Busted: “Samurai” ghost boots

Back in April 2015, we posted two photos going around in tabloid press of “ghosts”. Or apparent ghosts, I should say. Both could easily have had prosaic explanations. One of the photos was of a “mysterious” pair of boots behind a 2014 picture of a girl on a scenic beach bluff in Japan.

‘Samurai Ghost’: Photo Shows Mysterious Boots Behind Girl – ABC News.

Springall said the photo of his 4 yr old daughter was taken on July 6, 2014.

“I took a few pictures, and when I was looking through them at night, I noticed what appeared to be a pair of boots behind her in one of the photos,” he said. “I took several of her in the same spot, but only one had the boots.”

Photo: Martin Springall

Photo: Martin Springall

These boots were interpreted as “Samurai” boots or those of a ghost of a WW2 soldier. The man who took the photo insisted no one was behind her, yet there was blue fabric visible just below her left elbow. This suggests there indeed was a person behind her who went unnoticed.

Browsing through my November 2015 issue of Fortean Times (FT332, p. 76), I find that a letter from Don Cake gives us what most certainly is the correct answer. The location is a beach near the Emperor’s summer villa in Hayama. And the person behind the girl is a guard. Notice the boots, the flair of the pants tucked into the boot and blue fabric of the shirt. He is positioned to be mostly hidden by the girl who is closer to the camera.
Blue boots ghost

  13 comments for “Busted: “Samurai” ghost boots

  1. busterggi (Bob Jase)
    November 20, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Oh, the guard was a real live human being – the girl was the ghost. No?

  2. Dan Beach
    November 20, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Nope, it’s a ghost…

  3. Asha
    November 20, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    I’m assuming that the father simply decided to ignore the pastel blue shirt which is visible below the girl’s left forearm. (Our right side.) Because “Samurai Gh-Gh-Gh-Ghost!” (yeah, Scooby Doo-style) is just way more plausible than a guard/police officer that the man didn’t notice, as he was so intent on taking pictures of his daughter. Seriously, what sort of person wants the notoriety of being in the newspaper for a really, really lame “ghost” photo, especially one that is so obviously a real, live, flesh and blood person and NOT a ghost, not even the effects of pareidolia?! I know I wouldn’t want to be the toolbox that submitted a vacation photo of my daughter with a guard or policeman barely visible behind her, having claimed sincerely or otherwise that is was a freaking samurai ghost, or even just the ghost of his tabi boots.
    Lastly, he says he was looking at the photos later in the evening of the day they’d been taken, and that’s when he noticed “the ghost”. I’m not sure what size of screen he was viewing them on, but even on a point and shoot digital camera screen, one can zoom in on various areas of a photo, and the same can be done on any smartphone out there. Heck, I used my iPhone to view the “ghost legs”, and immediately spotted the blue shirt by the girl’s left forearm. How did her father miss it? Did he, or did he simply choose to ignore it?
    Pardon me. It seems that I’ve woken up in a right foul mood this morning, and have little to no patience for people who try to pass this garbage off as something supernatural to those who’re credulous enough to take it at face value, whether that’s the father or the media outlets who published it as a ghost caught on camera.

  4. Asha
    November 20, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    I’m going to go with the assumption that they’re both ghosts. The girl and the guard/policeman, that is. The man was trying to take a photo of the rocky shore and managed to capture not one, but two ghosts! Amazing! Ghost tourist child AND ghost guard/policeman pretending to be the bottom half of a “samurai”, or maybe just the ghost of some tabi boots and tucked in pants. Who’s to say? Ghosts are so vague that way, kind of like avant garde performance artists… I’ll never understand them…

  5. Tomas
    November 20, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    I’m pretty sure the girl is a ghost too. If you look at her lower legs you can clearly see that they are not connected to her feet. A trait that is very common in ghosts.

  6. Bill T.
    November 24, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    All perception is colored by expectation. He was certainly focused, to coin a term, on his subject, hence no memory of the other person. Exactly analogous to the gorilla in the ball game.

    This is why double blind protocols and peer review are required for valid scientific investigation.

  7. Dave G
    November 25, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    There are about three other photos of the girl taken at about the same time, supposedly before and after the ghost photo, yet if you look at the footprints on the distant beach to the left, you see that they all line up except for the ones in the ghost photo.

  8. Dave G
    November 25, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    I’d also like to mention that if the father missed seeing the person behind his daughter, he may have been so focused on the girl that the person behind her honestly didn’t register on his conscious mind (a very common occurrence). This reminds me of the Solway Firth spaceman in the photo of the little girl from the ’60s (which was probably the guy’s wife seen from behind, BTW– look at the elbow).

  9. November 25, 2015 at 5:26 PM
  10. Bill T.
    December 1, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    Or to the famous video at Richard Shermer’s site of the gorilla in the video.

  11. Badd_KungFu
    December 1, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    wow. there is proof that focus is the key. i was so concerned with the fact that she has no face that i failed to notice she is missing ankles as well. good eye, brother. good eye. O.o

  12. December 8, 2015 at 12:37 AM

    Ahh thanks so much for this! I am excited to share this at a paranormal forum I frequent as they posted about this.

  13. Woody
    December 12, 2015 at 6:25 AM

    Indeed, Asha, the seeming blue sleeve directly behind the little girl is a clue far too obvious to dismiss.

    All the best,

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