Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Orbs, Energy and Kinda Creepy Stuff

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   22 Comments | Posted in Asheville · daughter · ghosts · orbs · paranormal

So . . . are you a believer in ghosts and other paranormal manifestations? Or do you think it’s all a bunch of rubbish that can be refuted with science or common sense? And have you ever gone on a ghost tour?

Enterprising businesses have tapped into the “ghost tour” market.  People pay good money to traipse around city streets after dark and hear a guide tell tales of ghostly legends and sightings at various stops along the tour route. Most are actual walking tours, but some entice the ghost hunter to move along in style. The Atlanta “Ghosts & Legends” tour (a whopping $60.00 a pop, thank you) includes the use of the Segway. Apparently, they’re not just for mall cops anymore.

My daughter, Stephanie, visited Asheville, North Carolina with her beau. They participated in one of the walking ghost tours there. Their guide told them that they might have “orbs,” or spirit/ghost energy from these haunted spots appear in their photos. He made no promises, but said it was quite common in the spots they would be visiting.

Now, my Stephanie is a practical girl, not given to flights of fancy.  (Dare I say it? She is a nerd and a bookworm. Her idea of a rollicking fun time is writing a term a paper on the Canterbury Tales.) So when she called to tell me their camera did, indeed, pick up the orbs—unseen except in the photos—my curiosity was piqued. She assures me there was no tampering with the camera. None of the orbs which dotted the photos during her ghost walk presented themselves again in any photos taken in the days prior to or after the ghost walk.

Here you go — untouched photos from the Asheville ghost tour.  I encourage you to enlarge the photos to get a better look at the orbs.

Taken at the site of the old city jail. That big orb is not the moon.


A church, built over a Native American burial ground. Look at all the orbs!
Bridge, site of suicide of a woman named Helen. Note the orbs, large and small.

No ghosties. Just my Stephanie and her guy, Brett. Cute, huh?

After seeing the pictures, I did some Googling. The scientific community explains the orbs as dust particles enhanced through the digital flash. The paranormal faction has explanations that refute the dust claim. I will say this: None of Stephanie’s other nighttime pictures had orbs; none of her day shots had orbs either (except for those easily identified as light reflections from the sun).

Upon enlargement and inspection, the orbs all seem to have a pattern inside them, which I find fascinating regardless of their true origin. Even if it is just dust, it’s pretty cool.

What’s your opinion? Fluke or remaining energy from some departed spirit? Ghosties or glitches? What do you really think? And do you have a ghost sighting/story to share?

See you for next for Book Blurb Friday!

22 Responses to "Orbs, Energy and Kinda Creepy Stuff"

  1. Comment by liberal sprinkles
    August 24, 2011 at 5:33 am  

    Hey Lisa, I'd like to think there's someone out there and these do look kinda strange. But not all that spooky. LOL. Did your daughter feel any kind of spirit presence on the walks??grace

  2. Comment by Sioux
    August 24, 2011 at 6:29 am  

    There are similiar things happening in a city here in Missouri as well. I've never seen it, but lots of people have.I'm not sure what I REALLY think. However, I know we only use–on a lucky day–10% of our mental capacity (many days I'm in the 3-4% range, unfortunately). Who can say what our spirits can do? Do we only believe in what we see and know? Do we dispute anything that is not cold, hard facts? I hope not…

  3. Comment by Sarah
    August 24, 2011 at 6:56 am  

    I don't really believe in that stuff. I'm a skeptic about most things (except I write all paranormal and fantasy, so …). Still, I think it's really fun to think and muse about, just like you're doing here! Cool pics!

  4. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 24, 2011 at 8:06 am  

    Grace – Good question. I'll have to ask her. I went on a ghost walk in Savannah and there is a "feeling," but I think it has more to do with the circumstances and the ghost stories than any actual presence of spirits. Also, I have an overactive imagination. LOLSioux – My thinking meshes with yours. My dad had a lot of weird things happen in his life, paranormally speaking, so I can't discount it. Also…I've always figured that by limiting what we believe to pure science and the universe as we know/understand it, we're limiting God. If He can do anything, then anything is possible. Just because we don't know/understand it doesn't mean it isn't possible. After all…do you tell your kids everything? Of course not. I'm sure the Big Guy doesn't either.Sarah – LOL I expected you to be very scientific about it. Interesting, though, that you write fantasy. I've never experienced anything paranormal myself, so I can't say, "Yes, I'm a believer." At the same time, I think so much more is possible than what we humans understand. Who knows?

  5. Comment by Jules
    August 24, 2011 at 8:28 am  

    If you want the real affect of these ghost hunters, do my all means, go to one of their conventions! I have also done one of those tours, Savannah, GA. No orbs though.Do I believe? I have to, I have a ghost in my house. πŸ™‚Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 24, 2011 at 8:40 am  

    Jules – Is he still lifting your kitchen stuff? Be nice if he'd fix a meal for you now and again. LOL Seriously…any other odd happenings?

  7. Comment by Eric 'Bubba' Alder
    August 24, 2011 at 10:28 am  

    Speaking of orbs, have you seen this?The Truth About Orbs

  8. Comment by Laraine Eddington
    August 24, 2011 at 10:55 am  

    I believe in the Spirit World and that it is all around us, not spooky, sad spirits, but those who have gone on and are waiting for us. As to the orbs, I believe mine will be bell shaped because of my hips.

  9. Comment by Katie Gates
    August 24, 2011 at 11:22 am  

    I find this stuff fascinating, and while I've never thought hard about "what" I believe, I know that I'm willing to embrace the inexplicable. Why not? If I can "believe" what's actually going on in the world right now — the mess that it is — it's actually a bit of a comfort to know there might be some good/force/power that can't be seen with the naked eye. Related to this, I absolutely believe that we ALL have psychic/intuitive abilities. I know this because mine come and go. Mostly they go, but when I'm in "that place," it's pretty uncanny what I come up with!

  10. Comment by Kay L. Davies
    August 24, 2011 at 11:51 am  

    I get the same effect with my small camera when I try to take photos outside at dusk. I think the dust-particles explanation is probably the most accurate, but I think it is nice to imagine the presence of loved ones in the air around us. I still talk to my mother, who died in 2007, as if she were right beside me, because it is much more comfortable than the sudden unasked-for feeling of grief that suddenly makes me whisper, "Oh! Mom!"Meanwhile, I'm back from Russia, feeling rather undone, but will be back to posting on Book Blurb and other writing memes as soon as I find my brain.β€” KKay, Alberta, CanadaAn Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  11. Comment by Joanne
    August 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm  

    I'm not completely convinced on the orbs , but I have seen some really weird ones. I love tours like that. My friends and I visited Eastern State Penitentiary a few years back and we took the self tour. it was spooky!Blessings, Joanne

  12. Comment by Ann Best
    August 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm  

    Love those photographs, Lisa. They're ghostly! Beautiful. So's your daughter and her beau. My #3 daughter is Stephanie (though she's Megan in my memoir; now she wishes she'd let me keep her real name). It's one of my favorite names!!Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  13. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm  

    Eric – Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I've got to zoom over to your place now to see all I've missed. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the link. While I was Googling the orbs, I found a science website that said the same thing–dust–and made a good case for it. Makes sense, certainly.Laraine – Ha! Mine will look like a pear.Katie – I know what you mean, that it comes and goes. I agree with you, that we all have intuitive "powers." I tend to ignore mine, and then regret it later.Kay – Go put your feet up, relax, and then serve up one of your terrific blurbs for Friday. :)Joanne – I made a comment to my dad once that I'd keel over if anything of a paranormal nature jumped out at me. His theory was that some folks are more in tune to it than others, and just the fact that I'm sure I'd be unhappy (read: scared out of my mind) about it means I'm probably blocking whatever woo-woo stuff might find me. No bona fide spooky stuff for me!Ann – I chose the name Stephanie for my daughter back when I was in high school! I was with a group of my friends and we were talking about what we wanted to name our kids one day and I said, "Stephanie for a girl." The funny thing is that, years later when I was expecting, I had a different name picked out, but immediately after her birth my husband said, "She looks like a Stephanie." It's the perfect name for her, and I love that she fulfilled my childhood dream without even knowing it!

  15. Comment by Anita Johnson
    August 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm  

    Stephanie and her guy are a beautiful couple, Lisa, and I totally agree with her. I went on a ghost tour in Savannah several years ago and I'm a believer.

  16. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    August 25, 2011 at 10:56 am  

    Cute kids and cool pics! You know that I'm a believer. I have several pictures with orbs, but the best one is the night before Grandma Pearl's funeral with a huge red/orange orb next to cousin Tommy in the yard. We couldn't see it, of course, until I developed the picture. I have always believed in ghosts, etc., but it has been very interesting to capture things with my digital cameras. Glad that they had a fun trip in No. Carolina, and the tour with the Segways sounds fun!Kathy M.

  17. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm  

    Anita – The Savannah walk is the only one I've been on. Lawrenceville has one…I guess since I live here I ought to give it a goKathy – You DO get some stuff in your photos. Very cool.

  18. Comment by Margaret
    August 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm  

    I've been to Philly, Asheville, Charleston & Savannah and been on ghost tours. I love the behind the scenes "history" and fun of walking around at night. I really felt the most eerie in Savannah… one particular house really got to me… I don't think they are dust particles as they would show up on other night photos more often. So, what are they….? My mind is open… but I do tend to be skeptical. Fun post! πŸ™‚ And beautiful "children".

  19. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    August 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm  

    I've been on several ghost walks (probably the most creepy in St. Augustine), but never experienced orbs. I've had a few strange things happen (then again, I'm a little strange), but by far, the most profound experience was when I attended a (well-known)psychic's gallery reading. Wow, that was intense. And I wasn't even read.

  20. Comment by BECKY
    August 27, 2011 at 8:43 am  

    Hi Lisa. Loved this post. I'd never heard of orbs until recently. A few of my writer gal pals, in my critique group, believe very much in them. I've seen a few photos they've taken. In my younger days, I didn't believe in anything that I considered "weird." But the older I get, I say, "Why not?" Especially if a person can believe in a never seen God and all that's in the Bible…then Gee….Why not?!

  21. Comment by Carmen @Life Lines
    August 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm  

    My husband and I were hiking through the rainforest in Belize a few years ago. I was getting a bit nervous early evening as the thick forest became dark. I could hear the howler monkeys in the trees around us, and although they are harmless, it was an eerie sound. I tried to push away the uneasy feeling that a jaguar might be lurking in the dense bushes nearby or a python curled in the branches overhead along with the encroaching fear that we might get lost on the overgrown path. So, I prayed for protection. We took a few of photos of one another. Later, while looking at the photos on my computer screen, I was gratefully surprised at the photo taken of me after the prayer. To my left side there was one sizeable orb. No way it was a dust particle (I've seen those from photos I've taken before…and this was not like those). I know there are skeptics and cynics that would claim differently, but no doubt in my mind it was an angel. It gave me a sense of peace.

  22. Comment by Carmen
    August 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm  

    An interesting site discussing difference between orbs and dust particles

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