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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan









Part Two: Lumen Pestis

The Truth About Orbs


“But their orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.” – Poe


Orbs are generally agreed to be small spheres of varying sizes, colors, and opacity appearing primarily in photographs and alleged by some to be a form of basic spirit energy in the genesis of manifestation.

Very seldom seen in any verifiable form with the naked eye, the onset of affordable home digital photography in the mid-1990’s has overwhelmed the field of paranormal inquiry with a flood of orb and orb-like phenomena appearing in hundreds of photographs submitted as “proof” of the existence of ghosts and the supernatural.

Though often the photographs were the result of legitimate investigations into the veracity (or lack thereof) of hauntings in particular locations, the vast majority of orb photographs have originated with groups of avid “ghost hunters,” hobbyists, really, during eager “investigations” in cemeteries throughout the hills, plains, and backwaters of the US and Europe. Occasionally, and with increasing frequency, it might be noted, orbs have appeared in photographs taken at other locations with no connection whatsoever to hauntings, such as the homes and workplaces of these intrepid paranormal enthusiasts. These orb manifestations have been just as eagerly documented and often generate a proliferation of initial excitement among the enthusiastic little groups involved – surely, they insist, this is only further proof of the existence of ghosts and the supernatural?

Though orbs can be acceptably defined there are different schools of thought on what these bizarre little globules actually are. Many, most especially detractors of the use of digital photography, believe the spheres of light to be merely the presence of debris – dust, pollen, water droplets - on the camera lens or at best the failure of the digital technology to maximize available light (flash or ambient) in particular situations resulting in gapping that appears suspiciously three dimensional in comparison to the remainder of the photograph. To this group, there is nothing whatsoever supernatural about the orb phenomena.

Another group, while remaining skeptical about the validity of orbs as actual manifestations of spirit energy, nonetheless adhere to the belief in at least the existence of the spirit world and in the ability of its denizens – usually operating under some strict law of natural physics – to manifest themselves in any number of forms, including orbs. This line of thought is usually further qualified with astute and informed scientific validations regarding the spirit use of nascent available energy sources – such as those emanating from batteries, power and utility lines, and people – to “get their energy” in order to appear in orb form. That the form would be globule or sphere-like in nature is also conjectured as the most “natural” form of manifestation available to the spirit entity.

Then there is, of course, the large mass of “believers” in the orb phenomenon as indisputable proof not only of the existence of ghosts and spirits, but also of their unfailing propensity to appear most often as little, supposedly innocuous balls of light. Sometimes the little spheres have faces – smiley faces, frowny faces, and even animal faces. That these enthusiastic orb supporters generally produce copious volumes of photographic “evidence” of sphere-like ghosts in action in reputedly haunted places, most often in cemeteries, only muddies the water for those who seek undisputable, scientifically verifiable proof of paranormal phenomena.

To state it simply, each of these concepts is, basically, correct.

That said, however, it is when orbs are stripped of the science, the speculation, and the smiley faces, and when the possibility is acknowledged that at least SOME of the “orbs” captured are actual manifestations of spirit beings, that the phenomenon begins to take on validity and to speak to us with a cautious sensibility. Not all spheres recorded in photographs are orbs, and not all spirit manifestations occur as orbs. Nevertheless, orbs are very real.



Leaving aside the scientific jargon and the boring technicalities of how digital cameras function, and setting aside wide-eyed, uninformed insistence that all orbs photographed MUST be something supernatural, it is valid to state that many orbs are, indeed, a form of spirit manifestation – just not of the type usually suggested or expected.

That these spirits utilize the energy surrounding them to subsist, function, manifest, and even to survive, is undeniable. That they always manifest in accordance with set rules of physics, however, or that they are bound to the strictures of any other science known to man, though not impossible, is nonetheless highly improbable. That these orb-like spirits do, on rare occasions, represent the spirit form of a discarnate human being who is newly-navigating the pathways of death, is very possible.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the appearance of legitimate orb-like manifestations captured on film – wherever the capture may be – is proof of the presence of discarnate, non-human entities that are all around us at any given time and to whom we are very likely nothing more than prey.

