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The Brown Lady Of Raynham Hall

Written by: George Chittenden : 12 Jan 2020

This photo is one of the most famous of all supposed ghost photographs from history. It was taken on September 19th, 1936 when Country Life magazine visited Raynham Hall, a country house in Norfolk, England. Raynham Hall was built in the 17th century and was the seat of the Townshend family, the most famous being Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1674–1738), who was the leader in the House of Lords. The spirit in the photo was, and still is for some, believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole. She married Charles Townshend in 1713 and died under mysterious circumstances aged 40. Dorothy Walpole was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister.

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

So why is it called ‘The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall’? Well, it’s because of the brown brocade dress it is claimed she is wearing. The image was captured by Hubert C. Provand, a London-based photographer, and his assistant, Indre Shira. The pair were shooting the house’s main staircase, when Shira claimed to have spotted something coming down the stairs, and they took this shot. When they developed it, they discovered what appeared to be a ghost. The story caught the world’s attention when it was published in Country Life magazine on December 26th, 1936 along with the photograph. Interestingly, over 70 years after this famous image was taken a researcher into the super-natural discovered evidence in a dusty folder at Cambridge University library that the image is a fake. After the image was taken, back in 1936 the Society for Psychical Research conducted an investigation and concluded that there was almost certainly a mundane explanation, and that the camera may have leaked light on to the photographic plate. So folks what are your thoughts?


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