Two women with a 'spirit', c 1920.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic portrait possibly taken by William Hope (1863-1933). The face of a young woman appears over the woman on the right. The reverse of the photograph reads: 'Why is the child always pushing to the front?' and 'Do we get messages from the higher spirits?' - perhaps questions the women wanted answering. One of the sitters, at Hope's request, has signed the plate for authentication. Hope used multiple exposure techniques to render the appearance of ghostly apparitions and founded the spiritualist Crewe Circle. 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.