Can an orb in a photo actually be a spirit?

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Halloween Party Orb

Halloween Party Orb

interesting-orbOrbs can be the result of many things; a camera’s flash reflecting off dust, raindrops or some shiny surface.  Yet from my experience, on rare occasions an orb could be something more, perhaps the reflection of an invisible energy, or even paranormal.  Is it possible to tell if an orb is natural or that rare instance of the paranormal?

It would be great if there were some clues that might hint an orb is more then just an orb.  There are many clues when an orb is a trick of the camera.  A strong clue orbs are only natural are when many orbs appear in a photo.  That is very likely a cloud of dust at work.  Take a flash photo in the rain and you’ll see for yourself.  If a reflective surface is reflecting the flash, guess what, that orb is nothing.

If detecting natural orbs are fairly easy, is it possible to assess if an orb is more then natural?  That is tricky.  Most orbs seem to be flat, pale and “lifeless” and so they are.  The more intriguing orbs seem to have a feeling of solidity to them.  Even at best nothing is ever really conclusive.  The best, maybe only clue is the context in which the orb appears.  What is happening at the time and what is its significance? 

halloween-orbHere are examples of orbs that seem interesting even if they are only tricks of the camera, taken at a Halloween party at a nightclub.  There are so many possible sources of reflection that nothing can be trusted.  Yet examples with interesting patterns emerge. 

In the photo above it looks like somebody is pointing at the orb…only coincidence?  Then there is an orb that seems too symmetrical with concentric circles.  Finally a jolly green giant has an orb over his shoulder.  It is hard to imagine these orbs are anything other then an optical effect.  Yet in my imagination I like the idea spirits visited a costume party.

At the bottom is an orb taken at daytime in a cemetery.  This cemetery had a reputation for haunting.  Orbs taken without a flash in the light of day are pretty hard to catch.  Daylight orbs get my attention.  Another intriguing clue would be if an orb were partly covered by something so that it could not be an optical effect.  Then again anybody could digitally manipulate any photo, so nothing can be trusted unless we took the picture ourselves.  In the end encountering the paranormal is really a personal experience. 

Daylight Cemetery Orb

Daylight Cemetery Orb

5 Responses to “Can an orb in a photo actually be a spirit?”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Can it? I don’t see how we can prove otherwise. Is it? Unlikely. I know enough about optics that I can readily explain most “orbs” I’ve seen without requiring supernatural involvement. With nature (and in my opinion), the simplest explanation is likely the best, but it’s just my opinion.

  2. David Says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Carl Sagan is famous for saying extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I’d agree with that. Yet, I still wonder if that one orb out of a hundred might be something extraordinary. That is what keeps the fun in the ghost hunting hobby. We never know if we’ll one day come across some extraordinary proof.

  3. Shaman Hawk Says:

    It’s nice to hold the concept that there is life and mystery in all but in this case we may also need to entertain the possibility that someone may have sneezed too close to the camera.

  4. Arlene deWinter Says:

    I had an orb experience — or rather my sister did when I first stayed at her house after returning from 9 years in England. They live way out in the boonies in MA. There are no cars or streetlights. During the night, she was woken up by a light flashing past the windows. She got a looked out and saw a huge sphere of light floating to the side of the house where I was sleeping. My sister doe not have these experiences, so I believe her.

    By the way David, I am giving you a little award. Please come over to Gothic Faery Tales and collect it.

  5. David Says:

    Hi Arlene,
    That is a very interesting experience your sister had. These floating orbs/lights seem to accompany ‘alien abduction’ experiences, which is not a very accurate way to describe that experience. I personally don’t think they are aliens, but home grown entities. Something is certainly out there! Its a mystery why they visit one person over another. And thanks for the award!

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