Nowadays, a photo can be edited to contain anything. A picture from a Bigfoot sighting or a UFO sighting or a Loch Ness Monster sighting has no credibility, because thanks to digital technologies, it could’ve just been doctored on Photoshop or in an iPhone app. But back in the day, when there were no such technologies or apps or photo editing software programs, if something weird showed up in a photograph, then something weird was going on. And there’s a lot of weird stuff out there. These 10 photos are so creepy and haunting and unusual that they simply cannot be explained.
10. The ghost of this soldier
The squadron that appears in this photo is a favorite of people who enjoy conspiracy theories and ghost stories. One of the soldiers in the squadron, the one who sticks out the most, is named Freddy Jackson and he is important because he was killed in a freak accident involving an airplane propeller when he was working as a mechanic. A couple of days later, the whole squadron got together for this big group photo – and Freddy Jackson is in it. That’s him, right there. The photo was properly developed some time later, and so it was quite haunting to see him there. Everybody else in the squadron openly confirmed that this was definitely Freddy Jackson and no one else, and not only that – this particularly photograph was taken on the day of Jackson’s funeral. That’s eerie, right? It is almost as if his ghost rose out during the funeral and then joined the rest of his squadron, taking his rightful place in the photograph where he would have been if he hadn’t been killed in an accident a couple of days earlier. That’s crazy – it’s like it was his fate to be immortalized in that group photo with the crew, and whoever is in charge of the afterlife allowed it.
9. The Babushka Lady
When President John F. Kennedy was shot in the head while his motorcade drove through Dallas on November 22, 1963, everybody who was there to see their great leader suddenly panicked and took cover. But this woman, who has been identified by the FBI only as “the Babushka Lady,” because she has never been properly identified, was super close to the spot where the President was shot. She can be seen in all existing films of the incident to be holding up a camera, and while everyone else is freaking out and diving for cover, she keeps standing there with her camera, as if she knew not only that Kennedy was going . And then she can be seen walking away. No one has positively identified her yet. A woman named Beverly Oliver once claimed to be the Babushka Lady, but the Super 8 camera that she claimed to use wasn’t invented until 1969 – and her story of two men claiming to be FBI agents taking the footage and then her never hearing from them again is either a gold mine for conspiracy theorists or too vague to be credible. Either way, it’s a great little JFK conspiracy to think about.
8. This modern man in 1941
This photograph, which was taken at the grand reopening of the South Forks Bridge up in Canada, appears to feature some kind of time traveler. It doesn’t look any different from any other picture from the early 20th century unless you look a little closer and see the man who is wearing a cardigan over a t-shirt with a modern day logo on it among a sea of old timey hats and jackets and bolo ties. This guy sticks out like a sore thumb – and he seems to be holding a camera from the modern day. Cameras back then were huge. The one that this photo was actually taken on would have been one of those big, old cameras that have to stand on tripods while the guy gets under a sheet to take the picture. Okay, they might not have been that old. But they certainly didn’t have the kind of camera that you can just sling over your shoulder and snap some digital photos on. His weird glasses also point to him being some kind of character out of a science fiction story. He looks like Doc Brown crossed with a modern day hipster and amateur photographer. How do you explain that?
7. The ghost in this church
One of the creepiest things that can happen in photography is that something will appear in the photo when it is developed that wasn’t there when you took it. It only tended to happen decades ago, when cameras were shooting on film. You don’t tend to get many creepy looking ghostly figures showing up in digital images. Or if they do, then they look too clean to be scary – the image quality is crisp and high definition, and what with Photoshop and everything, it’s hard to believe that it’s true at all. Plus, there’s something about grainy old film that’s just scarier – everything looks darker and rougher and vaguer, like it might not really be there, but of course it is, etched into the film. This photo was taken in 1975 when a British couple named Diane and Peter Berthelot went to the Worstead Church in Norfolk, England. Peter took a photograph of his wife Diane while she was sitting in the church and praying, and when the photo was developed, there appeared to be a ghost sitting behind Diane. So, they went back to the church and showed the local vicar, who said that it was “the White Lady,” the ghost of a healer who is now thought to be haunting the church.
6. The Grim Reaper who showed up at this friendly get-together
This is one of those horrifying, grainy, old photos that have some kind of freakish apparition appearing in them. In this one, these friends are just hanging out, innocently enough, and then the Grim Reaper appears to have shown up. The idea of Death as a character is one that doesn’t get talked about a lot (unless he is hanging out with Peter Griffin, of course), because it is not associated with any religion and it obviously doesn’t gel with the more scientific or atheistic approach to life – plus, it applies a real figure and personality to an abstract concept. But since it is such an abstract concept, and the image of that character captures the terror of it so perfectly, it can be interesting to think about the concept of the Grim Reaper. And based on this photograph, it is hard to deny that you do see a dark figure in a black cloak armed with a scythe when you do pass on from this world into the next. The question that this photograph raises, obviously, is whether or not it’s just a strange occurrence or if it is actually a premonition of one of these guys’ deaths. It would be interesting to find out when they all died, as well as if some of them were still alive.
