Birthday Party Bonfires & Ghostly Faces

Elizabeth Harper Ghostly Face in Bonfire Smoke

I’ve been in the UK long enough to have attended a bonfire or two especially since they occur routinely on the 5th of November every year, but last night was actually my very first one. John and I went to a 50th birthday party for a friend in the village and in addition to fireworks, there was a huge bonfire. While I expected to see a roaring big fire, I did not expect to see the faces that you see in two of the images I took.

Elizabeth Harper 2x Ghostly Face in Bonfire Smoke

An interesting observation is that these two photographs are separated by six photos in-between, none of which have anything resembling a face, making it seem to be a look that came, went, and re-emerged from the smoke.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen something unusual in a photograph and I’m sure there must be an explanation, I’m just not sure what it is.

What about you, have you ever had a ghostly image show up in your photographs? 

Hermitage Castle – Bordering On Trouble

I wanted to show you more pictures of the Scottish castle John and I saw last Saturday and I even found some excellent inside shots of Hermitage Castle on Flickr since I was too chicken to go in for a look. If you read my post yesterday, you’ll remember I got an uneasy feeling so I only photographed the exterior.

After doing a bit of research, I found that Hermitage Castle had a bloody history and some famous associations. Mary, Queen of Scots made a daring visit to Hermitage to see the man who would become her third husband while she was still married to her second one. This led to a good bit of gossip even though the two hours she spent with the Earl of Bothwall were well chaperoned.

The castle’s border location between England and Scotland made it a target for the Border Reivers and it became known as ‘The guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain.’

I took the quote below from the Historic Scotland website and it gives a brief overview as to why Hermitage Castle gives off such scary energy.

‘Hermitage, in deepest Liddesdale, is a lonely spot. The feeling of foreboding is heightened by the presence of the awesome castle ruin. It has inspired colourful local legends – of the wicked Lord Soules and of a giant Englishman with impregnable armour who drowned in the nearby Hermitage Water. In truth, though, Hermitage has no need of myths. It has a history of torture, treason – and romantic trysts – sufficient for a host of castles.’

  The castle sits along a river that you can see in the shot above.

A woman with a dog is going into the entrance of the castle. It’s not as large a doorway as I would have expected especially with castle walls high enough to have held five or more floors. (Double click on any to enlarge)

The ruins of a chapel nearby.

These last two photos have nothing to do with the castle, but I thought you might find them interesting. I took them in Carlisle Cathedral. I was trying to shoot the window you see in the distance and when I downloaded my images, I was surprised to see the white shapes against the pillar.

I didn’t see them when I was taking the photographs. Things looked dark through the camera and I was worried these two shots would be worthless since I was shooting without a flash and really needed more light.

I don’t think it’s a reflection as there was no flash or window light and I’m stumped. Any ideas?