Laura Watson was with her two children and their cousin at Plessey Woods Country Park, Northumberland, when she snapped an innocent-enough picture of the three children climbing a large tree.
But she was terrified, when examining the photo, to see a chilling figure standing just behind her son Byrin, nine.
Laura, from Newcastle, insists that a figure is in the photograph, despite no one being there apart from son Byrin, daughter Charlotte Hill, 15, and their cousin Jack.
The “face” is ghostly white, with dark staring eyes, and what appears to be a hand reaching out for her son’s shoulder.
“Some people have said I must have photoshopped it as they can’t believe it”
Although sceptical of ghosts and the paranormal, Laura says she can’t think of another explanation for the figure, and is planning a return trip to the woods.
“It’s very unusual and everyone is really freaked out,” she said.
“Me and my daughter couldn’t even go to sleep last night because we were so scared.
“My husband is on night shifts and I was alone and I was like ‘Oh God’.
“I was terrified in case anything had followed us back.”
Laura says she has had people on Facebook sending her prayers.
It’s been speculated that the figure is that of a young boy who drowned in the river many years ago.
“It looks like a child to me,” Laura said. “I don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy.
“But I can see this face and it looks like the hand is on my son’s shoulder, which is very bizarre.
“Some people have said I must have photoshopped it as they can’t believe it.
“But I’ve explained I wouldn’t even have a clue how to do anything like that.”
But Laura insists her horrifying encounter hasn’t put her off wanted to return to the woods.