It’s March 1959, and Mabel Chinnery is heading back to her car in Ipswich, England. Then, once she has returned to the vehicle, she takes a casual snap of her husband Jim as he sits in the front seat. The scene is normal – banal, even. But once the shot is developed, Chinnery notices something chilling. There’s an eerie figure in the back seat – and it looks rather familiar, too...
The spooky discovery had rounded off a tough few days for Chinnery, as her mother, Ellen Hammell, had passed away only a week before the photo was taken. Then, after the funeral, she had traveled to the cemetery to take some photos of her parent’s plot – meaning, of course, that she’d had a camera on her.
These photographs – including the one of Jim in the car – were later sent off to be processed. But it was only while Chinnery was showing the results to a friend that she noticed the creepy figure. Yes, it looked like someone else had been in the vehicle with her husband at the time – but Chinnery knew that the two had been alone.
And, upon closer inspection, the friend believed that the mysterious figure was actually Chinnery’s recently departed mother. In the shot, she seems to be sitting in the back on the passenger’s side, with Jim behind the steering wheel. Indeed, there appears to be a face in the gap between Jim’s head and the pillar of the car door.
Chinnery knew, too, that her mother had preferred that side of the car when she was sitting in the back. And Jim confirmed this years later, when the couple both appeared on a 1985 edition of the TV show Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers.