Elderly man with 'spirit', 5 April, 1920.

Hope, William

Elderly man with 'spirit', 5 April, 1920.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm


A photograph of an elderly man, taken by William Hope (1863-1933). A face appears over the man's image on the left of the photograph, covered in a cloak. Although indistinct, the man apparently identified the 'spirit' as an ex-work colleague who had died thirty two years earlier. Hope's spirit album photographs use double and even triple exposure techniques to render the appearance of ghostly apparitions around the sitter. 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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© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

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