Jim Morrison’s Ghost Appears… Again

The Ghost of Jim Morrison?

It seems that the ghost of Jim Morrison has appeared, or rather reappeared. The photo showing Brett Meisner standing at the grave of Jim Morrison is typical of thousands of the same type of picture taken there every year. The difference is that this one seems to show, in the background, the translucent figure of a lithe man in a white shirt and presumably leather pants with his arms outstretched in a pose reminiscent of Morrison doing his “high wire” walk on the edge of a stage.

Meisner said the picture was taken in 1997, although he didn’t discover the ghostly image on the film until 2002 and it hit the internet in 2007 (at least that’s the first time I heard the story).

As pointed out by other Doors pundits, the image shown of the young, leather-clad daredevil is one Morrison became uncomfortable with in life, so why would he return to it in death? It is also not the Jim Morrison that lived in Paris. The Jim Morrison that haunted Paris in the last five months of his life was the heavier and at first bearded Morrison. If he were to continue his Paris haunt wouldn’t that be the image of Morrison left behind?

The reemergence of Mr. Meisner’s picture happened in conjunction with the release of a new book, “Ghosts Caught on Film 2: Photographs of the Unexplained” by Jim Eaton which claims that the picture of Morrison’s ghost has been authenticated, stating that “researchers rule out both lightning and image manipulation and conclude that the photo is simply ‘unexplainable.'”

Morrison's ghost, original and enhanced
Morrison’s ghost? The original photo, left, and an enlarged closeup

Of course, they don’t explain what tests the photo has undergone to “authenticate” the ghostly image nor do they explain why the image couldn’t be faked. I did check out “Ghosts” author Jim Eaton’s website, Ghost Study, and while it does differentiate between authentic and faked photos it also doesn’t explain the process used to prove either assertion. Maybe it is explained in the book.

Meisner now says he wishes “he never stepped into the graveyard in the first place” and that he’s looking for an archive to donate the photo and negative to. As for photo itself? To me it looks Photoshopped. I tend to lean towards being a skeptic (with an open mind) but if you tend to believe in such things the best approach is to examine the evidence and draw your own conclusions. Whichever way your opinion leans, I suppose like a ghostly apparition every 2-3 years the photo will make another “appearance” for future Doors board debates.

Originally published October 13, 2009

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