Sunday, February 28, 2010

Orbs: Ghosts or Dust?

Today I had my son's birthday party at Pump it Up. Naturally, I went camera crazy. I snapped picture after picture of my boy's big day hoping to make that scrapbook I've been promising myself I'd make for going on 7 years now. As I went through the pictures this evening, I noticed they were cluttered with orbs. Orbs are balls of light that are believed (by many) to be the energy from the souls of the deceased. Orbs are thought by many ghost hunters to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth. In other words, many think orbs are ghosts.


I have gone on quite a few ghost hunting trips over the last few months and have caught very little on film. So why is the Pump it Up is dotted with orbs? Many people believe orbs are no indication of ghosts. Of course skeptics don't believe they are ghosts, but when I got my hand book fromt he American Ghost Hunting Society the chapter on orbs argued that they were anomolies caused by weather conditions and dust on the lens. They argued that orbs were no indication of any paranormal activity and should be completely disregarded. I have read many articles that present similar arguments that orbs are created by bad film or processing.

I tend to agree with the skeptics on the topic of orbs and lean towards believing orbs are just dust. However, Pump It Up, where these photos were taken, prides itself on the fact that it bleaches all the play equipment in the room between parties. The room is clean and as dust free as any room can be. Of course, weather conditions can't be considered important at an indoor party. It could be dust on the lense of the camera, but then why would the previous and following pictures in the series be orb free if I hadn't cleaned the lens? The long and short of it is that I'm not sure what to make of the orbs at Pump it Up. If they are ghosts, what are they doing at a children's play place? The place is new and has no tragic history or ancient past and this would tend to argure that the orbs are just dust, but dust from where?

3 comments:

Autumnforest said...

Yeah, I'm definitely one of the skeptics. There are very few orbs that have ever impressed me, but that's because a little time with a feather duster and a camera with a flash and you can get some great samples of dust. All a person has to do is walk by and kick it up. It can come off clothing, off ledges, off hair, and the heater system kicking it up from furnishings and ducts. I always tell people to do the dust shaking photos, go outside and shake a tree when there's pollen, do some cold air breathing shots, do some shots when it's raining or the sprinklers are on, have someone run around a carpeted room and take shots. You start to see what those explainable ones look like. I've had a couple that were behind something at a large distance which is strangely unexplainable and a few that are extremely bright and colored, but even those could be close to the lens, so in general, I never use orbs as proof of haunting ever. You just can't get a controlled enough location for knowing what's truly causing an orb. I know a lot of folks who still use them as proof but I think in the digital camera age we've finally figured out how they work. Most cameras have a flash right beside the lens which just makes it easy to get orbs compared to 35mm, that's why we're suddenly seeing them on pics when in the past we didn't. It doesn't even take dust--sometimes it's just air particulates.

Courtney Mroch said...

I'm an orb skeptic too. It's just dust. And a place like Pump It Up? Sure, they might clean very well AFTER all the kids have gone, but all those kids bringing in the outside with them...not surprised you got the "orbs" you did. (Actually surprised there's not more!)

Jessica Penot said...

I'm glad you all think the orbs were dust. How scary would it be if Pump it Up was filled with ghosts? I figured it might be because my good camera broke and I was using my son's (cheap) camera. I never get orbs like that on our camera.