Joe and Will Thomas and their grandmother's 'spirit', c 1920.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Joe and Will Thomas and their grandmother's 'spirit', c 1920.

Hope, William

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A photograph of Welsh mediums and brothers Joe and Will Thomas, taken by William Hope (1863-1933). The Thomas family claimed that the image superimposed over the sitters was the only photograph of their deceased grandmother in existence. Hope, however, would have used an existing photograph of a woman to create the illusion. 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 by a private investigator in 1922, he continued to practice.



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