Very Weird - Not Sure Where to Post This - ORBS in Pictures?

eldemilaOctober 3, 2009

Okay, I have no idea where to post this question on the site, this is the only forum I thought it may fit in. This is really strange...

We have a contract on a home. I took pictures of the house when I went to see it then uploaded them on to photobucket to look at when I got home, and to show others the house as well. I also took some of the pictures off the listing agents site as well to upload along with mine.

I had noticed some circles in some pictures, thought it was odd, but really didn't think too much more about it. I sent my friend a link to view the pictures and she said "that's really weird, there's orbs in some of the pictures."

I went back and looked again, and sure enough, there are a few pictures that have, what she claims are ORBS - which I had heard the word before but really wasn't 100% sure what they actually are, not that I think I will ever know for sure, many ideas out there I guess.

But, the weirded thing about it is, some of the pictures I took have them, and two of the pictures I took from the listing agents website had it in her pictures, and the object in one of hers looks blue. Of course, even if we had the same camera, I've never met her, and her pictures were taken over a month before I saw the house and took my pics.

I was looking at the listing agents picture with the blue spot in it and magnified the blue spot in the pic - had to call the OH - I swear, I could see two eyes and a mouth.

So, what actually do you think it could be in these pictures? What on the camera could possibly cause this.

The house isnt' what I would consider old at all, built in 1985. There has to be a good explanation!

This is from the realtors listing - can you see it?? Right above one of the fan blades

This one is also from the realtor, it's on the dishwasher, blue in color. This is the one were you could see something that is similar to a face when magnified.

Following are pictures I took

I think there's one on the fireplace towards the top of the picture on right.

One right below the edge of the roof, on right side, just above that far right window

Above the bed in master bedroom

Now, look at this picture, which is almost the same shot and came from the realtors listing

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe in a photography forum... as I'd bet these are just reflections off the lens of the digital cameras. But... maybe the house is trying to tell you something :-)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your camera lens is dirty.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mike, if the lens was dirty, then why doesn't this "dirt" show up on pictures taken before and after the photos that were taken??? Guess in all the 20 pictures that the realtor has posted on her website, only 2 pictures were taken with a dirty lens???? Can dirt on lenses just be there in one frame, not in others after, and show up maybe 4-5 down the line?

I'm sure those who believe in whatever orbs are suppose to be, or their interpriation of them will say it's that, and for others, it will be a camera thing. I don't know exactly what it is, just trying to open my mind to options.

One thing I will say is that after I wrote the above, I told my OH, "what if someone died in that house!"

I went through the public property files to see who the previous owners were - there have only been 3. The people who lived in the house prior to the current owners, the wife sold the property to them, her husband died IN the house. I found his obit in the paper after Googling his name a few different ways. From what I read, he seemed to have been a very well known man (during his life he met with MLK and Malcom X), very influential man and seems that he was a very giving man. A writer of books, a poet, a volunteer to others, prominent in his religion, a world traveler - sounds like he really was a good man - died in 8/2001.

I can't say if it's something paranormal or not, somethings we can't explain or understand - and for those who don't believe in stuff like that, will try to come up with a logical explanation, whether it be right or just think it to be right.

Just thought it was an odd thing, made even odder now that I found this additional info! I try to find logical explanations, but if I don't, then I will consider things I can't/don't understand - Personally, I do believe in life after death, but I'd rather not have people unknown popping in on me at my new home!!!!!!! BUT, if someone is trying to say they are there, I sure would rather have someone that was good in their lifetime than not!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 4:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Particulate matter on the camera lens. That's all.

The light may refract differently through the debris in different light setting hence the image not appearing in all photos.

Take your question to a photography board for verification of the facts.

Invest in a microfiber cloth to clean the lens.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe it comes from a water spot on the lens, just like you get a water spot on a drinking glass. They don't always show up in the image, lighting and background color effect their visibility. I could show you photos of mine exhibiting the same "orbs" under a variety of conditions.

But if you'd prefer to think there's a ghost, Halloween is fast approaching!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And in the third pic there is a mysterious disembodied hairy hand and forearm. Scaaaaary!

