Today's Inspiration: 19th Century Spirit Photography

The leaves are turning and it is getting colder. It is time to start thinking of one of my favorite times of the year. Halloween! In honor of my favorite holiday, I have chosen some of my most inspiring Victorian Spirit Photographs finds, as well as my most own 19th Century inspired haunted illustration.


Anonymous - c1870s spirit photograph of two ghostly figures, one of which is a young nun.

Although, most of this Victorian Spirit photography is known to be the artists trickery. I still love the results. And maybe just for a moment, having a photo where the sitter believed their loved one was still with them was helpful, maybe even healing, I hope anyway.

The Spiritualism Movement still fascinates me, even though I am too much of a skeptic to believe it to be real...But sometimes, especially at this time of year, I allow my mind to wander and let myself believe a bit more.

I mean who doesn't love a good ghost story?


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William Hope, Family Group with Two Spirits, c.1920

From The National Media Museum

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Wylie, Mrs. Bentley and the Spirit of her Deceased Sister, c.1920

National Media Museum

Edward Wyllie Spirit Photograph c. 1900

Edward Wyllie Spirit Photograph c. 1900


William Mumler, Mrs. French with a Child "Ghost", 1868

As promised, here is my illustrated ode to Victorian Spirit Photography. The Ghosts in the photos, were they tricks of the camera or memories of things not to be explained?

This is the sad tale of Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Lewis and their son, Fredrick separated by the cruel curse of Cholera. Their love (and sadness) lingers in the air all around them. One must wonder, will they be reunited on All Souls Eve?

Debra Styer, "And Her Soul Lingers", 2017


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Available here in the shop!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Victorian Spirit Photography

It's that time of the year...

As you probably know by now, I'm into all things spooky, and old. So, finding these amazing Victorian Spirit Photos is a truly awesome thing. It gets me in the Halloween mood and I thought I would share some of the favorite photos I found.

I really love these things. There is something so sweet and innocent about them. Maybe it was just a trick done by the photographer on a naive sitter wanting to connect to their loved ones. Or maybe it is something else. Maybe something we want to believe. Everyone wants to believe that we have someone watching over us, someone protecting us. No one wants to be alone. These spirit photographs might just have given these Victorians a little bit of hope that they were indeed not alone.

Spirit Photo via
The Ghost in the Stereoscope, photographer Unknown, c. 1856
Lady Helena Newenham and the Spirit of Her Daughter via Photography Museum
Portrait of Prince Arthur, 1854, Roger Fenton, The Royal Photographic Society Collection, National Media Museum
Mrs. Bentley and the Spirit of her Deceased Sister via National Media Museum
Ghost Stories, via Blenders
Photographer Unknown, Woman with Daisies and Spirit, 1875 via American Museum of Photography

Want to see some more? Here's a wonderful post from the American Museum of Photography.

This also fascinates me....

Here's Medium Stanislawa with her Ectoplasm from 1913
 What's Ectoplasm? A lovely post from Cabinet Magazine.

Pretty amazing stuff, don't you think? Although I am way too cynical to believe 100% in any of this stuff. I do enjoy letting myself imagine myself in a time where anything spiritual was possible.

Do you believe in Ghosts?

Here's a post on Victorian Spirit Photography I did a few years ago.