Spiritualism and photography became popular at about the same time.
This helps to explain the enormous interest that once existed in spirit photography.
Spiritualism was often linked to new technological developments.
In the early years of spiritualism the spirits were supposed to communicate via rapping code which sounded very much like the newly developed telegraphic code.
Indeed phenomena was often called the spiritual telegraph, it is not surprising therefore that many who were interested in spiritualism believed that the images of the dead might be captured on photographic film.
The first well-known instance of spirit photography took place in Boston in 1862.
A professional photographer named Mumler said that he had taken his own self-portrait.
When he developed the picture, he found that it contained the image of a cousin who had been dead for twelve years.
When the news of this marvel got around in spiritualist circles,
they flocked to Mumler's studio to have their pictures taken with dead friends and relatives.
Yet many of those who got photographs from Mumler unhesitatingly identified the indistinct figures as being the images of dead friends and relatives, some of Mumler's photos must have been a little too clear, however, because the spirits were recognised as living people who happened to work for the photographer. Mumler left Boston in a hurry, and he turned up a few years later in New York City doing exactly the same thing. The city tried to prosecute Mumler for fraud, but numberous witnesses who appeared said that he was not a faker because he had provided them with genuine photographs of their departed loved ones.
The charges against the photographer were dismissed.
Most spirit photographs were remarkably easy to fake.
The photographer took a picture of the subject who wished to receive a spirit photograph,
He then took another picture on the same piece of film of the spirit, usually a heavily draped assistant, though some photographers cut costs by suing draped dummies.
Take the case of the French Spirit photographer name Budget, who operated in London and Paris during the 1870's . Budget did a booming business in double-exposure spirit photographs, which were endorsed by many of the leading spiritualists of the time as genuine..
With today's technology faking photo' has got a little worse it is a lot easier to fake a lot of things and add things to your photos it is hard to tell a genuine paranormal photo and believe it!