Small Talk

Spirit orbs or dust specks?

December 30th, 2009

Do you think the spots in these photos are spirit orbs, or dust on the lens? They were taken at Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary during my KHNL funeral party.

It took someone else to really point it out to me. I noticed it on many of the photos (the really big spots) and I didn't care or give it much thought after that. I thought it was just dust, and that I'd have to remember to clean the lens eventually.

Look: here's my baseline. I'm the person who was holding a cell phone and a coffee mug, and put the phone down, and kept talking into the mug. I'm distracted and scattered. It was good enough for me that I had photos and I could see all the faces.

After cousin Val noticed all the spots, we theorized it was dust trapped under the lens, so I was evaluating whether or not I could hire someone to take the camera apart to clean the lens, or if it'd be cheaper (yes, probably) to buy a whole new camera.

Apparently, my grade school friends from Kamehameha independently came up with their own theory that the dots are spirit orbs. I mention that we're from Kamehameha Schools, because so many alum are sensitized to Hawaiian culture, spirits, and stuff like that.

We were at our holiday gathering/ gift swap, and the subject came up. They think it's spirits because the orbs are different sizes, transparencies, and locations.They also think the mortuary is located along a nightmarcher path (were there nightmarchers on December 12, 2009?) , and they pointed out that spirits like water. The mortuary is located on the banks of the Moanalua Stream. Other possible explanations for why there might be ghosts at my party: that it was at a funeral parlor, with dead people in the next room?

I called my friend Floyd Honda at Hawaii Pacific Photo. Floyd has been a professional photographer for over two decades. He surely would know what dust specks look like. When I told him about the spirit theory, he decided to bring in his psychic colleague, Irvin Yamada.

Irvin has also been a professional photographer for decades, and has a Maui studio called Photography by Irvin. He is sensitive to ghosts and the like. Irvin concurs with the Kamehameha girls. He added, "I think they're good spirits. They seem to want to get in the photo."

I've read online articles about the problems with digital cameras capturing dust orbs, but flash photos I have taken since the party do not have spots in them, or that many spots. Hmm. Also, the mortuary is brand new. Is it not dusty.

Oh! Did Paul Drewes and I literally raise the dead with our party?!? If they enjoyed themselves, then great. I guess I had some extra guests I wasn't aware of that night. I hope they had a good time.

I've posted all the photos with spots in them. The more you look, the more you find!












There's a few more on the Facebook page, but these are the best. You get the idea. If you want to see all of them, or maybe see it larger (I don't think I can make it larger on Word Press), go to the fan page for Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary and look in the Photos section. I posted them all there.

Do you have any photos to share? What do you think it is?

11 Responses to “Spirit orbs or dust specks?”

  1. hanapaa:

    Eerie!! But pretty cool, too! Seen them before but only in random shots. Not in a series like your pix. I agree that they must be good spirits, not disruptive.

  2. zzzzzz:

    If you're referring to those round spots, the different locations and sizes don't necessarily rule out some sort of contaminants in your cameras. They could be loose particles that move around. The nearly perfect circular shapes suggest very small particles that diffract light.

    OTOH, if you don't see similar spots on photos taken before or after the party with that same camera, then........

    I suggest you take more photos at the mortuary, using the same cameras as well as others. Perhaps even throw another party there so you can further investigate.

  3. zzzzzz:

    Did anyone else take photos at the party? Do those photos have the same phenomenon?

  4. molly:

    I love this; I think they are happy spirits.
    What a great story and the pictures that follow prove it to me.
    Spots are all different sizes as you said and in different locations. Sometimes close to folks sometimes farther away. Amazing.
    I Read this after some blogs about old time days at the Waialae drive in and the women's bathroom ghost. Home home home-=miss it so.
    here in SF CA...home in March 🙂

  5. Diane Ako:

    zzzzz, yes, i've seen 3 other people's photos, and no, it was nowhere near as spotty as mine. i think some of the spots are spirits, and some are dust. i can do another test when i have time to return to the mortuary.

    molly, thanks, it is a nice thought huh? and, i love sf.

  6. maxcat:

    Spirit orbs definitely! Sojo Jikyu Rose (if she is stil at Koganji Temple) can tell you about it for sure. Not kidding on this. Her story about this is really interesting.

  7. Michael:

    Your photos with windows, if you look closely, you can see someone looking in.

    Fourth photo from top in between the lady in purple and the round object is an Elderly Lady in Black. Her hand is above the round object as if holding it down. The lady in purple only if she knew who was sitting next to her, may not be smiling.

    Each photo seems to have a presence in them. Random round objects as if just floating around. The Lady in Black seems to be in several photos.

  8. Diane Ako:

    Aaaaah! Michael, your comment gave me severe chicken skin. THanks for the photo.

  9. Michael:

    Just wanted to add to your blog, my imagination. Makes one think Huh?
    A little mystery and a whole lot of drama.

  10. RedZone:

    I have never seen spirit orbs but I have seen fire balls.

  11. oldshoes:

    Sounds like ,even looks like a good script/idea for another Paranormal Activity Movie.U know that movie was made for onnly 15 thousand dollars.And has grossed over 100 million $$$$. Paranormal Activity Hawaiian Style...there ya go. You can thank me in the credits,or your Oscar acceptance speech. Happy New Year.

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