Fake Ghost Pictures

Karen Frazier

Evaluating Fake Pictures of Ghosts

Fake pictures of ghosts are some of the easiest ghost images to find. Many phony ghost photos go viral before they can be disproven. Learn how these images are created to fool the public and how to tell the difference between real and fake pictures of ghost.

Faking Rods for Paranormal Photos

A fake picture of the rod phenomenon is very easy to make. Given the fact that nobody really knows what causes this anomaly, it's very easy to place fakes on any photo. You can create a picture like the one of the rod shown here by using Photoshop. The fact that it has a solid background as well as being fairly large gives it away.

Example of an Image With a Fake Rod

This is the same rod from the previous picture. This photo has a little more manipulation. It's harder to tell that it's a fake because it's within the frame of a real photo. You can use this same method to create an orb photo.

  1. Create a new layer in photoshop, make a thin rectangle.
  2. Fill it with white using an opacity around 80% and a fill of 60%.
  3. With the object still selected, feather it by 10, inverse the selection and delete.
  4. Once you deselect everything, you're left with a rod.
  5. Change the orientation of the rod if you like.

Fake Ghost Makes Appearance in a Photo

This fake ghost image is also easy to produce, and it typically appears real. To produce it:

  1. Take a photo of a hallway and open it in Photoshop.
  2. Create a new layer and use a soft brush with black color to make a black blob at 80% opacity.
  3. Run the plastic wrap filter that comes with Photoshop, and with minimal tweaking you have an interesting ghost image.

Does this mean that real ghosts can't be caught on camera? Of course not - it just means that you should be wary of them as proof.

Phony Ghost Picture of Shadow Man

In this image, you can see a creepy, shadowy figure standing under an archway. It looks real enough, and if you'd print it you probably couldn't tell it was fake. In essence, a real picture is used and then masked with a color overlay. It's then cut and pasted to the arch, and manipulated to look natural.

Image Used to Fake the Shadow

This was the image that was used to create the shadow figure. To produce this effect:

  1. Use the lasso tool in Photoshop and trace around the person.
  2. Once you have that selected, cut and paste it to a new image.
  3. Add a black color overlay, and use other filters to make shades, fuzz out and blur the outline, decrease opacity, and make fuzzy outlines in order to make it appear more natural.
  4. Once you're done, you just have to flatten the image.

Create a Wispy Shadow Faked Ghost Photo

There are times that shadows in ghost pictures don't have a human form, but instead appear as wisps of smoke. This photo looks real enough, but it can be faked easily.

  1. Draw a thick black line with some waves in it.
  2. Use a feathered brush.
  3. Use your filtering tools to widen it and make it hazy.
  4. Decrease opacity.

Making Mists in Fake Paranormal Images

Mist is a fairly common paranormal experience, but fake ghost pictures of mist are also very easy to create.

  1. Take a photo and add a blur effect to it.
  2. Next, create a layer and using a smoke brush, add a slight glow.
  3. Flatten the image.

The final result looks like the camera was focusing on the mist and not on the subject.

Fake Ghost Face in an Object

Capturing a face in an object, on a mirror or in a window occurs often in paranormal investigation, and they aren't always fake pictures. Just take them with a grain of salt. In all actuality, the picture here is legitimate. It is an optical illusion using shadows and texture. The picture was made by pulling a plastic curtain toward the camera with a light in the background, plus a flash on the camera. From there a sepia filter was applied to give it more depth. Never put much faith in still photography. The real proof comes from finding a ghost caught on video.

Fake Ghost Face Added to a Picture

The ghostly face in this image looks like she's whispering a message to the man walking past. In fact, it was easily faked in a photo editing program. To create this effect:

  1. Find an appropriate background photo where you want to paste the face and crop it so it is a closeup. Something with texture such as leaves makes it easy to hide any lack of technical finesse.
  2. Find a profile shot of your ghost, and trim use the lasso tool to cut out the face and part of the head and shoulders if you wish. In this photo, the "ghost" was wearing a hoodie which created a spooky blur to add to the image of a ghost. Cut or copy it.
  3. Paste it to the new photo, moving into the leaves or textured area where it's easy to hide.
  4. Reduce the opacity of the ghost face to your satisfaction.
  5. Flatten the image.

Smoke and Mirror Fake Ghost Photos

This image is literally smoke and mirrors. The photographer used smoke - often from burning incense or something similar that smolders well. The photo was likely shot in a mirror and placed on a neutral background. It's easy to take these images, cut them, paste them onto a non-neutral background, and reduce the opacity to create what appears to be twin ghostly images.

Fake Ghost Images Are Easy to Make but Hard to Spot

It's easy to make fake ghost pictures, even without using today's advanced tools such as digital cameras, ghost image apps for smartphones, and image editing software like Photoshop. Some phony ghost photos aren't intentionally faked, but they are misidentified naturally occurring photographic artifacts, such as lense flare creating orbs or moving insects creating rods. However, even with a film camera, it's possible to create believable fake ghost images by manipulating shutter speed, light, aperture, and exposure. That's why it's so difficult to know without careful evaluation when you might come across a real ghost picture.

Karen Frazier
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Fake Ghost Pictures