Tuesday, 12 May 2009

cottingly fairys

By the end of World War One the English were emotionally bruised and battered by four years of unrelenting bloodshed. They seemed to be in need of something that would reaffirm their belief in goodness and innocence. They found this reaffirmation in a series of haunting fairy photographs taken by two young girls in a garden outside of a home in Cottingley, Yorkshire.
The two young girls, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, were cousins. Initially they took two photographs in 1917 to prove to their parents that they really had been playing with fairies outside in the garden, as they had claimed. The photographs showed the girls posing while delicate, winged creatures danced around them. A local photographic expert was shown the photos and proclaimed them to be genuine, unretouched images. Once they had received this official stamp of approval, the fairy images began circulating through upper class British society.
Eventually the photos came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Doyle was a passionate believer in spiritualism, and he latched onto the images, convinced they were conclusive photographic proof of the existence of supernatural fairy beings. Doyle publicly made this argument in an article he wrote for Strand magazine in 1920. When the girls provided him with three more fairy photographs, he wrote a second article.
Doyle’s passionate belief in the authenticity of the fairy photos helped to make the two girls famous, and it sparked a national controversy that pitted spiritualists against skeptics.

the brown lady of raynham 1936

Brown Lady of Raynham This picture of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is among the best known of all alleged ghost photos. The story goes that the spirit is that of Dorothy Walpole, a one-time resident of the manor located in Norfolk, England. The ghost was first sighted in 1835, when a house guest claimed to see a phantom wearing a brown satin dress, noting that her eyes that had been gouged out. The Brown Lady was reported on several subsequent occasions, making Raynham Hall a favorite spot for ghost hunters. Dorothy Walpole's ghost was even said to be doing double duty, haunting Norfolk's Sandringham House as her young, happy self, and appearing at Raynham Hall as an old, bitter hag.
In 1936, magazine photographers Captain Provand and Indre Shira were on a shoot at Raynham when Shira reportedly saw the ghost on a staircase. Provand then took the picture shown here. This is unlike the majority of ghost photos, in which the ghost is generally undetected by the photographer until the film has been processed.
The Brown Lady photo has been widely hailed as one of the most undeniably authentic ghost photos ever taken. But many experts, including investigative writer and photo analyst Joe Nickell, have agreed that the image was faked by compositing two images together.