Lady Helena

Fred Augustus Hudson


Albumen print

4 x 2¼ inches

The American Photography Museum (an online museum)

This is another ‘spirit photograph’ pretending to show the subject and the ghost of her late daughter. Hudson was a photographer based in London; produced June 4 1874, the image is one of his earliest, and crudest, attempts. It was created as a record of a séance when the apparition allegedly appeared, although Lady Helena does not respond to what would surely be an unsettling experience, were it real. The conjured wraith exemplifies the notion of ghosts as looking like sheets, and is so generic as to be endlessly re-usable.[Click on image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.]

  • The Remains of the Day: Death and Dying in Victorian Illustration
  • Text by Simon Cooke

    Reproduced here under the terms of Wikimedia Commons Licence.