As with every creepypasta cited here, I make no claims regarding the validity of my sources… but if you feel compelled to follow up with your own research, just be damn sure you know what you’re doing.
This story — and the nightmarish photo that accompanies it — involves a man by the name of Charlie Noonan. He was known to have spent much of his life traveling throughout the southern US, documenting regional folklore, tall tales, legends and accounts of the supernatural. Chalie’s wife Ellie has recounted the story of her husband’s disappearance following his visit to Oklahoma, where he’d heard tales of a mysterious old woman living on a remote farm in the state’s northwestern panhandle.
Charlie interviewed a farmer in the area, who told him how the woman’s identity was a complete mystery, her face hidden behind a thick headscarf. She was always accompanied by a ferocious dog, and anyone who saw them was immediately overcome by an unexplained feeling of dread. The farmer also told him the general vicinity in which the woman was believed to reside.
Charlie confided to Ellie that he intended to search for the woman himself… and that’s the last anyone ever heard from him.
Years later, Ellie was contacted by a pawnbroker in Tulsa, OK, who told her he had a camera in his shop with her husband’s name engraved on it, which he had purchased from an odd-looking drifter. Ellie claimed the camera, which still contained a roll of undeveloped film. When she had the roll processed, she discovered only one image exposed on it… this one:
Although Charlie kept detailed journals and notes, Ellie could find no reference to the location where this photo was taken, and for some reason her husband did not write down the name of the farmer who told him where to find her.
While the true origins of this tale could not be verified, the photograph itself was traced to an anonymous author on Reddit’s /x/ board, and later documented on the Creepypasta Wiki. The author posted it along with 13 other photos — all of which allegedly belonged to an elderly collector of similarly unexplained vintage images, who intended one day to publish them in a book. That project apparently never came to pass, and the collector’s identity remains a mystery as well.