Orbs – Are they paranormal & what do colored orbs mean?
Many of my subscribers have questions about orbs. Some people question whether orbs are solid evidence of paranormal activity. Other subscribers want to know why orbs appear in many of their photographs. Meanwhile, other subscribers want to know why certain orbs have different colors (red, blue), and if there is a meaning to these colors.
So, let's tackle some of these questions…
What is an Orb?
An orb is a solid or transparent "ball" of energy or light. Some parapsychologists believe that orbs are spirits, or lingering energy from deceased entities. No one truly knows what orbs are. Orbs can appear in many different shapes and colors, with white orbs being the most common. Here are a few examples of orb photographs:
Are Orbs in Photographs Really Paranormal?
Not all "orbs" that appear in photographs are paranormal. In my experience, many of the orbs that appear in photographs can be explained by the flash reflecting off dust, particles, insects, or moisture droplets in the air in front of the camera.
In my opinion, witnessing orbs with your own eyes (in person) is far more credible, and harder to debunk than mere photos of orbs.
If you see a bright, glowing orb with your own eyes (in person, not in a photograph), there's a good chance that it may be paranormal. However, I would be very cautious when classifying orbs in photographs as paranormal – it's simply too easy for the "orbs" in a photograph to be caused by dust or moisture, reflecting off the camera lens (or the flash).
Why Are Some Orbs Different Colors, and What Do the Colors Mean?
Another subscriber wants to know why certain orbs are different colors. Dee writes:
I have seen a red orb before. What is the difference between colors? Does one [color] have more energy or [is it more] negative [than] the other?
There are several different theories that may explain the color differences in orbs…
Theory #1 – Color difference in orbs is caused by "chromatic distortion" which is a fancy way of saying that our eyes perceive different wavelengths and shapes as varying colors. If a particle happens to be of a certain makeup or shape, it will tend to absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others, thus giving the perception of a certain color. Paravision has an interesting page on the anatomy of an orb.
Theory # 2 – Orb color difference is caused by the energy of the spirit who is represented by the orb. For example, some ghost hunters believe that red and orange orbs represent a spirit who is angry or in need of healing. Other shadow chasers claim that red is a color associated with an energy that seems to be on guard duty (often watching over a last outpost, or a loved one who has died).
Dee asked whether a red orb should be considered negative or harmful. There is no evidence to suggest that red orbs are harmful or more negative than white orbs. The color difference may simply be a reflection of the spirit's energy at the time of his death—or the color may be caused by the shape/frequency of of the orb (wavelength theory #1).
Do you have a theory on why certain orbs are colored? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Update: I've found an excellent page (by Gettysburg Ghosts) that lists the possible meanings of colored orbs.