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Santa Cruz, California, United States
I cannot remember life without GHOSTS/SPIRITS... My interest began in the paranormal when I was 2...that's when my mom told me I first started talking about GHOSTS/SPIRITS. I grew up like most of you, learning that one shouldn't talk about the things they can see, hear and feel. Now, after years of ignoring these abilities and senses, I can no longer deny it. The TIME has come...

Friday, January 11, 2008



Taken by me at Evergreen Cemetery (one of the oldest in California) in front of a headstone.Digital, 68 Degree temp., NO Flash, Day Light. © 6CENTS

This is an article by spirit photography master, Jim DeCaro!
I was tickled to find this and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did


© Jim DeCaro

What is Spirit Photography?
Simply stated, spirit photography is the capturing of unexplained natural or supernatural images using a camera and film. What takes place between photographer and subject is a form of electronic spirit communication. The link between electro-magnetic energies and machines is becoming clearer to those who look to communicate with energies identified as spirits. There really is no scientific explanation as to what it is I'm communicating with, nor do I attempt to make one. I have heard several possible explanations of why these images appear on film and at the same time are not visible to the naked eye. I prefer not to lose myself in the "scientific" exploration of why; instead I choose to explore the "spiritual" aspect of why.

History of Spirit Photography
In 1839, the first publicly available camera, or "Daguerreotype," was introduced to the world. This cutting-edge invention could actually capture what the eye saw and reproduce it on a plate. The new invention was an instant success, and people around the world were scrambling to get one.Spirit photography got its start about two decades later when in 1861 Boston-based photographer William H. Mumler took a picture of himself and "discovered" a ghost had appeared in the photo with him. Mumler began charging his customers for a séance/photography session and was making quite a bit of money in doing so. He was later exposed in the courts in 1872 as being a fake. Early cameras required the subject to sit motionless for periods of 60 seconds or more while the camera shutter remained open. During this time, the photographer's assistant, dressed in a flowing robe or cloak, could sneak into the scene behind the subject for ten or 20 seconds and then leave. When the picture was developed, a semi-transparent apparition would appear.

My Beginnings in Spirit Photography
I have had several supernatural experiences in my life that gave me the creeps. I saw my first ghost when I was around 17 years old and the experience really freaked me out--there was a man's face floating in the corner of the ceiling. The entity was twice as large as a normal face and glowing white, almost phosphorous. I had a few other experiences, such as hearing the occasional voice from nowhere, but there were no other visual sightings until I started taking photos for purposes of spirit contact.

In the spring of 1999, my friend Jeffrey Wands, who is an extremely talented psychic and the host of the "Higher Minds" radio show on WLIR, was insistent that I take my camera to a cemetery and begin taking photographs. Being the classic procrastinator that I am, it wasn't until June of that year that I took a late-night venture to a local graveyard. Camera in hand, I drove about ten miles to a local cemetery that was reported to be haunted. Total time on site was about 15 minutes--longer than I expected, since there is an ordinance throughout Connecticut prohibiting entrance into cemeteries after dark.

I took about two dozen pictures with my digital camera and drove home to view them on the television (digital cameras are great for that). I was not really expecting to see anything other than some headstones, but as I began to scroll through the pictures, I made a discovery. Around the ninth or tenth picture, I saw a glowing, circular, three-dimensional object positioned about two or three feet above the headstones. My heart jumped a little as I realized what this could be. I was now racing through the remaining pictures to see if there might be others.

After scrolling through the remaining pictures, I realized there were several that required closer examination. The two dozen or so photographs had produced several of these unusual objects. I quickly downloaded the digital images to my computer in order to examine them on my 21-inch high-resolution monitor. Not knowing what to look for, I was now examining every picture for anything that seemed out of place. At least five or six of the pictures contained more glowing objects. My first expedition produced results far greater than my furthest expectations. Although I couldn't actually determine what the glowing images in my photos were, they were definitely there.
I gathered together the pictures with the objects and e-mailed them to Jeffrey Wands. Even though this is a man who sees and talks to spirits every day, I had no doubt he would be as excited as I was to see the images.

After Jeffrey had gone through the photographs, I sat through the "I told you so" speech. He was able to quickly discern what the images were in the photographs and identified the objects as spirits. More than that, they were the spirits of several children, and they were playing when I took the picture. Having known Jeffrey for several years, I know he is a truly gifted psychic--I had no doubt they were the spirits of children.

