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Contest: 4th Annual Paranormal Photo Hoax

Create and send in your phony monster, ghost or UFO photos


Fairy Fossils

2006 contest winner: "Fairy Fossils"

Photo: Takeshi Yamada
SPRING IS HERE, and that means it's time for our annual Paranormal Photo Hoax contest. This contest gives readers the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the unknown as well as their creative photo-manipulation skills.

In this contest, we ask readers to create an original photograph (no illustrations, please) of some aspect of the unexplained. It could show:

  • monsters (such as Bigfoot, Chupacabras, sea serpents, Mothman, or some original or mythical creature)
  • ghosts
  • poltergeist activity
  • fairies, little people
  • séance manifestations
  • UFOs
  • ...or anything else you can imagine


Such hoax photos have been created since the invention of photography. Most often, they were created with the intention to deceive people and even profit from the creations: trance mediums in the early 20th century showed photos of the ectoplasm they generated during séances; in the 1860s, William Mumler created darkroom double-exposures that he said captured images of ghosts; in 1934, Dr. Robert K. Wilson fooled the world with his famous photo of the Loch Ness Monster, which he later admitted was a hoax. There have been many more examples, of course.

Hoaxes such as these – intended to deceive – can hinder and even harm legitimate paranormal research, and all such attempts are to be condemned.

Our contest, by contrast, is just for fun, and all photos will be captioned clearly as being fake. We want to see how clever and creative you can be with the many photo-altering software tools available – or with any other means you can imagine.


The rules are simple:

  • The photos are to be original, entirely of your own creation
  • You can submit as many photos as you want (please make sure the file sizes are not too large)
  • I also recommend including a one-paragraph phony story to go along with the photo, fabricating how you happened to capture the photo. This is not required, but adds to the fun
  • By submitting photos, all contestants are agreeing to the terms and conditions of About.com*.

The deadline for submitting your photos is May 31, 2007. E-mail all entries to me at: paranormal@aboutguide.com

I am the sole judge of the contest, and my decision will be final. The winner will be chosen based on originality, how convincing the photo is, and how interesting it is. The winner will receive a copy of Brad Steiger’s book, Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places.

I look forward to your contest entries. I will include all of the entries in a special slide show that will be posted here. (See last year's slide show.) I'm sure we'll have another great contest. Good luck!

(* Terms and conditions you agree to by submitting your photos: I certify that I am the creator or sole owner of the material I am submitting to About, INC. About, INC. and its licensees may reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works and otherwise use the material for any purpose in any form and on any media. I agree to indemnify About, INC. for all damages and expenses that may be incurred in connection with the material. For more information, please see our user agreement.)

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