Ghost photography can be done with a digital camera, a regular 35 mm film camera, and/or a video camera. Most often, after photographing, you will see an anomaly in the photo that was not visible to the naked eye. Such anomalies can include orbs, vortices, ectoplasmic mists and forms, or on rare occasions even a fully formed figure complete with deatailed features. In videos anomalies can appear in a split second in just a frame or two, or might appear as moving orbs, or shadowy figures that move across a room. Sometimes regular video cameras are used, but paranormal investigators often use specialized cameras with nightvision, infrared (IR), full spectrum, motion-capture, or thermal imaging options.
With ghost photography patience is a must. Usually, on a haunted site, only two or three out of every hundred photos will show something. The photographer must also be aware of the meterological conditions. An inordinate amount of orbs will often show up when there is a lot of moisture, dust, or pollen in the air. Also, smoking and condensation of breath on chilly nights will show up on film mimicking ectoplamic mist. Therefore, smoking should always be avoided when photographing. Some investigators say you shouldn't photograph when the weather's cold enough to show your breath, but the simple solution to that is just to hold your breath while blocking and shooting your photo. Another natural phenomena that can be mistaken for an anomaly is condensation on your camera lens caused by suddenly moving the camera from a warm location to a cold location. Although a trained eye can tell the difference, it's best to be aware of these faux pas and avoid them from the start.
Below are some of the more interesting photos that GOLAPS members have captured during various investigations. If you have images you'd like to submit for us to post, or for our team members to analyze, please send them here with an explanation of where you were shooting, what the conditions were, and what was going on when the shot was taken.
Old Church Cemetery: These photos were captured during a visit to a very old cemetery in the Felicianas, a large mass of land that was once under Spanish rule as the West Florida Republic. The graves date back to the early 1800's, and possibly earlier.
This photo depicts an orb floating between the two trees. Also, if you look along the edge of the walk you'll see something else that's not round like an orb. It could be a bit of ectoplasmic manifestation. It seems to have the shape of a head, but not the features. This was taken around 6:30 pm, the skies were clear, and the weather was a bit chilly with no wind.
Abandoned Insane Asylum: These photos were captured during numerous visits to an abandoned insane asylum in southeast Louisiana. Most photos seem to be orbs, but we've captured some pretty amazing EVP's there and know it's an active location. We're continuing our investigation in hopes of catching better, more dramatic photos.
This photo depicts an orb that seems to be in motion, judging by what looks to be a motion trail coming from the lower left quadrant. This was captured on a cool day with no wind, at about 4:30 in the afternoon. This shot was taken in the driveway along the side of the building.
This photo shows two orbs. We tend to catch photos of orbs in doorways, stairwells, and corners in this building. Liz was heading down the stairs from the top floor ward when something threw a rock, hitting the wire fencing above her head. As she was looking up at where the rock had come from, this photo was taken. There is a small orb just in front of Liz's nose. Close inspection will reveal another small orb to the left of the door.
Ridgecrest Antebellum Home: These photos were captured at an antebellum home in southeast Louisiana in the fall of 2009. These show the manifestation of ectoplasmic mist, and possibly two apparitions within the ectoplasm.
As I was snapping photos out by the guest house, asking if any spirits were present to please make themselves visible. As I continued to snap photos this ectoplasmic mist began rolling into the frame, visible only in the photos but totally invisible to the naked eye. As I continued to encourage the spirits to show themselves, the mist got thicker and thicker. There seems to be a human figure visible in this shot. I can see the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and left side of the face. There seems to be something of a body in some sort of clothing below, although that tends to get a bit lost as your eyes move downward.
This is between the guest house and the main house. Again, the ectoplasmic mist was not visible to the naked eye, only on the photo. There appears to be the rudimentary shape of a human body coalescing in the mist.
This is along the front of the main house. There is obviously an ectoplasmic mist with two bright, well-formed orbs. A very cool photo, if I may say so myself.
Murder Park: In deference to the surviving family members, I don't want to reveal the name of the park as someone might recognize the story and bother the family. A few years ago a woman and her children were lured out to this park by her ex-boyfriend, whom she was suing for child support. She had three small children, one of which was his. When she arrived, he murdered her and the two children that weren't his, dragged the bodies into a secluded spot, and set them on fire in a failed attempt to obscure the identities of the victims. His own child was unharmed but left to wander the park and tend the corpses of the mother and siblings. The following photos are just a few of the ones we captured there and are among the most astouding paranormal images we've ever documented.
