The existence of ghosts is something that will probably always be up for debate; and thanks to the following collection of creepy photos, this theory won’t be budging anytime soon! In this day and age, it’s easy to be a tad skeptical about anything paranormal. The idea of spirits wandering the earth after death might sound illogical in the cold light of day, but looking through these creepy and hard-to-explain snapshots (especially at night), it’s hard not to feel a chill down the spine.
From horror movies to campfire stories and creepypastas, it’s fair to say that we have a fascination with ghouls and apparitions, not just on October 31st. Halloween may be over for another year, but this doesn’t make these mysterious ghost snaps any less freaky, especially when you hear more about them. Many of the creepy pictures in this list have been dividing opinions for years as to whether they’re fake or the real deal. But, fake or not, you have to admit that they’re pretty disturbing.
With Photoshop and modern camera tricks, it has become easier than ever to trick the eye and make us think that there’s something in a photo that shouldn’t be. But since most of these were taken more than half a century ago, the strange figures in these photos are not so easy to explain. Are these just a case of double exposure or a really cruel prank that has managed to fool people for decades? Decide for yourself whether you think these are genuine or not while I go hide under a blanket! At least one of these 15 freaky photographs will make the hardest cynic’s blood run cold.
15 The Ghost Of Lord Combermere
I’ve always had two reasons for thinking that living in a huge mansion wouldn’t be all it was cracked up to be—one, the cleaning would be a nightmare, and two, TV and films have instilled an irrational fear in me that it will almost definitely be haunted. Neurotic thoughts and an impressionable childhood mind aside, it looks like I have good reason to be wary about mansion living when gazing upon this heart-stopping photo.
This was taken in the library at the home of Lord Combermere in 1891 (shortly after his funeral). Combermere died in an automobile accident in London only a few weeks before this photo was taken. But if you take a look to the left of the photo, it seems like his lordship was a bit stubborn about joining the afterlife. Sitting in the large chair to the left, you can clearly make out a bespectacled man’s head and torso, but not his legs. It’s not known for sure, but perhaps he lost his legs in the car accident?
14 The Creepy Hanging Man
This unbelievably horrifying pic was supposed to be a happy 50’s family settling into their new home in Texas, or at least this is how it looked before the picture was taken. Once the photo was developed, however, it revealed the disturbing and unexpected figure of what appears to be a man’s body hanging down from the ceiling. The complete juxtaposition of happy smiling children next to what looks like an upside-down corpse is dark enough to give the toughest cynic chills. So, what’s the explanation behind this nightmarish photo?
Various sources have claimed to know more about the family than the figure itself. Depending on which source you believe, the family name is either Cooper or Copper and as far as we know, nobody can adequately explain what the hell this freaky figure is. Some skeptics claim it to be an inverted ballerina that someone later edited into the photo (wtf?), but the figure doesn’t look so graceful from where we’re standing. This photo is nightmare fuel at its finest.
13 Spirit Wandering The Tea Room
We all like a spot of tea and cake every now and then, but others love it so much that they apparently maintain a fondness for it in the afterlife too, as observed by this chilling photo. This picture was taken from CCTV footage at a tea room in Perth, Australia and appears to depict a white ghoulish figure hovering over one of the tables. The vintage cafe owner, Dan Clifford, reported the pic to a team of ghost hunters immediately after watching the creepy security footage back.
At first, Clifford’s heart sank as he believed it to be an intruder. But as he kept watching, he discovered the figure he was watching wasn’t all there. “I looked closer and realized that it couldn’t be a human being – I could see right through it,” he said. I’ll bet he wishes he had seen a human intruder instead! Despite investigations into the footage and customers claiming to have felt a similar ‘presence’, the case of the spooky tea room ghost is yet to be solved.
12 The Amityville House Boy
You’ll have no doubt seen this picture making the rounds on the internet for a good few years now. This unsettling photo of the supposed ghost of one of the young Amityville murder victims has become one of the most iconic ghost images in recent memory and still has people divided about its authenticity. The Amityville murders–which happened on November 13th, 1974–saw Ronald DeFeao Jr. shoot his father, younger brother, and two sisters dead, and this pic is said to be the ghost of his little bro peering into your soul with his creepy glowing eyes.
Famously, a couple named George and Kathy Lutz moved into the Amityville house shortly after the murders (despite being warned about the house’s creepy past). They quickly wished they’d heeded the warnings, though, as they faced a month of creepy paranormal goings before finally leaving. When the Lutz couple hired a couple of investigators in 1976, one of them happened to take this photo in the abandoned house, and it has given the world nightmares ever since. To this day, there has been no solid explanation for the appearance of the Amityville ‘ghost boy’.
