BOO! Why ghost photographs don’t scare us anymore.

1

December 21, 2012 by kittynh

why did this used to scare children, and now just makes them laugh?

why did this used to scare children, and now just makes them laugh?

http://www.retronaut.com/2012/12/creepy-late-19th-early-20th-century-ghost-pictures/

I was enjoying the site above, laughing at the poorly done ghost photographs and wondering why anyone would believe them to be true portrayals of ghosts.

Certainly, the obvious cut and past or double exposure would not fool anyone.  It then occurred to me that many people must have been fooled or there would not be so many horribly made ghost photographs.

Why do I laugh, and why did past generations shiver?  I can answer in one word.

EDUCATION

I know enough about photography that I can easily spot a cut and paste or a double exposure.  I can pick up a book, or do a search, and quickly find answers to many of these tricks.

The recent video of an Eagle picking up a baby is a case in point.

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/hoax-video-eagle-snatching-baby-viral-18020492

This video was quickly confirmed as a hoax, but when I first saw it my reaction was “Wow that is so scary!”.  To those that had the education to know how it was faked, it was laughable.  It took my educating myself, simply by looking online and finding stories showing it was a fake and why, to also go “Well that is not true.”

It’s not fair of me to laugh or make fun of our ancestors that shivered at ghost photographs or even found the movies of Georges Melies  astounding and magical.  While I still find the movies of the great Melies wonderful, it is for their beauty not their seemingly paranormal ability.

One of the first screen appearances by D.W. Griffith, the director, is as the lead in the film “Rescued from an Eagles Nest”.  When I volunteered at a retirement home many years ago, I remember a resident telling me how as a child she had been afraid to go outside after having seen this movie.  It was only recently I found the film that terrified her on youtube.  I laughed, how could this eagle fool a young child?  But then, perhaps in the future someone will watch the film that made me stop and say “Oh that is scary, that eagle just picked up that small child!” and laugh at how naive (or uneducated) I was.

Enjoy the film that scared children in 1907.

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One thought on “BOO! Why ghost photographs don’t scare us anymore.

  1. DrJen says:

    I wonder if eagle hoax guy was intentionally doing an homage to Griffith.

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