How to Recognize Real Ghosts Caught on Camera

Ryan Dube
Reviewed by Karen Frazier
Shadow of photographer and tripod

In the world of ghost hunting and paranormal investigations, one of the most difficult pieces of solid evidence to obtain is an image of real ghosts caught on camera. There are a lot of fake ghost videos that look real, and it's up to you to use your critical thinking skills to separate the wheat from the chaff.

How to Recognize a Real Ghost Video

It's important to understand no one knows for sure that any ghost video captured ever is real because to date none have been authenticated by experts as real ghosts. However, some have more of an air of authenticity than others and are more likely real. There are several items to keep a close eye on when you are sifting through online videos or photos that purport to be authentic evidence of ghost activity.

How Do Objects Move in Videos?

When an object moves, does it move toward the camera? This is usually a sign that a string is connected to the object near the floor, out of sight of the camera.

Does Anyone Appear to Be Acting?

Do people in the video appear to be acting? In some camera footage, if you watch the facial expressions of the people in the video, they will appear as though they are waiting for something to happen. Why? Because they already know something is planned.

How Clear Are Anomalous Images?

Some of the most common ghost images are blurry images caught on windows or mirrors and presented as a ghost. These videos or photos are most often a case of pareidolia, a psychological term that refers to the tendency of the human mind to take random stimulus and to find meaningful patterns in them. Cracks or deformities in a mirror become a ghost standing in the stairwell. Clouds reflecting in darkened windows become spirits peering outside.

What Is the Source of the Video or Photo?

Is the video or photo source legitimate? If a paranormal society or ghost hunting team with a reputation for using careful scientific standards during investigations captures video of an object moving on its own, or a vague image of an apparition moving in an empty room, the odds are very good that they've captured authentic ghost phenomenon on camera.

Is the Drama Amped Up?

Is the video overly dramatic? If lights are flickering and several objects are moving all at once, the odds are the evidence is fake. Professional ghost hunting groups overwhelmingly report that ghost phenomenon appears to draw a great deal of energy from the surrounding environment, so physical manifestations are usually singular, light and very brief.

Searching for Real Ghosts Caught on Camera That Are Not Fake

If you are searching for authentic videos of real ghosts caught on camera, there is no shortage of websites available throughout the internet. The only problem with the content is that there is so much fraud and ridicule mixed in with the legitimate evidence.

Real Ghosts on YouTube

You could easily spend many hours sifting through video on YouTube that are listed as evidence of a "real ghost." At least half of the videos are spoofs, intended to poke fun at people who believe that ghosts or spirits are real. This is a typical reaction by people who are scared of the prospect that there are forces or unseen things that science has yet to explain or understand. Of the remaining half of the videos on YouTube, half of those are videos created in order to "appear" authentic. Why do people try to fake ghost videos and pass them off as real? The most common reasons are:

  • They are an effort to promote a website, product or book.
  • They are the result of a psychological need for attention or some other disorder.
  • In some cases the videos aren't faked, but are only proclaimed paranormal as the result of an innocent misunderstanding of the environment or patterns in nature.

The remaining one-quarter of videos do appear to be authentic ghosts, spirits, or other entity captured on camera.

Are There Examples of Authentic Ghosts on Camera?

There is plenty of non-fraudulent evidence of spirit or ghost activity caught on camera. If you understand what to look for, potentially authentic photographs and videos exists in great volume. Searching through the scientific paranormal societies turns up some fascinating examples from around the world.

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How to Recognize Real Ghosts Caught on Camera