“Just as the physical world has scavengers – worms, crows, fungi, and so on – that break down dead physical bodies and return their components to the ecosystem, so the etheric world has larvae, who serve the same function.”


Orbs, spheres, globes, globules, energy balls – all are primarily forms of spirit larvae.

Larvae are “etheric beings living entirely on the level of subtle energy” and because of their attraction to decay and other etheric “waste” products, larvae are most often found where the food source is most highly concentrated, that is to say cemeteries and to a certain degree mortuaries and funeral homes. But larvae have also been known to plague other areas where disease and death frequently occur such as hospitals, nursing homes, and the “squalid etheric environments of modern cities.”

The cast-off etheric shells of dead human beings make up the primary food source for these parasitic spirits and it is more than safe to say that those cemetery photographs containing truly unexplainable orb-like anomalies (those which cannot be attributed to any other factor) are, in fact, images of these larvae at work in their natural habitat. Content to feed on the energy sources around them – decomposing corpses, dying flowers and vegetation, the etheric patterns in animal feces and other waste products – larvae spend most of their time making a somewhat positive contribution to the etheric spiritual plane.

When exposed to the thriving etheric energy of living human beings, not only those paranormal enthusiasts mentioned above but also individuals in states of extreme grief who pay frequent visits to dead loved ones, and even gravediggers and caretakers, larvae can be thrown into a state of excited flux. Confronted with groups of individuals toting electronic equipment, battery packs and other power sources, and exuding adrenaline energy in the form of excitement, anticipation, or fear – whether ghost-hunting hobbyists or paranormal “experts” – larvae will respond with all the eagerness of flies to honey.

“Slow, mindless, and persistent, larvae will occasionally seize on a damaged human etheric body, and in such cases can cause weakness, poor health, and wasting illness.”


Dealings with spirit larvae present hidden dangers to the unwary. By their very nature, these spirit “pests” can be harmful to humans and continued exposure to them is unhealthy for most human beings.

Cemeteries, as the primary “home” for these pests, present the most obvious threat. Generally speaking, visitors and other passers-by are usually not open to attack by these parasitic spirits, except in cases where such visits are lengthy or frequent and combined with unresolved feelings of grief or despair. Because larvae can more easily attach to such “wounded” living etheric bodies, it is best to discourage persons suffering from extremes of despondency from spending too much time attending the grave of a deceased loved one. As the period of mourning passes and the etheric body of the individual heals, that person becomes much less appealing to spirit larvae.

Easier and less wary prey is never far away for cemetery larvae, however, and it is only a matter of time before they once again encounter living etheric bodies lingering in their otherwise dismal domain: Enter the paranormal experts and ghost-hunting enthusiasts, pranksters and teenage dares, tourists and curiosity seekers, and, possibly the easiest prey of all, the uninitiated practitioners of all sorts of ersatz “black magic” rituals.

In any given group described above, the likelihood of one or more individuals being suitable for an unhealthy attachment of spirit larvae is extremely high. Since we, as humans, cannot effectively leave our “emotional baggage” at the cemetery gate, we become instantly more vulnerable to these entities whose very nature is designed to exploit and feed upon weakness in other beings. Emotions such as fear and excitement, and mental conditions such as depression and hyperactivity disorder are just as enticing food sources as grief and mourning, and all are more “nourishing” than the dispersing essences of the decomposing dead. Thus it is that living humans in the environment of the dead hold a particular attraction for these spirit pests.