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I began by talking to the spirits and encouraging them to show themselves. As I was snapping photos, the ectoplasmic mist began rolling into the shots, invisible to the naked eye. Here, along with the more formless mist on the ground around Heather's feet, it looks as though something is reaching out to touch her.
And in the following photo, it would seem that something has made contact and that Heather has noticed. Note the mist on the ground around her feet in the previous photo seems to have moved in this one.
Another image from that night shows an ectoplasmic construct. I've studied this over and over and still don't see anything that makes sense, however, it's very interesting to note the precise edges on this one versus the almost formless mistiness of other photographs
A side-by-side comparison of what appears to be a figure in profile as the ectoplasmic mist begins to roll into the frame.
The most amazing image came as I encouraged the spirit of the mother to show me what happened to her that night. The image appears to show a man on top of a woman, who is turning her face away and raising a hand in an attempt at self-defense. Here's the original photo alongside a side-by-side comparison sketch of what I believe I see.
And above is the perp who was arrested and convicted of the murders. Note the similarity in the hairline and forehead to the ectoplasmic image, and try to imagine his face in an angry expression. Then go back and look at the photo in the park. Absolutely amazing!
Apparition of a woman in the dining room window - Former member, Linda, took this photo in the dining room of the house where she caught this image. When looking in the window there appears to be a female with black hair and a dress with flowers or some kind of small design all over it. This does not match the description of anyone in the building that night, and moreover, the many, many other photos that were taken in and around windows show nothing of this sort.
Houmas House Plantation: These photos were captured during a visit to the beautiful, but very haunted Houmas House Plantation.s to an abandoned insane asylum in southeast Louisiana. We didn't get much in the way of photos, but what we got was good. However, we captured some great EVP's there which you can listen to here. If you find yourself coming to south Louisiana you should plan on visiting, and if you do, tell them you saw them on our website!
The figure of what appears to be a little girl holding a cat or small dog can be seen in the window. This was taken in the billiard room on the first floor, which continued to draw our attention throughout the evening.
Maison de Ville Hotel: This photo was taken at the Maison de Ville Hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter, on the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon Streets. It was taken in the famous "Tennessee Williams suite" where the famous playwright penned A Streetcar Named Desire. Although we got some terrific EVP's, this was the best photo we got.
This photo was taken in the "Tennessee Williams Suite," which was the slave quarters back when the place was being built. If you look in the mirror, on the side next to the television, you can see half my reflection as I snapped the photo. There is also the image of what appears to be a woman standing very close behind me, sort of draping herself across my shoulder. You can see more here, as well as hear the EVP's from that investigation..
This image was captured by Aaron Reine at an old house we investigated in Slaughter, Louisiana. This was a private residential investigation, and Aaron is a friend of the client. People were sitting around chatting while photos were being taken and this showed up. This is easily one of the best photos that has come out of one of the homes we've investigated.
This image comes from a residential investigaation where the man of the house, we'll call him "Jim," felt hisbrother who had died three years previously might be hanging around. Jim and his brother bonded over playing guitar together, with the brother favoring the chair in the photo. The guitar was his, left to Jim by his brother. To get a reaction, I began talking about what a nice guitar it was, played a few chords, and said I was going to steal it and take it home with me. That's when we captured this photo of a black fog hovering over the chair with the guitar in it.
Another strange "black fog" photo, again from a private residence where the clients had been expereincing some very malevolent activity. The event that caused them to call us in was when the lady of the house was attacked by an unseen force which left a maze of thin, cat-like scratches all over her back. This photo was taken in the room where that attack occured. Interestingly enough, two days after this photo was taken, the man of the house, who was apparently in the midst of a crime spree, was shot by police after leading them on a high-speed chase then turning a gun on them after crashing the car.
During that same investigation one of our team members was scratched by an unseen force as well. It scratched he back as well as her chest. The odd thing was that she was completely unaware of it until she got home and took off her shirt... she never felt the scratches when the attack occured, she only knew they weren't there before being in the house. She and her husbands took these photos as soon as the scratches were discovered.
Another set of scratches from an investigation of a privately owned plantation. This gentleman was a guest on the investigation, and these scratches occured as he tried to enter the one remaining slave quarters on the property. He felt them when they happened; he began complaining that his back was burning, and knowing what that likely indicates, a GOLAPS team member had him lift his shirt, thus revealing the two scratches as they came up.