Weird Tales/Volume 3/Issue 2/A Mysterious Picture

Weird Tales (vol. 3, no. 2 - February) (1924)
A Mysterious Picture by Arthur Edwards Chapman
4265940Weird Tales (vol. 3, no. 2 - February) — A Mysterious Picture1924Arthur Edwards Chapman

A Mysterious Picture

IN THE late summer of 1922 there was displayed in Shreveport, La., a phenomenon that no one could explain and that is yet an unsolved mystery. It was a clearly recognizable picture—in appearance very like a photographic negative—of one Mrs. Dortlon, as she lay dead in a room of a country home where she died December 14, 1921, near Campti, La.

The picture is outlined on the mirror of a dresser that was in the room where she lay, and shows the head, face and part of the bust quite plainly, as also some of the cot and its drapery that constituted her bier, and something, not very distinct, but from its mass and location, apparently a bunch of flowers that had been placed in her hand. Strangely, the picture is perpendicular on the mirror to the horizontal position of her body. The likeness did not develop until some months after her demise. It was in July that her niece was one day quite startled by its appearance. Many visitors went to view the discovery at the home, and it was later put on exhibition in Shreveport, its genuineness being established beyond question, no process of erasure having any effect upon it, while every cause at all plausible was advanced to account for it. Persons of all classes were among the observers, but unless the occurrence, at the time and place of her death, of an electrical storm, as was recalled by people of that community, was in some way a factor, the origin of this most remarkable picture could not be determined.