Can you explain this ghost photo?


I was recently emailed this, with the comment ‘ I got this pic from my niece.  The original pic was taken with a camera phone. ‘


Any ideas?


82 comments on “Can you explain this ghost photo?

  1. Berber Anna says:

    Looks like dirt or dust on the lens to me.

  2. Idea: Use a camera that doesn’t make *everything* blurry has hell. I’m really not sure *what* is supposed to be the ghost here. Is it the boxy “face” on the back wall? The white splotch by the far arm of the couch? The blanket (or whatever that is) near the middle? The blob next to it that *might* be a child?

  3. richardn says:

    i see sheepdog.

  4. Malinari says:

    Aliens! is the only plausible explanation…..

  5. ButMadNNW says:

    Someone who moved as the photo was snapped – as Impossibly Stupid says, camera phones’ photos are often blurry and can’t handle motion very well.

    Some sort of blanket/household animal combination. See above re: motion.

    Given how solid this one looks compared to most “ghost” photos, the only way I’d be convinced of anything is if the next shot showed the mother(?) and baby running for their lives. Surely such a solid-looking form would have had a corporeal presence in the space and not *just* have been visible by camera.

  6. Fran6co says:

    A little baby girl in the centre, her mother on the right and her grandma suffering Parkinson disease on the left.

  7. Miquel says:

    Yup, I agree with @ButMadNNW I’d go for a dog shaking something of. One like this would be my guess

  8. Mal says:

    Yep, one of those big shaggy dogs like on the cover of the Bush – Glycerine album, but not quite that shaggy… 😉

    And those phones require you to be mega still, especially in poor light.

    Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a little paradolia and is explained by some other object, because it does seem a little wierd.

  9. Tony says:

    Why do we keep seeing these ‘ghost’ photos?

    A blurry picture taken with a dodgy camera is just that.

  10. Gert says:

    It’s the mother reaching behind the baby to get the blanket or whatever it is that is lying next to them on the couch. Flash and longish exposure do the rest.

  11. Adrian says:

    A believe it’s real and a solid proof that ghosts exist. This mark the end of the thread, please don’t follow..

  12. TomC says:

    I’d have to say it’s Derren Brown – ’cause he’s everywhere you look at the moment.

  13. David D says:

    I too do not see why Ricgard keeps posting these images. I’m sure he has much more wonderful stuff to share than this infantile nonsense.

    • @brianhalliday says:

      Well said David. Couldn’t agree more. And why declare them to be “Ghost Pictures” in the first place?

    • ScreamingGreenConure says:

      I suspect he called it a “ghost picture” because it’s a picture that looks like a ghost. Tricky buggers, these psychologists.

  14. Mark Probst says:

    It’s a long exposure, so there’s motion blur, as can be seen at the child’s head. The thing on the left could be a dog that’s shaking or a blanket that’s being thrown on the couch.

  15. Scott says:

    It has a shadow… I suggest that it’s a second, naughty, child — jumping on the sofa.

  16. Mchl says:

    So where’s the ‘ghost’ here?

  17. Dan says:

    I’m just going to go with something on the lens
    I wouldn’t call it a ghost photo though – that doesn’t look at all like a person – more like a transparent blob, somewhat like a stain on the lens in fact. Add to that the blurry image quality and voila.

  18. Faye says:

    haha I see the sheep dog too!

  19. iszi says:

    looks like super hot coffee that has been split and is vaporizing.

  20. Sarah says:

    Looks like the person taking the pic has a cigarette in hand and the pic is showing a trail of the smoke maybe?

  21. Matt says:

    It’s a dog moving on the couch, with it’s tail dangling over the edge. You can see its snout and mouth near the top right of it.

  22. elsiem says:

    I don’t think there’s anything there at all. That smudge to the left of the people in the photo looks exactly like the bleary spots I get in my pictures when I take them with a poor camera in bad light.

  23. Tash says:

    it does look like a blur but why does it look like a person leaning in watching over the people – i think its their guardian angel 🙂

  24. Greg says:

    Low light, slow exposure, poor camera (phone ?) add up to the poor quality of the image. My vote of for some type of fabric – blanket maybe – being thrown onto or up form the couch. The less blurred section draped over the cushion and hanging down to the floor suggest this isn’t a dog shaking itself. The shadow of the person’s knee put the object behind him/her (from the camera’s perspective) and her position would suggest they are looking for something on the couch. Something may have dropped on the couch and the fabric has been thrown up in the air in order to look underneath it.

    There is certainly nothing at all supernatural about it.

