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Orbs remain one of the most controversial of paranormal phenomena.  The fact that orbs have become a serious consideration for paranormal investigators only since the advent of the digital camera is suggestive in itself. After 10 years of almost nightly research I have witnessed innumerable orbs, at times appearing in large clusters. These can and do appear not only in reputedly haunted sites, but virtually anywhere.
The most obvious cause of orbs I have observed is moisture – rain, fog, and clouds of humidity, often visible to the naked eye. Orbs can and do frequently appear in great proliferation in these conditions, and all are in motion, sometimes with clear tails of light.
Most researchers assume also that a variety of microscopic particles found in the air around us, such as dust and pollen, can create the appearance of orbs. Insects can be mistaken for slightly amorphous orbs as well.
There are some simple rules-of-thumb for orbs that are useful, but hardly enjoy the status of cosmic laws:

  1. The vast majorities – well over 90% — of orbs are clearly natural phenomena and have nothing to do with the paranormal.
  2. The more orbs that appear, the more likely they are natural phenomena such as humidity, which of course can appear inside as well as outside.
  3. Orbs in motion, especially those that appear to defy gravity, are more interesting, though air currents could conceivably carry orbs upward . . .
  4. When orbs appear around conditions that do seem to indicate paranormal activity – such as high EMF spikes or measurable cold spots – they are more suggestive of paranormal origin. When effects known to be paranormal cluster and coincide it is always more suggestive . . .
  5. Anecdotally, interesting orbs seem to show up more often around people who are having strong feelings or getting such readings, though the feeling criterion is obviously somewhat subjective. It’s interesting that on various occasions orbs have been observed on or around people and virtually nowhere else – something repeated that may not easily be explained by coincidence.

If most orbs are strictly natural phenomena, we can assume that will be established more firmly as evidence and demonstrations accumulate.
If there are paranormal orbs, what are they?  The simple answer is no one knows for sure. The orb or sphere is perhaps the simplest and most perfect form in nature. One cogent theory is that the orb may be a natural shape that is assumed by the disembodied energy essence of spirit. It may be a form in which spirit travels. I find this theory aesthetically appealing even if empirically uncertain. There is much still to be discovered about the ubiquitous orb.

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