The Truth About Ghostly Orb Photos

Let’s take a look at the growing interest in “spirit photography.”

Say cheese.

For centuries people all around the world have been reporting encounters with ghosts. A faint silhouette at the foot of a bed, a wispy apparition, unexplained sounds, cold spots, ghostly footsteps, haunting moans and creaks. But is it really necessary to imagine that these images, noises and other experiences are evidence of supernatural activity, or can we accept that there are more down to earth, explanations?

Do ghosts exist? Probably not, but I admit cannot prove they are not real the same way believers in these things can’t prove they are real. My argument is not that ghosts, as spirits of the dead, cannot be real and that people haven’t seen them; what I have a problem with is people, often “expert” ghost hunters, who claim that known photographic anomalies are evidence of “spirit energy” or other such nonsense. Orbs have been sufficiently explained, but those who wish to continue deluding themselves will persist in their fantasy. Many paranormal “experts” are adamant that they can tell the difference between dust orbs and real spirit orbs. That is complete crap!

Delusion, fed by ignorance, seems to be contageous. Orbs have become very popular among ghost hunters, and photos of orbs are regularly used as evidence to support claims for hauntings. Along with “orbs” we may find photos of “light energy” or “plasma” and a number of other “spirit forms.” The reason I am so annoyed by anyone presenting these as proof of a spirit world is because of the sound explanation behind these images. Orbs are not proof of ghosts, they are proof that a flash can bounce back off of a minute particle and create a glare on the lens.

Sometimes we don’t even need a flash. I caught an orb on camera, in the middle of the day, in my living room, while taking a picture of family members during Christmas one year. The sun shining through the window and the particle was at just the right angle to create the effect.

Just the Facts

You will not see any orbs if you take a picture in a windowless room with the lights off and the door closed. There is no light to reflect off of the particle(s) and into the camera lens. One would think that a spirit should be able to show up regardless of light. But alas, if an orb requires an Earthly illumination to appear, it must be of Earthly origin, not supernatural.

And what about the photographs of “light energy?” Things moves. Particles can zip around on currents of air or even the shaky breath of the photographer who is waiting in the cemetery for spirits appear on film. Bugs can fly by creating a great “spirit” trail effect. The camera strap, or a stray wisp of hair can drift before the lens, unnoticed by the photographer especially in the dark, and may be caught by the flash. This would produce a great energy streak in the picture.

“Plasma” and other wispy spirit forms can be the result of cigarette smoke, car exhaust, frosty breath, or hair. I’m sure there are even bundles of lint drifting around that would make an interesting subject if they were just the right distance from the camera.

Some even claim to see little heads and faces in and around their orbs. This is just growing more and more absurd. It’s akin to finding shapes in the clouds. If you’re looking for something, you’re bound to find it. Little heads, faces, dragons, fairies and sprites will abound in your universe if you believe. And don’t forget about the hoaxer who wouldn’t think twice about manufacturing some spirit forms in Photoshop just to fool the gullible.

Should we be concerned that spirits are overtaking our world in the form of little “orbs” and “light energy” that can only be seen when you take a picture? I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

Belief and magical thinking run rampant in our society, and it is a major problem. Ignorance should be minimized not propagated, but continued belief in all things supernatural, proliferated through the dubious merit of ghost hunters made famous by television and other media outlets, does a great disservice to the general public. For lack of evidence ghost hunting groups should not be taken seriously. They rise to fame and adore the attention, made cool by steadfast, gullible fans.

Contrary to what some may profess, ghost hunters are not experts on ghosts. They simply can’t be, because there is no evidence that supports their claim. Think about it. There are real, down to earth explanations for most of what ghost hunters present as evidence of their quarry. Why continue to believe that there is something more going on?

Orbs are not hard evidence of spirit activity in our world. Next up… EVP!