More Test Photos

The following photos are from several years’ tests, trying to create convincing, fake, ghost photos.  As you can see, it’s not as easy as I thought… or as simple as skeptical critics claim.

Spider webs with moisture in them

Some people might confuse the lines for ectoplasm, but most won’t.

  

Damp, foggy morning, using the flash in all photos

As you can see, there were no orbs, even in thick fog.  The third photo (lower left) has something odd in it, but it’s not an orb, as I’d been expecting from so much dampness.

    

     

Hair

In some cases, hair could be confused with light streaks or vortex images.  The color of the hair is the clue. (My hair is auburn.)

However, notice the last of these four photos, at the lower right.  It looks like it has large, overlapping orbs. That’s also a photo of hair; when the light catches it in a certain way, it appears as a series of large, faint orbs.

 

 

Smoke

Frankly, the smoke photos showed almost nothing.  The only way we could get smoke to show up in pictures, consistently, was to use actual stick incense.  The results open some interesting questions.  And, yes, some of these could be mistaken for anomalies.  That of course raises the question: If someone nearby were using incense, wouldn’t a photographer notice the fragrance?

  

  

Pollen

Pollen was very difficult to capture in photos.  Even shaking ragweed directly over the camera lens, the pollen rarely showed up at all.  (See the third photo, in the lower left, where I was shaking the ragweed in front of the lens.) The final photo in this series shows what it looks like to crush the ragweed with your hand, and then sprinkle the pollen in front of the camera lens.  These extremes suggest that pollen is rarely a problem for an experienced ghost photographer.

However, in the few photos where it did show up, it could look similar to orbs with “faces” in them.

Unless you’re standing directly underneath a tree that’s sprinkling pollen, or it’s a very bad night for hay fever, I don’t think pollen is a major concern.  Among the few photos that showed pollen orbs, even fewer were orbs that we’d confuse with actual anomalies.

Is it possible to confuse pollen for an anomalous ghost orb?  Yes.  Is it likely?  No.

  

  

Dust and dirt

Dust particles — from household dust and dust (or dirt) kicked up while walking — were equally difficult to confuse with anomalous orbs.

In the first photo (immediately below this text), that’s a Swiffer duster, caked with dust, that my husband was shaking in front of the lens.  Nothing showed up, except the actual duster.

In the next two photos, you can see orbs and other shapes created by reflected dust.  They’re more likely to be confused with ghost orbs, but I think I took 50 photos to get these results.

The final photo in the dust & dirt series shows what very dry, fine dirt looks like, sprinkled in front of the lens.  This is the same powdery, dusty dirt that could be kicked up by people walking or a car driving past you during an investigation.  It looked almost identical to pollen, but a finer texture.

Keep in mind, all of these particles were sprinkled within three inches of the camera lens.  Few produced images large enough to look like ghost orbs, and other characteristics  — such as a solid, dark dot in the middle, or an irregular, notched circumference — usually don’t match anomalous orbs.  However, a  few dust orbs did look like anomalous “ghost orbs.”  (Some researchers might argue that those few were actual ghost orbs.  After all, most of these photos were taken in haunted cemeteries.)

  

  

Rain

Rain produced such obviously fake results, I don’t think rain is an issue for professional or experienced investigators.  First of all, you’re likely to feel the rain even if you don’t see it right away.  Then, some of the drops reflect such as solid reflection, I doubt that you’d confuse a photo of rain with an actual, anomalous orb.

  

Breath

In my opinion, the number one issue for ghost photographers is breath.  Though these photos were all taken on a winter night, I was able to achieve similar results on a warm summer night when the dew point was high.  These are a few of many photos that show strange forms and mists, the result of exhaling sharply at the exact moment I took each photo.  So, these are extremes.

The third photo (lower left) intrigues me the most.  It’s a fairly benign-looking misty shape.  It could be confused with an actual, ghostly anomaly.

