Letter about a spirit photograph with his supposedly son

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

This letter was written by Arthur Conan Doyle around 1919 from the Queen's Hotel, Eastbourne.

The letter was published in the Sunday Pictorial on 13 july 1919.


This photograph was taken by the Crewe Spiritual Circle under the mediumship of Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton. The plate was bought by me in Manchester. On reaching Mr. Hope's studio room in Crewe I opened the packet in the dark room and put the plate into the carrier. I had already carefully examined the camera and lens. I was photographed, the two mediums holding their hands over the cap of the camera. I then took the carrier into the dark room, took out the plate, developed, fixed and washed it, and then, before leaving the dark room, saw the extra head upon the plate. No hands but mine ever touched the plate.

On examining with a powerful lens the face of the 'extra' I have found such a washing as is produced in newspaper process work. It is very possible that the whole picture, which has a general but not very exact resemblance to my son, was conveyed onto the plate from some existing picture. However, that maybe it was most certainly abnorm super-normal and not due to any manipulation or fraud.

Arthur Conan Doyle