On the internet there are many photos of unexplained ghosts, UFOs, beasts and odd occurrences that were captured from people around the world. Now with the low cost of computers, software, video cameras and photographic cameras available to the masses, there has been an explosion of intentionally faked videos and photos appearing on the net. It is quite simple for an intermediate computer user to successfully produce a somewhat convincing ghost photo.
Over the years there have been many hucksters claiming to have evidence of Bigfoot, The Jersey Devil, ghosts, UFOs and various other spooks and specters. Ranging from video, photos, footprints, sound recordings and tufts of hair, they have not been in short supply. In the past, someone even painted a kangaroo green and tried to pass it off as The Jersey Devil and we all know of the famous Bigfoot video of the Patterson-Gimlin film. (http://www.ourbigfoot.com/famous_bigfoot_videos.html) Then there are the dogs, coyotes or other members of the canine family that may have been shaved, mutilated or suffer from mange that people pass off as the Chucacabra. Some public presentations of cryptids, ghosts and the unknown may be out of greed, the seeking of fame, an intentional, mistake or sheer ignorance. A perfect example of sheer ignorance would be when we (Axis Video/Pine Barren Films) were filming the documentary, "The Search for the Jersey Devil", we stopped at a farm stand that claimed to have the skull of the Jersey Devil. It was interesting to say the least, but in all reality, if someone that had a little knowledge and experience with anatomy and wild life, they would see that in fact it was not a skull at all and would have given a proper explanation as to what the man at the farm stand actually was holding.
Other examples are faked gaffes intended to fool the viewers into thinking that a beast has been captured, an example is the gaffe in this photo that was passed off as the Jersey Devil.
The next is a photo of what the news report stated was the Jersey Devil in someone's backyard. Later on an alternative angle photograph surfaced and it showed what it truly was, a hairless squirrel. There were many things wrong with this story in relation to the Jersey Devil, first, the photo was actually taken in Oklahoma and not in New Jersey. Second, the creature in the photo beared NO resemblance to the Jersey Devil, no wings, no cloven hooves and was too tiny in stature, etc etc.
There are even apps for your Android or I-Phone that you can insert ghosts into your existing photos. Anyone with a computer and a little bit of photo editing skill can easily make a somewhat convincing ghost photo. Prime example is as follows:
The 1st photo is the original, an early photo of a little girl standing next to a chair.
The 2nd photo has been edited, the background was cropped out, the colors altered, the image blurred and ran through various filters.
The 3rd photo was also manipulated by being cropped, grey scaled/black and white effect added, a soft filter applied and her eyes removed.
Now if these altered images were added into a modern photo backdrop and properly blended in, they could be convincing to the untrained mind or a believer looking for confirmation and evidence that ghosts do exist.
For the viewer of videos/photos that are presented on the internet, they go to a site with the assumption that they will find something and that their creature of choice DOES exist. For an example, when a believer in aliens and UFOs sees something unexplainable they automatically assume that it IS an alien or a UFO. They look for clues that confirm their own biases and discount any evidence that contradicts their assumptions. Same example for a so called ghost hunter, they hear stories that a location is haunted, go to investigate and collect "evidence" that is unexplainable to them and conclude that the location is haunted, all the while ignoring any collected negative evidence. Another example is "Jesus in the toast". Religious people will see a random pattern in burnt toast that resembles Jesus, other people might see Charles Manson and even more might see a slight resemblance to a human face and call it pareidolia
For more information:
Cursed: An Explanation of the Unknown
(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)