  

  

Before I completed the first edition of Ghost Photography 101, I showed these photos to someone else who’s been studying ghost photos for years.  He insisted that some of the photos did represent ghosts (particularly pictures like the third in the breath series.)

I could see his point, but in my research, if something could be explained by something normal, I have to discount that as a non-anomalous photo.  I’d rather err on the side of caution.

On the other hand, I think we need to explore another possibility:  If we give the spirits something to work with — like breath or incense — should we look to see what the spirits do with it?  After all, that’s not too different than using white noise to give the ghosts sounds to work with, to form EVP.  And, it’s also similar to using a device like a Frank’s Box, ghost box or “shack hack” to give entities sounds and words to use.

I’ll expand on this in the second edition of Ghost Photography 101.

Three Kinds of Ghosts You Can See

man-door-roseWhile ghost hunting, I’ve seen weird things like unexplained lights, shadows, and figures just out of the corner of my eye.

Here’s the basic rule: If they can’t be explained by something normal, we consider them paranormal.

Anything that’s seen or sensed that can’t be explained, except in paranormal terms, can be called an anomaly.

In ghost hunting, that means one (or both) of two things:

  1. We can’t explain it.  We see three gravestones, but a fourth one shows up in a photograph.  Or, we can hear a certain investigator’s voice on our EVP recording, but she wasn’t there during the investigation.
  2. Even if we could explain it,  it’s still very weird and doesn’t make sense.  It’s “statistically unlikely” in the context of where it happened or was recorded.  This is the kind of evidence that skeptics pounce on.  Sure, that orb could be humidity, but why did it show up in just two of about 15 photos, each taken within two minutes of each other… and by two different cameras?

So, when we’re at a location that’s supposed to be haunted, we’re researching paranormal activity and we’re documenting anomalies.

Those aren’t necessarily ghosts, or even evidence of ghosts.

However, when it’s something best described as a ghost, we call it a ghost.  It’s as good a label as any, for now, and — when we say “a ghost” — others recognized the kinds of phenomena we’re talking about.  Whether the person believes it represents the spirit of someone dead… that’s another matter.

As ghost hunters, we’re collecting evidence, trying to figure out what’s going on in haunted places.  Often, ghosts are the most logical explanation, so that’s the word I’ll use in this article and at this website.

There are at least three kinds of ghosts you can see:  Ghosts that emit light, ghosts that are shadows, and ghosts that are apparitions.  (There may be a fourth category, ghosts that absorb light, but we’re not sure yet.)

Ghosts that emit light

The most frequently photographed ghosts are those that emit light.  We see orbs (translucent circles or spheres) in our photos.  Those orbs usually have fairly crisp edges; they’re not reflections from headlights or lens flares.

In the photo below, the orb is very faint, and over the EMF meter on the right.  In a series of photos, the orb seemed to float between the meters, back and forth.  When it was near one of the EMF meters, that meter would signal. Then, the orb would float back to the other meter, leaving both meters dark in the interim.

At the time, we described it as spiritual ping pong.

This photo was not altered with Photoshop or any software, so the orb is very faint.  My photo is among many taken that night, at Tenney Gate House (Methuen, MA), showing the orb floating back and forth, triggering the EMF meters.

Two EMF meters and a faint orb, at Tenney Gate House, Methuen, MA.
Two EMF meters, spiking alternately, and the orb that floated between them.

Using Photoshop with a typical orb, the characteristic colors are revealed.  This next photo could have been taken anywhere, but I was at Fort George in Ontario, Canada.  Though skeptics will look at this kind of photo and explain it as dust, pollen, or moisture, this orb was photographed by about four of us, each standing about 10 – 30 feet apart, pointing our cameras in the same direction.  Mapping its location relative to landmarks we were seeing from different angles, it was easy to show that we were all photographing the same orb.

Typical orb. Perfectly circular. Looks three dimensional.
Typical orb. Perfectly circular. Looks three dimensional.

