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Tantallon Castle ghost photograph examined by 3 experts who could detect no trickery!







        Tantallon Castle

        is in East Lothian


The Mid TowerThe East Tower and Curtain Wall


Remains of the Douglas TowerThe Outer Gate


The Fore TowerThe Close


Curtain Wall StairsThe Interior of the Mid Tower


The Visitor CentreThe Dovecot


                           Telephoto View from the South West




           Outer Gate by armadillow54.


The long walk to Tantallon Castle by armadillow54.




Tantallon Castle by armadillow54.


Tantallon Castle - Firth of Forth by armadillow54.


           Tantallon Castle - eastern edge by armadillow54.










Haunting Photo 


Ghost Busters



March 27th, 2009

An eerie image of 

a figure in period 

costume has spooked 

experts investigating 

apparent photographic 

evidence of ghosts.

The picture, 
taken in May 2008, 
appears to show a 
man or woman in a ruff 
peering out of a barred 
window at Tantallon Castle. (link)

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 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.”


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.”

Psychologist Prof Wiseman, 
who has made many studies 
of the supernatural, 
launched the investigation 
a month ago.

Members of the public were 
asked to submit ghostly images 
for experts to analyse, 
the best of which were posted 
on the website 

More than 250 pictures were received 
from all over the world and more than 
a quarter of a million people voted 
for what they considered to be the 
most convincing photos.

“The Ghost in the Castle” 
took first place, 
winning 39% of the votes.

Here are the runners up:

:: Ghost in the Woods – 
Appears to show a strange 
ghostly figure in the trees. 
Sceptics say it is probably 
a mixture of shadows, 
leaves and branches.


:: Ghost on the Street – 
A strange shadowy figure 
next to the couple in the picture. 
Non-believers say blurring in the 
image suggests a long exposure. 
A person may have walked past 
the photographer unnoticed.

:: Ghost on the Beach – 
A mysterious dark hooded 
figure stands at the water’s edge. 
Sceptics say the figure is an 
illusion created by an indentation 
in the rock face.

:: Ghost in the Mirror – 
A ghostly face in a 
car’s wing mirror.
 The photographer says no 
one else was around at the 
time but sceptics insist the 
face could be a reflection 
of a headrest, 
someone standing nearby, 
or the result of digital manipulation.

The study is part of the 

Experts will discuss the 
findings at Hauntings, 
a one-day public festival event 
examining the evidence for 
ghosts on April 4.


Ghosts In 
The Machine

by Alice Wyllie
March 27th, 2009


WHEN psychologist 
Richard Wiseman launched 
an online investigation into the 
photographic evidence for 
ghosts earlier this month, 
he never expected such 
an overwhelming response.

The project – 
undertaken as part of the 
Edinburgh International 
Science Festival and profiled 
exclusively in The Scotsman 
on 10 March – 
invited people to send in 
ghostly photographs for 
analysis and, 
once they were put up online, 
asked web users to vote as to 
whether or not they believed 
they were the real deal.                         

To date, the site has received 250 

photographs and more than 






250,000 votes.                        

While many of the images 

can be easily discredited, 

eve Wiseman is finding it 





particularly tricky to disprove one – 

the spooky face of a woman 
at a window at Tantallion Castle 
in East Lothian. 

The image came out top 
in the experiment, 
with nearly 40 per cent of 
online voters believing that 
the photograph shows a 
bona-fide ghost.                        

“The study has been 






a huge success,” 
says Wiseman. 
“The sheer number of people 
who’ve got involved shows just 
how much interest there is 
in ghosts. 
We’ve been amazed to find that, 
even when an image obviously 
just shows the camera flash 
reflecting against a surface, 
around 10 per cent of people 
still believe it’s a ghost.”                        

A high number of the supposedly 

ghostly images can be given 







a simple explanation. 

What look like mysterious lights, 
mists and orbs can, in reality, 
be anything from a camera flash 
reflecting off dust particles to 
condensed human breath in 
front of the lens. 

However, The Tantallon Castle 
image has even the logical 
Wiseman stumped. 
“It’s a tough one,” 
he says. 
“This experiment has been 
a big success, 
not only because we’ve 
had so many responses, 
but because we’ve come 
across this one very curious 
image that we simply can’t explain.





















10 Responses to “Tantallon Castle ghost photograph examined by 3 experts who could detect no trickery!”

  1. I’m as open minded as the next person but the ‘Tantallion Castle Ghost’ is just a flat, cartoon caricature of a person’s face- it looks like the wicked witch in Disney’s Snow White, or even Cruella De Ville! The image has no depth- it just looks like a picture held up against the window.

  2. It is obvouisly fake,anyone could have sneaked in wearing clothes teamed up with the photographer just so he could get famous…. TAKE THAT EXPERTS!!!! sorry for my bad spellling on my name im really annoyed by you thinking that thing is a ghost

  3. […] Tantallion Castle ghost photograph examined by 3 experts who could detect no trickery!  . […]

  4. I agree with Neil O’Gorman.
    The ghost figure is flat and look like someone put a poster near windows .
    It’s totally fake ghost photo !
    p.s. I think I might have see the face in book cover ummm..

  5. Yeah, I know, don’t be a killjoy, but really….come on. This is a ghost?
    This photo is unremarkable. Notice that most of the “facial” features, the cheek bones, eyes, nose, and possibly the mouth, line up with the vertical and horizontal lines of the mesh. Hence its not an actual face. Moreover, the “face” looks too large in relation to the rest of it – to me it looks like a puppet more than a ghost. The rest of it is just botches. I can see that it looks like there’s a collar and, what -a tie? -a sash? And what are the other blotches supposed to be in this fashion analysis? Never-mind that it’s a poor-quality blurry closeup. I have a hard time believing that anyone would take this seriously. But of course, people can find faces in anything: http://tinyurl.com/c46hdq

  6. A ghost with a face made of bricks? Awesome!

  7. It doesn’t look like a ghost for me.
    Your mind deceives your own mind.

  8. I enjoy a good ghost story, but its disingenuous to suggest that Wiseman is “baffled” by the photo – he just has to be seen to keep an open mind while the experiment is ongoing. You can find more about the investigation here: http://www.richardwiseman.com/hauntings2/experiments4

    That staircase is open to the public, so it’s not impossible that another tourist was descending the stairs. The image is not clear enough to prove that the outfit is “period costume”.

  9. The face indeed reminds me of someone..
    but its not a witch from a fairytale..

    to me it looks like ANJELICA HUSTON!!!!!

  10. Oh my gosh Anon,
    you are right!

    That is so funny!!!


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