Orbs. Are they ghosts?

ORBS. IN. PICTURES. ARE. PROBABLY. NOT. PARANORMAL.

Just needed to put that out there. I think one of my biggest issues with some paranormal investigators (and paranormal buffs), is that they snap tons of pictures and always seem to catch orbs as “evidence”. I shouldn’t get as upset as I do, but there is a reason that people don’t take paranormal investigators seriously, and this is part of it. I see people share photos all the time that are clearly not paranormal, and then other people begin to share their own opinions, which then brings a bunch of arguing and debating. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is a very good chance that it is dust or a film anomaly. When you use the flash (which as investigators we are almost always in the dark), the light from the flash can reflect off the dust particles which creates the orbs in the photos. It’s probably not the lady in white or a ghost child haunting your house. I can’t tell you how much it makes me want to scream when people share this as evidence, or within the community asking “wat do you see?” or “im haunted guys”. That ain’t it, sis.

Here’s some good information I couldn’t even try to sum up for you:

According to the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena.- “Digital cameras have lenses with a much greater depth of field than film cameras. This means that the nearest point to the camera that is in focus is a lot closer. It also brings the ‘just out of focus’ area (‘orb zone’) closer as well. The ‘orb zone’ is so close that it is intensely illuminated by the flash. The intensity of the flash increases according to an inverse square law with decreasing distance. Indeed, if the subject of your photograph is at a distance of 5m, a particle of dust at 5cm from the camera receives approximately 10,000 times greater light intensity! This creates an ‘orb zone’ in digital cameras where the light intensity is sufficient to illuminate the faint out-of-focus bits of dust, which appear as circles of confusion (or ‘orbs’).”

So, basically you’re probably capturing dust or the occasional bug. Even after all that ranting, I do believe that there are cases where an orb can be paranormal, especially when it goes hand in hand with other evidence. I just think that most of the time people are looking for something. Whether they want to feel special or they enjoy being scared, thinking they have captured paranormal evidence gives them some sort of answers…which we all want. 

What about when you capture something on video?  In my experience, this tends to be a little bit more accurate, though there is still the possibility of bugs or dust flittering about in the night vision! I’m going to share a video from a Code 3 Paranormal Investigation.  You can see an orb actively going around a doorway. There are plenty of examples of dust & bugs caught on film all over the internet! Looking at this video that my team caught the anomaly seems to have a movement which isn’t “floaty” or just slowly hovering around the camera.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think! I’m also sharing a photo that was taken (not on an investigation) and though this location is actually haunted, these are NOT ghosts hanging out in the photos!!

Example #1: Here is the video that was caught at the Genoa Wonder Tower (One of the coolest places EVER!!). I believe this to be paranormal, due to the way it moves and the way it correlates with other happenings of the night.

Example #2:

Example #2: Photos taken of me at a haunted location (not during an investigation)…Not a ghost. Orbs can appear different in pics, but they all sort of have this basic appearance.

I’m still kind of new at all this, so if this sounds like word vomit…well it’s word vomit with some good information in it. If there’s anything anyone wants me to discuss, please let me know!

They’re Here…

I’m choosing to discuss poltergeists as my first entry because of the psychological trauma that the movie caused me as a child. Steven Spielberg’s “Poltergeist” was my introduction to the horror genre. Even though I was used to dealing with paranormal occurrences I enjoyed being scared from things that WEREN’T real. I read countless scary stories and would sneak books from the adult section of the library about ghosts & serial killers (yes, I know. Weirdo.)  When I didn’t have my nose in a book, my mom would take me to blockbuster and I’d immediately run over to the horror section, absolutely fascinated with the creepy covers. My little hands would grab each one and I’d run to my mom and say, “What about this one?!” I was always met with a hard no. Eventually my mom said she knew a scary movie that I would be allowed to watch and I was overjoyed! I was probably around 9 years old and the film had a “PG” rating so it was perfect for an intro movie.  What my mom didn’t anticipate was that Carol Anne gets sucked into…wherever she goes…through her walk in closet. And guess who else had a walk in closet? That’s right! Me! I spent years and years being absolutely terrified of my closet, and even still get uneasy being in one. It’s funny how things from our childhood haunt us.

Okay, here’s my take on everything. Keep in mind this is a condensed version, but I’d love to discuss.

Fun Facts:

  1. Many poltergeist cases report that the activity comes on strong and ends in a relatively short amount of time.
  2. The history of poltergeists can be traced as far back as ancient Roman times.
  3. Poltergeist phenomena is a focus of study within parapsychology.
  4. Lots of famous “poltergeist” cases are thought to be fraudulent (I tend to agree).
  5. Poltergeist activity often happens around a single person called an agent or a focus.

One of my favorite occult/supernatural writers is Colin Wilson.  His books are a bit dense and difficult to sit down and ready for long periods, but all are packed with loads of valuable information.

In his book, Poltergeist: A Classic Study in Destructive Hauntings, he goes on to discuss many cases and theories of these “noisy ghosts”.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a pretty solid case study. There are many cases discussed, some that Wilson even investigated himself.  Please, do yourself a favor and read it.