Some photos show a streak of light, often described as a vortex.  Unfortunately, a large number of vortices (plural of vortex) look identical to camera straps.  So, we’re not sure how many of those photos show something paranormal.  It’s too easy to explain them as a forgotten camera strap that fell in front of the camera.

However, if you have a photo with an image like this and you’re sure no camera strap or similar object was near the lens of the camera, you might have an anomaly we call a vortex.

This is a camera strap.
This is a camera strap.

Sometimes, we see light-emitting shapes or figures in real life, not just in photos.  Weirdly, those anomalies rarely show up in photographs.

They could be circular shapes or spheres.  They might be rods of light.  Or, in very rare cases, they assume the form of a figure, like an apparition.

These kinds of ghostly figures are best seen and photographed after dark.  Though I’ve taken photos of daytime orbs, with no flash or possibility of lens flare, the vast majority of light-related anomalies are photographed at night.

That’s one reason for a lights-out investigation at haunted sites.

Ghosts that are shadows

Ghostly shadows — sometimes “shadow figures” — are among the most disturbing ghostly phenomena we encounter.  We don’t know what they are, but they can seem a lot more covert and sinister than the ghosts we usually study.

The photo below, taken at a private residence near Laconia, New Hampshire, shows an eerie shadow figure we saw in a fully-lit basement.  It’s one of many troubling photos from that investigation.  In real life, the figure looked like a tall man.  There was nothing to explain that shadow.  I could see the cause of almost every other shadow, but not that one.

Laconia-basement3-shadow-230x300

The figure in the photo, above, is unusual because shadow figures usually seem to hide among other shadows.

We’re not sure what these figures represent. Sometimes, they appear individually. At other times, they seem to travel in groups or packs.

In general, I don’t recommend lingering at any location where you see shadow figures.  We’re not sure that they’re as benign as what we usually call “ghosts.”

Ghosts that Absorb Light

At the present time, we’re not sure if shadow figures or “ghost shadows” are actually casting a shadow, if they are simply dark figures, or if they’re absorbing light like a black hole.

If they’re absorbing light (and perhaps energy), that’s another very good reason to be cautious if you ever see a shadow figure.

We don’t know what these are, and if they’re a separate kind of entity.

Ghosts that are apparitions

Apparitions are ghosts that look like they did in life.  Sometimes they’re more-or-less translucent.  Others look like living people, but they may appear to be in historical costumes.

It seems that there are very few photos of apparitions.  Here’s a classic, the Brown Lady, photographed in 1936 by Captain Hubert C. Provand.

Brown_lady

I have three of theories about why we don’t see more credible photos of apparitions:

  1. Most apparition photos aren’t credible, and look like double exposures or as if they’ve been created in Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Often, the anomalies we see in real life don’t show up in our photos, and vice versa.
  3. Many apparitions seem so lifelike, we don’t realize they’re ghosts until they fade or abruptly disappear… and then it’s too late to get a photo.

Those are the three kinds of ghosts you can see… maybe:  Ghosts that emit light, ghosts that are shadows, and ghosts that seem to have physical form and look a lot like they’re living people.

A fourth category, ghosts that absorb light so they’re not just shadows but something like black holes, is a troubling concept that has yet to be explored.

Tilton and Northfield, NH – Ghost Hunting in the Rain

In Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, I mentioned one eerie cemetery in Northfield-Tilton, New Hampshire.  (It’s actually in Northfield, but the boundary between the two towns isn’t always clear.  Technically, the river divides the towns, but the post office considers both towns as “Tilton.”)

Several graves in that cemetery indicate good activity.

rain-northfield-cem-nightLast night, we took photos of rain orbs for my book, Ghost Photography 101.

Though most of the orbs in this photo are certainly rain, at least one might be something paranormal.  I think you can see how different it is from the others, in the photo at right.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to tell “real” orbs from rain orbs in photos, so I’m making no claims.  However, we’ve seen consistent orbs around this group of graves.

When we arrived, the cemetery was too quiet.  Even the rain seemed entirely silent, though we parked in a paved area.  Also, though the area is lit by streetlights and light from neighbors’ homes, the back half of the cemetery always seems darker than it should be… even in the daytime.