  25. Albert Kanobie says:

    You are all WRONG! WRONG!! WRONG!!! It actually is:
    A.Obviously a being from another dimension
    B. Obviously a being from another planet
    C. Obviously a benevolent ghost trying to contact with a message of hope and reconciliation.
    D. Obviously a malevolent spirit who needs to be exorcised
    E. Obviously Jesus
    F. Obviously Carl Sagan warning us about Global Warming
    G. Obviously Gordon Gecko warning us about the GFC ( a bit late Gordon!)
    H. All of the above

  26. Judy Olsen says:

    Warning. Don’t spill your dinner on your phone.

  27. Jefy says:

    Yes, it’s a blurry ghost. It’s composed of brown ectoplasm, obviously.

  28. My bet is that it is an overexposure of a long haired dog, shaking it’s head, and in the process – blurring out the rest of it’s body.

    No ghost here.

  29. toby mills says:

    The mother has just thrown a blanket or fabric of some kid. Probably had it on the baby and throwing it onto the couch. She may even be picking the blanket off the couch.

  30. jmarton says:

    It looks like a blurred image of a large spazzy dog.

  31. I’m going to say it is a motion blur of a dog. Because I can make out it’s tail on nose.

    Also, because of the way the photo is framed, it’s obvious that everyone in the scene knew there was something there. Because they seem so relaxed, I doubt it’s a ghost or something supernatural.

  32. Hi there!

    I’m a (very) amateur photographer, and I have the toughest time taking pictures of dogs. They simply don’t know how to sit still. When taking pictures indoors, like this one, my camera always seems to decide it needs to hold the shutter open for a full minute just to get enough light. Since even the humans in the above photo are a bit blurry, I’m guessing that the dog was actually fairly calm. Under those lighting conditions, if it had been really moving around, it would have looked like The Flash in a Chewbacca costume. 😀

  33. From the few times I’ve been left in charge of infants at feeding time, I would say it’s probably the toddler’s dinner hurtling towards the camera…

  34. Michael Goff says:

    Dog blurry.

  35. Tom says:

    Looks like the photog was smoking to me, or there’s an ashtray with a cigarette in front of it.

  36. Flavio says:

    I think it’s clearly a long exposure, parts of the baby and woman are blurry. The “ghost” can be a blanket, caught in mid air after someone threw it on the couch. Definitely not an impressive picture.

  37. Nonny Mouse says:

    Inter-dimensional sheep-dog?

  38. Phil says:

    It looks vaguely like a duplicate image shifted left and upwards – you can match the baby and the woman’s knees to the ghost image. Bit of a long shot but it seems to be close enough to be possible. IF the photo is genuine then I don’t know how the image could get shifted naturally.

  39. kingslondonmedstudent says:

    Holy crap, this one is terrifying!

  40. @brianhalliday says:

    I’m a bit irritated by the title of this post. Why put the assumtion out there that this is a “ghost picture” in the first place?

  41. rafaelmadeira says:

    Not only it’s a dog, but it looks like the woman is interating with it as well.

  42. Jim says:

    If you take an oldfashioned polaroid and mess with the emulsion while it is self-developing you can get this effect. All you need do is make sure you’ve got the right spot in the photo where the 3rd person is sitting.

  43. Rick H. says:

    Mother is reaching behind the baby, picking up a blanket. Motion blur.
    Or it’s the ghost of the woman’s dead grandmother warning her about impending doom. Either one.

  44. namowal says:

    I fooled around with the brightness, contrast and gamma to get a better look. Some of the “ghost” (like the part hanging over the couch) is solid and looks like fabric.
    That and the fact that the lady seems to be looking and reaching in that direction makes me think it’s some sort of garment or blanket that she’s shaking.

  45. Irishninja86 says:

    Its fake if you look at the back wall there is a shadow of the person so there must have been something there originally.

  46. Julia says:

    the arms of the ‘ghost’ seem to consist of some kind of light stick on top of a pink round thing moving from right to left while the photo was taken. Not sure about the rest. I guess there is a blanket involved too.

  47. Will says:

    Judging by the blur in the photo, I’d say it’s a show shutter speed, maybe it was a blanket thrown through the air towards the two on the sofa.

  48. CybrgnX says:

    Like all ‘ghost’ or ‘UFO’ photos.
    I don’t have to explain they have to prove and explain.

  49. Bernard says:

    My goodness those KNEES are enormous, its all i saw at first but then again i was looking at the screen with out my glasses… blankie or shaggy dog for the golden blur at the left thou

  50. Nopke says:

    photoshopped with transparant colour? Smoke coming out of the couch? Ehehe .. Toddler farting and the powder ..

