things : ghost polaroids
24th - november 8th, 2009
2121 San Fernando Road Suite 3
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Tue-Sat 11-5 Sun 1-4
bigger, better, revised
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THINGS: ghost polaroids
10"x 8” 70 pgs full color
Casebound with dust-jacket
things : ghost polaroids
On Friday, February 5, 1993, the Fox TV reality show SIGHTINGS examined
what may be a landmark discovery in parapsychology: convincing evidence
that ghosts exist and can actually communicate with us. Two residents
of an old house in the hills of Los Angeles began receiving ghostly
messages in Polaroid photographs. The pair started taking photos inside
the house in the hope of obtaining a picture of the entity they believed
haunted the house.
After first capturing a ghostly image on film, the men discovered
that if they asked questions about the entity and why it was inhabiting
their house, words and messages appeared in response on their film.
So far, more than 1000 photos have captured messages – photos
taken not only by the residents but by paranormal researchers and
other outsiders. A photographic expert at Polaroid has no explanation
for the messages. An expert at California’s Brooks Institute
of Photography can suggest an explanation, but it requires a lengthy
set up process and hours of lab work.
The ghost or spirit calls himself “WRIGHT”. He
shows signs of erudition and intelligence, writing many of his messages
in Latin. The ghost first appeared on film in March 1992 after one
of the residents kept hearing unexplained noises throughout the house.
After a door opened mysteriously, he took a series of photos, several
of which revealed a classic ghost-like shape, including dark shadows
at the eyes and mouth. The messages began to appear on film in June
1992. The first was in response to a friend’s question about
the ghost, “Is he here now?” The photo revealed a barely
discernible “yes” in cloudy white shapes. After that,
the writing became far more legible.
They were skeptical at first, suspecting a bizarre prank by the film’s
manufacturer or local distributor or some other technological trickery,
such as projected holograms or shaving cream sprayed on cellophone.
The paranormal research teams, similarly skeptical, used their own
cameras and their own film to take photos in the house. Their photos
also yielded answers to specific psychics, visiting independently
of each other, agreed that not only this spirit but three others reside
inside the house. Polaroid Corp. representative, Howard Wurtzel, examined
the photographs and could find no physical evidence of tampering.
His only explanation for the writing was that it was some form of
radiation created by a high energy field.
Renowned spiritualist and psychic Peter James was called in to explore
this phenomenon, in addition to three other psychics who also lent
their insight to this investigation. James visited the house numerous
times and believes that it is situated on the grounds of an ancient
ritual site and that spirits are definitely trying to communicate
with the living.
...As he walked around the house, Peter James stopped in one spot
he called a "spiritual vortex," a kind of doorway through
which he felt spirits were entering the house. "I feel a very
strong vibration. Something is definitely coming up from the floor,"
he reported. "I get a tingling sensation. It's also very cold
here. My legs are trembling. It feels like something is coming from
below and it's going through my entire body." Then someone snapped
several polaroids of Peter standing in the vortex. In the photos,
strange ghostly images appeared to surround him...
Most of the photographs on display were taken before Photoshop, digital
imaging and cell phone cameras changed photography. Each Polaroid
is original and unique. They show familiar rooms with wispy, feathery
tendrils and misty tufts of white substances and, amazingly, cloud-like
writing. Even more extraordinary is the relevance of the words to
whatever questions had been asked. Usually a response came in English,
but sometimes it appeared in Latin. For example, after questioning
the identity of the answering spirit, a response came in Latin; “Et
alla Corpus delicti,” (among other things, a murder victim).
The words floating in midair were invisible when the photo was taken.
Seeing Things explores the boundary between the known and the unknown.
It asks whether something as simple and functional as photographs
of record — people at a party, an empty room, an open door —
can be a gateway to something more.
These startling photographs challenge perceptions of reality and art.
Is the image of the room with the ghostly writing the way we see ghosts,
or is it the way ghosts see us? Who is seeing things, after all? Come
explore these strangely surreal photographs and decide for yourself.
Polaroid Abandons Instant Photography
Ghosts, aliens and us
LINT: Ghosts, apparitions, angels, spiritual visitations and views
of the future.