SCHOOLBOY Callum Duxbury was spooked when he went to take a picture of a tree - and ended up with a phantom figure in front of it.
Callum, nine, of Tunstall Drive, Accrington took the shot behind his house using his mobile phone.
But when he took a closer look at the spooky snap he saw a clear eerie figure standing in front of the tree - which he is adamant was not there when the picture was taken.
Callum, a pupil of St Charles' Primary School, Rishton, said: "I had been given the phone two weeks earlier for my birthday and I was just taking a picture of some trees and plants.
"When it came out I was really scared. There wasn't anyone there when I took it. I told my sister and she really freaked out."
Callum shares his home with sister Casey, 12, and his parents Danny and Christina who are sure the picture is for real.
Danny said: "I know there are cases where people have faked photographs, but we are talking about a nine-year-old boy who has only had the mobile phone for a few weeks.
"I have no idea what this can be. I am not sure if I believe in ghosts or not but I try to keep an open mind. What makes this strange is that you can actually see the bark of the tree through the figure.
"I would like to know who it is. If it is a real person who was simply there on the day, then fair enough. But if it is of someone who is no longer with us, I would like to know."
Christina added: "I know nobody has sent him this picture because there was no message in his inbox. We were suspicious at first but I know this hasn't come from anywhere else."
Photographic expert Reg Whitham, owner of the Garth Dawson Studio, Accrington, said: "From what I can see of the picture it appears to show a Victorian or Edwardian gentleman.
"I can tell that from the hairstyle and clothes and the fact that he appears to be wearing a high-collar shirt.
"He also has a mark on his forehead which some people think may be a bullet hole but I personally think that is unlikely. It is probably just a mark on the print.
"There are ways of faking a picture like this but unfortunately I can't prove it either way. This looks like it will be an unsolved mystery."
It has been suggested the image could have been faked on a computer and sent to Callum's mobile but he and his family strongly deny that is the case.
Former councillor Adrian Shurmer, author of Shurmer's Official Guide to Hyndburn, said: "I know part of the Tunstall Drive housing estate used to be the old Accrington Brickworks.
"I also know that a lot of the coal mines round here were connected, so it is possible the housing estate may have been built on a mine, but I can't be sure."