Headless ghost

This from the person that kindly submitted the image….

“I had this photograph taken about 22 years ago, it may be of some interest to you with regards to a headless ghost in an army coat. If you can find out any information regarding any details of this ghostly apparition in the photograph I would appreciate it.”smallghost4

What do you think?  Comment and vote now!

59 Responses to “Headless ghost”

  1. Melissa Says:

    does look like a coat just standing there- no head or hands- would like to view negative to see if the anomaly is there as well- could have just been a processing error

  2. Iain Says:

    The photograph (taken at Edinburgh castle) is damaged by spills (spots) on left an what looks like bleaching or fading on the right where the “apparition” is. Unremarkable

  3. Wendy Says:

    This looks like a 35mm slide – or possibly negative film.
    There is always the possibility of double exposure on this type of film.

    It looks like one of the exhibits of uniforms on a dummy which are in the Castle.

    Very rigid stance, and headless and handless and possibly the sleeves look like there is no forearm inside?

    I wonder if they took pictures of any of these uniform exhibits too?
    That would be my guess.

  4. Lorraine Says:

    I think this photo is older than 22 years old. Judging by the clothes worn in the photo, I’d say it is late 1970’s-very early 80’s-a time when it was possible to double expose photos. It does look like a headless person in a white uniform though.

  5. Andrew Says:

    could be that the origional photo was taken and covered in glass then a photo was taken of the photo, the soldier is a reflection on the glass

  6. David D Says:

    Looks like an old photo. Could be double exposure.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    looks like a woman in an old fashioned coat, from the era the pic was taken

  8. uksceptic Says:

    Looks very similar to a double exposure ‘ghost’ photo my dad showed me how to do when I was a kid. Although that was in my lounge!

  9. Julie Says:

    A very impressive photo. Can’t make up my mind if it is a real ghost. I don’t think it is a fake but it could be double exposure.

  10. Kerry Says:

    i think i can see a head but it does look to good to be true

  11. Soapy Sam Says:

    I have dozens like this , taken around that time on instamatics. Double image.

  12. Steff Says:

    i think this is real, but i dont think its headless. if you look close enough you can see a darker patch just above the colar of the coat, which is most probably the head.

  13. olivia Says:

    It does looks like an army person with a gas mask if you looks closely you can see the nozzle which filters out. im not sure whether its a ghost though but thats what it looks like to me

  14. olivia Says:

    and it looks like a woman too look closely you can see her hair curly you have to look really close

  15. jax Says:

    You can see a gas mask if you look closely

  16. Becky Says:

    i usefully have strong opinions on things like this but honestly this photo juss confusing me it seems to match the photo somehow it looks old like the photo it doesnt look like its been added or blurred confusing :S:S

  17. heyy heeyyy- Says:

    u can do a lot on photshop u know! u canm make things fade and im guessin that is what has happened!!!
    i can c a lady with sa bun and a gasmarsk and i can c hands!

    • Ben Says:

      Heyy Heeyyy, you’re not a great advert for the the youth of today. Why use photoshop when you can use double exposure? It’s far simpler – as is reading English!

      • Cyj Says:

        Amen. Heyy Heeyyy’s comments are a bit off-mark and not bursting with a lot of insight. *sigh*
        I’m also a “youth of today” but I find mangling the English language a tad distasteful.
        As for the photo, looks like double exposure to me as well. I’ve got a lot of photos my parents took when I was a toddler and many of them has the same double exposure thing (although not as fascinating as the headless ghost).

  18. Chris Says:

    It’s 100% double exposure. I have a photo a my sister with a horses head instead of hers, now thats freaky. This is not.

  19. Warren Says:

    you can see about halfway down the ‘ghost’ where the double exposed pic ends the sleeve slopes down diagonally a bit then meets the end of the frame and drops vertically, along with some of the haze… that would be the left edge of the photo doubly exposed.. seemed obvious to me, shame though haha

  20. Sarah Says:

    Very odd. I think it’s unlikely to be a person in a heavy coat when all of the people in the photo are dressed in light summer clothes – as if it’s hot. There is a lot of detail there, the sleeves and collar are very clear. Could well be a double exposure – it does look like a rear view of a coat being displayed on a mannequin – I wonder if they took any photos of such things (on museum visits etc) at any time on their holiday – it would be helpful to see the other snaps from that holiday.

