A few words
about Orbs by NEPRS
There is no doubt that some orbs are
connected to hauntings. Just as there is no doubt that some orbs are not. To
understand orbs and thus be able to judge which orbs are which, we must take a
look at the history of orbs in photography.
It is believed by many
that orbs are a product of the digital age. This is easy to understand since
orbs first started to be noticed in photographs about the same time digital
cameras hit the market. Because digital photography is so inexpensive, people
were taking hundreds of snapshots at family events rather than the 12 or 24 they
would with a conventional camera, and they started to notice that on a few
frames they would see these strange round balls of light. Sometimes people would
become upset when a strange orb appeared in the shot and messed up an otherwise
When people started to ask questions as to what
these orbs were, science was quick to explain them away as dust balls, pollen,
or other such impurities in the air. At the same time, many psychics came
forward and said that these orbs looked much like the manifestations of spirit
energy they see; a manifestation that is well documented in history by psychics
throughout the ages.
Of course, even to this day the debate
continues. There are those who insist that all orbs are a fabrication of the
digital camera age. But can this truely explain them all?
the same time that digital photography was making its debut in the average
family home, something amazing started to happen. People began to get orbs in
photos taken with standard film cameras. Granted they were more rare than those
in digital photographs. Nevertheless, they were occuring in photos taken with
regular film cameras. Before this time, it is very hard to find even one photo
taken with a film camera that has orbs in it, regardless of the amount of dust
or pollen in the air. Think about it, look back at your old photo albums. I bet
you don't see even one orb in any photo taken before about 1995. But after
that, you just might have a few here and there.
Some have argued that
the occasional orb caught by a film camera is due to new technology being used
in cameras. But this is not a valid argument, since older film cameras and even
antique film cameras will get an orb now and again in recent years. Pollen and
dust have always existed. Why is it only now they show up on film? It is clear
that orbs are a phenomena that is not limited to the digital camera and is
becoming more and more frequent an occurrence.
This begs the
question, why are there so many more orbs now? Where were they before? It is
clear that not all orbs are fabrications of digital technology, otherwise film
cameras would not record them. It is clear film orbs are not the product of
enhanced camera technology because older cameras have recorded them. But are
they all proof of ghost activity?
Many things can cause false orbs,
and often false orbs can be hard to sort from the real thing. This is why it is
important to follow some simple rules when ghost hunting with a camera of any
1. When working outside always go on dry days. If it is
raining or has rained recently the moisture in the air can easily look like an
2. Don't take a photo in an area where someone has just
sneezed. If you or someone around you is sneezing a lot, don't bother with the
camera until at least 20 minutes after the last sneeze and be sure the lens is
3. When working outside, avoid windy days. Wind can stir up
dust that can cause false orbs.
4. When working inside a closed
dusty place such as in a basement or attic, set yourself and your cameras down
and do not move for at least 20 minutes before taking photos. The dust you
stirred up walking into the area could show as false orbs.
5. If you
are working outside, you will find that bugs can reflect in your flash and look
like strange creatures or odd balls of light. With experience you will be able
to tell the difference.
Is your orb real?
If you followed the
basic rules above and you have orb activity, you probably have something real.
Here are some guidelines to help you figure it out.
The best orbs seem to have a 3D feeling to
them. Even if they are not totally round, they often have color around their
edges that make them look like a ball rather than a flat circle.
This type is what is known as a flat
Some people, even those who believe that 3D orbs are spirit activity,
have expressed doubts about flat orbs. But based on
thousands of photos, that some flat orbs are simply 3D orbs that have not
completely manifested yet.
The flat blue orb is very
interesting for several reasons. First it is not totally round, even though the
other orb is. This would rule out a camera issue such as shutter glare. The
second is that it is partly out of the frame. When orbs are caused by air
impurity they will generally stay in frame.
What does a dust orb or pollen orb look like versus a real orb?
Many people believe they can discern an orb that is caused by dust or pollen versus a
real orb. Understand that anything is possible and that many times
there is a prosaic explanation for phenomena. We were suprised during our AFP
Farm investigation when 2 different digital cameras photographed several orbs
around a person as the video camera captured an orb fly past them at the same
time, in the same location of the room. The following video and 2 photographs
are from that invesigation. The orbs in the photographs appear indiscernable
from orbs in other photographs that have been labeled as dust and
Another type of orb phenomena is called "clustering".
Clusters of orbs are common in very haunted places. Clustered orbs, such as the
ones below, can resemble the orbs that happen during rain showers and in dusty
rooms. This is why you must take the above noted precautions about dust and
rain before you do anything else. Then take several photos from the same
position as quickly as possible one after the other, especially if you believe
you may have photographed a cluster of orbs.
If there is rain or
impurities in the air, you will be able to reproduce it again and again in a
quick succession of photos.. If it is not, you should get one photo with orbs
and the next without many, if any at all.
Understanding cluster orbs.
If the general belief that each orb is a soul is true, then clusters of orbs
would represent many, many people, or perhaps even some kind of doorway to the
other side. Though this might seem logical, it might be too simple an
explanation for a complex phenomena. We don't really know for sure that each
and every orb in each and every case is an individual person. Thus, we don't
know if each individual orb in a cluster photo is an individual soul. It has
been reported (note: the NEPRS team has not gotten first hand examples of this
as of yet) that orbs have been known to cluster together and form into a
greater, brighter orb before tangible manifestations occur. There have been
reports, some going very far back in history, of people seeing balls of light
merge together into a ghostly figure or body. Could cluster orbs be, at least
on occasion, a single spirit trying to gather up their resources to create a
The nature of cluster orbs will remain a question for
now. It is clear the phenomena bears much more research.
Sometimes an orb can appear behind an object in a photograph. When this
happens you can sometimes even see the shadow the object is casting on the orb.
Clearly, in the photograph below the orb in question is something other than
pollen or dust as it appears to be at least 6" to 8" in diameter. What then is
Flair orbs are always false orbs.
strong single source light is another way false orbs can form. Be careful of
this. If you are in total darkness with only one strong source of light, for
example the moon, a flashlight or streetlight, and take a photo at the proper
angle towards that light you may get an effect commonly known as solar flair or
lens flair. You can tell solar flare from normal orbs because they tend to run
in straight lines from the light source. If you have a single bright light
source and your orbs are very uniform, you should consider that it is solar
BUGS and ORBS.
outside in the summer, it's hard not to have bugs in some of your photos.
Though bugs could be responsible for some orbs
in photos, in general, bugs are easy to spot. They have legs and
rule of thumb, when attempting to photograph ghosts, be sure conditions are
right. This will help you be able to discern good orbs from ones that are
probably camera or atmospheric issues.
Ghost or not, the question of
orbs remains. Why were there virtually no orbs in film photos only 10 years
ago? Why are there so many now? Could it be that there are simply more orbs to
photograph these days? Could it be that digital cameras are really more
sensitive to light beyond the human spectrum?