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Heather's Ghost Story

Click to enlarge
Click on photograph to enlarge
    My niece Heather is taking photography classes as part of her art studies at University of Michigan. Around the middle of October 2001 she and her mom were in Chelsea (MI), at the family cottage, where Heather could use her new camera and infrared film.

    They were at a place in the woods that felt strange to Heather. It had been a breezy day, but this corner seemed unnaturally still. As she took pictures, she became aware of a shimmering in the air, like the shimmering coming off of a sun-soaked desert road; but the afternoon was cool. The shimmering actually seemed to expand as she watched, spreading through the trees and into the sky. Her mom saw it too, and suitably unnerved they hurried back to the cottage.

    They were not in a hurry to return to that part of the woods, but Heather was curious if some kind of equally unnatural image might show up on the photos she had taken. She shared one with me, which I now show here. Obviously, the figure on the left of the photo is Heather's mom Eileen; but Heather and Eileen also swear there is another figure present...

A figure they claim is a ghost.

    According to Heather and Eileen, they see a figure on the right of the photograph, a man they claim looks like a farmer in bib overalls.

The sighting

He appears to also be standing by a gravestone, on which a person's name and part of a date can be read.

    I've blown-up the image to show you the right corner of the photo. The farmer is wearing a hat, his head slightly cocked to the right. His eyes are rather haunting. The suspenders of his overalls should be easily visible, and there's a lightness to the image which suggests the line of his legs. The tombstone (to the left in this close-up image) has writing which curves to match the curve of the stone. Eileen says the letters "V A Z" are readable.

    However, in something I noticed only after enlarging the image, this tombstone now looks more like a small boy in a sweater! (The letters actually being a pattern of his sweater.) Could this be the farmer's son?

    (I've been getting complaints that my enlargement is not clear enough and that people are unable to figure out what I'm trying to point out. So I've taken the liberty of outlining what Heather and Eileen see as the ghost shape. Place your cursor over the image to the right to see what they see. [I have not outlined the "Harry Potter" face though, but I still see it. His face is right above the tombstone although the outline covers his chin.])
Ghost image: isolated, magnified

    Eileen was quite spooked by this image, but she has since vowed to investigate this patch of land, to see who might own it, to see if there might be some old mystery surrounding it or perhaps even a hidden grave. I'll update this page if I hear any more...


Page first uploaded November 27 2001.
Updated September 27 2002.
Images scanned from a print from the original negative, then lightened in Photoshop.

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