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Brian Topp

Is this photo proof of the Newport ghost?

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According to Newport legend it is the ghost of Madam Piggott – the wife of a local noble who died with her baby in childbirth many years ago.

Her unhappy spirit is said to haunt the area around the A41, between Newport and Market Drayton, and over the years a number of drivers and walkers have claimed to have seen her.

And while many people consider the story to be nothing more than a bit of fun, a group of ghost investigators claim they could have photographic proof that the ghost of Madam Piggott may in fact be real.

To read more or to look at the "evidence" http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/02/01/is-this-photographic-proof-of-the-newport-ghost/

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Interesting photo... but I would like to see the same shot in daylight for comparison... This shot could easily be of a Christmas decoration - a "yard angel" that is illuminated or something...

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I do not think it's a person shape at all.It looks like glare off of a Headstone like object.

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It kind of looks like the stickmen they use for pedestrian crossing signs. And got no clue what the red thing is.

I don't know much about photography, but a lot of the dark area looks grainy/pixelated? Like the pic has been blown up or something.

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I love Brian Topp, you do find some ****.

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This is near where I live. We'll try anything to bring the tourists in.

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The edging of the lighted area looks odd to me. Looks like a cut out.

Why is the area lit behind her larger than the area lit in front of her?

Is that how the area around you is illuminated when you glow and are walking in the dark?

Edited by QuiteContrary
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This Looks like it's from a ghost app.

Edited by Brian Topp
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Thats because it is from a ghost app. I think someone is winding these clowns up. Mind you not hard to do is it?

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I might send em one with the exact same ghost see if they get their knickers in a twist again.

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Thats because it is from a ghost app. I think someone is winding these clowns up. Mind you not hard to do is it?

I might send em one with the exact same ghost see if they get their knickers in a twist again.

If this is indeed the case - then could I possibly ask you (Captain Pish) if you wouldn't mind doing as you've indicated here and sending the image concerned to *SNIP* please? I will happily admit that I'm totally oblivious to any of the apps mentioned, etc, so any help along such lines would be most gratefully received. (Including tech. data, if you would be so kind and indulge me). It was - on first showing the image round - suggested that it may be a result of such an app...... and it has to be said that we have, within the last year or so, been sent such images, purporting to be 'genuine', anomalous photographs, etc, etc.

While the way in which the photograph came to me was rather suspicious, to say the least - anonymity and scant detail, followed by 'silence' when I'd begun asking questions and so forth - I will happily admit that the particular Madam Piggott story is an aspect of Midlands ghostlore that has held my interest for a rather long time. Personally speaking, my main interest lies in the fluid folklore that surrounds - and springs up around - such cases at times and how the motifs and stories concerned can change and adapt with time and so forth...... Madam Piggott 'herself' (Chuckle!) is an absolutely classic figure when it comes to this type of scenario..... being so profoundly enmeshed within the psychology and social / cultural fabric of the area concerned as to present itself as an undeniably perfect example of 'living folklore', surely worthy of considerable study.......

As mentioned above - again - if anyone can please point me in the directon of the specific app and related data, I would be forever in their debt.......

Very best wishes to all.

*Please use UM's PM function, do not post e-mail addresses*

Edited by Lilly
e-mail address removed

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This is near where I live. We'll try anything to bring the tourists in.

In furtherance to my above post - can I possibly 'press' a little further and ask if you have actually come across this particular motif before (as a 'native', so to speak) SheWomanCatTypeThing? While not exactly a blatant attempt to 'manipulate heritage in the process of generating tourism opportunities' (laugh!) I do have some intriguing references (sent in by a number of sources) that point towards a considerable amount of blatant 'fakery' (re. some of the better known 'ghost sightings' in this specific case, at least) being carried out by - as it was put to me by police, etc - a 'couple of local, colourful characters'..... Chuckle!!

Again - any help that you might be able to offer wold be most gratefully received....

Very best wishes.

Edited by Enderfay

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So I think we can agree that this is most definitely a fake. The pixelation noticeable through the rest of the photo is completely absent on our "ghost".

Mr. Brian Topp, I salute you. Keeping UM on topic since 2008.

