Whether or not you believe in their authenticity, ghost pictures are fun to look at. The Internet is home to many galleries of ghostly phenomena. Some galleries are free, while others charge a yearly fee to view their offerings. This review covers five of the biggest and/or best ghost picture collections that you can browse for free.
Ghost Picture Gallery #1: GhostResearch.Org, GRS Collection
The Good: This site is my personal favorite, because it displays many classic ghost pictures that date back to pre-Photoshop days. Also, all of the shots contain full-body apparitions, faces, or ectoplasm. You won’t find blurry orbs or simulacra here. In an effort to educate viewers about circumstances that can produce false ghost pictures, the site also offers a collection of explainable “ghost” photos. These cover every eventuality, from wayward camera straps to cigarette smoke and lens flare.
The Bad: Compared to other ghost galleries, GhostResearch.Org has a small number of pictures – twenty-seven at the time of this writing. They rarely update, although they have recently added two pictures. The web page itself is plain, though seasoned viewers might consider this a refreshing lack of distractions.
The Verdict: These pictures make me go, “Hmm.” If you value quality over quantity, you’ll enjoy this collection.
Ghost Picture Gallery #2: Coast to Coast AM Image Gallery
The Good: The Coast to Coast AM gallery has thousands of pictures. If you’re ever bored and need to kill a few hours, go here. It’s easy to lose yourself in the vast collection. The pictures are submitted by everyday people, and include descriptions of the circumstances surrounding each picture.
The Bad: This gallery accepts pictures of all kinds, and none of them are indexed for ease of use. There are countless ghost pictures, but they are jumbled in with pictures of UFOs, strange rock formations, mythical creatures, and even fan art. This can be frustrating for those who only want to see ghost pictures. Also, many of the pictures seem suspect. (See the GRS Collection above for examples of how common mistakes can create fake “ghost” pictures.)
The Verdict: If you want credible ghost pictures in an easily navigated collection, you’d do better elsewhere. But if you just want a huge list of general weirdness, this is the place for you.
Ghost Picture Gallery #3: The Shadowlands
The Good: The Shadowlands is a famous site, for good reason: it has tons of ghost pictures. Each picture is displayed on its own page, with a click-through navigation system. Users who submit photos also write blurbs about the pictures, and many shots have been submitted by ghost-hunting organizations and paranormal investigators.
The Bad: The Shadowlands site looks old and unprofessional. There are lots of typos, and the bold font and orb-filled background graphic aren’t easy on the eyes. Tentative believers like me will find a distasteful amount of orbs and “anomalies” that are, most likely, bugs or lens flare.
The Verdict: If you’re a true believer, you’ll have a heyday in the Shadowlands.
Ghost Picture Gallery #4: About.Com – Paranormal
The Good: About.Com employs guides who produce content about specific topics. Stephen Wagner, the Paranormal guide, seems to have a strong knowledge of (and passion for) his subject. This site offers not only ghost picture galleries, but also galleries of religious miracles, human anomalies, and strange creatures. The site’s layout is clean and well-organized. The classic ghost gallery includes famous ghost pictures from decades long past, including the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall (the picture that got me hooked at a young age), and the ghosts of the SS Watertown.
The Bad: About.Com is free, but they have lots of ads, including several pop-ups. These can be easily blocked by your web browser or a pop-up blocker program, but ads also come up while you browse the gallery, forcing the viewer to click through them in order to keep looking at pictures. The photos themselves are contributed by users, and do contain orbs and vortices – “phenomena” that can easily be explained by mundane factors like dust clouds and camera straps.
The Verdict: Visit this site for a complete paranormal experience.
Ghost Picture Gallery #5: Ghost Study
The Good: This is a huge site that has been around for years. They have several galleries which are updated frequently throughout the month. The Monthly Ghost Gallery only contains ghost pictures; other paranormal phenomena are shown separately. Each ghost picture is reviewed by a staff member, and each picture has a descriptive paragraph explaining what was going on when the picture was taken.
The Bad: The success of this free site spawned an affiliated pay site called the Secret Crypt. You have to purchase a Secret Crypt membership to be able to view the photographs in high resolution. Also, the staff members seem to approach the paranormal from a believer’s perspective; that is, they seem to look for reasons why a picture is authentic, rather than looking at it with a skeptic’s critical eye. Orbs abound.
The Verdict: I like this site. If you take the pictures with a grain of salt, I believe you’ll like it, too.
Ghost pictures have been around since man first put camera to eye and pressed the button. Digital cameras seem to pick up as many or more ghosts than their predecessors. There are plenty of alternate explanations for the strange things we catch on film, but folks should judge for themselves. Check out these free ghost galleries to have some creepy fun while you make your own decision.