Monday, May 12, 2014

Ghost in a Wheelchair

I recently joined a few new paranormal-themed Facebook groups and LIKED a few new pages...and was surprised to see the photo above being shared over and over as a possibly paranormal photo!  It's definitely creepy, and arguably, even a little sad.  However, its not what it appears to be...

The earliest date that I remember seeing this photo was in 2012.  That May, a Brazilian website claimed that the photo was taken at an Argentinian Hospital near Rosario.  A staff member of the Clemente Alvarez Emergency Hospital going by the name of Diego took the photo and promptly posted it on Facebook.
Allegedly, multiple staff members, including doctors, nurses and cleaning staff, all had seen the wheelchair move down the hall on its own.

Several months later, in September, the same Brazilian website posted a photo of ANOTHER Argentinian ghost sighting.  Enzo Guillermo used his cell phone to capture an image of a woman sitting on a bench in the Plazoleta de los Immigrantes, in the city of Lules.  Locals claimed that the area was home to strange, paranormal noises observed in the early morning hours, and a woman had recently passed away in the park.

Hopefully you can spot the obvious similarities of the figures in both photos.  It looks like this particular ghost is traveling all over Argentina!  Or...there could be a much simpler explanation.  The two photos from South America are a hoax.

In July of 2012, a controversy arose when the group Ghosts of New England Research Society (G.O.N.E.R.S.) posted ANOTHER photo of the seated woman, seen below. Shortly after, they were called out, and posted a retraction stating that another group had claimed the image of the woman was copyrighted to a photo THEY took in 1991...and that they were trying to sue a popular smart phone application called Ghost Cam for copyright infringement.

G.O.N.E.R.S photo on left, Original 1991 photo on right

That original 1991 photo is the infamous and widely know (albeit controversial) "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove" photo!  In August of 1991, members of the Ghost Research Society were on site at the small Bachelor's Grove Cemetery near Midlothian, Illinois. This cemetery has had a long reputation of being haunted.  Strange lights, unexplained sounds, and even full-bodied apparitions have all been observed there.  There is some confusion as to who exactly took the photograph, but its largely attributed to GRS member, Mari Huff, who was shooting with high-speed infrared film.  Here's the photo again:

I'm not sure whatever happened with the lawsuit, but I couldn't find this particular image on the updated Ghost Cam 2 app, and no new forgeries seem to have popped up since 2012.  But, as the recent activity on social media has shown, even older, previously debunked photos can come back to fool people.

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