What Are Spirit Orbs?

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Spirit orbs are circular or spherical shapes that are invisible to the naked eye but can unpredictably appear in flash photography. People all around the world have taken photographs in different locations that feature mysterious, hovering orbs of light. People call them spirit orbs because they are thought to be nonphysical beings from other dimensions or realities. The phenomenon of spirit orbs attracts all kinds of people, including ghost hunters, scientists, paranormal enthusiasts and amateur photographers.

1 Nature of Spirit Orbs

Spirit orbs are balls of energy and light that are sometimes thought to represent the energy field of a spiritual being. Spirit orbs are typically white, but they may appear in different colors. In their book, "Enlightenment Through Orbs," authors Diana Cooper and Kathy Crosswell say that humans can only see and hear within a certain frequency range. Spirits of light, the authors note, vibrate on different frequency levels that humans cannot perceive. These spirits concentrate their energies into an orb shape and make their energy fields visible as spirit orbs in photographs. Different colored orbs may reflect a particular spirit's frequency or vibration.

2 Types

There is no one consensus as to what type of spiritual beings are associated with spirit orbs. People may believe them to be ghosts, fairies, evil spirits, angels or spirits of the departed. The appearance of spirit orbs in a photograph may indicate a spiritual being attempting to communicate with the photographer or the person in the photograph, according to some believers. People may see a pattern or a face reflected in the spirit orb that they may or may not recognize.

3 Authenticity

The phenomenon of spirit orbs attracts both avid believers and skeptics, who often argue that spirit orbs are the result of natural phenomena, such as photographic defects, dust particles or moisture droplets in the air near a camera's lens. They may also question if the camera used to capture the spirit orb is defective. In their book, “Orbs: Their Mission and Messages of Hope," authors Klaus Heinemann and Gundi Heinemann argue that spirit orbs have certain strategic positions and appearances in photographs and are not random photographic occurrences.

4 Finding Orbs

You do not have to be an expert to try and capture an image of a spirit orb in a photograph. Although different cameras may capture the image of a spirit orb, orbs appear most frequently in digital camera pictures. You can use any type of digital camera to try to capture a spirit orb, but make sure that you have more than one camera to experiment with. To minimize the appearance of dust or moisture in your photograph, refrain from taking photographs in the rain or in misty or humid conditions. People have photographed spirit orbs in a variety of locations, so experiment with taking both indoor and outdoor, and day and night, pictures. Take pictures with and without people in them. If there is a place where you have already photographed odd light phenomena, return to that location to try and photograph spirit orbs. When you are done photographing various people and locations, review your images to see if any spirit orbs appear in them.

  • 1 "Enlightenment Through Orbs"; Diana Cooper, et al.; 2009
  • 2 "Orbs: Their Mission and Messages of Hope"; Klaus Heinemann, Ph.D., et al.; 2010
  • 3 "Beyond Photography: Encounters with Orbs, Angels and Light-forms"; Katie Hall, et al.; 2006

Julia Drake has been writing since 2007 when she had her first article published in “The Beltane Papers.” She received her Bachelor of Arts in women studies from the University of Washington. She recently completed her Master of Arts in women’s spirituality at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.