We walk amidst the dust of our dead ancestors; sometimes it fogs our lenses.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So-called ORBS are "backscatter" or "near-camera reflection" caused by the fact that the built-in flash in a compact point-and-shoot digital camera is so close to the lens. Any air-borne dust or rain drops within about 4 inches of the lens will cause ORBS to appear. Try it if you don't believe it.

To avoid this problem get a larger camera or one with an adjustable flash that can be amounted on top. A professional photographer would use a bracket mounted, hand-held or remote flash.

Real estate sales people love those little digital cameras because the wide angle lenses put everything in focus and make spaces look larger. When you visit the property you discover it's jammed between two houses and the rooms are too small.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My photography expert agrees with macv:

it looks like simple dirt and backscatter from the flash. I'd bet she's using a point/shoot with the flash directly in line with the lens. Under the right conditions of light and flash, the flash reflects directly off of particles or dirt and back into the lens on a straight path. Hence - backscatter. Clean the lens, watch the setup for direct light into the lens besides the flash. Either or both can cause what you see.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, I get it - but then again, what about the picture taken on the outside of the house - my camera is on auto flash, it was sunny.

Water spot, can't imagine from where - again, two different cameras, only on a few pictures, not the one before, or after, so I can't see where that could be possible.

Again, not that I want it to be anything paranormal, I just want to know, when given a logical explanation that it makes logic to me and not having it in the pic before or after, taken right after each othe, it doesn't make logical sense to me.

But hey, I do appreciate the replies!!!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Small digital camera often fire the flash outdoors when it is not really necessary and you don't notice it . They're cheap little machines; they only know what their cheap little sensors tell them so they often produce crappy photographs.

For better quality, more reliable, ghost free digital photography get a better camera like an SLR with a fast image stabilized lens so you don't need to rely on a flash so often - digital cameras are excellent in low light conditions. If you can't afford it, take a lot of photos from different angles or try shooting alone in the morning and try not to disturb the dust. You might also try reading the instructions for the camera - the limitations of the camera are usually explained.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sure the photographic explanations are correct. But, in case you do think there may be something otherworldly in the house, (and I don't think everything is known in heaven and earth and a lot of people do believe in ghosts), then I'd ask "how did the house feel to you"?

My DH is a believer in ghosts, and when we were house hunting years ago we visited an old house. When we visited the upstairs, "half story" space, I can tell you that he felt something he described as cold and dark and unwelcoming; he wanted out of there and there was no way we were going to consider that house. I didn't feel that "presence", but the house we eventually bought had been in DH's family for years and years. It is almost 100 years old and DH lived there from age 10 to about age 22. He related many childhood anecdotes about growing up there and the house's "ghost". I was a bit skeptical, but there were some things that occured that convinced me - and even convinced my mom and dad, who were VERY skeptical - that our house had a "ghost". Anyhow, the one in our old home was not scary, it was just present and it let us know it was there. (If you really want specifics, I can go on and on about how.) When we demolished the poorly finished "half story" in our house we found a number of personal items under the floorboards and behind the walls. My DMIL actually knew a descendent of one of the original owners of the house. Long story short, we boxed up all the personal effects we found, and returned them to their family. The upstairs is all newly refinished now, and we've not felt nor had any evidence of the "ghost" since the demolition was finished and the items were removed.

OK, so many people won't believe such stories, but if you do, my advice is to trust how the house "feels" to you. If you will be comfortable there, living with whatever spirit you might believe is present, then don't worry.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a firm believer in the paranormal, having experienced it myself since childhood, I grew up in a very haunted house. Paranormal things can be associated with anything, not necessarily only the house structure.

I don't think the photos of the interior are anything but dust reflecting back into the camera while using a flash. These types of photos are quite common with digital cameras. It could also indicate a problem with air circulation or the HVAC system. Even new homes can have problems like this.

The one photo that is actually interesting to me is the outside photo because the type of dust outside is different and less likely to produce these types of images. It is possible though. I would say you should go with your gut in how the house feels. It's never failed me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Backscatter outside is often caused by pollen.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Didn't "feel" anything in the house, just like the house and hope it goes through.

