Ghostly Pics: The Back Seat Ghost
Graveyards are one of those places that you just might expect to capture a photograph of a ghost or spirit. After all, it is the final resting place of our physical forms and has an obvious connection with death and whatever might lay beyond it.
So it might not come as a shock to anyone that one of the most famous ghost photos in the world came from a cemetery.
Even more impressive, the ghost seemed keen to get a ride to some destination in the physical world as the picture itself shows the spirit sitting in the back of a car!
On March 22nd, 1959, forty-four year old Mabel Chinnery went on a trip to the cemetery in Ipswich, England, where her mother, Mrs. Ellen Hammel was buried. Mrs. Chinnery’s husband came along with her for the trip.
It had been about a week since Ellen Hammel had been buried at the church yard cemetery.
After visiting the grave site and snapping a couple pictures of her mother’s headstone, Mabel Chinnery decided to take a quick snap shot of her husband, as she needed to use the last exposure on the roll:
“I decided to use up the rest of my film by taking a picture of my husband in the car.”
When she got back her developed pictures,it seemed she got more then she ever expected in that last shot:
“When I showed the developed pictures to friends, one said: ‘but there’s your mum in the back.'”
Eventually Mabel had to admit that the picture bared an uncanny resemblance to her mother Ellen. The figure’s seating arrangements seemed to confirm that:
“It’s my mother sitting where she usually sat for drives.” Mabel would say.
According to the About.com page on this photo, a photographic expert wagered his reputation on this photo’s authenticity.
Others have pointed out the the scarf of the figure in the backseat seems to bled over the metal of the car in one area, a possible sign of a double exposure, although I am not quite sure I am seeing anything like that in the close up of the figure on this page.
The ‘Back Seat Ghost’ is certainly one of the most famous ghosts photographs ever produced. It is also one that is steeped in mystery and has yet to be completely proven as genuine or debunked.
Is the mysterious figure in the photo the ghost of Ellen Hammel, going for one more car ride with her family, or is the photograph of the ‘Back Seat Ghost’ a fraud?