. Frederick Augustus Hudson (born c. 1812) was a British spirit photographer who was active in the 1870s.


Hudson established his own studio in
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has been a maj ...
, and worked with the medium Georgiana Houghton. He is credited as being the first spirit photographer in Britain. According to
Joseph McCabe Joseph Martin McCabe (12 November 1867 – 10 January 1955) was an English writer and speaker on freethought, after having been a Roman Catholic priest earlier in his life. He was "one of the great mouthpieces of freethought in England". Becomi ...
, Hudson's photographs were exposed as fraudulent in 1872 by a fellow spiritualist, William Henry Harrison. Hudson was also exposed by another investigator. The psychical researcher Simeon Edmunds wrote that "John Beattie, a professional photographer of note, demonstrated conclusively that his spirits were faked by a simple process of double exposure." In 1874,
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural sel ...
visited Hudson and a photograph of him with his deceased mother was produced. Wallace declared the photograph genuine, declaring "I see no escape from the conclusion that some spiritual being, acquainted with my mother's various aspects during life, produced these recognisable impressions on the plate."


Magic historian Milbourne Christopher has written:
Hudson introduced spirit photography to Britain in 1872. He varied his methods through the years. Though frequently caught practicing deception, he was never arrested. Hudson at one time used a trick camera, made by a craftsman who sold conjuring apparatus.
Harry Price Harry Price (17 January 1881 – 29 March 1948) was a British psychic researcher and author, who gained public prominence for his investigations into psychical phenomena and exposing fraudulent spiritualist mediums. He is best known for ...
described how the camera worked in his book, ''Confessions of a Ghost-Hunter'', published in London in 1936. When the plate slide was inserted, this action brought the paper positive of the "ghost" up against the sensitive plate. When the shutter bulb was pressed, this image and the picture of the sitter were captured on the plate. Thus a single exposure on this plate carried both images.
Hudson was known to dress up as spirits or use
double exposure In photography and cinematography, a multiple exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image, and double exposure has a corresponding meaning in respect of two images. The exposure values may or may not be ide ...
to produce his spirit photography. Skeptical investigator
Joe Nickell Joe Nickell (born December 1, 1944) is an American skeptic and investigator of the paranormal. Nickell is senior research fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and writes regularly for their journal, ''Skeptical Inquirer''. He is als ...
noted that Hudson's photographs were fraudulent. In many cases the sitter in the photographs was positioned low to the allow space for the "spirits" already pre-positioned by Hudson.Nickell, Joe (2012). ''The Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead''. Prometheus Books, pp. 301–302. .


{{DEFAULTSORT:Hudson, Frederick 1810s births Photographers from London English spiritual mediums Year of death missing