Some people responded skeptically to Mumler's photographs, professional photographers in particular, as indicated by this editorial in the American Journal of Photography, "How wonderful is the recent progress of our art! http://www.darkshadowghosttours.com/?p=198
I scanned this illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand Magazine in our…Posted to Susan Cantrell's board Hidden Mothers; note the posing stand to the left which was used to keep a living subject's head still. It could not support a dead body.
Victorian Portraits, Victorian Photography, Wink Wink, Victorian Era, Studio Lighting, Dead, Jokes, He Is, To Look
by Photo_History, via Flickr The front of this 1875 carte de visite shows a seated woman holding an object in her hands. Over her, a vague image of a woman looking down at two small children in her lap. This would be a fine example of spirit photography except for the text on the reverse side, which details how a test of the spirit photographer was conducted by a panel of sixteen "respectable, intelligent gentlemen" in a photography gallery he had never visited before the test.
This cartoon from 1873 will likely not be funny to modern sensibilities. The punchline is long and convoluted but it shows a photographer and assistant preparing a nervous subject to be photographed. The head stand/posing stand is being moved in to place. Is he dead? No, dead people are not nervous.