Monday, October 20, 2014

Ghost Boy in Tree

Another "faux-tograph" has been making its rounds on social media this week and last.  The picture in question was published last week in the UK's DailyMail online edition and was allegedly taken sometime this past August by Michelle Mason.  On a family walk near Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Mason's children, Lee and Sophia took time out to climb a tree, and Mason snapped a photo.  It wasn't until later that the family realized that a third child had made its presence known in the photo.  What is interesting about the photo is that the ghostly Victorian-era child's most notable feature is the dark, black eyes.  For several months now, the area of Cannock Chase has been in the news multiple times concerning sightings of Black Eyed Kids, a type of paranormal being that has only been noted in the past 15 years or so. Mason claims the photo was taken with a normal camera and that she did not alter it in any way.

Unfortunately, there's overwhelming evidence that SOMEONE digitally altered the image, adding in the little boy.  The photo below was found on the Facebook page, Ghost App Ghosts, which archives a variety of smart phone ghost app images. You can clearly see that the little boy on the right hand side of the photo, with his dark eyes and hoop in hand, is an identical match to the young fella seen here in this app's extended preview section.  He's on the bottom row, middle column:

If that isn't enough to convince you of this photo's fraudulent nature, here's a side by side of the images:

Well, I'm convinced...but there are still plenty of people out there who are posting the original, looking for opinions on its authenticity.  As Halloween draws closer, we has paranormal investigators, researchers, and enthusiasts have to stay vigilant because this is the time of year that is ripe for these types of fake images  This is also a time to practice a little tact and community service.  If you come across someone posting this photo, or another obvious fake, don't be afraid to tell them that its not real--just do so in a beneficial way.  Many people who are posting fakes aren't actually making the fakes themselves.  Rather, they are being fooled by family and friends who are altering their images or, they're just simply re-posting from the other sources pictures that they find interesting.

And don't simply yell, "FAKE!" without backing up your argument.  I try to keep postings of some of the more widespread ghost app images on my blog, just so I have a handy link with all the information I need to which I can refer people to.  There are also some excellent Facebook sites solely dedicated to collecting and archiving as many Ghost App images as they can find, as well as other popular sources for digital alterations.  I've already mentioned Ghost App Ghosts, but There's a Ghost App for That is another great resource.  Let's work together and use these horribly frustrating photos as an opportunity to share knowledge and resources and hopefully keep the field of paranormal study moving in the right direction!

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