally. I looked them up in both Brad Steiger's 2003 edition of Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places, as well as the 2007 Famous Ghosts and Haunted Places, but neither produced any additional information.
That's when I set out to see what I could find out about the people involved...
What I found was that there was an Arthur Springer who worked for the CID, but there wasn't any additional data about him or his character. I couldn't find any Kate Townsends, but throughout the past 200+ years, there has been a large population of the Townsend surname in and around that area of Buckinghamshire. I did find a Kate Townsend Bunkley, whose birth date does seem to correspond to what appears to be the age of the woman in the photograph, but I was really disappointed that I wasn't able to find more information.
However, I can just look at the picture and confidently say that I don't believe that this is a ghost dog. The way the photograph is framed, it appears as if the dog is supposed to be in the photo, as it is taken into consideration in regards to the symmetry of the subjects in the middle of the frame.
Secondly, what appears to be a headless, transparent, and possibly skeletal, dog form can be explained VERY simply. It looks as if the dog simply was moving while the shot was taken. Its head appears to be turned toward Mrs. Townsend, giving it the appearance that its "not there" and the very transparent look of its hindquarters is probably because the dog is wagging its tail! An example of this type of photography can be seen to the right in the photograph taken by HPIR founder, Melissa Stanley, as a promotion photo for the Haunted and Historic Guyandotte Tours!
In conclusion, I have to say that this image of the ghost dog is NOT paranormal. The maid on the other hand...that's open to debate!
*Want MORE ghost photos? See Theresa's Paranormal Photos Page!*