Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ectoplasm

click to embiggen
ec·to·plasm (kt-plzm)
n.
2.
a. The visible substance believed to emanate from the body of a spiritualistic medium during communication with the dead.
b. An immaterial or ethereal substance, especially the transparent corporeal presence of a spirit or ghost.


There's something not quite right about the picture of the little girl above my desk. At first, I thought it was the reflection of my camera, but after close examination, the camera is visible inside the frame, on the lower right. Nothing else in the room can explain this kind of reflection on the glass.

My uncle bought this framed vintage photo, circa 1920s, at an antique shop in Florida. The girl is wrapped in transparent toile, has bobbed hair, and is wearing a religious medal.  He sent it to me last Christmas, because he said it reminded him of me, when I was a little girl.  She does look amazingly like me.

I posted this photo, from Tuesday, on Facebook, and one of my friends said the weird glowing green glob looks like ectoplasm, stuff that allegedly oozes from ghosts, and allows them to perform certain feats of telekinesis.  I'm not so sure about all of this.  What do you think?
click to embiggen

(For more about the ghosts at Willow Manor, click on the "ghosts" label below.)

34 comments:

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    1. Interesting, Carriage...thanks for the link...

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  2. oh I saw the word ectoplasma and I rushed over.....oh how cool
    I think it just might be a bit of the spooky
    oh goodie Tess

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  3. it is all in the eye of the beholder as to what one sees be it spiritual or not one can only speculate

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  4. It's a reflection, as much as I like the idea of it not being one.

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    1. I want it to be a reflection too...believe me...I took several shots...four or five...exactly the same angle...it doesn't show up in any of the others...

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  5. She's letting you know that she is happy to have an honored spot above your desk...a kindred "spirit".
    Hamlet said "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    than are dreamt of in your philosophy".
    Especially at Willow Manor.

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  6. I'm thinking two adverbs: cooly spooky.

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  7. I tend to believe in these things, but will suggest that it's most likely a reflection. The fact that you took several photos at the same angle with only one "ectoplasm" revealed doesn't necessarily mean that at that moment there wasn't some variation in room lighting, or outside lighting changing the dynamics at the time the pic was snapped. If, on the other hand, you were to take photos from different angles, in different lighting settings, and at other times of the day/night, and the greenish reflection appeared in all or some or perhaps even one of the shots, then I'd be much more likely to "wonder."

    Another comment mentions Lily Dale, NY. I'd say GO!! I've been there, but went in early September after all the main mediums had left for the season. Tess, you'd love Lily Dale, even just to walk the small streets, breathe in the atmosphere, and contemplate. I plan to go there sometime in August!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Dale,_New_York

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    1. I can't believe you guys know all about Lily Dale and I've never heart of the place...gotta check it out...

      I think it's a reflection too...but I thoroughly checked the room and couldn't find a light source...

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  8. Looks like a reflection to me as you can see the shape of the face behind it.

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  9. You are an Official Friend to Ghosts, but still...another Manor mystery!

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  10. Being a total sceptic about such things, my vote goes with 'reflection'. Can we see a better photo of the child in her transparent veil. Does it have a signature?

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    1. I'll take one for you tomorrow in the natural light Cro...no signature...but it's an intriguing imagine...

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  11. Embiggen, a perfectly cromulent wordJUN 04 2007

    Embiggen, the fauxcabulary word created for an episode of The Simpsons, has found its way into string theory. Here's the usage from a recently published paper on Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking:

    Here's the original quote from The Simpsons episode, Lisa the Iconoclast:

    A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

    The uses are probably not related, but you never know.

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    Replies
    1. Embiggen is one of my favorite words...

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  12. One of my Grandmothers was a medium. I grew up with tales and happenings of these things. They seem real and I have simply accepted them. It's a wonderful photograph whatever that it is! Lily dale link most interesting. x

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  13. It looks so much like a Margaret Cameron photo.... but she was much imitated. Looking forward to seeing the close-up (embiggened-up).

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    1. I added an embiggened shot for you Cro...

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    2. I'm guessing the photo to be from the 1920s, because of her bobbed hair...

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    3. I tweaked it for clarity, but the image has a lovely soft mellowness about it, just like Cameron's work...

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  14. Can't see the glob. Does that mean it is or it isn't?

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  15. She just wants to play. Move within 2 inches of the photo and you'll get sucked right in.
    Works every time. Have fun.

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    1. Come find me if I'm not back by tomorrow noon...

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  16. It looks even more like a Cameron now that I've seen it 'embiggened'. Might be worth trailing through her work to see if it's a recognisable face.... could be worth Big Bucks!

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    1. Okay...I'll do some snooping around...it looks like it's never been out of the frame...it might be worth taking apart for a look...

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  17. It took me awhile to see the ghost/reflection. I have no vote one way or the other. do think it rather odd to swath a child in veils.

    i never heard of Lily Dale either. fascinating.

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  18. This was a look that was avant garde and quite the mode in the mid-twenties / early thirties, Suki. With that in mind, the child could have been a model, don't you think?

    How beautiful you were as a child, Tess, if she looks like you did. And how sweet of your uncle to think enough to send the picture to you. As for ghostly things I'm a bit of a sceptic too. With that said, I've been victim to certain hair raising unexplainables growing up, myself - there are so many dimensions, yes. What do we know, eh?

    And I seem to be having more and more epiphanies as I age, one of which, I believe, is that the beginning of wisdom is in the realisation of our mortal stupidity. :)

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  19. But isn't there a greenish oval blob on the neighbouring picture too? The Madonnaesque picture.

    Reflection, it seems.

    Lilydale. I keep hearing references to it lately, in the past few months.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)