The Brown Lady - Raynham Hall, Norfolk



The Brown Lady -Raynham Hall, Norfolk

Ghost Connections reviews one of the most famous ghost pictures in recent times.

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall taken in 1936 for County Life Magazine. Captain Provand and Indre Shire were the two photographers on the assignment. According to Shira this is what happened:


"Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something.' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: 'What's all the excitement about?''


There is a file held at the SPR containing over 40 documents, serveral studies having been undertaken with Mr CVC Herbert.

Studies have shown that the full picture brandished around the press and the internet are not quite showing the full picture.

Firstly there is a general misunderstanding at the time of day the photograph is taken, many believe it was taken in the eveing when in actual fact it was taken at 4pm in the afternoon.

Secondly, the picture has been darkened and cropped. If you view the complete picture there are a few discrepencies.


Our observations are based purely on our interpretation of the details of the picture, based upon images publicly available.

Although we realise that the photograph has be examined by professionals and determined not to be a fake, we concede that the detail within the image is a genuine reproduction of the original negative.

Firstly we would seek to comment on the assertion that the “darkened panel” on the left of the stairs is a double image of the picture mounted above. In many published photographs this area does appear to be a darkened featureless panel.

However in most images it can be seen that there are two pronounced raise features where this area abuts the banister rails. These features can not be seen on the bottom of the frame of the picture, however the top of the picture is not visible and in this sense camera shake can not be eliminated. The rest of the image does not show any features associated with camera shake, as the stairs, the door to the right of the stairs, the features on the top of the landing and the paintings on the wall only appear as single images.


This shows that the image is NOT a double exposure.
Both the top and bottom areas of the photo all share the same vanishing point, which they would not if it was a double exposure / composite of two photos.
In a further published photograph this darkened area appears to contain features consistent with it being a three dimensional architectural feature. The bottom of this feature is aligned on an area where a drop in the stair is approximately half the drop of the drop on the other stairs, given that the rise on all the stairs is equal this would indicate to us the presence of a small landing at this point. This is also indicated by a break in the banister on the opposite side where a small darkened area can be seen projecting horizontally at a point above the height of the photographer. It would appear that the feature on this side neither contains the same detail nor a newel cap as that on the wall side. This is entirely plausible by virtue of the fact that this side of the stair is open. It is also not possible to see further detail in the right hand panel due to the perspective of this feature from the photographers position.

We have found that all features of the stair and wall share the same vanishing point. This is consistent with the photograph being single exposure.

These observations are based on several reproductions of this picture and our own experiences of photographic media within our research of photographic phenomena, without having had the benefit of consulting other studies on this image or personal knowledge of the interior of Raynham Hall.

There is a distinct light source radiating from above the staircase, this is out of view and despite our research we have been unable to find interior shots of the hall.

Our Conclusion- Fake


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