Adolescent pranksters and teenagers present the “slow, mindless, and persistent” spirit larvae with an additional kind of enticement, that of surging post-pubescent hormones and pure adrenaline. There are probably hundreds of teen pranks that have started out or ended up in a cemetery, and graveyards have held an overwhelming appeal to youth in all cultures primarily because of the taboos and dangers associated with these places. Spirit larvae, with their dull, worker-bee mentality, will find such luminous energy irresistible, and, as if in support of this very theory, folklore is full of accounts of practical jokers who have run away from cemeteries and ducked under their bedsheets in fear, only to find later that the joke’s on them and something has, indeed, followed them home…

Tourists (and their guides) and other curiosity seekers represent another vulnerable part of the spirit larvae food chain. Attracted to cemeteries in the spirit of expectation, most graveyard tourists harbor a strange desire to be scared witless or to have a personal encounter with the supernatural. Often, they get their wish, but in the case of a spirit larvae attack this is only revealed slowly and subtly, as the larvae remain with the victim until his or her health – both physical and emotional – begins to suffer and the surrounding environment slowly becomes infected with a tangible malaise. Months, even years later, victims of prolonged spirit larvae infestation have been left pondering the results – mental and emotional problems, family, job and other life challenges, streaks of bad luck that all seem to have come out of nowhere.

Uneducated dabblers in ritual magick and bokor voodoo, and other self-styled practitioners of the “black arts” will often find, to their dismay, that the cemetery is the place where, as it were, the bullet hits the bone. The fact is, unless one is a genuine magickal adept or a legitimate initiate, those who fumble with ritual workings among the dead are placing themselves at tremendous risk. If the cemetery in question has a history of attracting ritual activity of this sort, it is very likely that spirits such as elementaries and demons are already present and it is doubtful that they will resist responding to ritual workings, even those of mediocre magicians. The presence of spirit larvae in such a magically charged environment is a given and the use of magick by the unwise or uneducated will only increase the flow of etheric energy resulting in nothing less than a “feeding frenzy” on their part. Because of this, the presence of botched (and to some extent legitimate) workings of ritual magick in cemeteries will also effectively “addict” the spirit larvae to this type of energy and their craving for it will cause an added danger to the otherwise healthy etheric bodies of other living things.

Invariably, these attachments, especially if developed over time or through repeated visits, will be sufficiently strong enough for the larvae to begin affecting the emotional and physical state of the etheric body of the living human being. It must also be considered that the study or interest in the paranormal and unexplained which first brought the human into contact with the spirit larvae will probably be continued by the human host after the larvae have taken up residence in his or her environment. Ironically, larvae appearing as “orbs” in photographs taken during this attachment period will only be seen by the living as further proof of the existence of spirit orbs and other ghostly phenomena, ultimately encouraging more exposure.

Another danger to consider when larvae are present is the possible presence of more potent spirit entities that may be the source of prolonged entity hauntings in a given location. The invading entity and the spirit larvae thrive in a kind of symbiotic exchange of energy that enables each to manifest in the environment and also to feed off the shared energy. Although the question of whether or not spirit larvae are able to evolve from their larval state, developing into other spirit forms such as elementals or astral spirit forms, is still debated in the magical community, when dealing with spirit larvae it is safer to assume that this may sometimes occur. Proceeding with caution, and keeping in mind the magical dictum, “Every energy is an entity and every entity is an energy,” enables us to relate to the possible dangers from spirit larvae in a less impersonal way.


Kelly Cochran JACKSON VILLE GATES ORBS Jacksonville, FL

The noted ritual magick expert Greer describes the spirit larvae cum orb perfectly: “…pale, half-transparent bubbles or baglike shapes drifting through the air, or hovering around a food source.” Though he further acknowledges the useful purpose these larval orbs serve in their “proper place,” human beings are distinctly warned away from prolonged exposure to spirit larvae and their environment and, he states, “they [larvae] should be driven away as soon as possible.”

Since it would be ignorant to assume that any amount of caution will prevent individuals with an enthusiastic curiosity about the unexplained from traipsing through cemeteries, abandoned asylums and hospitals, haunted buildings and battlefields, it is at least encouraging to be able to state that dealing with spirit larvae is relatively easy.

Among the camera and techno-gizmos in the ghost-hunters’ tool bag should be a small spray bottle filled with, of all things, common household vinegar. The domestic product with a thousand uses now has, again according to Greer, a thousand and one. When conducting investigations in cemeteries or other possibly infested locations as described above, it is recommended that the surrounding air be spritzed with undiluted vinegar at the conclusion of the investigation. Vinegar prevents the spirit larvae from forming the essential connection to the etheric energy of a living human being and although it does not destroy the larvae, it will successfully drive them away, ensuring that none of these pests will follow anyone home.

