The History of These Haunting Spirit Photographs Goes Back to the Civil War

What if a loved one could really communicate from beyond the grave? What if they could leave behind something tangible that you could hold in your hand? This wish for some was so great that when spirit photography became popular, it was incredibly easy to believe. Spirit photography was a popular genre of photography in the mid to late 1800s. During the 1860s, deceased Civil War soldiers were sadly missed by their families while at the same time photography was taking off. When spirit photography was created as a genre of double exposure, many mourners believed that their loved ones were reaching out from the other side.

Spirit photography 1901

From the original caption: “Spirit photograph, supposedly taken during a seance, actually a double exposure or composite of superimposed cut-outs, showing woman with portraits of men and women around her head. Via/ Library of Congress

Spirit photograph from the late 1800s. Via/ Wiki Commons

John J. Glover with

John J. Glover with spirit behind him. Via/ Wiki Commons

Spirit photography circa 1865.

Spirit photography circa 1865. Via/ Flickr

Spirit photography stereograph image from 1876. Via/ Library of Congress

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