Orbs: Dust in the Wind
by Jason Stroming | E-Mail
There has been a lot of attention paid in recent years to the phenomenon known as "orbs." Orbs are the round, seemingly luminescent forms captured in many photographs. In many pictures, you can see multiple orbs, floating around, almost as if hoping some poor mortal will see them. Google any paranormal investigations website, and I'm sure that at least 9 out of 10 of the sites you find will have a section devoted to orbs. You will see various pictures, usually taken on a specific investigation, that shows these "orbs." It seems like they're everyplace. But should they be presented as evidence of ghosts? Are these orbs evidence of the paranormal or the afterlife? Hardly.
I myself have taken numerous pictures over the years, and have had these mysterious little orbs show up time and time again. And it didn't matter if I was on a paranormal investigation or not. There they were. Nighttime, daytime, it didn't matter. The little orbs popped up in many of my pictures.
The fact of the matter is that for 99.999% of all orb pictures, there is a very reasonable, rational explanation for them. It's called dust. Dust is everywhere, especially in the old homes that we paranormal investigators typically love exploring. We trample through the home with our team, touching things, setting up our equipment, running wires, and so on. And that kicks up a lot of dust. We can't see it with the naked eye, but our cameras can, especially when our handy flashes illuminate those dust particles so well.
A few years ago, when I visited the Conference House on Staten Island, I caught numerous "orbs" in the pictures I took. I never once thought of them as ghosts. Dust is everywhere, especially in 200 year-old homes. Posted below are some pictures I took at the Conference House, as well as a camping trip last summer. One was even taken while the sun wasn't fully down yet, but there they are. Orbs. Even outdoors, there are dust particles. There are bugs. There is pollen. So ultimately, a little illuminated orb is not that impressive to me as a paranormal investigator. Remember, if there is a reasonable, rational explanation for a phenomenon, you have to throw it out as evidence of the paranormal.
We are all in this field to find proof of the paranormal. It's a hard, often-times frustrating field to be a part of. Strong, conclusive evidence is rare in the extreme, and it can be tempting to see many mundane things as "evidence." But we should not jump so quickly to conclude that orbs are proof positive of ghosts. There are many photographs out there of truly luminescent orbs or shapes, things that are a little bit more out of the ordinary, that perhaps we should take a closer look at. But we do ourselves a disservice as paranormal investigators if we are willing to post these run of the mill "orb" photos on our sites as proof of ghosts and the paranormal. It's already tough enough to convince the skeptical community to scrutinize our evidence. Showing them pictures of dust is not helping our cause.
We need to be our own toughest critics when analyzing evidence. Remember, let the evidence convince you of the presence of the paranormal, and don't let your belief in the paranormal skew your perception of the evidence.
Pictures of "Orbs"
Happy Fourth of July! We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!
Tonight, we will be conducting an investigation at the Ayers-Allen House in Metuchen, New Jersey. The house was last investigated in 1960 by Hans Holzer. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages to see what we find tonight!
Tune in this Sunday, January 29th at 8 PM EST and catch Jason Stroming, NYPS founder and one of the authors of our blog, The Occult Section on the awesome Unknown Origins Radio.
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Check out our Media page to see where we've bene featured lately! DNAInfo, The Gardner News, and The Worcested Telegram & Gazette have all done stories on us recently!
We'd like to wish all of our friends and fans a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We had a great time last night presenting our findings to the Narragansett Histiorical Society in Templeton, MA last night! Thanks to Brian & Beth for being so welcoming and hospitable to us once again! We had a full house of people, the guests asked great questions and we had a great time!
We had a great time last night investigating the Narragansett Histiorical Society in Templeton, MA last night! Thanks to Brian & Beth for being so welcoming and hospitable to us! We will be presenting the results of our investigation on November 19th at the Historical Society!
