Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Photo of Ghost Girl

This photograph was taken by amateur photographer Tony O'Rahilly on 19th November 1995, as Wem Town Hall, Shropshire, England, burned to the ground. When O'Rahilly took the photo, neither he, nor other onlookers, saw the little girl in the doorway. The picture was taken with a 200mm lens from across the road because O'Rahilly and other onlookers were prevented by police and fire personnel from approaching the burning structure.

After the image was developed, O'Rahilly submitted it to the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena. They, in turn, sent the picture and the negative to photographic expert Dr. Vernon Harrison, former president of the Royal Photographic Society. Dr. Harrison analyzed the print and negative and reported that he was satisfied that the picture is genuine. "The negative is a straight forward piece of black-&-white work and shows no sign of having been tampered with," said Harrison.

A fire ravaged the town hall once before in 1677. The historical record indicates that the 1677 fire was caused by a young girl named Jane Churm, who had been careless with a candle and set the thatched roof of her home on fire. Many people of the town have reported seeing her ghost in the years since 1677, and many residents believe this photo to be her.

Despite the international publicity and visits from teams of 'ghostbusters', the image of the girl in the photo has never been properly explained.

Skeptics, including Dr. Harrison, have claimed the child is nothing more than the convenient arrangement of smoke, flame, light, and shadow at the moment of exposure. But what are the odds of smoke, flame, light, and shadow randomly forming the shape of a girl in the doorway of a building allegedly haunted by a girl, at the very moment a photographer took this picture?

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