Chapter 02: Debunked


Orbs: Orbs are white or semi-transparent balls of light typically appearing unexpectedly in photographs and videotapes. Sometimes the orb leaves a trail, which indicates motion. There could be a single orb or numerous orbs in a photograph. There have been many theories suggesting that these orbs represent evidence of ghosts. Orbs have been considered the souls of the dead, invisible spirits, auras, angels, energy fields and psychic energy. The problem with this theory is that there are numerous natural anomalies that can easily reproduce the same result. An orb can result from the reflection of light off solid particles (e.g., dust, pollen, bugs, water) or other foreign material within the camera lens. Orbs have been quite a controversy in recent years because so many ghost hunters are claiming orbs to be absolute proof of ghosts. However, orb photographs can be the result of weather or environmental conditions and not ghosts. The best current orb theory is that photographic orbs are nothing more than visual technical camera glitches. Orbs can easily be explained as natural phenomena and because of this fact orbs can never be considered evidence of ghosts or the paranormal.

Ghostly Faces in Photographs: This is an innate human characteristic that the mind has developed to identify faces as a survival method. Facial detection helps keep humans from being surprised and attacked by predators. Ghost hunters may rush to judgment when presented with a photograph that shows an anomaly resembling a human face. Recognizing faces in ambiguous patterns such as photographs, wood textures, clouds and even in food is common but it does not mean these faces are ghosts. The faces are often nothing more than obscure color textures and tricks of light and shadow that line up in a way so that the human brain registers the image as a face. This is a natural process with a psychological explanation. The illusion is called pareidolia, which is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.

Faces Seen in Everyday Objects: The wood grain on doors can create scary-looking faces. Faces can be identified on tree bark textures. Faces and objects can be seen in the clouds. The telltale windows (eyes) of the famous Amityville Horror house give the house the distinctly dreadful appearance of a menacing face. Ghost hunters should keep these facts in mind and grow to be skeptical when seeing faces within photographs. Not everyone’s visual senses work in the same way. Some people can see faces in any image – while other people will look at the same photograph and never see a face. Human vision is susceptible to optical illusions. Photographs should be rationally examined and analyzed for the best reasonable conclusion.

Secretive Ghost-Hunting Gurus: Anyone participating in ghost hunting long enough will run into these guru-type ghost hunters who want everyone else to believe that they alone hold secret knowledge, wisdom and authority over spirits and the field of ghost hunting. The time of the ghost-hunting guru is over. Their personalities are counterproductive and limiting to honest ghost-hunting research. The gurus tend to be dominating and territorial and represent a step backwards in growth and development of the field. Many of these gurus will only share their secretive knowledge with those lucky individuals willing to share their money with the guru. Gurus can claim to have secret knowledge, powerful magic or psychic abilities, but the reality is that these gurus are nothing more than actors trying to pull off a scam and taking money from the gullible and the emotionally vulnerable. The nonsense of these secretive gurus is 100 percent bunk. Honest ghost hunters should vigorously resist these personalities and expose them for frauds.

NEXT Chapter 2: Examination of Haunted Houses