August 21, 2004
St. Petersburg, Florida
Orbs: These are perhaps the most debated aspect of paranormal investigation. Soft white to nearly solid in appearance, textured or flat, tail or no tail, these mysterious images appear in every ghost hunter’s photo album. While there is no doubt to the existence of orbs, the question comes down to definition. What exactly are they?
To some, orbs represent what is described as condensed spiritual activity. This is seen as a strong spiritual presence, the ghost at an intensive focus. Orbs often appear during ghost hunts, or hovering around family members during memorial sessions and holidays. They manifest during EMF sessions and at the fingertips of sensitives, pointing the way to the deceased.
To others, there are many natural causes for orbs. With the advent of digital cameras, whose flash is very close to the lens, orbs have manifested in mass. Simply running a finger over a bookshelf and unsettling dust can replicate them. The heat in Florida leads to closed homes and running air conditioners; the same air is cycled allowing dust to remain. Additionally, the very thing we seek shelter from, humidity, also creates light refractions and false positives.
So, how do ghost hunters know when an orb is legitimate or not?
This particular investigation was a “control” investigation, to the homeowner’s knowledge. The house had little to no anomalous phenomena (no temperature fluctuations and little in the way of unexplained EMF).
The SPIRITS did take time to experiment with lens flairs created by high-lighted sources (such as other camera flashes). As predicted, we did get “false positive” flash images to add to our continuing research.
However, sensitives picked up three names associated with the house – “Eleanor”, “John” and “Mable”. Orbs also appeared in photographs that were not part of a testing process.
So, what explanations fit with this scenario?
The homeowner knew the man who built the home and interviewed him on our findings. No one lived in the homes matching the names described. However, recently an Aunt of the homeowners, named “Mable” had died. Could she be a “drop in” entity, who also produced the orbs we captured?
Or was there something in the home that produced the images? The homeowner was undergoing some construction in the weeks before the SPIRITS arrived.
Overall, this investigation does leave some questions to be answered. Unfortunately, the SPIRITS did not have another opportunity to investigate the home since the owner moved out and left the area a short time later. Only continued efforts, experiments, improvements in technology, and more investigations can help to solve this often-debated topic in ghost investigation.
Information and notes from case:
Brandy: Chills on legs noted, possible orb photos in bedroom noted.
Second Walk Through: Focus on guest room, dining room, kitchen, computer room, living room, MA bedroom.
Second Walk through produced very little. There was some EMF spiking in the guest room noted by Cindy. However, the responses were inconclusive and may not have been anything related to the house.
In the MA bedroom Denise noted what she thought were dust orbs in her photographs; we all tested cameras to see if we also got those orbs.
Brandy discussed finding very little in house; let the team in that this was a “control” house (much to the relief of the others). Homeowner’s report was “no” to all phenomena.
The house was born in 1939/40 by a man local to the area and using trees cut down in the area. It was for his mother-in-law. The original house covered the area from the dining room to the living room; the guest room and MA bedrooms, and much of the configuration of the house, had been later additions and changes.
The house was rented out to a couple of people after the mother-in-law died. One person who lived there before current resident was a Viet Nam veteran who had many mental issues from the war. Neighbors described him as very strange.
In the time between residents, the house was visited by a police officer on a regular basis for an unknown reason.
Homeowner currently has had possession of home for 2 months.
Does report one odd thing: when he moved in, there was a vase with plastic flowers that has water in it (someone watering plastic flowers?). The water level in the vase has NOT gone down in the time he has lived there; no one was in the home the 4 years prior. How did the water stay in the vase, on a window, and not evaporate?
We suggested that he pour a glass of tap water and put it next to the flowers to see what happened to the water level there, and we used a Sharpie and marked the water level spot on the vase so that he could keep an accurate eye on the potential evaporation levels.
Agrees that the living room is an odd construction. There are three doors that lead to a small room (the living room) that makes it more unusual. Plans to have house prayed over; I believe that will help the feel of the living room.
Homeowner knows the man who built the house; he lives nearby. Will try to verify some of the names for us.
He did tell us as we left that his father’s cousin, Mable, died a short time ago. He knew her and her family, but wasn’t sure she’d be the type to “come back” for a visit.
I was surprised at how much folks did get; but I think a lot of it is residue energy. There was no independent behavior or activity outside of the little bit picked up; no conscious energy at all.
Will be interested to see what homeowner finds out about prior residents to verify our information.
POST INVESTIGATION INFORMATION:
Spoke with homeowner. He spoke to the neighbor who built the house. There is no John, Elenore, or Maple recorded as living in the home at any time. (But, Maple could have been his recently deceased relative).
He did test the water. The water has not evaporated from the line that we marked on the vase. He placed a glass of tap water next to the flower; it has not evaporated either. Therefore, it seems that this is a strange occurrence but not nec. supernatural. More study may be needed.