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On the contrary DecoNoir - looking at the subject objectively, the only people who can say whether this image is indeed a blatant fake are the people who genuinely 'took the photograph' to begin with, or the people who falsely 'created' the image, etc. While I don't happen to 'believe in ghosts' myself, I'm open-minded enough to see that my belief has no bearing on reality and I hope I'm open-minded enough to be able to err on the side of caution, rather than just jumping to a conclusion that I cannot possibly answer difinitively, one way or the other, without the crucial input?!? Re. the Pixcelation - I've seen enough digital images over the years to realise that nothing is certain where the actual 'condition' of such things are concerned. In this particular instance, the image shown in the article is nothing at all like the one that I was initally sent (pixcelation-wise) and, on blowing up the 'ghostie figure' (for want of a better term) itself only slightly - in an endeavour to see it better, etc - the entire form and area become amazingly pixcelated, etc. This basically 'only' proves that, depending on how a digital image has been manipulated, it can suddenly become / appear all shade of ****** up!?!

Edited by Enderfay

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On the contrary DecoNoir - looking at the subject objectively, the only people who can say whether this image is indeed a blatant fake are the people who genuinely 'took the photograph' to begin with, or the people who falsely 'created' the image, etc.

Not had much to do with digital imaging then? You say you are looking at it 'objectively' yet you haven't the first clue about jpeg processing artefacts? (or as you misname/misspell it - 'pixcelation' {sic}..)

Re. the Pixcelation - I've seen enough digital images over the years to realise that nothing is certain where the actual 'condition' of such things are concerned.

Clearly not quite enough to get things right...

In this particular instance, the image shown in the article is nothing at all like the one that I was initally sent (pixcelation-wise) and, on blowing up the 'ghostie figure' (for want of a better term) itself only slightly - in an endeavour to see it better, etc - the entire form and area become amazingly pixcelated, etc.

I call - please show us the original and tell us how you examined it initially, and then what process you used to enlarge it.. (and how it came to be 911x1000 pixels - a rather unusual image size...

If that difference in artefacting all came about because of your 'processing', I'd suggest that maybe you need to question your processing technique and leave the analysis to folks who know what they are doing AND who look 'objectively'.

BTW, at current count there are at least 15 or more ghost apps on the various platforms, deity knows how many ghost pictures in their galleries. And just by doing a search on vintage images you can find any number of suitable ladies in a white dress. Hell, given it's just a vague blur you could knock one up in five minutes, given a modicum of artistic ability. How exactly did you go about verifying the picture's authenticity, Mr Fender/enderfay? I note the image at the OP link has been stripped of all exif data. Conveniently.

So, post the original and let's see where we end up. Objectively.

This basically 'only' proves that, depending on how a digital image has been manipulated, it can suddenly become / appear all shade of ****** up!?!

No, objectively and actually, it doesn't prove that at all. Sure, if you hack away at the image without having a clue you can indeed ruin it, and sure the original image might well be quite bad... But if what is posted on that site looks significantly different to the original, which is what you just said, then I would have to say that is at best incompetent and at worst deceitful journalism.. A decent journalist would have posted the original or a link thereto..

Given the original, we can apply some quite definitive, useful, documented and repeatable checks and make some pretty definitive statements about what has been faked and what might be genuine image data. From your undocumented/hacked/processed version which according to you looks 'nothing at all' like the original, it's rather silly to be making any judgements, wouldn't you say?

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On the contrary DecoNoir - looking at the subject objectively, the only people who can say whether this image is indeed a blatant fake are the people who genuinely 'took the photograph' to begin with, or the people who falsely 'created' the image, etc.

And that would be an incorrect assumption.

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From your undocumented/hacked/processed version which according to you looks 'nothing at all' like the original, it's rather silly to be making any judgements, wouldn't you say?

I most certainly would, but - funnily enough, as no one here apart from myself has seen the nearest to original image concerned - it strikes ironic that everyone else on this thread is clearly okay to blatantly 'nay-say' the original image involved 'based purely on' seeing this flawed version, eh? How does that objectively work, I wonder?

