The Ghostly Videotape
In 1990, when the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby was released on videotape, people began to notice for the first time a "ghost" image, apparently of a young boy, in the background of one scene. Stories developed explaining that the son of the owners of the New York apartment used for the film had committed suicide there and had returned as a ghostly presence that could be seen only in the film. Some viewers thought they could also see the rifle he had used to kill himself alongside the spirit; others claimed that the supposed ghost was merely a young relative of the film's director, Leonard Nimoy, who had been promised an appearance in it.
Debunking these stories, the film's producers explained that the New York "apartment" was really a soundstage in Toronto and that the image was an out-of-focus view of a cardboard cutout of actor Ted Danson, who stars in the film, used as part of the apartment decor. Rumors then began to circulate that the film's distributors themselves had started the stories in order to promote video rentals and to draw attention to their sequel Three Men and a Little Lady (1990). Unmentioned in most of the discussion of this short-lived legend was the fact that supposed spectral images of dead persons in photographs have long been a part of folk tradition. Most commonly, such images were claimed to be visible in photographs of groups of miners or other workers who had lost one or more companions in occupational accidents.
Jan Harold Brunvand (2001) The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends