Paul Is Dead Clues: The White Album Poster

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For me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the whole Paul Is Dead rumor is that the search for clues often extended outside the songs themselves.

In the beginning, people were simply listening for clues in the song lyrics, then pouring over the art on the album covers. From there, they started playing their records backwards. When that was done, they began looking at anything associated with the albums, including inserts like posters and booklets. That’s what led to people finding clues in the poster included in initial pressings of The Beatles’ 1968 release, The White Album.

In 1968, when it came time to develop the artwork for the Beatles’ latest album, the task fell to artist Richard Hamilton. It is said that Hamilton wanted to create an album cover that was the complete opposite of the elaborate production featured on the Beatles’ last release, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hamilton also wanted to contrast the lengthy title of Sgt. Pepper’s. The result was a plain, all-white album without any title that became known as The White Album simply because, well, it was white.

As the story goes, shortly after the decision on the album cover was made, Hamilton and some of the Beatles started to feel a little bad about giving fans an album with no artwork to look at. So they decided to include 4 color photos, one for each Beatle, as inserts for the album. A decision was also made to create a photo collage poster, with lyrics on the reverse side, to accompany the album.

The White Album poster — via The Beatles Rarity

Most report that it was Paul McCartney who gathered up the photographs that would become the 23″ x 24″ poster. That in and of itself was enough to further fuel the “Paul Is Dead” rumors: “A dead man put this poster together, so there’s bound to be clues hidden in it.”

Most report that it was Paul McCartney who was given the task of gathering the photographs that would become the 23″ x 24″ poster. That in and of itself was enough to further fuel the “Paul Is Dead” rumors: “A dead man put this poster together, so there’s bound to be clues hidden in it.”

There are 3 alleged clues lurking in the poster. The largest, and therefore often referred to as the “most obvious”, resides in the upper left corner of the poster. The image is of Paul McCartney in the bath tub. Specifically, it’s a closeup of Paul’s head and portions of his arms.

Looking at the image above, you can see why people immediately claimed this was a clue. I mean, it clearly shows that Paul McCartney had been decapitated in a car crash, right? On top of that, Paul’s eyes are closed, further confirmation that Paul was, in fact, dead.

The next clue is towards the bottom left corner of the poster. Somewhat hidden amongst larger pictures is a small one said to depict Paul McCartney wearing a disguise he’d don to avoid being mobbed by fans when he went out in public.

Cluesters, however, will tell you that the photo is actually of William (“Bill”) Campbell, the gentleman who won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest and was chosen by the other 3 Beatles to take Paul’s place. To them, the photo shows Bill before his transformation into Faul; “Fake Paul.” (NOTE: Some believe the man’s name is actually Billy Shears, not William Campbell. You know, the same Billy Shears the Beatles “introduced” to us on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But that’s another story for another day).

The last, and spookiest, clue is near the bottom right of the poster. It shows Paul McCartney in profile, clapping and dancing. Nothing strange or out of place here. Or is there?

If you look right behind Paul, there appears to be a pair of skeletal hands reaching out for him. Those hands are said to represent all sorts of things, none of which are good. But basically, they are said to mean that Paul had been somehow marked for death and that, after his demise, the surviving Beatles added this photo to the poster to alert their fans to the fact that Paul was indeed dead.

I’ll be honest: Of the three “clues” said to be hidden in the White Album poster, this is the one that’s the creepiest to me. Not sure what caused the image to appear (operator error, mistake during processing, soul-munching ghouls), but they certainly do look like a pair of hands.

So there you have it, friends. What sayeth you? Are there really clues to Paul McCartney’s untimely demise lurking within the White Album poster? Know of any clues that I missed? Let me know!

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For more (non-PID) information on the Beatles’ White Album, check out this great, in-depth article on The Beatles Rarity.

More Paul Is Dead “evidence” can be found in the Paul McCartney Death Clues wing of The Strange & Spooky Museum. 

