Ghostly photos spark debate

Are these some of New Zealand’s spookiest pictures? []
For the past few weeks, The Press has been calling for New Zealand’s best spectral images in the wake of a British competition that judged ghost pictures from around the world.
The photograph chosen as the best by British judges was that of a ghostly figure, in Tudor dress, staring out of a ruined Scottish castle. The picture, taken in May last year, puzzled experts.
The Press has received dozens of ghost shots from readers throughout New Zealand.
Most were photos of “orbs” (largely explained by dust on the camera lens), strange patterns in smoke or odd reflections, but others were more difficult to fathom. Our judges picked four scenes.
The first comprised two photos taken during a Westport Volunteer Fire Brigade exercise in 2006. They appear to show ghostly heads in the burning house.
The second image is from a North Island pub and shows an indistinct feline-type face in the lower part of a window.
The third picture was taken at Linwood College in Christchurch. Who is that ghostly visage squeezed between the two students?
The final scene was in Halswell, Christchurch, and the photo appears to show a grinning head discarded in a washing basket.
New Zealand Paranormal Investigation Society director Brad Scott said most paranormal shots were easily explained.
“There are 90 per cent logical explanations for everything that occurs, but it’s that 10 per cent that we look for,” he said.
Scott said he would probably get 200 photos sent to him every year. Many images could be explained by the tendency of people to find order in random patterns.
“If you see a face in the window, it could just be a reflection of light. There are very few paranormal pictures out there,” he said.
Of the dozens of orb shots The Press received, Scott said: “I hate orbs with a passion because I know they’re dust. There’s nothing paranormal about a little flick of dust.

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