5. The spaceman behind this little girl
One day a few decades ago, a man named Jim Templeton was enjoying a day out with his daughter and they stopped by this marshy area where he decided to take a picture of her to capture the memory of the day. While they were there, neither of them noticed anything odd that was going on in the area of land where they were and no one else was around when they took the photo, and yet, for some reason, in the background of the picture, it looks as though there is a spaceman standing directly behind her. The picture became so popular and got circulated around so much that Kodak ended up getting involved in the debate and confirmed that the film had not been tampered with in any way. So, what the hell is going on in this picture? Did the taking of the photograph temporarily open up a portal into an alternative reality where spacemen are just floating around everywhere? And when the flash of the camera went off, we managed to capture a very brief glimpse of that world. It’s so eerie. Why was that spaceman there, lingering over some random marsh in the first place? Who knows?
4. This dangling corpse
Back when the best quality of a photograph that you could hope for looked something like this, a family named the Coopers moved into their new house in Texas and decided to commemorate their first night in their new home by getting the whole family together to take a picture. So, they all gathered and posed together for a photograph, and it appears that right as the picture was being taken, a corpse came flying down from the ceiling. The body appears to be charred, too, as if it had been burnt. So, maybe somebody was burnt alive and then stowed away in the ceiling, and the person who did it sold their house and fled, and then when the new people moved in, right as they were taking a picture of themselves in their new home, the body fell down from the ceiling to frighten them. It’s just so weird and implausible. It’s like something from a really sinister haunted house ride, except it was real. No one who has investigated this photo has been able to come up with an explanation for it that makes any sense, or is at least plausible, and everyone has their own idea about what happened.
3. This unaccounted Candy Man victim
In case you’re not familiar with “the Candy Man,” he was a serial killer in the early 1970s who was discovered to have abducted, raped, tortured, and killed 28 little boys before he was brought down. His name was Dean Corll and he lured little boys in by promising them a party or a lift somewhere. These boys, not knowing any better, would go with him and end up dead after some agonizing torture. He buried the kids in boat sheds and beaches and forests. He was a really, really, really bad dude. Anyway, in 2012, decades after the Candy Man’s crimes had been found out about and he had been brought to justice by the authorities, this photograph was found to belong to one of his accomplices. It shows a boy who has been handcuffed somewhere dark and he, understandably, looks really scared. But as horrifying as this image alone is, it becomes all the more horrifying when you hear that this boy was not one of the Candy Man’s 28 confirmed victims. This was another boy. And if there was another boy whose disappearance and God knows what else was unbeknownst to the police, then how many more victims didn’t they know about? It’s truly quite haunting.
2. This pyramid on the Moon
There are dozens of photographs that have been taken by satellites and space missions of far off planets and moons that don’t make a link of sense. The Mars Rover has captured dozens of unusual images from the surface of Mars. This image was taken during the Apollo 17 mission and released afterwards. At first, it didn’t appear to contain anything interesting, and so it was filed under “blank” in the NASA archives. But upon closer inspection, after the image had been enhanced and it became a whole lot clearer what exactly it was an image of, it appeared to be some kind of pyramid structure. Either it was built by aliens living and breeding on the Moon, who have maybe died out since those pyramids were built, or they just appeared there, which is even creepier. Even after it was ascertained that this was definitely not a “blank” image and NASA had some explaining to do, we got no such explanation. No one at NASA has offered an explanation about this image or the pyramid in it. Are there colonies on the Moon that have built pyramids? Have pyramids been put there in some other way by some higher power? What is going on here?!
1. This big, terrifying undersea snake creature
This photo looks like it could easily have been doctored on Photoshop or some other photo editing software, but it couldn’t have been, because it was taken in 1964 by a French photographer named Robert Serrec. He was working just off the coast of Queensland in Australia when he noticed this huge, terrifying, black underwater monster that seems to resemble a snake or a giant eel. After a quick panic, he grabbed his camera and snapped a picture of it, so that people would believe him when he returned to land and told the story of the giant snake that he had seen just under the surface of the water. It looks like it’s sitting on the seabed, minding its own business. What in God’s name is this thing? Some people have suggested that it’s just a tarp, plain and simple, but how could it be a tarp? Tarps don’t sink. And if it was a tarp, why would it be in such a perfect snaking formation? And that’s just speculation. No one has been able to properly explain what this thing is in the more than fifty years that this photo has been around, haunting the hell out of anyone who sees it.