Occasionally, Google Maps “Street View” captures something disturbing. Like that one time the internet discovered a dead donkey in what appeared to be the Google Maps car’s tire tracks (which Google addressed in a blog post called “Never Ass-ume“). This is something a little different.
On August 29, 2018, the Daily Mirror posted a story titled “Google Maps users spot terrifying ‘ghost’ girl lurking in cemetery on Street View.” The assertion is that the 360º photo appearing in Google Maps “Street View” shows the ghost of a little girl hiding behind a tree in Walker County, Texas.
Clearly there’s something there.
Go ahead and play with that 360º photo. You can see the whole cemetery… and there’s no road. Wait a second; then how did the Google Maps “Street View” car get that photo?! The short answer: It didn’t.
If you zoom in to see the girl behind the tree, look in the upper left corner. There is an attribution indicating that “John Wells” uploaded this photo in May 2017. John Wells has uploaded numerous photos in and around Houston, Texas. The most recent photos are from this month, August 2018. You can click on the name “John Wells” to see his other photos and reviews on Google.
“John Wells” is a pretty common name, as you might have guessed. Fortunately, the ability to take a 360º photograph takes specialized (that means expensive) equipment. Certainly, someone with this interest will have posted photos elsewhere or asked/answered a question regarding the use of the camera or drone.
I tracked down two possible people named “John Wells” with such equipment, but I wasn’t satisfied with either one. I couldn’t confirm that either one was the photographer with 100% certainty. I wasn’t even sure beyond a reasonable doubt. So I put that portion of my research on hold.
When an investigation goes awry, you go back to the beginning. The Google Maps photograph. So I asked myself, “Why was John Wells in that cemetery?” I started doing research to determine if the Martha Chapel Cemetery was a known hotspot for paranormal activity. If not that, was he visiting a grave?
“John Wells” was born on April 15, 1777, and died on August 2, 1852. He was buried in Martha Chapel Cemetery.
This investigation is ongoing.