Did you see spirits in the Swift Mill fire? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Did you see spirits in the Swift Mill fire?


Many people are a-buzz after pictures of the Swift Mill fire surfaced with what some see as images of faces in the flames.  We take a closer look into the pictures and ask are they spirits or just smoke?

For more than 100 years, the Swift Mill helped support the people of Columbus like workers from an old photograph from 1927.

On Saturday, as a fire ate at the walls of the abandoned building, people like Robert Kemp wanted to capture this last part of the mill's story, but the photographer did not expect to see shocking images.

"These images, several of them pop right out.  You know, I could see them through the camera lens as I took the picture," said Kemp.

In several of his pictures, Kemp says you can see faces or figures. 

In one, Kemp says you can make out a face with mouth open in a scream in the left corner.  In another, he says the smoke and fire look like a face peeking out from a window.  Finally, Kemp says one picture shows an eerie creature with horns.

He wanted to share these images to find out if anyone else could see the forms.  So, he made an album on Facebook, and his friends are giving their input.

"Some of them are saying they're evil spirits.  Some of them are good spirits.  And, some of them are saying that its people that had worked at in the mill all their life, that had passed on, and were showing their sadness," said Kemp.

Judy LaChance has been a paranormal investigator for about 30 years.  She studied some of the photographs and walks away with a different opinion.

"Most of it is probably matrixing which is basically your brain is going to try to make sense of any pattern that it sees.  It's sort of like looking at the clouds and say you see a girl bouncing a ball.  There's no girl in the clouds bouncing a ball, but that's what your brain sees," said LaChance.

She has investigated hundreds of locations and explains she has not seen anything like these images that were truly paranormal.

"Most of the time it won't be a shape.  It could be a shadow figure.  I suppose, but I've never seen anything in 3-dimensional," said LaChance.

She does not think the photographer tampered with the images, but this is just the brain twisting the pictures.  Kemp says he does not know what is in the smoke but says he did not have anything to do with it.

"No photo-shopping to it whatsoever.  The only change that has been made on those pictures is it has my name and the copyright information," said Kemp.

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