White blob ghost?
So is it a ghost or something else (pic right)? Why a ghost, you might ask? I have often seen white blobs reported as ghosts in photos and videos. I would guess the people who report these unlikely ghosts have never seen an actual apparition. When ghosts are reported by eye witnesses they are almost always described as looking like perfectly normal human figures. So why do things like white blobs, or mists, get reported as ghosts when they are in photos?
Firstly, how do eye witnesses know they are seeing a ghost? It is usually because there is something ‘impossible’ about the situation. The figure might vanish, for instance, or they might be in a locked room which is known to be empty. Without such an 'impossible' factor it is most likely just a normal, real human. With photos, the ‘ghost’ is usually not seen at the time the photograph was taken. So it is difficult to check if there is anything ‘impossible’ about the sighting. Instead the viewer relies on something being visibly impossible in the photo itself. So a transparent human figure might well be taken for a ghost. In fact, anyone walking in to, or out of a, photograph during a long exposure is likely to show up as transparent. A mist is probably the photographer’s own breath caught by a flash on a cold night. A white blob could be any out of focus object in the foreground. In the photo here it is a butterfly.
A more fundamental reason is the general expectation that photographs can reveal ghosts that we can’t see with the naked eye. At present there is no obvious evidence to back that assumption. It is certainly true that photographs frequently show things that were not seen by eye witnesses at the time of exposure. However, this is due to photographic artefacts. They occur because of the way photography works which is different to how the eye works (see here).
So why is the idea that cameras can reveal otherwise invisible ghosts so popular? I’ve no idea! There are many popular ideas around about ghosts which appear unsupported by compelling evidence. My best guess is that they are cultural in origin (see here). Wherever these ideas come from they are not very helpful in researching the true nature of ghosts.
Author :© Maurice Townsend 2021
Other Blog Entries
Ghost in an empty shop
Imperception – when things simply vanish
The Garden Poltergeist
Strange Animal Strange Voices
Short Term Memory Fallible, Too
In the breaks effect
Ghost research - why so little progress?
Door ghost returns looking ominous
How do I know I’ve seen a ghost?
Expectation and ghosts