What are Orbs?

Unsure of what orbs are exactly? These are the glowing objects of light that appear to float around in the air. Orbs can vary in both size and color intensity. Seeing orbs with the naked eye is a sure sign of paranormal activity. However, these objects get a little trickier to identify when it comes to trying to catch them on media, such as taking a photo, video recording and captured in CCTV footage.

Theories state that these light hollow spheres on dark photographs caught on camera are due to something known as “backscatter”. These types of orbs are normally invisible by eye but can be seen on dark backgrounds due to light deflection.

Some people thought that orbs do not have metaphysical importance and that minor particles in the air, such as dust, pollen, rain, or snow, are what is being captured in cameras. Such reasons given for their appearance include:

  • Orbs observed at night are not only orbs; these may be a kind of Ballistic Missile Test (hopefully not though!)


  • Orbs are due to natural phenomena taking place in the dark sky at the time of night; it may be pollen, dust particles, any balloon wandering, or so on.


  • Orbs that display a ghostly image in photos may be due to a low pixel camera with flaws and deflection of lights that result in poor photos with ball-like patches.


  • If you did not use your device’s flashlight, there may be a reflection of light from the nearest device. That will give the impression in your picture of the form of an orb.


  • Any particle appearing between your target and your lens may cause the orb in your picture.


What is Backscatter?

A particle or wave’s reflection back to its point of origin is known as backscatter. The deflection of particles, waves, or radiations takes place at an angle of 180°. The leading cause of backscatter is particles that lighten up in water and are deflected between lens and subject. This phenomenon also occurs when water directly comes across a lighter object. It is always easiest to observe the Backscatter phenomenon if there is a dark background.

Want to know a bit more about backscatter causing orbs caught on camera? Then check out this video from Paranormal 101 which gives an in-depth explanation of the misconceptions of orbs caused by backscatter.

Orbs in Action!


Orb in Pastor Monzell Ford house, Florida

A flying object was observed on the camera at Daytona Beach’s home, a police department. Pastor Monzell reported that one night, as he was sleeping in the bedroom, his surveillance camera was going off.

He got his cell phone out to observe footage of the living room from bed. An orb that was more than a usual dust particle was found hovering over in the living room that kept changing its forms.

He switched on live feed while no one was at home. Many people came there later to observe what they had seen in the live feed, but nothing was reported later.

Footage such as this is not easily explained by backscatter cuased by dust. However, it could be due to reflective glare from a light source.


Ghost Orbs in Louisville, KY.

The house owner was not of the mind about ghosts while he listened to the noises coming from the dining and living room in the middle of the night. There they observed a series of what they supposed to be ghost orbs, whirling in rooms.

There were more orbs seen moving erratically and colliding with the walls of the room and roof. All of the orbs observed were different in size and shape. These were like hollow balls popping up, colliding, and then disappearing again.

This type of orb effect on caught on camera can be more easily explained as backscatter. The size of the orbs and the movement is much like that of dust moats floating around. The proximity of these orbs being caught by the camera is also an indicator of backscatter.


Waverly Hills Sanatorium Orbs

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is linked to the death of several hundred people and many paranormal activities, including reported orbs. Said to be one of the most haunted places in the USA, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium was used as a tuberculosis ward back in the early 20th Century and is the resting place for many unfortunate souls.

Spectators have reported witnessing orbs in Waverly Hills, along with numerous other paranormal activities. Some orbs have been recorded on camera but are yet to be confirmed as anything other than backscatter.


Orbs in Fame Museum USA

A mysterious object was encountered in the security camera of the Fame Museum Walking hall. Several bubbles of various colors can be observed there. These orbs are one of a kind not reported before.

In a press conference, the museum president said he couldn’t explain the creature observed in surveillance cameras. He explains that there was no air conditioning or movement in the room, and so doesn’t see how it could be light reflection of dust particles. Some of the people who work there believe it could be spirits!


Orbs in Roanoke surveillance camera

Overnight, an orb was captured in Roanoke’s surveillance camera. The owner could not explain the mystery of the moving objects on her porch. She advised that after receiving an alert on her cell phone from a security device, she investigated the motion detected in her home.

The glowing orbs can be seen moving on the porch of the house. While this mystery popped on the internet, there were further comments from people. Some say that it’s a bird while others named it a bug.

The house is near to a graveyard, and the owner supposed it to be a spirit of the deceased. The mystery of these orbs was never resolved.


Still looking to Capture Orbs?

Remember, paranormal activities cannot always be captured and observed at the same time because it’s related to a creature on a different physical plane, and they may not want to be captured on footage. Always use the best equipment possible for capturing paranormal activity and remember to analyze your findings for authenticity.

A great course if you’re interested in finding out more about ghost hunting and paranormal activity recording and analysis can be found here. This course has been created by certified ghost hunters, so they know the best way to spot authentic paranormal activity using the right equipment!