Guess we'll see what happens. It's interesting to take look at things in different ways, opens the mind and makes you think.

Thanks all - will update if there's anything new found (or seen)


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And in the third pic there is a mysterious disembodied hairy hand and forearm. Scaaaaary!

LMAO! (And now I have "water spotting" problems of my own, as I have just sprayed my monitor with a mouthful of morning coffee.)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Late to post, but I must hang out on the KB too much because when I read the title I thought it would be about Oil Rubbed Bronze Something. :-)


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Generally the ORB is caused by light hitting the front of the lens......Flare.......

The ORB takes the shape of the "F-stop"/Aperture of the camera......on professional film cameras the shape is of an Octagon/etc.

Outside the Sun hit the lens

Inside it's the hanging lamp within the photo

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that the orbs are the light refracting on something. Just wanted to comment that ghosts in a newer home would rather be proof of their existence than not. I've always been puzzled about why there are no modern ghosts - all of them seem to be Victorians. Modern fashion not conducive?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Time for a reality check.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think that the orbs are the disembodied souls of replacement window sales people that are haunting old homes trying to convince the home owners that "vinyl is gooooood..." "buy vinyl windooooows....."

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This thread has more life in it than a vampire. Time to put a stake in its heart......

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 1:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you like the house and have a good feeling when you're in there, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Whether you believe it's something on the lens or not, as long as the house feels warm and comfortable, I think you'll be very happy there.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Orbs are real. See if your library has or will get The Orb Project for you. Author is Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann. ISBN is 781582 701820
You can search for a used copy on line. I got lots of hits for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: buy it used at Amazon

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In a previous home I had taken several pictures of the kids and furniture and such. Well this was during the early 90s, pre-digital days. Well after the pixs had been developed I couldn't believe what I saw.

I don't talk about it much and initially we only shared what happened with our immediate family. It's really creepy for me to even think about it now. But there was a "figure" standing "outside" the window! I am very serious.

We later shared the story and the picture with a pastor and his wife and she felt that it was definitely other-worldly, and they asked had we ever felt anything weird inside the house, but I never felt anything weird about the house whatsoever.

I too have seen things that are hard to believe and even harder to describe. If anyone is interested in sharing their stories further, I'd be happy to share my stories and picture.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jane Rafferty

Having lived in a haunted house -- no joke, I actually paid half the rent I should have because no one else would live there and I felt and heard things there. The cool part was that our resident loved my baby and would make him laugh like crazy when no one was in the room.

Anyway, there are things we don't know about. My advice is if you have any worries, take a dog in with you. If there is anything there the dog will sense it. If it's bad the dog will either refuse to enter the house or want to leave. My dogs liked our resident and every once in a while their heads would come up and their tails wag.

Most likely it's dirt on the camera lens, most paranormal things have a very normal explanation. But if you want to move there, ask a dog what he or she thinks.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's dust in the air illuminated by the camera flash. Click the link below. I had been using the table saw.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Clearly your table saw was used in its past life by a psychotic mass murderer, and all of those ORBS are the ghosts of the those done in by the saw. Scary.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 11:04AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
1940 house (colonial) need period lighting advice
Hi! I'm really trying to stick with lighting that would...
Plaster stamped like tile?
My house was built in 1915. I am tearing out some 60s...
Just closed on an older home and homeowners policy was cancelled
Six days ago, we closed on the house of our dreams,...
interesting plaster job - what to do to fix it?
I'm doing some work in my dining room that includes...
Adding a full bath to an old house.
Hello, first post in this forum. I am relocating and...
Sponsored Products
Vibe Direct Wire Picture Light by WAC Lighting
$229.00 | Lumens
One-Way Contemporary Round Shower Faucet Set
House of Troy 14" Classic LED Brass Picture Light
Lamps Plus
Westek Incandescent Nickel Slim Pic Light PC16KB
$34.97 | Home Depot
E41308 Alumilux Wall Mount
Outside the Box Frame
$14.99 | Dot & Bo
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™