Creepiest Ghost Photos Ever: The Brown Lady

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October has just begun and before we know it, Halloween will soon be quick on its heels to terrify us. So, let us get ready for the fright night by revisiting some of the creepiest ghost photos ever taken, starting with one of the most popular: "The Brown Lady."

The Brown Lady caught on film for the first time in 1936. Photo by Captain Hubert Provand and Indre Shira via Fanpop.com

Man has seen and known many gruesome and terrifying images throughout history, and one of the most famous is this photo of “The Brown Lady” taken in September 1936. Photographers Captain Hubert Provand and Indre Shira were tasked by Country Life magazine to take photos of the Raynham Hall, a country house in Norfolk, England. The said magazine published the photo in its December 16, 1936 issue.

But, who is “The Brown Lady,” and what could be the tale behind her spooky snapshot?

A portrait of Lady Dorothy Walpole by Irish painter Charles Jervas.

Legend tells of her identity as Lady Dorothy Walpole, the beautiful sister of politician Sir Robert Walpole, and the second wife of Charles Townshend, a Whig statesman. According to the gossip of her time, Dorothy became the mistress of Lord Wharton prior to her marriage with Lord Townshend. When Charles learned of the supposed adultery, he punished Dorothy by locking her up in a remote portion of the Raynham Hall, then their family home. Records tell of her death from smallpox and funeral in 1726, but many suspected that it was staged, and she in fact remained locked away in the country house for many years until her demise.

Since then, Dorothy’s ghost was said to haunt some areas of the Raynam Hall, including the oak staircase, where she was photographed in 1936. Among the people who have seen her spooky apparition were King George IV during his stay in the country home in the early 1800. Stories tell of the monarch seeing a ghostly woman wearing a brown dress beside his bed. Decades later, she was seen in the hall several times by Colonel Loftus, who described her as wearing a brown satin dress, with empty eye sockets set amidst her glowing face and skin.

Her name as “The Brown Lady” has since then stuck, and the eerie photo, the first time her spectral form was caught on film, became one of the most popular and fascinating ghost photos ever taken.

Stay tuned for the next installments of this month’s Creepiest Ghost Photos Ever series!

What do you think of this creepy photograph of “The Brown Lady?” Tell us with a comment below!

Sources and additional readings:
The Brown Lady -- About.com, Paranormal Phenomena
Brown Lady of Raynham Hall -- Wikipedia
Raynham Hall -- Wikipedia

written by plasticpopsicle on 2011-10-03 in #lifestyle

15 Comments

  1. skyphos
    skyphos ·

    creepy

  2. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Wasn't able to sleep properly last night after writing this!

  3. sgtpeppy
    sgtpeppy ·

    O_o donotwant

  4. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    a misguided attempt to prove the existence of ghosts using double exposure :)

  5. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    I agree with @superlighter. Unfortunately, I grew up in a very old house in the German countryside (20 inhabitants in our "village" only) so I was really afraid of ghosts as a child. Ridiculously, I still am sometimes at night, although I don't believe they exist at all :)

  6. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    an interesting video about truth and lies www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/marco_tempest_the_magic_of_truth… subtitles in various languages

  7. animationdigger
    animationdigger ·

    The Victorians were crazy about taking ghost and ectoplasm photos using double exposure. This is just one of the later ones.

  8. kernow_and_cambria
  9. aalper
    aalper ·

    We just have the luxury of Post-Postmodernism. I will admit that a 1936 version of Aaron would believed this was real.

  10. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    Double exposure... (BUT WHO KNOWS!!!)

  11. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    seriously tho, "Brown Lady"? maybe something creepier... nah. brown lady is a good name.

  12. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Could be real or fake, but I admit, it still scares me!

    The Brown Lady --- I find it a bit amusing though, because here in the Philippines, our lady ghosts are only called "White Lady" or "Black Lady" because of what they wear (and to describe their sinister-ness, to some extent)!

  13. thedriver
    thedriver ·

    Until youve seen one/felt the presence of one you'll never belive it

  14. emperornorton
    emperornorton ·

    Come on, we're photographers here. We KNOW how this kind of shot could easily have been faked.

  15. smashed
    smashed ·

    this is scary!

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