Photo spooks experts in hunt for ghost of Tantallon Castle
Speculation over the presence of a ghost at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian was sparked by a picture released last week as part of an online experiment into the photographic evidence of the paranormal.
The startling image, taken in May last year, appeared to show a figure in period costume. The photographer claimed that they were unaware of anyone present at the time the image was taken, and that there were no actors at the castle in period costume.
Now another image which could show the same ghost has been presented to psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who has been running the study.
The image, which also appears to show a strange figure, was taken more than 30 years ago by Grace Lamb, 65, a retired office worker who stays at Crewe Toll, during a family trip to the castle.
It was a picture of her late husband Hugh, and their two children Paul and Kelly, but in the background, staring out of one of the windows, appears to be some kind of apparition. Mrs Lamb said they had always been curious about the mysterious figure, but they never thought of having it examined, until they read about Prof Wiseman's study. "We saw the other photo in all the papers, and it was my daughter who remembered the one we had taken," said Mrs Lamb.
"We went to Tantallon a few times when the children were younger. As soon as we got it home we all spotted this weird image in the background, and it has been quite a talking point for us."
Professor Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, admitted it was another interesting image.
"It was fascinating to be sent this, as even though it is a higher part of the castle it is very similar to the original," he said.
"Since I launched the study I am getting a picture of a ghost every ten minutes, and I have to say 90 per cent of them are nonsense, but a few are very interesting."
Professor Wiseman has been carefully investigating the original image, with experts admitting it did not appear that the image had been digitally altered in any way.
It is possible that the face is a visitor to the castle and it was also suggested the image could have been caused by light reflection off the stone walls of the castle.
Alex Pryce, chairman of the Edinburgh Skeptics group, had a very straightforward explanation for the figure in Mrs Lamb's photo. "It is a woman in a pink jacket coming down some stairs with a shopping bag," he said.
Historic Scotland, which runs Tantallon Castle, said there was no history of ghosts at the castle but said the image was "intriguing".
Professor Wiseman will discuss The Science of Ghosts at the University of Edinburgh's Anatomy Lecture Theatre on Saturday.