Orbs: A Tracking Guide

According to, “Orbs are believed (by many) to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth.” And you know it must be true. It’s on the internet. Through my own research, I’ve determined that orbs have three major identifying characteristics:

1. Orbs always show up in darkened rooms.
I’m guessing non-corporeal entities are sensitive to light. Makes sense. I mean, how would you apply sunscreen, right? Besides, everyone knows ghosts are nocturnal. You hardly ever see ghosts in the daytime, so they must be nocturnal. Either that or they just have a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Lazy buggers.

2. Orbs have an affinity for damp places.
Water dripping from the ceiling is ideal. Now, that’s not always true. Apparently they sometimes like dusty places. I’ve heard a lot of ghost stories that take place in dusty and damp places, so that definitely validates our theory.

3. Orbs can only be photographed with flash cameras.
Modern cameras use a high-voltage discharge through xenon gas to create a flash. Xenon is also the name of a dark matter experiment being conducted at Columbia University. See? It’s both science-y and spooky. That makes it true, right?.

So, armed with this information, let’s go orb hunting!

Orb Hunting Checklist
1. Darkness
First, we need a darkened room. Something like this dark hallway should do…

2. Damp
Next, we need some dripping water to lure the orbs from their hiding places. Here’s a rig I set up to drip water directly in front of my camera. I’ve got a pan on the floor to catch the drops.

3. Flash
Finally, our flash camera. Here it is, set up on a tripod.

OK, now, we set up the camera to take several flash pictures in a row, lights out and away we go…

Woo! Look at all those orbs!

Look at this one! It must be a really important ghost, like Cleopatra or Gloria Swanson. Yeah, that must be it. Gloria Swanson’s ghost is floating around in my foyer. I wonder if I could get her autograph…

Steve DeGroof

Steve consists of approximately 60% water and 40% organic molecules, arranged in a configuration that is, among over things, capable of describing itself in this manner.

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One Comment

  1. I do ghost tours, and have off and on for almost a decade. I’m upfront with my audience about my skepticism and make it clear that the tours are meant to be fun from a historical and folklore perspective, even if you don’t believe. Naturally though, I do end up dealing with a lot of this sort of thing. Once, for instance, I got a teenage girl who was all excited about the numerous orbs she kept getting in her pictures… taken with a flash… in the snow.

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