The video above has been seen by hundreds of thousands of Netizens in the past few days, despite not being that scary nor interesting, and coming straight from The Sun, not your most credible news source.
Captured by 12-year-old Reece Pitman, the British tabloid informs us that:
“It came days after his nine-year-old sister complained that someone was mysteriously finishing her jigsaws at night. The lad showed the amazing footage — which must be seen to be believed — to mum Tonia, 38. She said: “Reece looked scared witless. In the clip a white shadow appears from my bedroom followed by the dark image of a man. It crosses the landing and disappears when it reaches the banisters.” Tonia, of Solihull, Birmingham, said she consulted a psychic who told her the ghost could be friendly. Sales assistant Tonia said: “I’ve had a tough time recently as my husband left me. I didn’t believe in ghosts — but I’m thinking of the spectre as my guardian angel.” Julian Banks of the British Paranormal Society said the film was “potentially the best image of a ghost in years”.
[The Sun: Ghostbanisters]
Actually, the video shows some artifacts that strongly hint it was crudely hoaxed.
The unfocused aspect of the ghost can be accomplished by placing anything immediately in front of he camera. And, the telltale sign, are a series of light reflections that seem to go along the apparition.
In the video below, we reproduced the ghost video by trying two different methods: first using a transparent sheet of plastic with a black figure glued to it; then simply hanging a black lace string in front of the camera:
Our reproduction is clearly far from being perfect, but it hopefully demonstrates the effects and ideas involved, especially the light reflections that show up when you place a transparent sheet in front of a camera without much care. The drawing fixed to the sheet should have been slimmer, perhaps even translucid, but I didn’t bother to try that.
A British chap seems to have achieved better results also with a transparent sheet. Pay attention to his electronically modified kid-voice.
Reproducing the original video (assuming you consider these as reproductions) doesn’t prove it was a hoax. It is, however, hopefully a healthy and informative exercise and context to evaluate the evidence.
After all, why should a real ghost show the same reflections that a transparent sheet of plastic would show up? Believe it… or not.
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UPDATE: Yeah, yeah, my reproduction is VERY far from being perfect. And Brian Parsons in the comments below suggested why the reflection of the lights was right, but the ghost not quite so:
“The trick is to use a clear reflective surface near the camera with enough space between it and the lens to have something reflect back between the plastic and the lens. It’s an easy trick and is responsible for numerous fake videos dating back several years (does anyone remember the Oklahoma junk yard video?).”
In fact, upon reviewing the video, I suspect the ghost may be indeed nothing more than a reflection in the clear reflective surface that was put near the camera… of the cell phone itself. That is, not solid piece of paper, no semi-transparent image fixed to the sheet of clear plastic or glass.
Was the ghost just the cell phone? Believe it.. or not.
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