My own manipulation of the image boiled down to simply ranging and enlarging the relevant section of the photograph, as it constituted only a very small portion of the overall, picture. This was the only manipulation carried out by yours truly. As mentioned earlier, I do not recognise the version of the image as portrayed in the newspaper and cannot figure quite how the image came to be portrayed in such a blatantly flawed version, etc.

On your lead ChrLzs, I shall now find some relevant, digital, photographic authorities to run the version of the image that I have by and see what they make of the picture and so forth.......

Edited by Enderfay

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I most certainly would, but - funnily enough, as no one here apart from myself has seen the nearest *SNIP*

I went to college, I did a course on photography, graphic design and Photoshop. Over the years being an active member on this forum, I have dissembled numerous "photos", even when the original poster who created the thread, swore on their soul that they or other people did not manipulate the photo. You might say I am qualified to make statements about photos.

These are the facts, not assumptions.

1. The photo was taken by a cellphone with 5 to 10 megapixels, I can see that due from the "noise" levels. The noise is when you get weird discolorations in the image, like junk pixels that stand out but doesn't help the photo's quality.

2.

A.When I put the photo in my Photoshop, First thing i did was change the brightness and contrast of the photo. When I change both contrast and brightness up, it verified that I could not make any objects or the source of the photo.

B. I then Darkened the image and when I put my brightness at -38 and contrast +22, I found that the only two things visible was the "Ghost" and the light.

C. Comparing the pixels "noise" from the red light and the "ghost", i found that the ghost pixels do not match with the lights. The light pixels are small, clumped the together on and around the red light, with the ghost it is spaced apart like there was no physical thing for the photo to put detail on. When you take the photo with a low megapixel, The "noise" pixels will be smaller around objects but when it is empty voids (One color or close to same shades) it would be bigger. This shows that the "ghost" was layered on.

D. With me changing to various light and darkness, I can say that the "ghost" was layered on and then blurred, The light edges are more natural, while this "ghost" edges was smudged and softened. This shows that the person most likely used a ghost cell phone app. For arguments sake, let's debate the concept of the "ghost" being transparent, if this was true the junk pixels would still be smaller and closer on the "ghost image".

3. The file it self is missing it's data, such as time, date, camera, pixel etc. This can be two conclusions

A. The photo was stretched by a photoshop or resizing software.

B. Some one had used an easy program that can do this.

With out the original, these are the only two options.

4. Over the years I have been collecting various ghost app's "Ghost" images and have been posting it on my blog. The problem is that there are SOOO many out there now but I will look through both Android apps and ghost apps to find this picture.

I most certainly would, but - funnily enough, as no one here apart from myself has seen the nearest to original image concerned - it strikes ironic that everyone else on this thread is clearly okay to blatantly 'nay-say' the original image involved 'based purely on' seeing this flawed version, eh? How does that objectively work, I wonder?

photographic authorities would want the original, not an altered version.

Finally, Please do not belittle members here for disagreeing with your views, This is a discussion forum, we discuss things and a lot of members (like myself) have degrees or diplomas on certain categories regarding the evidence that gets posted here. Saying this, If you have not seen the original, why are you so passionate on it being legitimate? We had a member here who created a thread, he said his friend saw a ghost on a security camera but never shown him but it is solid proof that ghost exsist (yet he never saw it or shown it to us).

EDIT: Spelling and grammar

Edited by Brian Topp
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'Enderfay', your complete avoidance of either posting the (nearest to) original (let alone YOUR version), or giving a lame excuse as to why you won't, was just a tad obvious.

Do you acknowledge your misnaming of the effect? So you now know how to spell pixelation (or pixellation where I come from..) and how it differs from compression artefacting?.

..funnily enough, as no one here apart from myself has seen the nearest to original image concerned

And that is somehow OUR problem or fault? Given you HAD the (nearest to) original and are now refusing to post it for no reason whatsoever, the hypocrisy smells bad enough, but then beyond that is the strong whiff of troll or deceit.

it strikes ironic that everyone else on this thread is clearly okay to blatantly 'nay-say' the original image involved 'based purely on' seeing this flawed version, eh?

