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William Hope: the most famous medium in London and his photographies.

3 min read

During the period of World War I in England, William Hope was a well known and popular character: he was not only a spiritual medium, able to contact the dead, but is said to be famous also because he was able to photograph the spirits. Obviously the work of medium attracted many criticisms and many accused him of fraud.
Despite the criticisms, his work as a medium continued and there were really lot of people who decided to rely on him. Many wanted to know how their loved ones were and many contacted him just to talk with the dead and be able to have an approach with them.

Recently, a really unique collection was found: an album of William’s spiritual photographs depicting disquieting characters immortalized by the famous medium/photographer. The faces in the photos of people who want to communicate with their beloved dead are really creepy!
The life of this photographer/medium changed in 1905 when he managed to photograph and contact a deceased. From that meeting with the spirit world, he formed a group of spirited photographers titled Crewe Circle, that became very famous and which took great prominence during the period of the First World War.
Many began to get in touch with him in order to be able to have an approach with their loved ones. During the 1920s, he began to be very well known in London, but the first criticisms against him also began.
Both Hope and his group were objects of study and analysis. According to the studies done, the photos were false and were only photomontages. Despite the fierce criticism, many continued to follow him and to support him even economically, helping him also with funds.
Both the photographer and his group continued until the medium-photographer died in 1933.

William Hope is certainly one of the most influential and important figures during that period. He was certainly a pioneer in terms of spiritual photographs, or photographs of the dead with whom the loved ones could come into contact.
He worked as a carpenter since he was young, and then discovered to be able to see images of spirits in the camera.
During his photographic sessions, the photographer-medium often relied on prayers and religious hymns, and in 1969 the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography described him as a schizophrenic.On the one hand, he was defined as an honest and witty citizen of the North, while on the other side there was the medium that declaimed prayers and religious hymns, wearing a cloak for his fraudulent operations.
That’s true, however, that human beings can easily be influenced by what happens….

Images from Wikipedia
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