  21. Clive Says:

    Its been mentioned but classic example of double exposure when using film.

  22. Claudio Says:


  23. Alex Pryce Says:

    I distrust any picture where only as portion of the “ghost” is in the picture.

  24. Jenny Says:

    It’s a double exposure. It’s very common with old cameras.

  25. Mark Ribbands Says:

    Yup, as many others have said, an unrecognised double exposure. Probably from an early 35mm camera, but not a 126 instamatic – the format is too rectangular.

    The film failed to advance fully after the previous shot. Cheap cameras often had dodgy plastic cogs in the advance mechanism, together with a rear pressure plate which was none too well-made; so allowing perforations to be skipped, especially if the user was a bit forceful when advacing the film.

    Warren, you’re bang on about the straight LH edge of the image. I agree with you that this is the LH of the previous frame, which did not advance fully. (Note that 35mm film advances, like British politics these days, from left to right).

    The ‘headless corpse’ effect is easily explained – the ‘ghost’ had dark hair. Therefore there was not enough exposure there to create an image on top of the dark stone wall.

    BTW, access to the original negative strip/s would confirm all this.

  26. Angela Says:

    Looks like a double exposure to me. I’ve had Princess Leia visiting Dunns River Falls because of this. Funnier than this photo, obviously

  27. Siggy Says:

    NOW THIS IS CREEPY, i just need to know where this photograph was taken because i might know what this photograph because there is a tale.
    There was a nun who looked after this treasure which she never wanted anybody to get. then one day i think she had her head chopped off and its her ghost that still searches for her head and looks after the treasure at the same time.

  28. Jane Says:

    Whats really spooky is that I think I am the little girl sitting on the front of the cannon. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the picture in the metro this morning. I have the exact same shot albeit from a different angle which my dad took. I am going to try and get the pic from my parents! If it is me, then the shot is older than 22 years old-though I hate to say that!

  29. bshistorian Says:

    Agreed on both double exposure, and it being likely a museum exhibit photographed on the same visit to Edinburgh Castle. There were/are three military museums there.

    The “ghost” is a tailored greatcoat (guards or cavalry most likely), like this;

    ..on a standard museum mannequin.

    • Alex Pryce Says:

      The uniform is not in keeping with the styles worn by gaurds in Edinburgh or Scotland. It doesnt look right- for any period.

      Its more likely as three quarter length jacket or overcoat.

      • bshistorian Says:

        Yes Alex – that’s what a greatcoat is – an overcoat. A military overcoat. Which in form, this matches far better than a coat, coatee, or tunic. Depending upon period, it’s perfectly possible that it’s from a Scottish regiment – but why does it have to be?

        At that time the Scottish United Services Museum contained large chronologically and regimentally arranged displays dealing with Scottish and other British Army regiments. Including more than one greatcoat. It needn’t therefore be from a display relating to a Scottish regiment. It needn’t even have been from the Castle. But it’s one neat explanation that doesn’t require the existence of ghosts.

        But thanks for trying to out-pedant me 😉

      • bshistorian Says:

        Apologies Alex, on reflection that comes across as a rather snippy reply. We are in any case in broad agreement – it’s an inanimate piece of clothing double exposed with a scene from the Castle.

        Being a bit obsessive though (sorry) and bearing in mind Prof. Wiseman’s challenge to reproduce some of these shots, I’m going to try to do just that with this one, and in process, prove my (minor) point.

        Watch this space!

    • Alex Pryce Says:

      We seem to be disagreeing on semantics lol! Of course with soldiers stationed at the castle there would be uniforms from across the ages, as well as unifroms on display, as you say, from elsewhere. I think I’m looking at the image in a different way and seeing a different style- but thats the trouble with pictures like this where there is little strong information within it to make an accurate comment on.

      I didn’t read your comment as being snippy, don’t worry. Even if it was I’d rather argue over historical military uniforms than whether football team A should have signed striker C.

      Intellectual debate is always more enjoyable.



  30. Dogan Bakır Says:

    Tab hatasi! Arap filmini görmek lazım. Tab ederken banyoda bu tarz lekeler cikabiliyor. böylesine ilginc sekil cikmasi sanstan baska birsey olamaz

  31. Finbarr M Says:

    This ghost looks like the one with the little bridesmaid from the first page. And as I commented on that image, this image also looks very like “The Staircase Ghost” which is a famous image from years back which was easily replicated with double exposure.

