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.


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.


A few words from Lori

One of the best parts of paranormal investigating, for me, is doing the research.  I love doing research to find past residences and/or past occurrences at the locations.

One example is when I was looking up the history of the Broadview Hotel in Wichita.  The legend is about a ghost named Clarence, who worked at the hotel, and finding his wife with her lover at the hotel.  He shot and killed both of them then killed himself by jumping off the balcony.

While looking up to see if I could find anything of this story in the newspapers, I did find an accident at the Broadview that killed an employee.  His name was Clyde Usrey.  He was 18 years old and it was his first day at his new job there.  The newspaper articles and pictures can be seen here:

Another surprise to me was that no one I spoke to at the hotel had ever heard this story.  So, as you can see, a lot of times, there is more history at locations than what is remembered.

A word from our friends

Ghosts and Ghost Hunting! We watch all the shows on TV and are BIG fans. Moonlit Ghost Hunts, just what we needed!

The GREAT team of Darin, Lori and Jerry have introduced us to their wide range of ghost hunting equipment, which includes a variety of meters, audio recorders, the spirit box, different kinds of cameras and a thermal cam. The team has taught us how to properly use all of their equipment.

At each location, Moonlit has given us the background story and a brief tour of the facility. Along the way they point out potential hot spots. We then meet back at the command center and break into teams. Then the fun begins! The investigation is broken into 3 sessions, each concluding with the teams meeting back at the command center and sharing their experiences.

We can’t tell you about the excitement we feel each time we take our first steps into a dark hallway. You just have to be there and feel it!There is absolutely nothing like it.

During our investigations with Moonlit we have experienced battery drains and EMF hits. We have captured several EVPs and heard various knocks, bumps and taps. We have even seen the ultimate – an apparition.

Moonlit Ghost Hunts is a professional team that compares to the teams you see on TV. We know if you go to an investigation with them you will have a blast. You aren’t there just to watch – YOU are the investigator.

We can’t wait for the next investigation; we will be there and hope to see you.

-Doug and Cindy Martin ~ Ghost Hunters!