The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is known as the world’s most famous ghost photo. The two photographers saw the misty figure descending the staircase and managed to capture this amazing photograph. The full report appeared in Country Life Magazine.

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10 Most Famous Ghosts Caught on Camera

Here is a list of what many paranormal researchers would call the top 10 “most famous ghosts ever to be caught on camera.”

All of these photos have one thing in common: they each feature an otherwordly being that was not visible at the time the photo was taken.  Whether they are truly spirits from the other side or photographs that have been tampered with in some way, we may never know. However, each on is supposedly not able to be debunked.

1) The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall: Thought to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, this photo was taken in 1936 by Captain Herbert C  Provand after his assistant pointed at the staircase and demanded the photo be taken immediately.

2) Cemetery Ghost Baby: Around 1947 a women named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter, Joyce, in Queensland Australia.  Joyce had died the year earlier at the age of 17.  At the time the photo was taken, there was no one around. However, when Mrs. Andrews developed the film, she was shocked to see that a small infant was sitting on her daughters grave. She did not recognize the child at all, and had no idea who it might be.

3) Boot Hill Cemetery Ghost:This photo was taken by Terry Ike Clanton, an actor and western buff.  He had decided to have a photoshoot in the cemetary while he was dressed up like an old time cowboy.  To his surprise, when he saw the resulting picture there was another main who appeared to be rising out of the ground.

4)Ghost in the Car: Mabel Chinnery caught this photo in 1959 when she snapped a  picture of her husband after visiting her mothers grave.  The spectre is that of Mabels mother.  This spot in the car was also said to have been her favorite.

5) Freddy Jackson: Taken in 1919, this image was first published in 1976 by Sir Victor Goddard. Goddard was a retired R.A.F officer, and this is a photo of his Squadron.  In the back of the photo, behind another man, is the image of Freddy Jackson. Freddy Jackson was an airman who had been killed in an airplain propeller accident two days prior.  His funeral had taken place on the day that the photograph was taken. After seeing the image, the squadron members could immediately identify who the face belonged to. 

6) Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is one of the most haunted cemeteries in the U.S. In 1991 this photo was taken by the Ghost Research Society in Illinois.  The cemetery was empty when this photo was captured.

7) SS Watertown Ghosts: In 1924, two members of the S.S Watertown were killed by gas fumes.  For several days after, their ghostly faces could be seen following the ship. This photo was taken of the faces by the ship’s captain.

8) Hooded Figure of Newby Church: This photo was taken in 1963 by Reverend K.F Lord. The  Reverend wanted to take a picture of the altar at his church in North Yorkshire, England.  When the photo was developed, he was surprised to see the image of a shrouded figure.

9) Ghost on the Stairs: Reverend Ralph Hardy captured this photo in 1966 while taking picutres of the Tulip Staircase at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwhich London.

10) Little Girl Spirit: In 1667, the Wem Town Hall in Shropshire England was nearly burnt down.  The authorities determined that a young girl named Jane Churm was responsible for accidentally starting the fire.  Unfortunately, she died in the flames  In 1905, another fire broke out at the hall.  During this fire, photos were taken while firefighters fought the blaze. When they were developed, the photographer was stunned to see a young girl, although no girl had been there at the time.

So what do you think? Real or Fake?


The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
Paranormal Photos

September 19, 1936: Photographer, Captain Hubert C Provand and his assistant, Indre Shira were taking pictures of Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England for the December issue of ‘Country Life’ Magazine.

Little did they know that on this day they would capture the ghost that has said to be haunting the old country house since the mid 1800’s.

The ghost is better known as the 'Brown Lady’, as the spectre has been described as wearing a brown silk brocade dress.

It is believed that the Brown Lady is the spirit of Lady Dorothy Walpole, who died at Raynham Hall in 1726 from Smallpox, after a long incarceration within the houses walls.

Dorothy Walpole was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole, who was considered to be the first Prime Minister of Great Britain (serving 1721 to 1742 which would also make him the longest serving Prime Minister). Dorothy was Charles Townsend’s second wife, Charles having served as the secretary of state for ten years.

It is said that Dorothy had an affair with the 1st Duke of Wharton, Philip Wharton (yes all these upper class families make for quite complex reading and research), and her husband, Sir Walpole did not take too kindly to that, and had Dorothy locked in the upper floor rooms of their home - Raynham Hall.

Another story states that Dorothy was entrapped by the Countess of Wharton, never to leave the house… not even to see her children. It is said she returns to find, and finally be reunited with her children. A sad tale indeed!

Either way Lady Dorothy Walpole died of Smallpox 29th March 1726 aged forty.

The Brown Lady aka (possibly) Lady Dorothy Walpole has been seen on a number of occasions since her death, with the first recorded sighting being in 1835 after a Christmas party. Several guests had seen the ghost as they went up to their bedrooms for the evening, one describing it as having a glowing face but with empty eye sockets.

Captain Marryat (a gentleman who wrote novels set out at sea) retired to his room one night, and had remarked to two others he met on the way that he was carrying a gun as protection against the Brown Lady. It was at this point the apparition appeared and 'diabolically’ grinned at the captain as she passed by him.

The captain took two shots, both passing straight through the apparition, to embed in the door and door frame beyond.

Many other people have witnessed the Brown Lady on the main staircase and in the bedrooms. Generally these sightings occur when heading to bed, or waking up in the middle of the night to find her standing in their rooms.

The ghost has also been seen right before tragic events and deaths that affect the Townsend Family. One evening, during a dinner party, many guests had seen the apparition, complete with her brown dress, walking through the crowd. The Spectre did not seem to recognise anyone and soon disappeared. The next morning, news of the death of George Walpole reached the group at the estate, George had died at about the same time the Brown Lady has been seen.

On the fateful day the photo was taken, Captain Hubert C Provand and his assistant Indre Shira had set up the camera at the foot of the main staircase, with Provand under the protective cloth at the back of the camera. They had already taken one photo and Provand was reframing for another shot. Shira suddenly called out to Provand to take another shot and at this Provand removed the lens cover and made the exposure.

Shira had seen the figure of a lady descend the staircase when he called for the photo to be taken. Upon development, the image did indeed show a spectral figure on the staircase; The Brown Lady had been captured at last!

The picture was published in Country Life magazine December 16th 1936, along with the accounts of Provand and Shira.

Renowned paranormal investigator Harry Price interviewed the two men and stated he could not find a flaw in their story, as the negative also showed the figure. With the exception of the two men lying, he could not see how the image could be anything but that of the ghost in question.

Ashley Hall 2012

Photo: The Brown Lady by Provand and Shira 1936.
Inset: Upper, Lady Dorothy Walpole. Lower, Raynham Hall.

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