Orbs Aren’t Paranormal

Last week I shared a few pictures from the Whaley House investigation and asked your opinion on what happened with the photo. I included those pictures because I have often talked with paranormal teams that have capture evidence like those pictures. Often people think orb pictures are something paranormal when in actuality they aren’t.

We will take these Whaley House pictures for example. In the first two pictures, everything looks normal. Then the third picture is blurry with two orbs. And then the fourth picture is back to normal. Did any of y’all catch what the orbs really were?


If you guessed the woman’s shoes, you are right. It looks like Jeremy was taking pictures the same time as someone else was using flash. The flash reflected off the shiny sandals causing the orbs and the blurriness.

So often I see teams get really excited about orbs in pictures or videos but if they took a few moments to look at everything going on in the picture or video, they would realize that there is nothing paranormal going on. They will be in an old house, basement or attic and be amazed that picture after picture has orbs or that they are seeing orbs glide across a video before disappearing. A majority of the time the orbs are just dust. Sometimes it can be bugs or light reflections (like in the above photos) causing the orbs to appear. I have heard teams comment “But dust doesn’t flow like that!” or “But the air vents are on the other side of the room!”. Dust floats along in the air. The slightest movement or breathe could cause a change in the path the dust was flowing in. Dust also looks different on different pieces of equipment, different lights, how far away it is from the light or camera and depending on what kind of dust it is. Often investigators forget that dirt and dust are outside too.

Bugs are similar to dust. They don’t always show up with their wings or legs clearly shown. Since the camera can’t always focus on them they show up as fuzzy balls of white haze. They are often easy to figure out that they are bugs by their behavior on video. In pictures it can be a bit harder to figure out.

Another thing that causes orbs often in investigations is light reflections. Most people don’t understand that light can bounce of off multiple surfaces at once. I have seen shows where the investigators excited about how an orb followed them out of a room on a video. What they failed to realize is that the bejeweled jeans the women are wearing are catching the lights from infrared camera and sending little beams of light around the room. Of course, when you are wearing what’s causing the light reflections, it’s going to look like the orb is following you out of the room. This is while I don’t allow jewelry, makeup, or anything shiny on my investigations. I don’t need to waste time trying to figure out if the orbs are paranormal or not because someone wore something that may have caused it.

Honestly, after many years of looking at orb pictures, I don’t believe any picture with orbs as evidence of something paranormal. The team that inspired me to start training others take the cake with the orb pictures. I was looking into joining them because I wanted a team to go do more fun investigations with. The first investigation I went on with them was to a cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was an older cemetery that had a section that was supposedly set aside for slaves from the area. It was cold, drizzly afternoon. You know one of those grey days that it’s like a standing mist more than actual rain. The group I was with was about 12 people that I hadn’t met before that day. I was surprised to see them taking so many pictures with the flash on. I knew before they started getting excited what exactly they would see. Thousands of orbs. Well, duh. You’re taking flash photography in a misty area. All those water droplets are going to reflect the flash. And when you have multiple cameras flashing in an area it is going to cause the droplets to change in appearance from picture to picture. Everyone in the group thought that they were taking pictures of all the slaves that had passed away in that area. After I realized that they were serious about thinking all those orbs were something paranormal, I started explaining what it really was. Most of them refused to believe that the orbs were just the water reflecting their camera’s flashes, but a few were willing to listen. I never did investigate with that team again, but I teach a few members what I had learned with my original group.

I’m not saying that I discredit every single picture someone shows me. I just have a hard time believing orbs are something paranormal when so many normal things can cause them. If you have a picture that you want an extra set of eyes to look at, please send it to me via email. I would love to see what you have. Who knows, you may have a picture that will change my mind on orbs.

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