Earlier you gave the strong impression that YOU were the one who screwed up the processing, so up until this post, it was assumed that the image in the article was *your* version. If yours was different again, why the heck haven't you posted that? And if you are that ill-informed and inexperienced that you cannot see a very, very large disparity in the lack of artefacting in the 'thing' compared to the rest of the image, then I guess that might explain why you admit that you damaged it so badly. How does that objectively work, I wonder?

My own manipulation of the image boiled down to simply ranging..

Ranging', eh? What precisely is that, in photogrammetric/digital image analysis terms? Is that supposed to mean adjusting brightness/contrast/gamma/histogram/curves or some of the more sophisticated analysis techniques - if so which?

and enlarging the relevant section of the photograph,

Ah.. so you CROPPED it. Try to remember that term - it's in common use (unlike 'ranging') and tells us (as you should have right from the start, that you have invalidated the original in *another* way. Congratulations, you have now done pretty much every bad thing you can do when it comes to misrepresenting an image and invalidating any real analysis. We still don't even know what the camera/phone was, even though you had the original or something close to it. Ever heard of EXIF?

This was the only manipulation carried out by yours truly. As mentioned earlier, I do not recognise the version of the image as portrayed in the newspaper and cannot figure quite how the image came to be portrayed in such a blatantly flawed version, etc.

This is the first time you have made it clear that it wasn't you that wrecked the image in the article... I think we should go back to the start so you can try to get your story straight...

On your lead ChrLzs, I shall now find some relevant, digital, photographic authorities to run the version of the image that I have by and see what they make of the picture and so forth...

Oh do, and let us know who these folks are (and if they, unlike you, manage to get to the original) so we can judge their expertise (although I think that will be clear, just as it has been with you, by what they post).

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Yeah Ender.. Gotta say, if you got pics... instead of chatting about it or making claims about it... Post the bloody fool things up please.

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The edging of the lighted area looks odd to me. Looks like a cut out.

Why is the area lit behind her larger than the area lit in front of her?

Is that how the area around you is illuminated when you glow and are walking in the dark?

The funny looking edging is JPEG artefacting from what I can tell. It's a common effect of harsh edges (bright 'ghost' against dark background) being subject to JPEG compression. I don't think that in itself is evidence of being Photoshopped.

And the graininess that someone else mentioned is the effect of shooting in low light. The effect is typically more pronounced on cameras with smaller sensors - phone cameras and compact point and shoots.

Enderfay, any chance of getting the original JPEG, exactly as it came off the camera. No resizing, cropping, etc. It's rare to get such a thing. We get images cropped and then downsized/upsized either losing detail or adding interpolation effects and stripped of EXIF data and re-JPEG'ed. It's rare we ever get to see the original image as it actually came from the camera.

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the only people who can say whether this image is indeed a blatant fake are the people who genuinely 'took the photograph' to begin with, or the people who falsely 'created' the image, etc.
You'd be surprised. There's no shortage of photos have been presented on this very forum that members conclusively proven were faked even going so far as to finding screenshots of the ghost app used to create it with the same ghost available as one of the options.

Not saying that's what happened here, but you're wrong to claim that only the photographer or the faker can tell if a ghost photo is authentic or faked.

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Having a closer look at the image, it appears to me that there's nothing fishy about the artefacting on the figure itself. Here's a GIF showing the image blown up 400% with an 8x8 overlay. You can see the blockiness of JPEG compression on the image matches up with the same on the background. It's not as obvious because JPEG compression handles gentler gradients better as exist on the figure as opposed to more harsh contrast between the sensor noise and the black background. Click image for full size.

On a related note, I just discovered that Photoshop has a GIF animator built into it. Never knew that.

e9v.gif

Edited by JesseCuster
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Ok, poking around a bit... Found Ender's group blog. http://westmidlandsghostclub.blogspot.com/

Must say, the pic posted in the blog does look a ton cleaner than what was posted in the news article.

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Ok, poking around a bit... Found Ender's group blog. http://westmidlandsg...b.blogspot.com/

Must say, the pic posted in the blog does look a ton cleaner than what was posted in the news article.

Nice catch, I'll look into it later.

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