can an old-fashioned plate camera capture images
of the so-called 'dead', or even the
thought-images of people who are still alive?
We'll look at these questions later - but first:
best known British photographic medium of the
twentieth-century is probably William Hope, who
worked in Crewe in England.
conducting a photographic sitting, Mr Hope took
several stringent precautions to rule out any
type of fraud.
always used a plate camera, and his sitters had
to provide their own plates, which they brought
into the seance-room still sealed. They would
then be invited to carefully examine the plate
camera - a rather simple mechanism in which it
would prove difficult to hide anything.
were also required to sign or initial their
newly-opened plates so that their signatures
would appear on them.
they personally placed their own plates in the
camera, and they also removed them after the
picture had been taken; after this, they
accompanied William Hope into his darkroom and
stayed with him while he developed the plates, so
that they could be certain that at no time could
any substitution take place.
William Hope's mediumistic gift, hundreds of
likenesses of his sitters' dead relatives and
friends were obtained, a high percentage of which
were subsequently verified as accurate by living
family members. Even the images of animals were
captured on film.
occasion, pictures of people who were still alive
(but who were quite a distance away from the
seance-room) would appear on the plates; but
the explanation for this may be contained in the
opposite column - it would seem that Thought is
the key to producing many or all of these
enough, when the famous medium, Lilian Bailey, was starting her
investigations into life after death, she sat
with William and was desperately hoping to
receive a picture of her recently-deceased
mother, but she got a big surprise.
image caught on the plate was a stranger to her
(then), but it turned out to be her spirit guide,
a First World War soldier called William Hedley
Wootton, who appeared complete with a dark shaded
area over his temple where an enemy bullet had
top of columns
Below is a
twentieth-century spirit photograph taken by
William Hope with a plate camera, and it shows a
woman's face in the top right corner.
(The man seated in the middle of this group is a
youthful Maurice Barbanell, founder
editor of Psychic News and of Two
How Does Spirit
seems that the communicating spirit has a lot to
do with its success, together with the physical
mediumistic power provided by the medium and the
is now widely believed by many researchers that
spirit images are 'impressed' on sensitive
photographic plates by a sheer act of mental
will, by a thought-process, which would make each
picture a kind of 'thought-o-gram' - and the
spirit people affirm that thought-waves can
travel faster than light: they are instantaneous.
subtle thought-processes at work might explain
why many spirit extras sometimes appear as rather
flat, simple representations of two-dimensional
recent years, modern psychics have experimented
with 'thought-o-grams' and have often been able
to prove that their mentally-projected images can
indeed be captured on photo-sensitive material.
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