Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Orbs vs Dust

One thing any paranormal investigator will run into when investigating is the whole "Orb vs. Dust" debacle.

Because ghost hunting isn't an exact science, the debate will continue to rage on and on, with neither side backing down.

However, if you're familiar with basic photography and weather elements, you can at least use these to your advantage when debunking photographs.

Dust is not your friend in photography.  It leaves little specks all over your photos and basically ruins them.  Also, dust can catch the light and create "orbs" in your photos.  Dust is in the air.  It's everywhere.  When you walk through a room, even after you've just cleaned it, you will kick up dust.  Dust is, also, mainly just skin cells.  So, dust is you and everyone you have passed on the street.  And you're breathing it in.  Just to put that note in there (this post isn't scary, so I had to put some fear in you).

Ask yourself this when you see an orb in your photo:  "Is my lens clean?" and "Did someone just walk through the area where I shot the picture?" or "Did a breeze just blow through?"

If you answered the first with a positive, then the next two with negatives, you're probably on to something.

Remember, dust is small.  If you capture something large in your photos, it's probably not dust.

We always recommend people to take multiple pictures in a row.  Chances are, if dust was blown up from the wind or someone walking, you would capture it in numerous photos, not just suddenly in one and not others.

Some say multiple orbs inside a picture means it's most likely dust.  I agree and disagree with this statement.  I believe that if it's multiple orbs overlapping each other and they are mainly transparent (like the photo above left), then yes, but multiple orbs all acting around each other, none touching and with a more solid color (like the above right), then no.

Now, how's the weather?  Is it very humid?  Is it raining?  Moisture in the air can create what looks like orbs in photos, as can a flash hitting a raindrop (like the above left photo).

Don't use your camera phone.  I can't stress this enough.  When we ask people if they have a camera and they reply, "On my phone," we will generally give them one of our spares to use for the night.  Camera phones have very little range on them and the flash is incredibly bright and harsh.  Though the brightness may help in the dark, and to give you premature blindness, it's not formulated like a digital camera's flash to adapt to the surroundings.  Therefore, it's like someone suddenly lit up a floodlight for a second while the shutter snapped.  Because of this, the light reflects off of everything and leaves mists and orbs from anything in the small radius it hit.

What's inside your orb?  That might sound like a silly question, but a lot of time, true orbs will have faces in them.  Think this sounds weird?  Well, think about it, an orb is a person's spirit manifesting.  Doesn't it make sense you might be able to actually see their face?

Does your orb have color?  If you're in the middle of an empty warehouse, and all of a sudden you capture a red orb, doesn't that seem a bit strange when there's nothing red around you to reflect from?  Brighter orbs are generally thought to be "spirits" more than lighter ones.

Again, these are just guidelines and again, this isn't an exact science, and one person may say one thing while another something different.  In the end, you decide.  It's your photo, your investigation, and your experience.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Horror" Films

I personally love horror movies.  Always have, always will.  However, I'm generally disappointed in them.

I don't know if anyone else will agree with me, but I just wish they would end without ending.  Does that make sense?  Really, I'd rather they just stop at some point without the dramatic conclusion that ends up with us finding out exactly what was causing the reason we were on the edge of our seats to begin with.

(By the way, there's lots of spoilers in this post.)

For example, Jeepers Creepers.  I remember watching this movie at a sleepover at my friend Brittani's house back in sixth grade.  We were all lying on the floor, scared to bits, about this crazy man in a creepy truck dumping bodies down a well and going after these two people who saw him do it, until he turned in the bird-man creature.  We all lost it, started laughing, and that was it.  Movie ruined.

The same goes for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and The Woman in Black, both of which came out last year, and that I saw in theaters, only to be incredibly disappointed by the endings when you saw what the haunting creatures looked like.

"Villain" movies, like the Chucky, Jason, and Mike Myers movies, are the same.  They're almost comical to me.  A guy in a goalie mask?  Really?  That's the best you've got?  Maybe that will scare someone from the South who doesn't even know what hockey is, but not me.

Psychological horror movies are generally great, too, until that last 20 minutes when they decided to sum it up.  Reason being?  They all end the same and generally have to do with the main character being dead (ie The Others/Sixth Sense) or suppressing memories and having a split personality that caused them to do horrible things.  Session 9 is one movie I'd have to exclude from this, though, because it's one of my favorites.

And, we can't forget the whole "Reality Horror" genre that is happening right now.  You know, Paranormal Activity, the 500th remake of Texas Chainsaw (did we really need another?), and all the exorcist ones that have been coming out recently.  We get it, you want to create a low-budget, handheld film that will shock the nation.  Great.  Now shock us with some real plot and something unique, and we can go from there.

Now, one movie that can't parallel any other in terms of real-life scary is Wolf Creek.  Take Texas Chainsaw, multiply it by 1000, and add Australian actors, and you have one messed up movie.  Leave it to the Aussies to really create a twisted film (and quite a few based on a true story films I've seen from Australia have left me a little scarred, so there's something going on down under).

Overall, and I've totally digressed from the original point, I want to call upon all my film-writer friends and everyone out there to come up with an amazing, original script that will completely scare the pants off of me and everyone, yet doesn't disappoint by giving away the plot-twist in an embarrassing way.

Think you guys can do it?

Images Sources
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Black Shadows

About two months ago, I was in the Slave Quarters of the Gribble House warehouse with two ladies.  We were asking questions, when the ghost box started to swear at us, the room got cold, the motion sensor went off, and one of the ladies snapped a photo.  The above photo was captured.

Fast forward to this past Thursday, when, same situation, I was with two ladies, in the Slave Quarters, and the room was completely black once we got in there.  We couldn't even see our hands in front of our faces.  I was snapping photos towards the door, and I captured this picture of a black shadow once again.  The pictures before and after didn't have anything in them and were taken seconds between.  Afterwards, the room got significantly lighter, of which we all commented on.

I wonder who or what is the shadow and why they choose that area to reside.