JANUARY :: We share more of our favourite haunted locations, further frightening experiences, and some possible fascinating evidence of the paranormal.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall: Haunted Mirrors

[Picture: The Crystal Ball by John William Waterhouse, 1902]
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before." - Edgar Allen Poe
Mirrors have long been revered as objects of power, particularly with society’s ever growing obsession with image. In prehistory, water was the first reflective surface by which people glimpsed their reflection. Water sites were sacred to the Pagans; they were thought to be gateways to the otherworld. Water was also used in divination such as scrying and was thought to hold magical properties.

The earliest mirrors made by humans were of polished obsidian rock, then later, polished copper or other mixed metal alloys. It wasn't until the 16th Century, in Venice during the Renaissance, that a method of coating glass with a tin mercury amalgam was perfected, but only the rich could afford such luxuries. The first "modern" mirror was created in the 19th Century by a German inventor, who perfected a technique of applying a silver backing to glass.
There is a lot of superstition surrounding mirrors. The Victorians were particularly superstitious: They would cover any mirrors in the house when someone passed so as to not allow their wandering soul to get trapped within one. It was also believed that if a mirror broke, or fell off the wall, it would either bring seven years bad luck, or be a premonition of an eminent death in the family.

But, is it possible for a mirror to be properly haunted? On the 18 February 2013, an alleged “haunted mirror” sold on eBay for £100.00, with the seller describing several “incidents” believed to have been brought about by the mirror, including bad dreams, the sense of being watched, and poltergeist activity, such as objects being moved, and of being scratched.

[Photograph © Ghost & Girl]

This is a photo of an antique mirror that has recently come into my possession. Upon uploading a photo to Instagram, I noticed a face to the right of me (circled).
But is it really a face? I tend to doubt most photos of supposedly "haunted" mirrors, simply because most anomalies could probably be ruled out by lighting, dust, camera flash, angle etc. If the mirror is particularly old (as is the mirror pictured), the cause may be due to the silver backing being worn or warped.
What we think we see could simply be matrixing: That habit of our brain to make sense of shapes, distortions and anomalies by giving them a familiar quality - such as a face.
Or, does it have more to do with the power if suggestion: Someone says a mirror makes them feel uncomfortable, so they then see what it is they believe is causing the discomfort in the reflection? Or, an item is purchased because it is claimed to be “haunted”, so our brain interprets any strange events or experiences as such?

Whether or not you believe mirrors can be haunted, I feel that spirits do have the ability to attach themselves to objects of personal importance. In some instances, that may well be a mirror, but it could be any item of significance. However, I don’t believe this happens often.

Curious to know more about haunted mirrors? This news article, Haunted Mirror Wakes Flatmates, is from the Daily Mail UK about the aforementioned eBay mirror.

Alternatively, you can find out more about the history of mirrors at

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