11 Unexplained Cowboy Figure
Don’t let the black and white fool you. This photo was taken comparatively recently to the others on this list—in the late 1990’s. The modern dude dressed in Western attire is standing in the iconic Boothill graveyard in Arizona. And just at the moment this picture was taken, a graveyard guest decided to present himself. As you can see, behind the modern cowboy is the faint figure of the head and shoulders of a man, seemingly sporting a Fedora, and the photographer claims that nothing but the gravestones were behind the man when taking the picture.
What’s particularly odd about this figure (and something that justifies our heebie-jeebies even more!) is the fact that the cowboy apparition appears to be coming out of the ground, as if he were buried up to his chest in the dirt. This makes it an impossible angle for someone to have pulled a prank at the last second before the picture was taken. You may notice, the figure is also a similar height to the gravestones. Cowpoke spirits of the Old West clearly weren’t happy about this modern guy imitating them.
10 Woman In Abandoned Hospital
Any building that has been abandoned for many years is already creepy as hell, but a derelict hospital? This takes the cake for eerie vibes. In this photo, the faint but noticeable figure of a woman’s body can be seen outside one of the doors on the right-hand side, and she looks to be wearing a white hospital gown. This picture was snapped at the abandoned Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Kentucky, and this ghostly female figure is thought to be the ghost of a young nurse called Mary Lee who contracted tuberculosis.
Waverly Hills was one of the few hospitals dedicated to treating patients with tuberculosis, and without the help of modern medicine, treatment was apparently only effective for around 5% of the patients there. As for the rest of the poor souls (some 8000 people), their bodies were apparently chucked down a chute and taken out of the sanitarium through an underground tunnel. The spirits of these bodies are supposedly still wandering the place looking for answers and Nurse Mary Lee is one of them...and she’s looking right at us!
9 Creepy Church Spectre
It’s easy to assume that this is a hoax set up by Halloween pranksters, but according to experts and researchers, this photo could be the real deal. The spooky cloaked figure in the right side of the picture appears to be wearing the iconic Scream mask as seen in the movie franchise. However, several photo experts have no reason to believe that the photo was doctored in any way. Because of the date this pic was taken (early 1960’s), researchers have also ruled out any photographic trickery or double exposure techniques. So, who can explain the freaky ghoul at the altar?
As of now, no one has been able to explain the mysterious figure’s appearance. All that’s known about the photo is that it was taken by the Reverend K.F. Lord in 1963 at the Newby Church in Yorkshire, England. The church apparently had no history of paranormal activity prior to the picture being taken and never experienced any since. Reverend Lord’s chilling snap is thought to be entirely genuine by ghost aficionados around the world. With the lack of tampering evidence (and the fact that I’m staring at this photo after dark), I’m inclined to believe them!
8 Disturbing Cemetery Ghost Baby
A grieving mother known only as Mrs. Andrews took this installing photo in the 1940’s while paying respects to her daughter’s grave in Queensland, Australia. When she returned to get her picture developed, she stared back in disbelief at the faded image of a baby girl sitting beside her daughter’s tombstone. Contrary to what you’re probably assuming right now, the mother’s late daughter was actually around 17 years old when she died, so why the apparition of a young baby girl?
According to further research into the cemetery in Queensland by two paranormal investigators, the tombstones nearby the teenage daughter’s belonged to that of two infant girls. Creepy! What makes this picture even more chilling is the fact that the little girl seems to be looking directly at Mrs. Andrews as she took the photo. Maybe the ghostly baby girls wander the cemetery hoping to find their real mom? Whatever the explanation, it’s pretty chilling.
7 A Supernatural Passenger
The glowing eyes of the figure in the backseat of the car are certainly unsettling. But wait, it gets creepier. This picture was taken by a woman named Mable Chinnery on her way back from her own mother’s funeral, and when she developed the picture, she recognized that this bright-eyed apparition in the backseat bore a striking resemblance to her recently-deceased mother! At the time of taking the picture, there was nobody other than her husband in the driver’s seat of their car. Creepy AF.
It’s worth bearing in mind that this was a pretty odd time to take a photo (not to mention that her husband is slightly smiling on what is supposed to be a somber day), so it could be easy to dismiss the image as a hoax. The camera flash combined with the poor lighting may have made the backseat appear like the face and neck of an old woman, but a daughter knows best. And if she sees her mother in it (like we’re trying not to), then that’s creepy enough for us!
6 The Lady Of Raynham Hall
Along with the spirit of the Amityville boy, this is one of the most iconic images of the paranormal—the ghost of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. The main reason people find this ghost sighting so heart-stoppingly chilling is the fact that it looks like the typical image we all conjure up when we think about the other side. Ghouls and spirits appear in many forms in this list, but the classic floating Lady of the Manor in an 18th-century house in England is about as close to ghost imagery as it’s possible to get.