I like cemeteries that feel as if you’re stepping back in time.  This is one of them, and it always feels entirely separated from the buildings — and era — around it.  Some might describe it as “creepy,” but I find it very relaxing and peaceful, despite the activity at some of its graves.

Here’s a “sneak peak” into another area of this cemetery, to check for elevated EMF, orbs, EVP, and so on.

You may be able to use this tip when you investigate cemeteries in your area.

nfield-3fingersOther researchers and I describe one grave as the “three pointing fingers grave.”  You’ll know which one it is, as soon as you see it.  Jacob Webber and his two wives are in that plot, and the headstone is unusual, showing three pointing fingers.

A finger pointing up usually indicates that the person ascended to Heaven.  A finger pointing down usually suggests the hand of God, ending a life early… but it can mean something less attractive. (It doesn’t take much imagination to figure that out: Heaven: up. Hell: down.)

When we see an adult’s headstone with a downward pointing finger, we immediately add that plot to our list of graves to investigate.  Those graves have a higher likelihood of activity compared with other, unremarkable graves.

I’m still investigating the spirits at the “three fingers” grave.  I know the second wife feels that she had the “last word” with that gravestone, and her energy definitely lingers.  With enough attention, she’s the kind of woman who might appear as an apparition.

There are several other active locations in this rural cemetery, and some may be even more active than the “three pointing fingers” plot.  However, this cemetery – Arch Hill Cemetery in Northfield, NH – is near several homes, so it’s difficult to investigate without attracting attention.

The good news is, this cemetery seems to be active during the daytime as well as after dark.  I recommend EMF meters and either a psychic, a Frank’s Box, or an Ovilus for research in this graveyard.  You could also use a K-II (or K-III) meter for real-time dialogue with the spirits.

Ghost Hunting in Tilton, NHVisually, it’s a lovely location, but — so far — it’s been difficult to photograph reliable anomalies due to nearby lights.

If you’re interested in Arch Hill Cemetery, or you’re ghost hunting in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, some of my stories were included in Rue Cote’s book, Ghost Hunting in Tilton, New Hampshire.

Rue’s research and ghost stories include Tilton, Northfield, and Franklin, New Hampshire. She also lists several haunts that are within an hour or so of Tilton.

Ghost Orb Sightings – An Overview

Orb sightings occur every day.

Most “ghost orbs” appear in photographs or videos in haunted places. So few people see them floating in mid-air, some researcher speculate that they can only be seen by gifted, psychic people.

What are orbs?

orb-newburyport-illus“Orbs” usually refer to the round, usually translucent, round or ball-shaped images that we sometimes see in photographs.

They’re usually white, but sometimes appear in pastel colors.  Rarely, they manifest as deep, rich and intense colors.

If you look at them closely, a few orbs seem to have faces in them.  Some orbs seem to be made up of tiny facets.  Most orbs appear as milky circles or spheres.

People often call them “ghost orbs,” since they seem to indicate paranormal energy.

However, many orbs in photos can be explained naturally. You can see the pollen in the middle, or the insect. The shape is usually irregular.

It may take you awhile to be able to tell the difference between an orb formed by moisture, a reflection, an insect, etc., but — once you can tell the difference — you’re not likely to confuse them again.

Don’t accept the easy dismissal of all orbs as dust, moisture, etc.  See the photos in my 2013 article, What Is “Paranormal”?, if you think moisture or reflections always produce orbs.

I recommend trying to create fake orbs with your camera, before deciding what’s real and what isn’t.  You may be surprised.

Unexplained orbs… they’re the orb sightings that really interest ghost hunters and paranormal researchers.

Orb sightings and the spirit world

Many people speculate about orb sightings. Some explanations include:

  • Ghosts.
  • Angels.
  • Demons.
  • An energy field indicating a portal opening or closing. (This is still my favorite explanation.)
  • A friendly spirit, manifesting to say hello.
  • A glimpse of “the light” that people describe in near-death experiences.

