Earliest-known paranormal photographer William Hope had a knack for capturing the essence of spirits on film in the early 1900s. It’s too bad he was a fraud.
In 1905, Hope took his first ghostly photo – an act that launched him into fame as something of a celebrity medium, not to mention the father of spirit photography. The only problem? Hope was a total phony. During the early ages of photography very little about the technology was common knowledge, which left holes wide open for tricking the public. Hope took pictures of the living to expose the spirits that were “haunting” them.
So how did he pull it off pre-Photoshop? Gizmodo writes that Hope and team were able to create ghost portraits by double exposing the silver plates used to capture images. By doing this, Hope could layer images on top of one another, achieving his desired paranormal effect, and one heck of a party trick.