Later that same morning I returned to the cemetery. Using the pictures, I was able to find the exact spot where I was standing the night before. I began to walk amongst the graves where the objects had appeared in the pictures. I read the headstones and found that within a twenty-foot radius there were graves for no less than six children under the age of ten. I remember my excitement giving way to an odd feeling of sadness when the reality hit me. They are spirits, they are children, and they are right here--there were more graves of children than a person would want to see.

Spirits have made themselves known to me in a variety of ways. Their ability to become physical is truly amazing. Spirits can move objects, ring doorbells, open or close doors, and manifest a physical appearance. They can also make audible sounds. I have heard them walking, whistling, howling, and calling my name. Imagine standing alone in the middle of a field at 2:00 AM and hearing a voice call your name. Then take your camera, snap a picture, and see a large cloud of wispy smoke at arm's length in front of you.

The ectoplasmic mist shows the outline of the upper-torso of a spirit.
© Jim DeCaro

If my experiences were phenomenal before, they were mind-blowing now. It wasn't long after this that my perception began to change. I was more aware of the things happening around me, both day and night. I believe the spirits were allowing me to sense them for what they were, or rather how I thought they were. And I can't actually say they were controlling the camera, but on numerous occasions, wherever the camera was pointing there was an appearance of some sort. To me this shows an uncanny intelligence on their part. So much so that I can't even attempt to render an explanation of how they do it. But they do.

Getting Started
Initially, you should seek to learn and understand your instruments and environment. In my opinion, smoke from a cigarette does not resemble perespirit, ectoplasm, psychic mist or a spirit apparition at all--for your own peace of mind, attempt comparative shots to see the differences for yourself. There is also a distinct difference in fog density that you learn from experience. If you capture a spirit in the shape of a recognizable figure, that pretty much puts the sun spot theory to rest. I have never seen fog or cigarette smoke take the form of a human being or an animal. But I have taken photographs that show forms of humans and animals whose origin I cannot honestly explain. In my opinion, they are a form of spirit energy.

The best place to start taking spirit photos is a cemetery. But once you are comfortable with what you are doing, you can shoot almost anywhere. You really need to be tuned into what you are trying to accomplish and why you are doing it. I am not psychic, but I try to be aware of my environment.
I prefer to use a digital camera because I don't want to wait for film processing. I use two Olympus c2000 cameras set to AS400 film speed. And 99% of my pictures are taken at night, so I use a flash. No special lenses or shutter speeds-just stock equipment.

Spirit photography is an aided type of mediumship--that of using the camera to communicate with spirits, or rather, using the camera to let spirits communicate with you. When, how, or why the spirits choose to appear or make contact is of their doing.

Experience and intuition eventually become a major part of spirit photography. You will not only begin to recognize what you have captured on film as spiritual in nature, but you will sense the presence of the spirits around you at the time you take the picture.

This craft can also have its pitfalls--by opening or attempting to open a communicative path to the spirits, you are exposing yourself to a powerful force of nature. There are spirits who do not possess the best of intentions, and those malevolent spirits may take pleasure in causing psychological harm to a person. This intention may not always be deliberate but rather the by-product of a suffering or angry spirit. In order to protect yourself from such malevolence, you first have to identify the spirit's intentions. Your feelings and intuition are everything when it comes to identifying the good from the bad spirits.
Don't perform spirit photography in a group--it's not a group exercise. Though you can obtain results with numerous persons on site during a shooting session, I believe the individual should exercise restraint from doing so. Spirits can feel the vibrations of those people involved and you would not want to be held accountable for the intentions of someone other than yourself. As I have stated, I approach this as a form of spirit communication, and as such, any successes and/or failures become a learning process for further communicative advancement. To me, this is a very personal process.

Don't try using magic or evocations. Spirit photography should be a natural occurrence. Although certain rituals can be used to conjure spirits, there is a certain satisfaction and fulfillment gained from a natural approach. For me, my religious background plays a part in my decision not to conjure. On the other hand, a totally natural approach is something that has been given and not taken. This addresses my moral concerns to any form of spirit communication.

Try to bring more than one camera. If you start getting activity, you'll need to shoot quickly because spirits move very fast. Save the negatives or digital film cartridges. If you happen to capture some amazingly incredible shots, you may someday need to produce the originals for authentication. Better to have than to have not.

Make every effort to ensure that no other common anomaly is impairing your shot. Behave in a respectful manner and do not attempt to dare, provoke, or intimidate a spirit. Your intentions will be felt by the spirit and returned accordingly.


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