Wait, who's that in the photo?

Photo by: John Noonan

I have referenced her work in previous blog posts, as Dr. Diane Goldstein reminds readers there is always a method of rationalizing the supernatural. Although not a sea-faring legend per se, folklorist David Hufford conducted a study on the Newfoundland supernatural phenomenon known as “the Hag” throughout the 1970s, and 1980s.

Hufford deduced the aforementioned supernatural event is rationalized through the issue of sleep paralysis. This corresponds with Goldstein’s work because she insists that people use rational explanations in order to justify a supernatural event. With respect to scientific rationalism, I have my own seemingly supernatural experiences.

Photo by: Nathalia Segato

In 2012 I was staying at my paternal grandmother’s house in Buchans, which is about five hours away from St. John’s in Central, Newfoundland. This trip involved a “family reunion” that particular summer, and it was just like in the movies- meaning it was somewhat terrible.

My mother was taking pictures on this cheap camcorder she brought and when I reviewed the pictures later, it looked like someone smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table and wearing a pink dress. I showed my dad asking him “Who is that?” and he paused, saying it looked like his own grandmother who had died in 1994.

With respect to Goldstein’s article, I don't actually believe a ghost appeared in the picture. However, I believe this experience can be rationalized by the fact that everyone was drinking and the camcorder the picture was taken with had worse quality than Nintendo’s GameBoy Camera from the late 1990s. Nevertheless, since then I have been objective about the experience and think it relies on the act of drinking alcohol and the quality of the camcorder.

Interestingly, this story came up a few years later. Back in 2015 I was out of town again, and I learned that my great- grandmother was the first school teacher in Buchans. Also, during her life she was a very giving person, and viewed as genuinely kind. After learning that, I also stayed in the house she died in during that same visit. After learning what she was like as a person, I felt protected when I was there and even had a dream she approached me and informed me that I would have a good life.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you and stay safe,


Note from the owner: Starting tomorrow (May 15, 2021) I will be writing blog posts less frequently. These posts will still come at least once a week, but I feel as if it's time I start working on my second book.

Readers can buy my first book right here, or download through #KindleUnlimited:


The Modernist Son, 2020-

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