Elderly couple with a young female 'spirit', c 1920.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A portrait photograph possibly taken by William Hope (1863-1933). A young woman's face appears as if floating above the sitters, draped in a cloak. Hope may have already held her photograph in his studio, or he may have asked the couple to supply photographs of deceased relatives under the pretence of using the image to contact the spirit world. Hope's spirit album photographs use multiple exposure techniques to render the appearance of ghostly apparitions. Hope founded the spiritualist society known as the Crewe Circle and his work was popular after World War One when many bereaved people were desperate to find evidence of loved ones living beyond the grave. Although his deception was publicly exposed in 1922, he continued to practice.