One look around the internet for pictures of the paranormal variety and you soon find an onslaught of photographs allegedly depicting paranormal activity. Many of these photographs show orbs, mists, shadows and ghostly forms. The question is, how many of these photographs are actually legitimate and which are misinterpretations by the photographer and/or viewer?
One thing for certain is there is plenty of room for interpretation since there are no real established criteria to be found to help those who do capture unusual things in photographs. With no noteworthy criteria to be found, much is left to the eye of the beholder when gazing at photographs and what they present to the naked eye. So how do we give photographs that are legitimate any credibility? Well it would be important to bear in mind extenuating circumstances, and supported incidences of paranormal activity in addition to photographs. Many paranormal researchers have to their aid the use of those who have psychic abilities as well to help them decide what is paranormal vs. what is not.
One important issue that many in this field seem to ignore and that is how the human eye works and why we have to be extremely careful with what we call “paranormal.” The human eye's function is to seek out familiar patterns and details to help the human being identify that which it can recognize. The most identifiable traits the human eye goes by is the features we associate with the human face. This may be as rudimentary a pattern as three dots, two for eyes and one for a mouth. Once the eye finds this pattern in any chaotic pattern, it identifies it as being human like.
There is a term called “pareidolia” which may account for many patterns we think we see in random photographs. The definition of pareidolia is the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning. An example of this would be seeing a “man in the moon” etc. Could this be precisely what is going on in so many "paranormal" photographs today? You decide.
For more paranormal information and show commentary, see: That Paranormal Blog.