Ghost photography is gaining popularity across America, as more and more people attempt to document evidence of the paranormal. Many catch ghostly images or lights on film and believe they have evidence of a haunting, only to learn later that what they have captured is far more ordinary than than they believed. Evaluating a ghost picture for common camera or light anomalies will save you the embarrassment of claiming to have evidence of the paranormal and finding out that mysterious orb was merely a speck of dust.

  1. Step 1

    Evaluate your photo for evidence of matrixing. Matrixing occurs when the human mind attempts to construct meaningful images from complex images. This most often pertains to the human face, but may also relate to other shapes or forms. When a photo is taken of an object that has complex images or shapes--such as reflected glass, mirrors, clutter or trees and bushes--our mind tries to construct familiar images from the shapes and colors. We often believe we can see ghost faces or shapes in the midst of the other images. Examine the face carefully: If it is made up of portions of the original object, like the leaves on a tree or flaws in the mirror, then it is only an illusion due to matrixing. If the face consists of its own material, it may be paranormal.

  2. Step 2

    Evaluate orbs by looking closely at their shape and size. A speck of dust will create an orb that is completely round, with no defined border. It will be a solid color.Moisture will create an orb that is that is usually angular and fades in intensity, with solid color in the middle and near-translucence around the edges. Raindrops will produce a small, solid orb. Reflections off other objects will often produce multiple orbs in a row that vary in size. True orbs of energy will emit their own light and will appear as white, blue or green. They are spherical and may have a trail of movement.

  3. Step 3

    Examine photos of mist closely. These visual phenomena are most often caused by human breath in cold air. Keep in mind that a camera can catch mist from your breath that is too fine to see with the naked eye. If you shot the picture on a cold day, breath must be considered. Cigarette smoke must also be acknowledged. If anyone was smoking in the area, or even in the distance, you must consider the fact that smoke creates unusual trails when it drifts through the air. Mist can be the result of a running vehicle in the background. if you can rule out these causes with certainty, you may have evidence of the paranormal.

  4. Step 4

    Watch for signs of operator error. A finger too close to the lens may give off a pink or orange glow. A stray camera strap may produce a reflection, creating a bright white line of light. Examine that line closely: If the texture is the same throughout, it was probably caused by a lens strap. Stray hair in front of the camera will show up as white strands, and may lead you to conclude you have captured evidence of the paranormal.