We’ve now had time to analyze the heck out of the Florentine Room shadow ghost picture that was taken during a tour a few weeks ago – most of the early theories going around revolved around the presence of a “second photographer” taking a picture that cast either my shadow or that of the photographer against the wall. Here’s the shot (edited version):
And here’s the original, unedited version. The camera malfunctioned on the shot, apparently causing the flash to go off very weakly, or perhaps out of sync with the shutter. The exif data of the photo says the flash did go off, but at a power level of “20/100.”
And, just for comparison’s sake, a shot from the same night, from about the same spot, with the same camera, when the flash DID go off correctly – and with someone standing about where I was in the “ghost” shot, but casting no shadow on the back wall:
From the edited picture, we can see that the part of the wall and chairs illuminated by the flash in the two photos are consistent, and the shadows from the lighting fixtures are cast at just about the same angle – and angle that strongly suggests that the source of light hitting the wall is coming from the camera. The shadow definitely isn’t me – I’m lit from entirely the wrong angle to be casting a shadow, especially one that strong, in that direction. And it’s not the photographer himself, since A: the shadow clearly isn’t a guy holding up a camera, and B: there’s no shadow of him on the table. Therefore, we can surmise that whatever is casting that shadow ought to be standing directly between the photographer and the wall – and, as you can see, nobody is.
Now, I make it a point never to say that anything is definitely a “paranormal” photo, but this one has certainly defied all explanation. The only thing left is that there’s always a chance that it’s faked, but if so, the photographer’s doing a HECK of a job of tricking me. This is one reason why I often say “there’s no such thing as GOOD ghost evidence, only COOL ghost evidence:” even when all normal explanations are exhausted, we still have to take everyone at their word that it wasn’t a hoax. Having spoken with the photographer, I don’t think he’s a hoaxer.
So,assuming it’s NOT a fake, who is the ghost? There IS a “shadowy figure” ghost that is thought to be that of a guy named Captain Lou Ostheim. And there’s always been a rumor that Teddy Roosevelt haunts that particular ballroom – it DOES look like a Roosevelt posture, eh?
These aren’t the only possibilities – certainly the room was popular with gangsters in the 1920s – they were known to hold banquets there from time to time, and rumors persist among the staff that there was a hit in the general vicinity at one point or another. This IS the general area where the “gunshot” noise has been heard.
So what we have here is the most we can really hope to find on any given ghost hunt: a mystery! Thanks again to John of bachelors-grove.com, the photographer!