An orb is defined as an object that it circular in its shape, but in the paranormal field, the definition gets a little more complex. The Paranormal Encyclopedia states “when used in association with the paranormal, an orb is an anomalous globe-shaped spot, either white or colored, that shows up in photographs taken at allegedly haunted locations.” Orbs show up in all types of photos. From family gatherings, to little league games, to the most haunted of locations, photographs are littered with these odd little circles. But are all these really spirits as some believe; Ghost Hunters Fans are here to answer this question.
There are basically two types of orbs, and for the sake of simplicity, these are going to be referred to as dust orbs and true orbs. A dust orb does not have to be dust, but it is something naturally occurring that is captured by the camera. These are things like bugs, dust, rain, and moisture. The majority of the orbs caught in photographs fit into this category. When asked how to easily spot a dust orb, paranormal expert and Ghost Hunt Weekends president, Chad Morin commented “they are transparent and typically not that vivid. They look a lot like a cell under a microscope.”
The dust orb is created from the light of the camera’s flash reflecting off of the object that may not typically be visible. Since the object is not truly visible but is merely a reflection, the camera is unable to focus on it, creating the appearance of it being a light and floating entity. The dust orb is round in shape due to this being the shape of the aperture of the camera. The rapid shutter speed that accompanies digital photography creates a situation where this momentary reflection and shape forced by the opening of the camera lens photographs an object that, while normally present, is not normally seen with the human eye. The National Paranormal Society explains that “a typical orb can be created with a fast shutter speed that quickly catches the light bouncing off of the object.” With these items being so common, it is easy to explain why these types of orbs happen so frequently.
True orbs are rather rare to capture and have a very different appearance. These are emitting their own light which allows for them to be very bright. While they are often a white light, they are not restricted to this with them having been captured in various colors as well as multiple colors within a single orb. The shape is not restricted to the aperture of the camera and often appears in a misshapen form. Some have a tail or a streak that follows behind them. They are so unique looking that it easily becomes apparent that this is something out of the norm.
While a true orb could be classified as paranormal, it does not mean that it is a spirit. It is just something that we do not yet understand.
It could be advised that investigators create control pictures if there is doubt as to which type of orb is which. By using a spray bottle or stirring up some dust and trying different lighting, an investigator could easily create photos that could be used as a later reference when determining if a photo contains dust or true orbs.
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Sophia DeFeo, paranormal enthusiast, is excited to be sharing her ghost hunting knowledge and adventures with Ghost Hunters Fans.
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