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Contest: 2013 Paranormal Photo Hoax


Strange Levitation

Strange Levitation

Gunther Cox
Updated April 06, 2013

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

HAVE YOU ALWAYS wanted to capture an image of a ghost, a crypto creature or a UFO, but just weren't lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time? No problem. Just make one. Not for the purposes of fooling anyone, just for the purposes of our paranormal photo hoax contest. This year marks our 10th annual event!

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 dream up in the paranormal realm.


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 -- right up to the present day.

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 must be original, entirely of your own creation.
  • You can submit up to three different photos. (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, telling us 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*.

Send your entries to: paranormal@aboutguide.com. The deadline for submitting your photos is May 15, 2013.

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 some cool paranormal books.

I look forward to your contest entries. I will include all of the entries in a special slide show that will be posted here. 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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