Ghostly Pics: Hampton Court Ghost
This infamous ghost image took the internet by storm in 2003. It was originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times on December 21st of that year and was said to be a still of CCTV footage from the Hampton Court Palace, located on the Thames river in London, England.
Although the Hampton Court is ripe with tales of ghostly apparitions and strange occurrences, the picture of the robed figure was immediately a topic for debate for both believers and skeptics alike.
Was it an excellent ghost photograph or a clever hoax?
In the released footage, which is less then two minutes in length, shows what appears to be a figure in period dress, closing a set of fire doors that had burst open a moment before the figure glides up to the doorway to close them.
The figure was discovered on the recording by Hampton Palace security guards, who checked the footage after the doors had also been opened at about the same time the day before.
Security guard James Faukes told the BBC how unnerving the footage was at the time it was discovered:
“It was incredibly spooky because the face just didn’t look human,”
Faukes also went on to say that he did not think the footage was a hoax or prank:
“I thought someone was having a laugh but our costumed guides don’t own a costume like that. It is actually quite unnerving,”
Indeed, the images with the robed figure are the kind of thing you would want to watch on a cold dark night near Halloween, but in reality the ghost may be more Human then initially thought.
Paranormal Eye Candy:
The old saying goes that if it looks too good to be true it probably is, and this is especially true when it comes to things that have a paranormal or unexplainable background, like UFOs or ghosts.
The Hampton Court Ghost footage falls into this category for a few reasons, which I will list here. I cannot completely explain away the images, but I can make a solid argument that they could very well be a hoax or a case of mistaken identity:
- The ghost appears to have very tangible features. As the screen caps here illustrate, the ghost seems to have solid hands and fingers and is seen ‘gripping’ the door in a real manner.
- White objects can also be seen in the captures below which would be in perfect position to be a pair of shoes. White trainers or gym shoes anyone?
- The face does seem to be odd and creepy, but it looks more like the solid white that might come from wearing a white mask, such as a ghost or skeleton mask (In some circles the ghost has been known as Skeletor, due to his more then passing resemblance to the villain in the eighties children’s television show He-Man), not an apparition of the dead.
- For a ghost, the spirit sure knows how to operate a modern fire door, closing one end first then shutting the other door in the proper manner. Not sure they had those in Henry the Eighths time.
- The CCTV footage, although released in December was filmed in October. Although Halloween is not as big of a holiday in the UK as it is in the States, October surely would be the right time for anyone to attempt such a paranormal related prank.
At the end of the day, the Hampton Court ghost footage is one of those cases where we all know in out heart of hearts that it is probably a fake, but want to believe in it so badly as it is just too good of a ghost image.
Again, remember that old phrase form the beginning of this article?
The security guards quoted on the footage at the time seemed sure that it was not a hoax and stated that no members of palace staff wore that kind of period costumes, however if the footage is indeed a hoax or prank they are not about to inform Hampton Court Security are they?
Security also reported that the alarm went off at around the same time both the day before the footage was taken and the day after. On those dates, there was no robed figure or any other anomalies in the recorded material.
One guess is that the hoaxers wanted to give their story a little extra ‘oomph’ so thye made the ghost a daily thing for a couple days.
As for the Australian tourist who reported in a Hampton Court guestbook that she had seen a ghost in that area at the time the footage was recorded, it could have been set up by the hoaxers themselves again with the same purpose as the fire alarm, to give the story more credence or weight.
To be fair, Hampton Court also has a rich paranormal history and the Australian tourist’s ghost sighting was not the first at that location and most likely not the last either.
What do you guys think of this infamous paranormal footage? Hoax, prank or a ghost who loves to hear the fire alarms going off?