Dating back to the mid 19th century, spirit photography was a means for Spiritualists to demonstrate the existence of passed persons. The practice began with photographer William H. Mumler, who was most famous for his photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln’s ghost (see left). It became popular practice for Spiritualists to hire spirit photographers during seances in order to capture the invoked spirits present in the room but otherwise unseen.
Lady Helena Newenham and the Spirit of Her Daughter, 1872
Mrs. French of Boston with Spirit Son, 1868
Moses A. Dow, Editor of Waverley Magazine, with the Spirit of Mabel Warren, 1871
J. R. Mercer with Spirits of his First Wife and Mother, a Spirit Message and Flowers from the Other Side, 1911