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Google maps discovers british ghost!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 30, 2009

Or so some think. This is a picture that has been circulating in the British media.


And of course you’d expect The Telegraph, which does seem to be very friendly to such crappy stories, to come up with as much a sensationalized article as they can, and you’d be right. “Victorian ‘ghost’ picked up by Google Street View” they boast. And wouldn’t you know, they went to an expert on such things, a local medium who happily proclaimed:

Apparitions have often been caught on film but are invisible to the naked eye. “This woman is very smart – but she is dressed in clothes that you just don’t see these days unless it’s in a period drama on TV.

“But what is really strange is that she doesn’t appear as a full figure – you can’t see all of her.”

First and foremost there is a guy IN UNDERWEAR and cowboy hat playing the guitar in Times Square. So why should we be surprised by a lady in a black coat, shirt and hat? But, let’s deconstruct this a little further. First, the medium claims that apparitions have been caught on film but are invisible to the naked eye. Interesting. I’d think they’d still be invisible to our naked eye, even after being filmed, but maybe there is some technicality there that I am not aware off.

Then, the medium says that this ghostly apparition is “very smart”! Very smart, not just ordinary smart, or above average smart, but very smart! Now where is that coming from? How does the medium know the ghost was not a bimbo ghost? What is it about the ghost that makes her very smart? Interesting indeed. And of course, the medium sounds mystified that we can’t see all of her, she does not appear as a full figure. Well besides the fact that there is something obviously wrong with this picture (where her body is “cut off” everything gets blurry, it seems to be magnified in comparison to the rest of the picture, and nothing lines up such as tile lines or shadows which imply that this is clearly an artifact of the picture taking process, or a fake), we also have in our hands another picture available of the same “ghost lady”.

Kudos go out to The Register who didn’t just go for the stupid headline, unlike The Telegraph, and instead did a little more digging and found out the truth, in all its non-glory. Here it goes.


It’s just a lady standing on the sidewalk! That’s it.It is obviously not a ghost, as to my knowledge ghosts don’t seem so material, and they don’t have shadows, lining up perfectly with every other shadow in the picture. And the woman is not wearing anything out of the ordinary, just a long black coat, pink scarf and a hat. What’s so surprising about that? And guess what, I can see all of her, she is completely visible. Oh the true believers will quickly dismiss this, they’ll forget it and latch on to the next bad photo, one which hopefully will not have a sister photo showing that they are quite stupid in their beliefs.

The Stupid….it burns and burns and burns….


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18 Responses

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  1. Tom D said, on March 31, 2009 at 8:26 AM

    Actually, you CAN see her legs in the first pic – under her left hand. It’s her waist down, but turned.

    • Skepdude said, on March 31, 2009 at 9:56 AM

      You are absolutely right, I did not even notice that. With this observation you wouldn’t even need the full picture to debunk this ridiculous claim. Good point Tom.

  2. Duh? said, on July 25, 2009 at 8:04 PM

    Didn’t ANYONE realize this woman is dressed up as Mary Poppins, bird umbrella and all? Really?

    • denise said, on April 5, 2010 at 5:58 PM

      yes i did se that looked like mary poppins. i wonder what she was thinking when she got dressed?

  3. BL said, on August 9, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    If you move the images a little further down the street and view her from a distance, you can see she’s looking to her right as two cars approach. In other words, it’s a lady waiting to cross the road.

  4. Pretty Polly said, on August 29, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    “How does the medium know the ghost was not a bimbo ghost? What is it about the ghost that makes her very smart? ”

    It is quite clear (from the context) that the word was used in the sense of WELL DRESSED (or “groomed”), which is still in use in British English.

  5. poop said, on September 27, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    that a freAKIN FAKE!

  6. Danny W said, on February 26, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    It’s very close to a theatre…!!! Was there something happening at the time !!! if not it’s charlotte… she’s a spirit that flows around wigan and preston railway stations but can move about both places .. but this pick looks too modern..D

  7. Danny W said, on February 26, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    why have the they un-focused her face on the first pic..?I thinks it’s still charlotte.. it is charlotte from the Bury Theatre about a hundred years ago!!!!!!!!

  8. Riku said, on March 6, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    OMG its Mary Poppins!!!

  9. Mary said, on March 13, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    erm isnt that Mary Poppins?

    • Katya said, on July 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM

      Yh thts xactly wat i thought i thought thts wat the acticle wud be about be NOOO…. obvious this things a ghout.. lol thats a load of crap!!

  10. Bridget said, on November 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    ahahhaa you all are fighting over ‘the ghost of marry poppins’ haha, like someone just said, in the first picture you can see that the camera just made her legs billow out, and everything else around them!

  11. moses said, on October 3, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    you can see the stair !!!! she is only half covered by stair …..i dont see any ghost !!!! i am a aghost !

  12. Jade said, on October 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    dont know if anybodys tried it, but if you make the camera go a bit further then turn around and look at her shes actually waving at the camera LOL!

  13. janet weiss said, on January 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    if you click down the street and look back she actually has her hand waving to all the idiots who think she’s a ghost! ghost of mary poppins, next they’ll have a picture of father christmas flying through the sky……..

  14. Dean D said, on April 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    This is stupid.. Its a blur effect that Google use so that people using google maps cant read car registration plates up close, to save them the time and effort of bluring each individual plate of ever single car on Google maps

  15. TitahUtami said, on December 5, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Reblogged this on Lovebirds.

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