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The Music Is Reversible, But Time Is Not

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Last night, one of the few people who indulges in my obsession with backmasking and subliminal messages, Scott L., invited me on his radio show, The Disaster Signals ENcast. Over the course of the next THREE HOURS, we talked about that and so much more! Ghostly Talk alum, Doug, even stopped by, so it was like one big, twisted family reunion!

Along the way, we played alleged backward messages from the likes of Queen, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Eagles, Styx, Prince, ELO, and even Weird Al!

The show is now available for your streaming and downloading pleasure. But listen at your own risk; there may be devils about, just waiting to slip through your speakers and into your mind!

Click here to listen to the show…if you dare!

New Addition To The Strange & Spooky Museum: Abbey Road

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No museum that chronicles all the alleged clues to Paul McCartney’s supposed death would be complete without this little gem: Abbey Road, the 11th studio album by The Beatles. Released in September of 1969, right around the time when the whole Paul Is Dead conspiracy was taking hold, Abbey Road was reported to contain the mother lode of clues, many of which were visible right on the cover.

Here’s just a few of the most popular “clues” said to be lurking on the cover of Abbey Road:

  • The order in which the Beatles are crossing the street, and the way they are dressed, is said to be depicting a funeral procession, with Paul as the corpse. Moving from right to left, the Beatles are said to represent a religious figure (John), an undertaker (Ringo), a corpse (Paul), and a gravedigger (George).

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  • The way that Paul McCartney (or if you believe the rumors, his double) is positioned on the street is also said to hold several clues. For one, McCartney is the only Beatle who is barefoot (which some say is how corpses are buried in India). He is also literally “out of step” with the other Beatles. Finally, he is holding a cigarette in his right hand, which is pointing towards the ground, said to symbolize that the real Paul McCartney is now “in the ground”. Oh yeah, and the cigarette in his right hand is also supposed to be a clue since McCartney was left-handed.
  • Take a look on the left side of the cover and you’ll see a white Volkswagen Beetle (a Beetle, get it?). Upon closer inspection, the license plate of that car reads LMW 28IF. The “LMW” is said to stand for “Linda McCartney Weeps” (Linda McCartney being, of course, Paul’s wife). As for the “28IF”, that is said to mean that Paul McCartney had died at age 27 and that the imposter on the cover was what Paul would have looked like IF he had made it to age 28.
  • Finally, on the right side of the cover is what appears to be a police vehicle with a man standing idly by next to it. The police vehicle is supposed to represent the authorities who first arrived on the scene of McCartney’s fatal car crash, while the man depicts part of the crowd of people who “stood and stared” at the grisly crash rather than help.

Still with me? Good, then flip the album over because there’s even more clues waiting there!

Abbey Road Back Cover

  • Have a peek at the word “Beatles” and you’ll notice that there’s a crack running through it, right near the “s”. This is said to mean that McCartney’s death has literally “fractured” the rest of the group.
  • If you connect the 8 strange dots in front of the word “Beatles”, they form the number 3, which then reads as “3 Beatles”, when there should be 4.
  • Rotating the album cover 45 degrees now makes it appear as though there is an image of a skull immediately after the word “Beatles”. Some take that to represent “death” while others believe that it is supposed to be the skeletal face of Mr. McCartney himself!

Abbey Road Back Cover Rotated

Oddly enough, even though Abbey Road, specifically the cover, would become synonymous with the Paul Is Dead rumor, the songs on the album itself were never alleged to contain any of the infamous backwards/subliminal messages that fans of the rumor were so keen on. Sure, there were attempts to connect lines from some of the songs (most notably Come Together and Carry That Weight), but those were just the straight-forward lyrics. So if you were looking to uncover the real spooky messages, the albums you needed to play backwards were Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The White Album.

To see where Abbey Road fits in with all the other Paul Is Dead memorabilia in the Strange & Spooky Museum, click here.