On Friday, October 21st, the Scared! crew will be premiering their newest documentary, "Haunted Snug Harbor" at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The film looks at the history of Snug Harbor as well as claims of paranormal activty, and features Scared!, SIPS and us here at NYPS investigating locations on the grounds such as the Governor's House, Matron's House, and Cottage B. if you're in the NYC area you should come check it out!
Be sure to check out NYPS founder Jason Stroming on the Science Channel show "Dark Matters: Twisted But True" airing Wednesdays at 10pm! The show is also airing at various times throughout the next week or so. Click here for details and airtimes!
We just added two new cases to our Investigations page! You can see details and video about our investigations at Snug Harbor: The Governor's House as well as The Matron's House! More investigation summaries are coming in the coming weeks!
Be sure to check out NYPS founder Jason Stroming on the Sundance Channel show "Love/Lust" airing tonight at 6pm! The show is also airing at various times throughout the next week or so. Click here for details and airtimes! Our good friends over at Scared! are also on the show!
We'd like to wish everyone a safe, fun and very happy Independence Day!
Tonight, we will be conducting an investigation of Cottage B at Snug Harbor on Staten Island! We investigated two weeks ago and came up with some interesting results. Stay tuned to see what we find tonight!
Last night, founder Jason Stroming was on Unknown Origins Radio to be a part of their very first Paranormal Roundtable. Other guests included Tom Mullen, Kendra Belgrad and KD Foreman. Click here to listen to the archived show!
Over the last few weeks, we have been filming with our friends over at SCARED! for their new documentary about Snug Harbor. It's shaping up to be a great film not only about the supposed hauntings, but also the rich history of the location.
Our friends over at SCARED! are producing a new documentary about one of our favorite haunted places, Snug Harbor, and you can help! You can make donations of varying degrees to get free stuff, or even your name in the credits! Be sure to check out the link and support them in any way you can!
Be sure to check out The Paranormal Roundtable at Staten Island's Snug Harbor on Friday, January 28th! The event will be hosted by our friends over at SIPS and will give attendees the opportunity to discuss their paranormal experiences with others! We will be there. Will you?
We here at the New York Paranormal Society would like to wish all our friends a very safe and Happy New Year!
Check out the sneak peek video of our Brooklyn, NY residential investigation we have posted on our Home page!
If you are in the NYC area, there is still time to check out the Historical Hauntings Tours at Snug Harbor! Join members of NYPS, Scared, SIPS, EPIC, NJ Pro and PISI as they take you on tours of 6 haunted buildings on the grounds of Staten Island's Snug Harbor!
We have just updated our Field Reports page, with a report on Bobby Mackey's by Michelle Mason. And stay tuned for our new Case Studies section, in which we will talk about cases we've done in years past! First up will be Snug Harbor!
Our good friend Courtney Mroch over at Haunt Jaunts will be running a Halloween Blog Party, with lots of blogs joining in on the fun, including our friends Weekly Specter, Above The Norm, and our own blog The Occult Section! There will be giveaway contests, costume contests, special Halloween features and more! You can also attend via Facebook!
We blogged about this movie over on our blog The Occult Section and now "Cropsey" is finally debuting on TV tonight, on Investigation Discovery at 9pm, as reported by our good friend Courtney Mroch over at Haunt Jaunts. NYPS will be out tonight visiting some of the locations featured in the film, so stay tuned!
We have just added some entries to our Field Reports page. Check out our reports on The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, and The Conference House on Staten Island, NY!
The Occult Section is the official blog of the New York Paranormal Society. If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over for a more lighthearted look at the paranormal. This week: Bigfoot crashes a wedding, new ghost hunting TV shows, vandals in haunted places, and Part 2 of the Paranormal Professional's Primer!
Check out our new Media page to see some of the things the members of The New York Paranormal Society were up to before forming the team!
We have added some new pages to the site, our Equipment list and our Book Reviews.
We have added some articles to the site, dealing with Orbs, Matrixing, and a trip to the Conference House on Staten Island, NY. Go to our Articles page to read them!
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