An explanation of various anomalies found in ghost pictures...
For years, we have been looking at different "strange" things in photographs that people believe to be evidence of ghosts. This page serves to list the different typs of anomalies, noting what may (or may not be) captures of ghosts or spirits.
- Orbs – (aka "ghost lights") round spheres of light in ghost pictures that can be caused by flash reflection off of reflective surfaces, dust, glass, insects, pollen, moisture, snow, rain, hair, and lens flare. Of course, many believe that some orbs are “spirit," maybe even the souls of people. They have also been captured in movement with a vapor trail; and have also been photographed with super-bright (often orange) energy – called “super-charged orbs.” Orbs caused by flash reflection will often have a “halo” or spokes radiating out from the center of it; which is usually just dust orbs. You can eliminate some, though. Read, Get Rid Of Dust Orbs in Ghost Pictures.
- Ectoplasm – (mists) smoke-like, fog in ghost pictures that is not usually visible to the naked eye, but appears in the ghost picture. Many believe this to be “spirit” captured in picture. Of course, it is possible for cigarette smoke, fog or even breath from the photographer to create false ectoplasm pictures. So, one must be aware of this when taking ghost pictures - especially in cold weather.
- Vortexes (vortices) – “funnel-shaped” energy in ghost pictures, usually encompassed or comprised of ectoplasm (mist). Some believe this to perhaps be a portal or opening between the spiritual and physical worlds. Others believe these to be nothing more than the camera strap having been accidentally photographed. Many times a camera strap gets into the photograph by accident and looks similar.
- Dark Shadows - Black ectoplasm mist in ghost pictures also called, shadow people or shadow ghosts. Dark shadows have been witnessed moving and even dancing around rooms and could indicate the condition of the person's soul as darkness (lack of understanding - lost). We have found through Kathy Owen, that a finger accidentally placed across the flash unit will also create false shadow ghost pictures.
- Apparitions – the Holy Grail of ghost pictures; capturing a full-bodied spirit in a “see-through” human form. These are rare, and some ghost hunters maintain they are not possible to capture, but just a Hollywood movie version of what a ghost looks like. Indeed, it is possible to unwittingly (or willingly) create false apparition ghost pictures by lengthening the time the shutter remains open or shooting into glass and creating a glass apparition false ghost photograph. Be sure and read Slow Shutter Speed Apparitions!
- Energy - streaks of lightning-looking anomalies in ghost pictures. Some "super-charged" energy is mistakenly created by the digital camera flash settings (e.g. night settings that lengthen exposure) and is not spirit energy at all; other streaks of light are created by things too close to the lens and flash unit, such hair. View, False Supercharged Energy.
- Anthropomorphizing - also known as "pareidolia or matrixing" is to give human attributes to inanimate things. This effect can also be caused by perspective distortion. Some images in ghost photos are ghostly, while others are not. View and read: Anthropomorphizing.