Over the years I’ve heard many different theories. One of my favorites is that poltergeists are a manifestation of the minds of troubled or sexually frustrated adolescents. That it is simply their angst taking on a physical form and making the plates fly across the room or the light bulbs combust. In the 1930’s Nandor Fodor was the first to popularize this theory. I hadn’t heard this name until reading Colin Wilson’s book and it doesn’t seem Fodor was some half wit who claimed to have all the answers. He researched many cases including the infamous “Bell Witch” case which is been written about countless times and had multiple films made based on the story. According to The Guinness Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, “Poltergeist expert Nandor Fodor called the Bell Witch ‘the greatest American ghost story’ and believed it could be explained naturally as poltergeist activity generated by the youthful Betsy, a likely focal point. But other ghost investigators find that explanation unsatisfactory”.  There were many people at this time who disagreed with the theory of RSPK (Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis), but it seems that after some time, people came to give it more credit. People began to widely accept this belief up through the 90’s. But, Wilson’s introduction to “Poltergeist: A Classic Study in Destructive Hauntings, ” says that in the early 90’s, things began to shift back in the direction that poltergeists were spirits and not some form of RSPK.  There is still a division in belief today.

As a practicing witch, I can get behind the theory of RSPK & manifestation, simply because I do believe we manifest our energy into reality. All of us do, and there are some that it comes to very naturally. Some may even be doing so without really knowing that they are doing it. So yes, I believe that this can happen, but I don’t think that this is the sole answer to what a poltergeist is.

So, the other option is that a poltergeist is a spirit.  What makes them different from other spirits then? Why do they have enough energy that they are able to cause so many things to happen in the physical world? If they are NOT cases of RSPK maybe they can be spirits who have a very strong energy, possibly someone who died with a lot of hatred and anger. Spirits are attracted to energy, yeah? Perhaps instead of the activity being caused through RSPK, the energy has simply drawn spirits to it. Like a beacon of light in the darkness (I always like to picture Patrick Wilson standing with his lantern stuck in the further in the Insidious movies). Anger, sadness & stress are all strong emotions that can provide a spirit energy to feed off of. Still the question stands, though, what makes it a poltergeist and not just an angry ghost?

Maybe, just maybe both are completely valid.  Could there be be cases of “mistaken identity” in the supernatural world? I think so. In my humble opinion, poltergeists are the “ADD” of the spirit world.  The term is thrown around pretty loosely. If some sort of physical manifestation takes place like a glass being knocked over or doors slamming many people tend to just throw out the term “poltergeist activity”. Possibly because it grabs people’s attention. True cases of poltergeists, I believe, are far and few between.  I could sit here and reference tons and tons of cases but I don’t want to make this blog sound like a college paper I threw together the night before it was due.

This being said, I’d love to witness a true and proven case of RSPK.  As any paranormal buff, I would LIVE for it. I love seeing, feeling & hearing paranormal things because then I know! Most people look at me strange when I say I want to be bitten or scratched while I’m on an investigation.  It will never be enough to convince someone else, but I’m clinically sane (mostly) and know what my experiences have been. Anyways, every case is different. I believe that it is completely possible that there are circumstances where someone who has abilities but may not know is projecting their angst into reality. Or possibly on rare occasions, some who may be able to do it on purpose.  

As an investigator, I once came across a case of a possible poltergeist. I was skeptical, but hoping with every bone in my body that it would have been the real deal. The people seemed genuinely terrified and the pictures they sent of the “evidence” would be absolutely insane if it were real.  As we pulled up to the house, my heart sank a little, and in my gut I knew it was going to be an interesting night…but for the wrong reasons. As it turns out, it was the filthiest place I think I have seen in my entire life, on top of an admittedly tumultuous household. Sounds like the perfect ground for a poltergeist, right? But in this case we were able to deduce that the live-in girlfriend of 6 months was causing all the activity herself, on purpose. Needless to say I was pretty bummed I didn’t get to watch some clothes spontaneously catch on fire or kitchenware combust.  

In the end, always look for logical explanations. Try and document everything you can, and always know people will not believe you. It isn’t your job to convince them. I think that both of these theories have merit, and that maybe there are cases that were causes from one or the other…and probably many other explanations too.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think! Maybe a part 2 will come later down the road.

A little about me!

Well, you’re here either because you know me and I’ve bothered you enough to check out my new blog, or because of your curiosity about the paranormal. I would be silly to call myself an expert in the field, but I have been dangerously obsessed with the concept & reality of paranormal since I was a child.  

Growing up I always used to experience things but didn’t know that it was anything different than the “real world”.  I was recently on Netflix’s show “Haunted”, which is about when a big chunk of my childhood experiences happened but we’re not going to be talking much about that again.  The show was great, but was only a small part of what happened. Maybe in a future post I can discuss that more, but for now, this blog will be focusing more on paranormal theories, horror movies/literature (probably lots of Twin Peaks & Lynch) as well as my adventures as a paranormal investigator.

I’m 28 years young, an avid reader, pole dancer, David Lynch worshiper, happy witch, cat lady, singer, horror buff, poet, football fanatic, friend, daughter and a bit crazy.  🙂

Whether I have one person who reads this, or 1000, I hope that I can have meaningful conversations with fellow enthusiasts and other “experts”. If you have nothing nice to say, please show yourself out and stop bothering people minding their own business. I’m not here to debate or to expend energy defending myself.  XOXO