Experts baffled by ghostly image
Friday, 27 March 2009
An eerie image of a figure in period costume at a Scottish castle has spooked experts conducting the biggest ever investigation into photographic evidence for ghosts.
The picture (above), taken in May 2008, appears to show a man or woman in a ruff peering out of a barred window at Tantallon Castle.
No mannequins or costumed guides are employed at the castle, and three photographic experts have confirmed that no digital trickery was used on the photo.
Even confirmed ghost sceptic Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study, admitted to being puzzled.
"It is certainly very curious," he said. "We ran it by three photographic experts and they said it hadn't been Photoshopped at all.
"The figure appears to be in period costume, but we know 100% that Tantallon Castle is not the sort of place that has dummies or costumed guides; they just don't go in for that sort of thing.
"I suppose it could be a visitor looking a little bit strange. Perhaps someone will come forward. Another possibility is an odd reflection of sunlight, but it does look very like a person. The explanation is not obvious."
Tantallon Castle, a ruined fortress dating back to the 14th century, stands on a remote rocky headland near North Berwick on the Scottish east coast. It was badly damaged in an attack by Oliver Cromwell's forces in 1651.
Christopher Aitchison, who took the photo, said: "I was not aware of anyone, or anything, being present in my picture, only noticing the anomaly when I got home.
"Staff have verified that there were no sinister dummies in period costume or historical re-enactments going on that day at the castle. I did not notice any nice old ladies wearing ruffs walking around the stairs! Some people have suggested its just light reflecting on rocks and one person suggested it may be King James V of Scotland."