  51. Nopke says:

    I’ve seen this type of smokey cloud once (other shape) .. outside in my garden .. whereas it was not really there (no explanation). Too bad these type of what most likely are tricks of the brain can not be placed on all viewers of this pic here huh?! Or did you hide a subliminal instruction here on this site in order to put this trick of the brain inside of our brains … ehehehe …

  52. PaulJ says:

    The woman has a cold, and has just sneezed.

  53. ekcol says:

    Hate to sound like a concern troll, but the “blurry dog”, “blurry blanket” and “smoke” explanations all sound like clutching at straws, and I think this comment thread makes sceptics look pretty silly.

    There’s no way a baby stayed that still during an exposure long enough to make those things so completely unrecognisable. Plus the fact there is a solid shadow of the baby + womans knee on the object. So I’d say it was a deliberate hoax, involving a heap of insulation foam, or some other kind of creepy looking fabric.

    • It’s always amusing when people call out one bit of speculation as silly, and then offer up one that is equally silly, if not more so. That goes for both your “insulation foam hoax” and the initial “ghost” presentation.

      Evidence against your explanation is that the baby *didn’t* stay still, because the child’s face is extra blurry. The low quality of the camera explains the grainy stationary objects and possibly the bad focus, but there is plenty to indicate that significant motion blur was captured as well.

      From there, it doesn’t take much guesswork to see that the blurry lines behind the child’s head could *easily* be the woman’s arm moving rapidly. Looking at the blurry blob it’s attached to, there are repeating swirly patterns that hint at a good possibility that it is a blanket of some kind.

      So, really, it comes down to what you think happens more: ghostly visitation, hoaxes involving foam construction, or a mother holding her child while searching for some lost toy. In my world, I’d bank on the last.

  54. like a could, so scary picture. I can not imagine when i get situation like them.

  55. Kelpie says:

    I don’t think it is an intentional fake but I don’t think it is a ghost either. With regard to the shadow falling on it I believe the shadow is on a cushion or other object behind the blurry item.

  56. Adam says:

    I think Gert got it right, (she’s reaching for a blanket and lifting it up/fluffing it) but I must say that I was actually very impressed with how difficult this was for me to explain. I’m very experienced with photography and work in a scientific imaging platform. Even after taking this photo through a gamut of transformations, I only became more perplexed. Part of the problem here is how anthropomorphic the “specter” actually is. I found it very easy to see a female figure sitting with her legs tucked in, and leaning on her left arm. Turns out, the reason the arm is so convincing is because it _probably_ is the arm of the woman on the right.

    • Flavio says:

      Maybe this is interesting, I can’t for the love of goodness see a human silouette in this shapeless blur, and this happens to me quite often with “pareidolia” pictures.

      Am I anthropomorphically challenged?

  57. Chad says:

    It has the same color of the wall on the left. Maybe quick movement of the camera caught that and put it in the picture. I don’t really have an idea other than that. Not a ghost in my opinion.

  58. Zach says:

    the room was darker than it appears here, and the shot was taken at a slow shutter speed (note the woman and child are blurry too – just not as much). the person on the left was moving fast, hence the big blur. it may not even be a person because of the strange shape – maybe a cat or puppy or something

  59. […] Can you explain this ghost photo? I was recently emailed this, with the comment ‘ I got this pic from my niece.  The original pic was taken with a […] […]

  60. meltedpoo says:

    …Not a ghost since I will only believe it if scientists find an explanation for that but it was still creepy.

  61. ScreamingGreenConure says:

    I think it looks like the alien from the Alien movies. I can see the head and the tail.

  62. Wietze krikke says:

    It’s a brown blanket thrown in the air, probably by the person in the front. The lower part of the brown shape clearly shows a kind of wool-like fabric. The motion blur causes the nebulous, transparent look of the brown blanket in motion. The shadow in the background probably is caused by the blanket. If there was something out of the ordinary, why is the baby looking straight past it?

  63. vivek says:

    Its probably a Golden retriever and Its definitely motion blur.

  64. bob says:

    it could be a curtain or something did you see something after you took the picture

  65. Anonymous says:

    a kid jumping on the sofa left side of the baby

  66. maeve says:

    I believe it to be smoke from a cigarette.

  67. lorena says:

    it may be water and it dameged the picture

  68. josh says:

    definitely something on the lens.

  69. Sarah says:

    its a ghost. or someones trying to play a prank on you but if i was her i would look up the history of the house and land.

  70. samantha says:

    i think it is from a orb(a ball of energy that already turned into mist and starting to tack form of what is last look like in its memory

  71. Wen says:

    My guess it was someones relative.
    By the looks of the shading.
    It seems to be on one knee sitting directly behind the baby and next to the mom.
    The mom looking away from the picture,
    Is having the feeling of the apperition
    Pressed on her foot, causing her to look back at her foot for she might of felt a itchy feeling or a stiff muscle.

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