It's hard to believe that less than 100 years ago, the public was absolutely enthralled by the ideas of pixies, ghosts, and other supernatural apparitions.

via: Acid Cow

Making matters worse was the fact that photography technology was still a work-in-progress, meaning that blurs, misplaced characters, and other blemishes were driving the public wild with the idea that ghosts were actually being caught on film. It's easy to be cynical about it now, but look at these pictures with the mindset of someone from 100 years ago who was looking for any excuse at all to buy into the mania over ghosts and the supernatural. It's easy to see how these pics could have gotten people fired up, isn't it?

The ghosts would show up as a result of either errors during the taking of the photograph itself...

via: Acid Cow

...or the when the image was developed.

via: Acid Cow

Considering it was still an emerging technology, this happened quite often.

via: Acid Cow

And nothing was going to stop people from believing they were catching glimpses of ghosts.

via: Acid Cow

Some even thought that the camera could detect spirits and energies that the human eye couldn't.

via: Acid Cow

You can chalk it up to people being gullible...

via: Acid Cow

...or fascinated by a new(ish) technology, but the phenomenon didn't last long.

via: Acid Cow

Going into the '30s and '40s, photography got a lot more reliable and the public consciousness drifted away from the supernatural.

via: Acid Cow

That said, these photos do a perfectly good job of being creepy all on their own.

via: Acid Cow

The ghosts, such as the one in this pic, just sort of add to the creepiness.

via: Acid Cow

Often, if the camera was moved during a photo, you'd get the impression that a "ghost" was sitting atop another person.

via: Acid Cow

Faster exposure times made this a thing of the past in short order, but it really did freak people out.

via: Acid Cow

Add that to the fact that the blurs were almost always white and you left everyone thinking the same thing — ghosts.

via: Acid Cow

Naturally, some photographers were quick to get in on the madness.

via: Acid Cow

One such opportunist was British photographer William Hope.

via: Acid Cow

He intentionally created double exposures in his photos.

via: Acid Cow

I'm sure his clients weren't thrilled with the way they turned out, but it certainly got his name out there.

via: Acid Cow

His story just goes to show...

via: Acid Cow

As long as there are people out there willing to believe something...

via: Acid Cow

There are going to people looking to capitalize on it using hoaxes.

via: Acid Cow