1. News & Issues

Photos That AREN'T Paranormal

How to avoid mistaking common glitches for the paranormal


This website receives many photographs from readers and ghosthunting groups that they suspect show paranormal images: ghosts, spirit activity, demons, etc. The truth is, convincing ghost photos are very rare, and most of the pictures I receive can be explained in other ways -- sometimes quite easily. The photos in this gallery are common examples. They do not show ghosts or other paranormal phenomena... probably. (I say "probably" because when we're talking about paranormal possibilities, nothing can by ruled out definitively. Yet, I think we can be 99.9% sure that they are not paranormal.)

When examining photos for possible paranormal elements, we have to be very careful and skeptical. So many things can spoil the photographic image, which by its very nature is sensitive. Stray light, reflections, dust, hair, and insects can all cause photo anomalies. Just because you didn't see something in the viewfinder that later appears in your photo does not mean it's a ghost. For example...

Images 1-7 of 7
Camera strapThe Camera StrapOrbsOrbsDouble exposureDouble ExposureSimulacrumPareidolia, Matrixing, or Simulacrum
Light streaksStreaks of LightRodsRodsReflectionsReflections
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Paranormal Phenomena
  4. Ghosts and Hauntings
  5. Ghost Pictures
  6. Photos That AREN'T Paranormal

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.