This extremely famous ghost photo has been well covered over the years in magazines and more recently done to death on the
Internet :0). In fact it is often classified as the "worlds most famous ghost photo", which may be true!.
this day there has been no reliable evidence to show whether it was a hoax or it was a true ghost picture. Although it is
claimed that various "experts" have looked at the negative and declared that it's genuine and untampered with, I
can find no evidence of who these experts where (apparently from Country Life Magazine). It is up to you to decide if it you
believe it's real or a very long running hoax.
The two photographers mentioned above reported seeing the ghost as a
"misty form" descending the staircase. Having already completed one exposure and fully prepared for another they
managed to capture this amazing photograph as they watched the ghost themselves. The full report of the ghostly encounter
was reported in Country Life Magazine.
Although the photo appears to be a relatively easy double exposure trick, the
question is still asked today. Why would two well known photographers, with an extremely good reputation want to fake a ghost
photo? Their reputation alone make it highly improbable that they would do such a thing. But maybe they did, only they know
the truth on this matter.
The other unusual thing is that the ghost was seen before the photo was taken, most paranormal
photos aren't discovered till after the film has been developed, photographers do not usually get the opportunity to see a
ghost, photograph it and have such a perfect image of it appear on film.
THE GHOST OF
The ghost seen in the photo is reportedly that of Lady Dorothy Walpole (Left) who once lived at Raynham Hall.
in 1686 she "officially" died of smallpox in 1726.
She was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole who was considered
to be Englands first Prime-minister.
Her father refused consent for her to marry her first love, Second Viscount Townshend,
however they were married much later on after the death of Townshend's first wife, but by this stage Dorothy had been deeply
embroiled in an affair with a very much in debt Lord Wharton. Quite scandalous in those days!
Upon learning of his
new wife's previous misconduct he ordered that she be kept locked in her apartments at Raynham Hall. She died at the age of
40, on 29th March, 1726. Her death was officially reported being of smallpox but many believe she died of either a broken
heart or a broken neck after being pushed down the grand staircase.
It is thought that her ghost still walks the staircase
looking for her 5 children which she was also parted from by her husband after he learned of her affair.
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has been seen quite a few times over the years. She is called
the "Brown Lady" due to the brown brocade dress that the ghost has often been seen wearing while wandering the halls
and staircase of Raynham Hall.
1849 - Major Loftus and a friend named Hawkins saw the ghost one night after retiring
to bed. They both saw the woman and were amazed by the old fashioned clothing that she wore. The following night the Major
was lucky enough to see the figure once again, this time he took note of her empty eye-sockets. The incident resulted in several
members of staff resigning and a full investigation being done of Raynham Hall involving local detectives.
1926 - Lady
Townshend encountered the Brown Lady on the staircase. She had never heard the tales of the resident ghost and swore that
it resembled the portrait of Dorothy Walpole.
Author Captain Marryat had a close encounter with the Brown Lady in 1936. He asked to stay in the room in which the Brown
Lady was said to appear. After talking to two young guests that night and joking about a gun they were carrying protecting
them from the Brown Lady, while walking back to their rooms along a corridor. They suddenly came face to face with a ghostly
female figure advancing towards them, carrying a lamp. Captain Marryat recognised the woman as the woman in the portrait hung
in his room. The three men noted that the woman was wearing a brown brocade dress. She passed by the three men and looks straight
at them "in such a diabolical manner" that they became extremely frightened. Captain Marryat then pulled the trigger
of the gun firing at the brown lady. The Bullet went straight through the ghostly figure and was later found in a door behind
where she had been seen.
George IV also had a ghostly encounter with the Brown Lady, it is said that it frightened
him out of his wits when he woke in the middle of the night to see the ghost standing at the foot of his bed. He immediately
left with the comments "I will not spend another hour in this accursed house, for tonight I have seen that which I hope
to God I never see again".
The Duke of Monmouth, two ghostly children and a ghost of a cocker spaniel are also
reported to haunt Raynham Hall.