How to see orbs

The best way to see orbs is to take lots of photos in haunted locations, or places where people have seen (or photographed) orbs in the past.

These may include:

  • Cemeteries
  • Battlegrounds
  • Theatres (or buildings that used to have stage performances)
  • Older hotels
  • Living history museums
  • Historic homes (especially pre-1890 and open to the public)

Take dozens of photos, if you can.  Study them closely for orbs.  Adjust the contrast or lightness of the photo, so you don’t miss anything.

Tips for orb photography

  • austin-orb-bookcoverDay or night, use your camera’s flash.  It is possible to photograph ghost orbs during the daytime (see the orb on my book cover for The Ghosts of Austin, Texas) , but a flash seems to improve results.
  • Always take two or three photos in a row, as quickly as possible and without changing position. See if the same orb or orbs are in all photos; if so, there may be a normal explanation.
  • Save all of your photos until you exactly what to look for: Different colors, sizes, levels of contrast.

Tips for orb sightings

If you’re one of the fortunate few who see orbs floating in mid-air, here are tips to help you see more of them.

  • Practice your orb-spotting skills. With a friend or two, visit known haunted locations.
  • Most people spot orbs around dusk or immediately after it.
  • When you see an orb, have friends take photos of the orb. If possible, also get photos of you with the orb to see if the locations are similar in most photos.
  • Measure the temperature and EMF levels around the orb, if you have the tools to do so.

Orb sightings are a controversial topic in ghost hunting.  However, if you’re fascinated by ghost orbs or find comfort in them, every orb sighting can be very important.

Ghost Orbs – An Overlooked Question

Ghost orbsGhost orbs are a controversial topic.

Some orbs can be explained as refracted light from moisture, reflective surfaces, insects, pollen or dust.

But – and this is important – false orbs aren’t the big problem I thought they were.

Unfortunately, many ghost hunters took my earlier advice.

Now I’m embarrassed when I hear someone dismiss a credible orb as “it’s just dust.”

Usually, false orb shapes are irregular.

In other cases, you can see the insect or dot of pollen in the center. It’s more solid-looking. Enlarge your photo and take a close look, to be sure.

When it’s a bug, the reflection is usually white. Pollen usually shows up as a solid yellow dot in the center of the orb. It’s not see-through (translucent).

Always rule those things out.

What if you can’t debunk it?

Some of us believe that unexplained orbs –  described as photographic anomalies – indicate possible paranormal activity.

But some ghost researchers still insist that orbs aren’t evidence.

The Skeptics’ Arguments

Critical skeptics fall back on the easy answer that every unexplained orb is just dust. Or insects. Or a reflection.

That’s a convenient excuse.

When I ask how much research they’ve done with their own cameras, trying to create fake orbs, they usually change the subject.

Or, they snap back, “I don’t have to. It’s obvious.”

In the years since I wrote this, I’ve met just one researcher who thoroughly experimented with orb photos. He told me he could create convincing, orb-like images with extremely fine powder carefully blown from the surface of a credit card.

Perhaps he can. I’m still trying to replicate that, myself. So far, no luck.

But… Sure, Let’s Pretend It’s All Dust

Okay, let’s say that those orbs are “just dust.” (Important: I don’t believe that’s the universal answer.)

There’s still an overlooked question.

In fact, it’s obvious when you think about it.

Why do we see so many more orbs in photos taken at haunted places?

Why are there dozens of orbs in photos taken at a haunted cemetery, and hardly any orbs at a field just down the street from that cemetery?

If they’re both equally dusty, shouldn’t we see an equal number of orbs in the photos?

Let’s backtrack for a moment.

Ghosts and Physical Evidence

Most ghost hunters point to physical evidence such as doors that slam without explanation.

Or, they’ll talk about lights, radios and televisions that turn on “by themselves.”

Similarly, I’ve heard a broken piano play music at The Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana.

