Friday, April 01, 2011

The faux ghosts

I went through a period recently where I watched some spooky Asian ghost movies. I get a chill up my spine when I see a ghost silently watching the living, or being seen only in a photograph, as in the movie, Shutter.

The ghost photos in Shutter reminded me of a picture with my mom that looks like a spirit photo. It was taken in Hong Kong in 1969. Mom is the lady in the white skirt and striped top, and the "ghost" is the ancient Chinese woman to her right. Notice the way she kind of blends into the background? Boo!

Then there's this full page picture from the February 19, 1940 issue of Life, with sexy Mae West. In the mirror to her right is a spectral figure. It's probably a maid watching the photo session, but if you let your imagination go, as I sometimes do, it's kind of spooky, too.


Kirk Jusko said...

We think of photographs capturing reality, but they sometimes distort it as well. That Chinese woman and Mae West's maid probably have perfectly good and innocent reasons for being where they are, but look how ominous they seem in a passing moment

El Postino said...

You put that very well, Kirk. There is an eerie quality to noticing something in a photo that doesn't seem quite right.