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False Positives
By Marlene Blanchard and April Stokes

False Positives are a major concern to ghost hunters. A false postive is used to describe a possible error in the analysis portion of an investigation. An example of a false positive could be a hair over the lens of the camera causes an apparition to appear in a photo. While it may look like a valid entity, the truth is that the hair caused a false positive.

Reflective Surfaces

The two pictures above are of the Lear House, the same corner of the house - one from the interior, the other the exterior.  The picture on the left is a downstairs bedroom and the one on the right, upstairs. The picture on the left was taken during a historical tour. We’re sure there has to be a reason for the odd design in the mirror, but what is it? Possibly the beveled edge on the mirror? What about the picture on the right? We’ve all heard that we can’t count what we see in mirrors and windows as proof of the paranormal due to glares, flash, etc. but when the picture on the right is blown up it appears to show a figure in the window. Looks like a man looking thru binoculars...false?  You decide and let us know what you think about photos and reflective surfaces. 

Spider Webs

The above photos are false anomalies -they are actually spider webs.  You'll notice that when the pictures are enlarged, there a number of small orbs giving the appearance of a possible orb in motion, not so, sorry.  Digital cameras are ideal because you can immediately view your picture and if you capture something like this, you have the opportunity to take the picture again for  comparison and analysis purposes.  We were so excited when we captured the picture on the right.  We were at the standing at the entrance of the Tolomato Cemetery in St. Augustine with fellow Ghost Tracker Glen when we took this picture.  Right away we noticed something in the viewing screen and tried several times to replicate the scene without luck.  The next morning we showed the picture to Jeff Reynolds and right away he said, "That's a spider web", that simple...just said it was a spider web.  We were crushed, we saw orbs shooting across the screen!  Well, when we closely examined of our anomaly we clearly saw the spider web.  That's how we learn to determine false anomalies from the real thing.  Thanks Jeff, you've taught us to scrutinize every picture.

Hair and Camera Straps

Carol has very long hair, so we played with it...lifting and dropping it, holding single strands then several out straight, all the while snapping one picture after the other to get different effects.  The first set of photos show why it so important to keep your hair tied back and away from the camera lens at all times.  Vortexes?  Don't we wish but what you're looking at in the second set is only a camera strap  so always remember...keep your camera strap out of the way of the lens.

Flying Debris and Smoke

More testing...the first picture is plain old ordinary sand thrown into the air, enlarge the picture and you will notice a number of orbs that aren't.  Always document weather conditions, any wind gusts, etc. when conducting an investigation to help in analyzing your pictures.  What you think are a number of orbs may actually be sand.  The second picture of course is of a man weed-eating...just dust, no ecto or orb properties present.  Since you see a cigarette in the third picture, it's safe to assume were looking at smoke, not ecto.  But what if the cigarette were not visible in the picture?  You're heart starts to race and you think you've got something phenomenal, wrong!  Never, never, never smoke while investigating.  The last picture could be exciting until you realize that walking from an air conditioned home into a hot, humid backyard causes the lens to fog.  Make sure to clean your lens regularly.


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