    However (I always try to see both sides), when it was replicated it looked similar…. But not as good as the original image.

    More than likely double exposure, but I’ll give this one genuine.

    But… Why would a ghost be headless? Makes no sense at all!

  32. Becca M Says:

    I like to think that i am physic when it comes to ghosts. As sson as i saw this picture i got shivers and i can tell you that, that means it’s genuine ghost. I can tell you that it is a young man and his head was blown off by a land mine when he fell onto it.

    • Alex Pryce Says:

      Sorry Becca but why would there be landmines lying around the battlements Edinburgh Castle? A battlefield overseas maybe, but not on the battlements of Edinburgh castle. When Edinburgh was last attacked in battle (and we don;t count WW2 as that was an air strike) was in 1547, before the invention of landmines. It is true that Bonnie Prince Charlie was involved in a battle in Prestonpans just outside of Edinburgh in 1745, and then rode into the city itself but no bloodshed was involved.

      The closest you’ll get to landmines of the period would be a petard, but these were attached to doors, walls and gates to blow them open and I find no mention of them being used at Edinburgh Castle, they may have been, but even then it would destroy more than just the head.

      As far as people getting their heads blown off in battle. Its likely. James II died in this manner in 1460 (Though not at Edinburgh). However, the attire is not in keeping with what would have been worn by those manning the cannons of the time.

      Also, if you fall onto a landmine, more than just your head is going to be blown off, this is not a Looney Tunes cartoon dear.

      If you could please provide evidence to back up your claim of psychic ability in this instance please feel free to share it. You know it was a young man killed in a specific incident, therefore you should be able to share more.

  33. ZeroCorpse Says:

    Double exposure. Old film camera.

    Yeah, Becca. It’s a headless ghost who met his fate upon a 1500’s landmine. That makes zero sense.

    You may “like to think” you’re “physic” but you’re not. Maybe you’re confusing empathy and a strong tendency for pareidolia with being psychic, or maybe you just want to be more than “average”, but if you really believe you’re psychic I’d advise you to contact James Randi and make yourself a million dollars by proving it.

    Odds are you can’t. Don’t feel bad. Nobody has, yet.

  34. Simonenko Sergey Says:

    He’s figure is like a Stalin…

  35. jimbofin Says:

    If you selectively darken the area where the “ghost” is so the tone matches the rest of the image is becomes clear that all the detail of the great coat is simply the mortar lines in the stone work. However there does seem to be something on the front edge of the step in front of the cannon – which also seems to stray outside of the straight edge of the lighter area. It looks like a paper bag or something, but it also looks like if was a partial exposure. Knowing the location it was probably quite windy and a bag or piece of paper could have blown briefly into shot. I think it is this object, that genuinely looks like the cuff of a coat sleeve that convinces you to see the lighter are as as coat

  36. Ghostly Greatcoat « The BS Historian Says:

    […] a quickie while I work on something else. Though some of the visitors to this new blogsite might not have cottoned on, it’s not just another exercise in let’s-pretend – […]

  37. Jay hates debunkers Says:

    this picture in a paper guided me to this site. I have stood in that same place.
    great picture.

  38. Frederico Says:

    Por isso que o mundo ta em crise o povo perde tempo em comentar essas besteiras….

  39. isa Says:


  40. Felipe Lucio Says:

    For me looks like the photo paper is worn, like if the protecting pellicle had taken away from the right side of the photo paper…

  41. André Vieira Says:

    Acredito ser um efeito de transparencia
    Criado por um programa de computador

  42. David Says:

    double exposure if ask me

  43. Chuzzy Says:

    Poor ghost had its head blown off by the cannon!

  44. Vicky Says:

    So far this pic might be the most believable but the skeptic in me would say its nothing more than double-exposure…

    BTW, Where was this pic taken?

  45. bshistorian Says:

    Edinburgh Castle, at the Argyll Battery.

  46. Jackov Says:

    Obviously he was shot by a cannon 😉

  47. Kelly Says:

    Edinburgh castle was there and took photos an hour before closing (Aug 20th) when the crowds were thining out of me and my boyfriend have also seen what looks like the torso of a man in my pic too great to know theres other photos the same

  48. kayla Says:


  49. kayla Says:


  50. Rastino Says:


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