How To Make Fake Ghost Pictures
There are plenty of websites out there showing ghost photos. A particular favourite of mine is GhostStudy.com, which has a great range of images, some of which might actually have caught a ghost on camera. However, in researching this post, I found some truly terrible images that were so obviously fake, the maker’s lack of imagination was disappointing. So to prove how easy it is to fake ghost photos, I thought I’d done up some of my own. I’m quite handy with PhotoShop, but the techniques I used here required little or no skill with an image programme to make.
First, I’m going to start with my base image, a graveyard.
I got this picture just by doing a Google Image Search for “graveyards”. Next up, I’m going to show you where on the photo I’m planning to put my “ghosts”:
So, here’s my first ghost:
Spooky, huh? A white cloud of ghost-like smoke with a darker centre – it must be a ghost! Actually, not. This is simply a couple of paint strokes in white, then two grey dots in the middle. I then Motion Blurred it all and voila, a “ghost”. Some images you’ll find claiming to be ghost shots are even worse than this. This took me a good… ooh… minute and a half?
Right, on to my next “ghost”:
Now how can this be explained? Oh, that’s right, incredibly easily. PhotoShop has a handy little tool called Lens Flare. So to create this, I clicked on it, clicked okay, and there my ghostly spectre was.
So that’s how easy it is to create standard blurry effects that are often claimed to be ghosts. But what about photos that show an actual, recognisable human figure? Well, they’re just as easy to debunk.
Here’s my starting image:
I decided to use this figure for my fake, as it’s one that tends to do the rounds a lot. So here she is, my female ghost haunting a library:
Scary? Not so much. All I did was paste the image of the girl onto the picture of the library. I applied a soft, radial blur to her of just 2% to create an eerie feeling. I cut out all of the original photo around her, then lowered her opacity to around 80%. It took two minutes!
So how do you know if a photo you see on the web is real or not? Basically, you don’t. Unless you took the photo yourself, developed it yourself and loaded it yourself, you’ll never really be 100% sure – but that doesn’t stop it being fun looking at ghost photos!