Sometimes, you come out of an investigation with photos that look look a lot like this :

Yeah, there’s a photo there. Maybe the flash doesn’t work. Or maybe you think, “Hmmm...I wonder if I can sneak up on the ghosts and catch them unawares.” You get home, connect the camera to your computer, and funnel your photos right into an editing program, eager to mess with brightness and contrast in order to bring to light all of the details of that darkened room. My drug of choice is Photoshop CS4. It completes me.

For those of you out there thinking, “What kind of idiot doesn’t use a flash,” let me raise my hand and call out a confident “Me!”  The camera picks up a lot more in darkness than our eyes can. The night of this investigation, I was sans my big gun ( a Cannon Rebel something or other that I have set to shoot in RAW, meaning it will pick up a hell of a lot of detail in near total darkness) Having a “command central” was not an option, so I wanted to travel light. Also, I forgot it at the front door...the place I put it so it would not be forgotten. Moving on.

Though the dark pictures can be very exciting to manipulate in Photoshop (And, by manipulate, I don’t mean ADD FAKE GHOSTS. That’s right! I’m wise to your tricks you tricky tricksters.) Sometimes, you are just thankful to not have to perform your magic . Sometimes, you just want to see what is already there.

I suppose, before I move on, I should show you what is actually IN the above picture. I can sense your curiosity from here. This is the same picture lightened and brightened:

Yes. Those are orbs. No. They aren’t ghosts.

Anyway, our focus for this review is on one of the pictures that didn’t need manipulating in order to seem slightly odd. Sorting through the photos, I came across this:

While scanning the picture, my eyes skidded across the anomaly just right of center towards the ceiling. “What the hell is that,” I asked myself.  (And thusly so the photo was named.) And I needed a closer look!

So, I go to my filters, and play around with Genuine Fractals, a program that enlarges a picture without it pixelating. Then I mess with the contrast in order to try and bring out more detail, and end up with this:

Incidentally, I named this picture “What the hell is that-cropped and enlarged.” I like to get creative with my titles.

Further study only resulted in further frustration. It looks like it’s floating, unattached to a single surface. The lines don’t seem to follow the angles around it. It looks like.... no. I mean, come on! Ghost...graffiti? The ceiling in that area of the boiler room is a good three stories high. There is no way to get a man-lift or a scissor lift to that area. And I pity the fool who finds it necessary to hunt down a three story extension ladder, drag it through the ship, and set it against some rusty pipe or beam simply to create art as fail as that! Still, GHOST graffiti?

I sent the picture off to the rest of the team looking for a prior picture of the area in question. I also sent it off to a couple of friends who are into photography and graphic design, asking for their opinion. Both believed it to be graffiti. Nay sayers! After listening to my arguments for why it doesn’t make sense, one said “Hell, I would do that simply to make someone wonder why it was done!” Thanks for that, friend.

Feeling a bit nagged by what I still considered to be a small mystery, and finding no comparable pictures of the exact area in question, I resigned myself to re-take the picture on our next investigation. This is how nice I am. I SUFFERED for a MONTH, but waited to post it until the results were in, simply so that you, the viewing audience, would not have to endure that torture. So now, without further adieu, I give you: GHOST GRAFFITI!!!

I mean...I give you....ACTUAL GRAFFITI!!!!

A second look during the next investigation revealed my two speedy sayers of nay to be correct. It was actual graffiti. With as many times as I had been in the boiler room, I had never noticed this “anomaly.” In my defense, due to the angle of the first shot, I thought the picture had been taken in a different, much more difficult to access area of the room.  But, looking at it here, it is easy to discern why the spray paint was in such a random place. Whoever did it, was specifically trying to warn whoever came after them, about the deadly rusted metal CEILING SPIKE. It clearly says, “Hey you! Don’t go flying around like a loon up here, because this jagged, evil, sharpened piece of metal? It’ll get ya!”  On the bright side, the graffiti was likely created at the time the boilers were ripped out. That makes it VINTAGE. That’s worth something, right?

The case of the Ghost Graffiti? DEBUNKED! That’s just how we here at EVP roll.

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