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20 Terrifying Ghost Photos That Will Surely Give You Nightmares

Throughout history, people have tried to prove the existence of paranormal beings. Some of the best evidence came out in the famous 1984 documentary Ghostbusters featuring the adventures of Dr. Peter Venkman. While it might be hard to find the footage from this seldom seen film, there’s a lot more photographic evidence of the existence of ghosts that even the most ardent skeptics will have trouble de-bunking.

1. Lord Combermere

Lord Combermere was a military commander in the British army during the 1800s who died in 1891. During his funeral, Sybell Corbet took this picture inside Combermere’s mansion while no one else was in the house. Everyone who saw the photo claimed the mysterious sitting figure looked identical to Combermere, who was being buried four miles away at the time.

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2. Freddy Jackson

In 1919 Sir Victor Goddard snapped this picture of his WWI squadron that wasn’t published until 1975. In the background of the photo, a mysterious face appeared and all the crew members said it belonged to Freddy Jackson. One problem: Jackson died in a propeller accident two days before this photo was taken.

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3. The Back Seat Ghost

In 1959 Mrs. Mabel Chinnery went to visit the grave of her deceased mother. While at the cemetery she took a photo of her husband waiting for her in the car alone. After getting the film developed, they saw a figure in the back seat that Mabel recognized as her dead mother.

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4. The Ghost of Boothill Cemetery

Terry Clanton runs the website Tombstone Arizona, devoted to his famous cowboy ancestors. As part of the site, he took this picture of his friend in black-and-white in an old cemetery. After developing the film, another cowboy appeared in the background, except Terry hadn’t brought anyone else to the cemetery that day.

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5. Ghost in the Burning Building

In 1995 the Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England burned to the ground. The building stood for 90 years, so a group of people gathered to watch the event. One person took a photo that showed a girl standing inside the burning building. Except none of the firefighters or onlookers remembered seeing her anywhere near the scene.

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6. Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove

In 1991 the Ghost Research Society (apparently a real thing) went to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery outside of Chicago to investigate a series of strange phenomenon. One member took this photo as part of their work. A semi-translucent woman wearing old-fashioned clothing appears in the picture, but the GRS claims no one else was in the cemetery at the time.

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7. Railroad Crossing Ghost

A railroad crossing in San Antonio was the site of tragic accident that resulted in the deaths of several children. Many years later a group of kids went to the crossing to investigate reports of ghosts and strange phenomenon. One of them took this picture that revealed a weird figure that looks like a little girl holding a teddy bear.

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8. The Choir Loft Ghost

In 1982 Chris Brackley took this photo in St. Botolph’s Church in London. In the upper-righthand corner of the picture he noticed a mysterious figure. Brackley says there were three people in the church at the time, none of whom were in the loft. A few days later a builder contacted him and said they recognized the face as belonging to someone he had seen in a coffin weeks earlier.

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9. The Brown Lady

In the early 1700s Lady Dorothy Townshend and her husband Charles, a British noble, lived in a mansion in Norfolk, England. Charles found out Dorothy had been the mistress of another man and locked her in a remote corner of their house until her death. Over the next two centuries multiple residents of the home alleged they saw Lady Dorothy but it wasn’t until 1936 when two photographers captured this infamous photo of “The Brown Lady.”

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10. Grandpa’s Ghost

In 1997 Denise Russell took this photo of her grandmother after she moved to an assisted living home. Several years later Denise found the picture and immediately recognized the man in the background as her grandfather. Only problem with that is her grandfather died in 1984, 13 years before the photo was taken.

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11. Ghost of the Abandoned Factory

This picture comes from a brave Reddit user. While exploring an abandoned factory, he noticed a flickering flashlight at the bottom of the stairs. When he went down to investigate, the light went off. Alone in a dark tunnel, he took a picture so the flash could illuminate his surroundings. The photo reveals a mysterious figure at the end of the hall.

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12. Robert A. Ferguson

In 1968 Robert A. Ferguson delivered a speech to promote his book Psychic Telemetry: New Key to Health, Wealth, and Perfect Living at a Spiritualist convention in Los Angeles. After a picture was taken of him while he spoke, Ferguson identified the weird figure behind him as his brother who had died in World War II. And while Ferguson might seem like a somewhat biased observer, the photo was taken on a Polaroid, which was quite hard to doctor at the time.

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13. The Monk of St. Mary’s

Gordon Carroll snapped this picture while visiting St. Mary’s Church in Northamptonshire, England in 1964. After developing the film, Carroll discovered what looked like a kneeling figure in front of the church’s altar who he says was not present at the time. Many who examined the photo believed it to be either the ghost of a monk or knight who belonged to the church.

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14. The Godfather Pizza Ghost

Paranormal entities plagued one Godfather’s Pizza restaurant in Utah around 2000. Customers reported seeing supernatural spirits, the jukebox would play automatically even while unplugged, light bulbs flew out of their boxes and smashed on the floor and other strange phenomenon occurred. It culminated with the sighting of a ghost in the middle of the restaurant, which was captured in this picture.

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15. Ghostly Grip

In 2000 a pair of friends in the Philippines asked a stranger to take a picture of them while they walked around Manilla. Next to the girls a strange translucent figure is seen looking like it’s grabbing onto one of their arms.

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16. White Lady of Worstead Church

In 1975 Peter and Diane Berthelot visited the Worstead Church in Norfolk, U.K. Peter took a picture of his wife praying on one of the benches. After developing the photos, they noticed a woman in white sitting behind her. They went back to the church to ask the priest who the woman was. He told them about the legend of the White Lady who visited people in need of healing. Diane was in poor health and taking antibiotics when they originally visited Worstead.

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17. The Knorr Ghost

The crew of the research vessel Knorr often report ghost and other paranormal sightings. While in the middle of the ocean one night, one member heard screams coming from the bridge. He ran onto the deck and was able to capture a photo of this mysterious creature.

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18. Specter of Newby Church

England has a strange history of famous ghost pictures. In 1963 Reverend K.F. Lord took this photo inside the Newby Church in Yorkshire. Many argue this looks staged and probably the result of doctoring. However several photographic experts of time have studied it and could not find any evidence of mischief.

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19. The Tulip Staircase Ghost

In 1966 Rev. Ralph Hardy intended to take a photo of an interesting staircase in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. After developing the film, a mysterious figure seemed to be ascending the railing that Hardy never saw. Strange figures were often seen in the museum from time to time. Experts at Kodak examined the photo and said it had not been tampered with.

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20. The Legend of Inky

A more recent addition to the list, multiple people reported seeing a series of multiple colored ghosts haunting popular hangouts around the United States. Some even claimed the paranormal specters chased them for hours at a time. This is one of few pictures of the ghosts, which some have begun calling “Inky.”


Joseph Misulonas is an intern for Playboy.com. When not curled up under his covers to hide from the monsters under his bed, he can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.

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