Paranormal Investigators / Ghost Hunters
Topeka, Kansas
785.506.1001
The Photos

First and foremost ... the paranormal is a field that is yet to be proven one way or the other. All theories about photos, EVP, etc is simply theory. So with that in mind ...

When going through your photos, you really need to think about each thing as you see it. Was there walking a second before you shot the image? Was it windy, humid, dry, cold, hot, etc. Keep an eye on every corner and tiny bit of each image with questions in your mind as to how the 'orb' or 'mist' got there. As with anything in this field, you need to carefully eliminate the natural causes of what it might be before you can call it a true paranormal photo.

Also, remember one very important thing about photography in this field of study ... you might shoot off 300 images, and only one could have something on it. You could shoot off 20 images and wind up with 10 orb photos. You could fill 50 memory sticks and wind up with nothing. So if you walk away with nothing, don't be discouraged. It just wasn't your day, but maybe the next time you try, it will be. No matter what, keep your mind clear of all bias and expect nothing. If you THINK you'll have photo's filled with orbs, you will want it so much you may mistakenly identify dust as orbs.
Now, onto the categories!

These are the most commonly photographed, and most commonly mistaken. An actual orb is thought to be a form of supernatural energy. Usually round and bright, they show up on images as round floaters.


ORBS
You take a roll of film, and they all have hundreds of orbs everywhere! Wow! You're the bomb!! Right? Nope. Around here, we call these kinds of images pea soup ... you want to watch the air in front of your camera as you shoot the image. If you see dust in the flash, then chances are that image will be covered in 'orbs'. Note the image number, wait a few moments, and then take another image. Natural causes for 'orbs' are everywhere, and you've got to be really careful to know if these are around. Natural reflective surfaces, when the flash hits them will show up as orbs of light on the edges of the flash reflection ... these are simply not real ghostly orbs. Also massive humidity, or sprinkling rain or snowfall can often be seen as orbs in your flash. Mistaken orbs are everywhere on the Internet.


Other causes for false orbs that we don't yet have images for include bugs, rain, reflective surfaces, and dry weather can produce 'fairy lights' which will look like tiny, tiny bright dots.
Here are some natural causes examples to watch out for:
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So what should a 'real' orb look like?  Who really knows LOL but below is one example
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MISTS / FOGS
The theory on these? In order for mist to form, a big amount of energy needs to be present. A very strong or old spirit can cause mist to form, or a place with a great amount of energy on it will cause it. Most commonly, it takes a few different spirits, together in the same spot to cause a mist. On your image, it will appear as a white (sometimes gray or colored) cloud. Some things that can produce false mist on your images are easy to explain away. Fog from lakes or streams after a warm day. Plain natural condensation. The most common false mist is cigarette smoke. I, myself, am a smoker ... but to smoke while taking an image will only invalidate your results. Your breath on a chilly night will also produce the wrong results. Be careful to note the conditions that might produce these false results.
Real mist and false mist look amazingly alike! You are going to have to make notes of the conditions surrounding your photos. If you know there's a smoker nearby, don't take any photos until they've put out the cigi. If you are smoking, turn off the damned camera for your break! If your breath is fogging up on you, hold your breath for the 3 seconds it takes to hit the button. Being aware of what to avoid in order to get real evidence photos is not only a good idea, it's a must. In the case of mists and fogs, the difference in appearance is so small that you are going to have to be honest about what the mist and fog really is. Don't lie to yourself or others if there's any doubt in your mind as to whether your photo is true mist and fog or not.
Here's some 'false' examples:
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VORTEXES, RODS AND PORTALS, OH MY!
In theory it is a little hole or opening where the spirit enters the physical world where we are. These are hard to catch on film, since we are usually not right there when this happens. But on film, it appears like a stream of light or glob, in varying shapes. Some things that can commonly be mistaken for a vortex are bits of loose hair flying in front of the camera lens, the camera strap itself, and even your own hands shaking or trembling slightly will cause a false vortex. Reflective surfaces have also been known to cause a problem if you hit the right angle on them.
Another thing that has lately been mistaken for a vortex is trash. Yes, folks, simple trash. Styrofoam cups, grocery bags, wadded up napkins, etc. In outdoor locations, these may get caught in or under bushes or benches and the like. If you take a photo, and see on the preview screen a big, bright something you think might be a vortex, stay right where you are. Take the photo again in the same location, angle and condition as before to the best of your ability. If it happens again, you might want to switch on the flashlight and make certain there is nothing light colored, or reflective, that's causing this.  
Here's a bunch of examples of false proofs on these, all except the rods cause it's really hard to get a bug to fly by you at just the right time while standing outside attempting to take false photo examples. Damned bugs never know when to cooperate!  In any case, here's some 'false' examples to watch out for.

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FACE OR FULL FIGURES
If you are lucky enough to get one of these, then damn you're good!! If you shoot an image, and on it is very clearly a person who was not there when you shot it ... or a person whom you can see right through, then you are one of the rare and lucky people to get one! These may not always be full figure, meaning whole person, images. You may just get a face or partial body. Apparition photos are rare, very far and few between. So don't get your hopes up on catching one often. There are not a lot of theories as of yet as to why the ghost shows up so strongly, but I can only assume that they are strong spirits to be able to accomplish this. There is no mistakes to point out on how to analyze these the wrong way ... if you get it, and it's a real image you didn't doctor up, then you simply got an apparition photo.

Been lucky on this end and gotten a few!  I honestly believe my white noise research, on going since the early 90's causes things to show up stronger, record stronger.  Again, it's just research at this point so not sure why we've been lucky but here ya go on what one might look like!  These were taken on two of our investigations and have been verified by Eastman Kodak


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No matter what, never stop looking for the natural causes to your pics guys, and shoot a ton of pictures and you'll find some goodies on those cameras!