We’ve seen balls roll by themselves, pencils move across tables, and so on.

So, why is it so preposterous to think that a ghost might deliberately lift flecks of dust, to manifest as orbs in our photos?

Remember the movie, Ghost?  In one scene, Patrick Swayze – as a ghost – struggles to move physical objects.  Fortunately, another ghost shows him how it’s done.

But what about ghosts in cemeteries and other haunted locations?  Maybe no one has shown them how to move large and heavy objects.  Perhaps a particle of dust is all they can manage.

A ghost that gets our attention with a fleck of dust is no less real than a ghost that slaps someone, rolls a ball across the floor of a deserted hospital, or slams doors in an empty hall.

Debunking Ghost Orb Photos

Many experienced ghost hunters dismiss orbs caused by obvious reflective objects, pollen, insects, and rain.

Those ghost hunters have viewed thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of orb photos. They know what to look for:

  • An irregular shape, not a nearly perfect circle
  • A solid-looking dot or shape at the center of the orb
  • A solid dot of yellow in or near the center of a pollen orb
  • A solid white shape inside an insect orb
  • A solid white or grey dot inside a dust orb
  • A brilliant white orb, usually an irregular shape, if it’s rain or moisture
  • A repeating series of circular orbs, usually in a line, if it’s a lens flare from the sun, the moon, or a reflective surface.

If You Can’t Debunk It

The next question should be: Is the dust an anomaly?

If you’re seeing unexplained orbs in photos taken at one location, take photos at a nearby location with similar levels of dust,  pollen, and so on.  Equal orbs indicate natural causes.

However, if you see orbs in photos at a haunted cemetery but not in photos at the Little League field next door, the real issue isn’t whether it’s dust.

Instead, ask why the orbs only show up in the haunted cemetery.

The answer might be ghosts.

Cozy Ghosts at The Golden Fleece, York, England

Ghost of York, England - an orb discussion If you’re looking for cozy ghosts, and orbs that seem to feel right at home, make York’s Golden Fleece Inn (and pub) your destination.

The Golden Fleece is where I’ve seen some of the best, most convincing ghost orbs.

Of course, orbs can appear anywhere.

Some seem to be floating or gliding energy forms.

Context is important.

I’ve heard reports from people who successfully asked orbs to move to certain locations for photos.

For example, when someone told the ghost to move the orb to a particular doorway or gravestone… it did.

(Generally, I ask ghosts to manifest however they can, if they’d like to appear in a photo. I’m uncomfortable with ordering them around.)

Predicting Orbs

During many years of studying ‘ghost photos’, I’ve noticed an odd pattern among many orbs. They appear in consistent places. The trend is so predictable, we believe it’s beyond coincidence.

In an unusual number of photos, I’ve seen orbs directly over people’s heads. In most cases, the photos were taken at a significant event (such as a wedding or prom) or a family gathering.

The lighting and setting don’t matter. If it’s a family gathering or major social event among long-time friends or associates, orbs often appear in the photos.

An Odd Orb at the Golden Fleece

At other times, orbs appear – in surprising numbers – over chairs, as if the ghost is sitting there.

What follows is one of my favorite examples.

A group of us – experienced ghost hunters – visited “York’s most haunted pub” in June 2007.

The skeleton and other visual cues weren’t there at that time. It just felt like a nice, cozy pub with delicious food and great prices.

But, after a few minutes inside, the pub had a certain eerie edge to it.

And, as seasoned ghost researchers, we tend to be somewhat skeptical.  So, we sat, enjoyed our lunch, chatted, and took a few photos.

One surprised me.

My photo shows an orb ‘seated’ at the haunted Golden Fleece pub in York, England.

York - orb over chair in Golden Fleece

Because that restaurant has many shiny surfaces, I discounted other orbs from that casual investigation. Nevertheless, the placement of the one in the photo caught my attention.

Is it a credible photo? I’m not sure.  I’d need more evidence.

