Couple with female 'spirit', c 1920.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph by William Hope (1863-1933). A woman's face appears above the couple - identified at the time as the sister of a man prominent in the Spiritualist Church. Her cloak adds to the ethereal effect. The signature in the upper left hand corner is by one of the sitters, to authenticate the plate. The couple are the parents of the person who compiled the spirit album. 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.