This story is a great example of the power of social media—for better or worse.
A mysterious picture spread across various social sites, bringing paranormal thrill seekers to Cambridge, New York. Locals were terrified to see a ghostly girl walking in their woods, and theories and urban legends quickly popped up to explain the ghastly child.
But here’s the thing: The people who posted the photo never thought it was a ghost. They recognized, quite correctly, that the creepy kid was just a girl playing in the woods. They brought the original photos to the local police department, hoping for identification.
“I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never heard of a ghost running around the woods,” said Cambridge Police Chief George Bell. “The idea originally was just to identify who the child was.”
And many of the locals agreed that nothing paranormal was happening.
“I think it’s just a little girl playing in the woods; I don’t think it’s a ghost,” one local said.
“It’s kind of hard to believe whatever you see on social media these days,” said another.
“I don’t know,” one resident said, adding that “there is some creepy stuff in this town.”
Of course, “paranormal experts” didn’t stop offering theories.
One noted to a local TV station that the area is full of ghosts—suggesting that the little girl was a lost spirit roaming the deep woods alongside the town.
“We’ve experienced a lot,” said Tania Woodward, president of the Greenwich Paranormal Research Team. “We’ve been to a lot of places, especially our north,”
The paranormal energy was significant enough, in fact, that the ghost theory became the leading explanation for the blurry photos. The specter speculation continued, even after the local police department identified the little girl. Unfortunately for the true paranormal believers, the girl is perfectly normal—she was simply playing when a trail camera snapped her picture.
“I don’t want to give a name until we verify it but it’s a local businessman in southern Washington County who says around the time frame that this picture was taken that he and his granddaughter were walking a four-wheeler path,” Bell said.
The businessman, Chic Wilson, came forward after a friend recognized his granddaughter—then cheekily posted a printed out photo of the “ghost” on Wilson’s door.
“Some people were really hoping this was a ghost story,” Wilson told WTEN. “I absolutely do. It would be wonderful to have proof of life after death…but unfortunate we’re not going to get any proof from this particular photograph.”
Chief Bell said that he was happy to put the story to rest, but it might not be so easy; pictures like this tend to take on a life of their own, regardless of the facts.
The real ghost might, in fact, be the new urban legend of the creepy girl roaming the woods of Cambridge—even if she was simply a very real girl playing harmlessly with her grandfather.