Is the Golden Fleece haunted? I believe so, and I wish I’d spent more time there. On my next visit to that part of England, I’ll definitely want to spend a night or two at the Golden Fleece. (Haunted Happenings has been among the groups organizing vigils at the Golden Fleece.)

The Golden Fleece is a Different Kind of Haunted

My main impression was: Yes, it has that “spooky vibe” we notice at haunted sites. Its ghosts are well-documented, too.

But there was something else… something I can’t yet put into words. It was a different kind of haunted, if that makes sense.

Usually, when I use a phrase like that, it’s because I’m uneasy. Something troubles me, and it’s the kind of place where I’d take extra spiritual precautions.

But in the case of the Golden Fleece… well, that site really is different.

I’d expect spirits like the cheerful ghosts in the 1988 movie, High Spirits… and perhaps a few truly creepy and unearthly spirits, as well.

In general, I believe the Golden Fleece is one of York’s most intriguing haunted locations. Whatever haunts the site, it’s unusual, even for York, one of England’s more haunted cities.

Haunted York Videos

Here’s a quirky (and slightly silly) four-minute video about haunted York, including the Golden Fleece.

Haunted York

York, England has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. see more about WTHR’s Scott Swan’s story here: http://www.wthr.com/story/19191664/engla…

That YouTube video of haunted York is at: https://youtu.be/L_0KHH7_6NM

And another video of a Golden Fleece investigation.

YouTube URL - https://youtu.be/Q-GihuTQ3W8

The Orb-Ghost Connection

Are orbs proof of ghosts?

The context is important.

For example, if other odd things were going on, exactly when the photos were taken. Or, if someone – without knowing where an orb was hovering, in a photo or video – directly indicated something else “ghostly” at the exact same place and time.

In other words, orbs may be one of those “you had to be there” phenomena. Out of context, it’s difficult for others to take orbs seriously.

I understand that, and it’s frustrating.

Personal evidence can be the most personally convincing… and have the least credibility when you talk about it later.

So, What Are Orbs?

To be honest, I don’t know what orbs are.

Professionals check for normal, natural explanation. Those include humidity, dust, reflected light, and so on.

In 2013, after several years of intense study, I concluded that humidity, dust, reflected light, and other apparently reasonable explanations rarely cause convincing orbs in photos.

But, for over 10 years, I claimed that most orbs were the result of natural phenomena, reflective objects, and so on.

Well, they’re not.

Yes, that’s an embarrassing admission. I wouldn’t admit to it, except my tests have shown, conclusively, that most convincing orbs really are anomalous.

So far, ghost hunters recognized that:

  • Orbs appear in haunted places in dramatically higher numbers.
  • Orbs seem to appear in areas where EMF levels spike.
  • The actual orbs may contain higher levels of energy.

But are they ghosts? I’m not ready to claim that.

Some People See Orbs

A small – perhaps gifted – minority of researchers are able to see orbs in real life. However, the orbs that they see don’t usually appear in photos taken at the same time.

In most cases, researchers don’t see anything before, during and after taking photos that – when viewed on the monitor or printed – reveal orbs.

I’ll admit I’m still astonished when investigators see vivid orbs in photos, though we saw nothing unusual when the photos were taken.

Sparkles and Ghost Orbs

Years ago, I was the first ghost hunters to use the term ‘sparkles‘ to describe an odd visual effect that occurs with some cameras.

When people see sparkles, we usually find orbs or other photographic anomalies in our pictures.

Are Orbs Aware of Us?

Ghost hunters aren’t sure if orbs are related to spirits that are aware of us and can respond to the people around them.

However, we’ve seen enough ‘ghost photos’ to know that orbs often appear in similar locations, as if they’re comfortable among us.

Whether they’re posing for group photos or sitting comfortably in a favorite chair, the placement often seems deliberate.

York, England, is just one of many haunted places where orbs seem quite at home. When you research there, be sure to take photos of chairs, stools, benches, and so on.

To me, it seemed like the orbs were pulling up a chair and joining the party.