The Brown Lady was said to be Dorothy Walpole, the sister of Britain’s first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, and the legend goes that he locked her away somewhere in her sprawling country house after it was discovered that she had an affair. She remained locked away until she died of smallpox in 1726, and her ghostly figure was caught gliding down the grand staircase at Raynham Hall by a photographer in 1936. Visitors to the house in Norfolk alleged that her presence is still felt there to this day.
5 A Baby’s Spirit In The Crib
When one new mom was routinely checking her baby monitor to see if her little one was still fast asleep, she saw something on the screen that probably caused her to scream the whole house awake. The image is pretty grainy, but you can just make out the appearance of a glowing figure in blue watching over the real baby sleeping in the crib. But we’re just looking at the still image. According to the terrified mother, the bizarre ‘ghost baby’ did far more than just hover over the crib.
Mom Laura and her partner, Dean, were watching their 18-month-old son on the monitor in their home in Devon, England when they noticed the strange shape appear in the top right corner of the screen. The bizarre baby-sized ghost appeared to move near their son as if trying to sleep next to him and could also be seen pointing to objects around the bedroom. Freaky! The couple has also experienced photo frames being thrown from the walls and hearing the sounds of children running around when none are in the house. I think I’d move or at least buy a new baby monitor!
4 Phantom Sailors Of S.S. Watertown
Maritime legend is filled with scary stories about sailors who are lead to their watery grave in some way, but how often do you get photos to accompany said scary story? This eerie picture is thought to be just that—a depiction of two dead sailors spotted in the waves the day after their tragic deaths. This eerie photo was taken as the fated sailor’s fellow crew members were sailing through the Pacific Ocean in December of 1924. The phantom faces were thought to have belonged to seamen James Courtney and Michael Meehan who died trying to clean the ship’s cargo tank.
The two sailors were tasked with cleaning out part of the ship’s oil tanker, but they became overwhelmed by gas fumes and succumbed before their fellow crewmen could help. Losing two of their men was clearly haunting the remaining crew on the ship because this picture was taken shortly after their death off the port side of the ship. The ship’s first mate reportedly noticed the faces fade after 10 seconds, but not before the crew snapped this haunting pic. Shiver me timbers indeed...
3 Not-So-Private Prayer Session
This picture was taken by a British man of his wife deep in prayer. The only problem was, the couple were the only two people in the church at the time. Eek! In snapping this ‘70s photo of his wife in the middle of a prayer, the husband also unwittingly captured a mysterious white figure sitting behind her on the prayer bench, and it appears to resemble the ghost of an old woman. When the couple got their photos developed, they can’t have imagined that a visitor from beyond was listening in on their prayer time.
Judging by the wife’s clothes and the bright shafts of light on the church floor, it was possibly a sunny weather that day, so some would argue that the sunlight was producing odd shapes and reflections. Then again, this isn’t any vague flash of light. It seems to have taken a very specific shape that appears to us like a body, a head, and an arm leaning on the back of the prayer bench. Presumably, this woman was asking for a guardian angel and someone–or something–seems to have answered her.
2 Strange ‘Tulip Staircase’ Apparition
This looks more like a surrealist painting or a still from an arthouse horror film. But it is, in fact, a photo taken by a Canadian couple in the late ‘60s on their visit to a famously haunted part of a British museum. The museum in question is the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and this dreamy (or is that nightmarish?) figure was captured in the ‘Queen’s house’ section of the museum.
The husband was supposedly just taking a memento pic of the beautiful Tulip staircase in this much-visited section of the museum, but ended up with one more holiday memento than he bargained for when he got his film rolls developed. The man and his wife (who was standing directly behind him at the time) have confirmed that neither of them saw the ghostly figure clinging to the banister. Legend has it that a maid fell to her death from the top of the staircase some 300 years ago. (You need new underwear right now. Admit it.)
1 The Faces Of An Old Lady And Her Bulldog
Aww! What a precious happy photo of a mom and her son playing with bubbles on their front porch! Cute! Wait, what the hell is that in the background? The mother and boy appear to be being watched by something far creepier than a nosy neighbor—the ghostly figures of an old lady and her pet bulldog (thought to be the previous homeowners). Don’t you just love it when the previous tenants drop by to check if you’re settling in okay?
The photo was reportedly taken by the husband to celebrate moving into his new family home in Chicago, and despite his claims that there was no one inside the house as he snapped the picture, these creepy-as-hell figures pressed their ghoulish noses up against the glass. The photo quality may not be great, but it’s easy to just about distinguish the head of an old woman and what looks like a bulldog lying in wait to haunt the new family. Hell to the no!