As a young man Hope was employed as a carpenter, but he quickly came to prominence in paranormal circles after claimed to be able to capture images of spirits on camera.
Hope produced his first spirit image in 1905. Soon afterwards he formed the Crewe Circle Spiritualist group, with himself as the leader.
Price secretly marked Hope's photographic plates, and provided him with a packet of additional plates that had been covertly etched with the brand image of the Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd. in the knowledge that the logo would be transferred to any images created with them. Unaware that Price had tampered with his supplies, Hope then attempted to produce a number of Spirit photographs. Although Hope produced several images of spirits, none of his materials contained the Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd logo, or the marks that Price had put on Hopes original equipment, showing that he had switched the materials provided for preprepared materials with fake spirit images on them.
Price later re-published the Society's experiment in a pamphlet of his own called Cold Light on Spiritualistic "Phenomena" - An Experiment with the Crewe Circle."
In 1932, a former friend and supporter of Hope’s work, Fred Barlow; the former Secretary of the Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures, along with Major W. Rampling-Rose gave a joint lecture to the Society for Psychical Research to present findings gleaned from an extensive series of tests on the methods Hope used to produce his spirit photographs.
Barlow and Rampling-Rose concluded that the “spirit extras” that appeared in Hope’s photographs were produced fraudulently. The pair would later present their case in depth in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research.
Despite Price's findings, Hope still retained a noted following, including author and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who refused to accept any evidence that Hope was a fraud and went to great lengths to clear his name, going so far as to write a pro spirit photography book, The Case for Spirit Photography, in response to Harry Price’s claims of fraud and trying to convince Price to withdraw his story.
Examples of Hope's work.
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