Tips from the field

A couple basics can take you a long way on an investigation. When on an investigation it’s important to stamp your digital recording with your name, time, and location in the facility you’re investigating. This will help you later to identify evidence more effectively. Also, don’t whisper. These can sometimes sound like an EVP.

When doing an EVP session, give your spirit time to answer.  Keep in mind, the theory is that it takes energy for a spirit to communicate, and sometimes it may take just a bit of time for the spirit to build the energy it takes to formulate an answer.

Always have a partner.  What good is evidence when nobody else witnessed it?  Also, sometimes we’ve got the best EVP’s when dialogue between 2 people is going on.  Almost like, the spirit wants to be involved in the conversation.

Paranormal Imagery – ORBS

If you are reading this, more than likely you have seen an alleged paranormal photograph. One has to be very careful when calling an image paranormal. Most of the phenomena in these photos can easily be explained. To debunk a photo you have to have a basic understanding of how an average camera works.

One of the most common culprits of a false positive is known as an “Orb”. Orbs are usually just dust, however it’s not limited to dust, it could also be mist, bugs, pollen and other small items that are floating around us all the time. Picture this… You are sitting in a dimly lit room with a curtain covered window. The curtains on the window are letting just a small beam of sunlight into the room. Upon further inspection you will see all of these little particles floating around in that beam of light.  Why can you see all of those floating around in that circumstance when other times you can’t? Simple… Light reflection.

One common factor with Orb photos is a camera flash. When you snap that exciting orb photo, here is what’s happening…  Your camera is focused on something that is in the distance, you hit the button the flash goes off and the picture is taken. What you don’t physically see is that little speck of dust that is floating around right between the cameras flash and its lens. The light from the flash hits the dust particle and the lens takes it in and captures it in the form of an orb.  That’s why Orb photos are discredited by a lot of scientific research teams, if there is another logical, probable and more reasonable explanation then it can’t automatically be called paranormal.

Self-Experiment: Find a dirt road or a known dusty area at night. Stir up some of that dust. Start napping some photos utilizing the camera’s flash. Odds are the majority of the photos will contain orbs. The loser the flash is to the camera’s lens the more frequent orbs will appear in that camera’s photos.

Orb Explinations:

Rain Orbs

Orbs cause by rain

Dust Orbs

Orbs caused by dust

Bug Orbs

How different bugs can appear.

-Derek

Post mortem photography

A Victorian-era photograph of parents posing with their dead daughter. It was a custom in that era, before people could quickly travel great distances to attend funerals, to photograph the dead so their loved ones could see them as they were before burial.

If pictures are worth 1000 words, are post mortem photography pictures worth more?

While this isn’t a story about ghosts or ghost hunting, it’s certainly got me wondering. Would I do something like this? Why do these photos creep me out?

Imagine a family picture of mom, dad, brother, sister, and there’s grandma.  Well, she’s dead but we wanted just one last family photo together.

These aren’t photos of death; they’re apparently to preserve the memory of the loved one until the moment they passed.

As the common practice of post-mortem photography in North America and Western Europe has largely ceased, the portrayal of such images has become increasingly seen as vulgar, sensationalistic and taboo. This is in marked contrast to the beauty and sensitivity perceived in the older tradition, indicating a cultural shift that may reflect wider social discomfort with death.

Search post mortem photography online for pictures and more history.

-Darin