Orbs are generally agreed to be small spheres of varying sizes, colors, and opacity appearing primarily in photographs and alleged by some to be a form of basic spirit energy in the genesis of manifestation.
Very seldom seen in any verifiable form with the naked eye, the onset of affordable home digital photography in the mid-1990’s has overwhelmed the field of paranormal inquiry with a flood of orb and orb-like phenomena appearing in hundreds of photographs submitted as “proof” of the existence of ghosts and the supernatural.
Though often the photographs were the result of legitimate investigations into the veracity (or lack thereof) of hauntings in particular locations, the vast majority of orb photographs have originated with groups of avid “ghost hunters,” hobbyists, really, during eager “investigations” in cemeteries throughout the hills, plains, and backwaters of the UK, Europe and the United States. Occasionally, and with increasing frequency, it might be noted, orbs have appeared in photographs taken at other locations with no connection whatsoever to hauntings, such as the homes and workplaces of these intrepid paranormal enthusiasts. These orb manifestations have been just as eagerly documented and often generate a proliferation of initial excitement among the enthusiastic little groups involved – surely, they insist, this is only further proof of the existence of ghosts and the supernatural?
Though orbs can be acceptably defined there are different schools of thought on what these bizarre little globules actually are. Many, most especially detractors of the use of digital photography, believe the spheres of light to be merely the presence of debris – dust, pollen, water droplets - on the camera lens or at best the failure of the digital technology to maximize available light (flash or ambient) in particular situations resulting in gapping that appears suspiciously three dimensional in comparison to the remainder of the photograph.
Another group, while remaining skeptical about the validity of orbs as actual manifestations of spirit energy, nonetheless adhere to the belief in at least the existence of the spirit world and in the ability of its denizens – usually operating under some strict law of natural physics – to manifest themselves in any number of forms, including orbs. This line of thought is usually further qualified with astute and informed scientific validations regarding the spirit use of nascent available energy sources – such as those emanating from batteries, power and utility lines, and people – to “get their energy” in order to appear in orb form. That the form would be globule or sphere-like in nature is also conjectured as the most “natural” form of manifestation available to the spirit entity.
Then there is, of course, the large mass of “believers” in the orb phenomenon as indisputable proof not only of the existence of ghosts and spirits, but also of their unfailing propensity to appear most often as little, supposedly innocuous balls of light. Sometimes the little spheres have faces – smiley faces, frowny faces, and even animal faces. That these enthusiastic orb supporters generally produce copious volumes of photographic “evidence” of sphere-like ghosts in action in reputedly haunted places, most often in cemeteries, only muddies the water for those who seek undisputable, scientifically verifiable proof of paranormal phenomena.
To state it simply, each of these concepts is, basically, correct.
That said, however, it is when orbs are stripped of the science, the speculation, and the smiley faces, and when the possibility is acknowledged that at least SOME of the “orbs” captured are actual manifestations of spirit beings, that the phenomenon begins to take on validity and to speak to us with a cautious sensibility. Not all spheres recorded in photographs are orbs, and not all spirit manifestations occur as orbs. Nevertheless, orbs are very real.