One of the most common pictures we get asked to review here at A2 Paranormal involve “ghost orbs.” Unfortunately, whenever we are presented with a picture with an ‘orb’ in it, we have to discount it. There are simply too many real world natural causes for orbs to appear in photos. When you take a photo, especially when using a flash, light can reflect off of particles in the air in strange ways. Some of these particles can be too close for your camera lens to focus on, and thus appear as blurry ‘orbs’ of light. Precipitation, ice, bugs, or even dust, pet dander & fur, or pollen can cause these optical anomalies in your pictures. As an experiment, I took 2 photos using my phone camera in my apartment.
In this first picture, I simply walked up to our doorway curtain and took a picture of it with the flash setting on my camera phone. Nothing abnormal is visible in the picture. Next, I grabbed the curtain and shook it vigorously. As soon as I stepped back to my original position and turned the flash on my camera on again, the multitudes of dust particles became apparent.
Compare this to the majority of “ghost orb” pictures, and the answer is pretty clear. Even if some photos of orbs do in fact show spirits, the fact that a false positive can be made with such little effort means that we cannot say with certainty that the orb in the picture was not a small particle in the air. Consider, too, the preferred conditions for paranormal investigating. Dark, often old, sometimes even outside. Flash must be used in order to see anything, and there is bound to be dust or pollen to cause interference. For this reason, we do not put any stock into “spirit orb” photography.