William Hope (Crewe, England, 1863-1933)

Rev. Charles L. Tweedale and Mrs. Tweedale with the Spirit Form of the late F. Burnett

Brown-toned silver print, 3 x 3.5 inches

Sept. 5, 1919
Inscribed on verso: "The Rev. Charles L. Tweedale and Mrs. Tweedale with the spirit -form of the late F. Burnett who died in 1913. Taken under good test conditions Sept. 5th 1919."

Rev. Tweedale, an Anglican minister, was a leading voice for spiritualism in Britain. As the Vicar of Weston in Yorkshire, he and his wife lived in a vicarage that was described as a "much-haunted house." Rev. Tweedale was the author of the books Man's Survival After Death (1909) and News from the Next World (1940). He also wrote a work defending spirit photography and the maker of this photograph, The Vindication of William Hope.

The "extra" shown is that of Rev. Tweedale's father-in-law, who was supposedly never photographed in life with a beard except when wearing his hat. That fact was considered evidence of the supernatural origin of this image.

William Hope was a carpenter who began taking spirit photographs in 1905. A group of six friends became affiliated with him for the purposes of sitting for psychic photographs, and this organization became known as the "Crewe Circle."

An investigator named Harry Price, using secretly marked plates, exposed Hope as a fraud in 1922. Price's report, in the Journal of the Society for Psychic Research, cited evidence that Hope surreptitiously substituted negatives that had been pre-exposed to "ghost" images.

 

 

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Bibliography:
Fred Gettings, Ghosts in Photographs (New York: Harmony Books, 1978), p. 78.
Cyril Permutt, Beyond the Spectrum, A Survey of Supernormal Photography (Cambridge: Patrick Stevens, Ltd., 1983), p. 131.
 
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