If home is the place of a larval infestation, small dishes of vinegar left to evaporate in the area should clear them out. Banishing incenses such as asafoetida and/or sage can also be burned in the infested environment, especially if the individuals who dwell there frequently take part in paranormal investigations or ghost hunts. Additionally, the introduction of iron into the environment, in the form of nails or talismans, will also drive away larval pests.

If it is suspected that larvae have, indeed, fastened onto the etheric body of a living human being, “a sharp iron or steel object (such as a dagger) should be moved in short, quick stabbing motions through an area three to five feet away from the victim’s body in all directions. This will disrupt the etheric bodies of the larvae and detach them from their victim.” This, combined with the banishing techniques described above, should be sufficient to dispel the unhealthy larvae in the infested environment. However, if it is suspected that a larval infestation has been present for a long period of time, or that such an infestation has attracted other, more dangerous spirit entities, a competent ritual magician or priestess should be consulted to perform a proper ritual banishing or exorcism.

Considering that larval infestation has the same effect on the human etheric body that cancer can have on the physical body, the infestation must be addressed seriously and quickly: delay can be costly.

“In magical terms, any force in the cosmos can be understood and treated as a conscious being: when this is done, it becomes possible to relate to the force in ways that a purely impersonal relationship won’t allow.”

-- Greer


California Cemetery Ghost Photos WITH ORB by Sean Mallett

Many years ago, when I was learning about photography, I found my most challenging subject matter to be the one I wanted to master most: rock concert photography. More times than I care to mention, my photos came out dark and grainy, or, worse, washed out by a too-bright flash that showed everything close in glaring light while failing miserably to cast even a glow on the subject. Through practice and professional training, I came to understand the challenges and requirements of low-light photography. Simple adjustments and applications ensured future success where previously there had been only failure.

A lot of what I learned is readily applicable when attempting to photograph spirit larvae, cemetery orbs and graveyard specters, and other paranormal or unexplainable manifestations.

The first thing to do is: leave the digital camera at home.

Second: Since it’s my firm belief that sometimes technology gets in the way of genuine accomplishment, I always rely on my trusty manual 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera for the best low-light results. So, if you’re frequenting cemeteries and other haunted locations in hopes of getting some good low-light captures, I’d recommend you invest in one of these.

Third: While you’re doing that, I’d also suggest you add the following to your inventory: a tripod, a remote operated shutter cable, and a good automatic flash.

Fourth: When it comes to film, although it is essential to use a fast film (400+) for low or ambient light situations, negative 35mm film is not always the best choice, as this tends to produce grainy results. I recommend using professional grade slide film in all low-light situations. Experimenting with the recommended film speed will also help you identify the best speed for your use; “pushing” the speed is also an option, for example you can push a 400 slide film to 800 or better, as long as the film is developed for the accelerated speed.

Once your inventory has been properly established, you are ready to go into the low-light environment and begin photographing. Whether you are taking exterior or interior photos, you should plan to spend time in a particular location, perhaps shooting only one or two locations in a night. This is because you will be required to manually expose each photo and, depending on camera speed and the desired results, each exposure might require several minutes.

Be certain that the camera speed is set extremely low allowing the maximum amount of light through the camera’s aperture during each exposure. The lowest speed setting on a manual SLR will allow the photographer, using the shutter cable, to keep the lens open for as long as he or she desires. Experimenting with speeds in different situations and gauging the results is really the only way to find what works best for you.

With the camera loaded with the proper film and set at the desired speed locked onto the tripod set and the remote shutter cable in place you should be able to photograph almost any ambient light situation.

The only thing left to determine is the appropriate location. In dealing with allegedly “paranormal” situations I usually follow the suggestion of the medium or psychic sensitive that is present. In the absence of this kind of “expert,” it is a good rule of thumb to go with your gut feeling about a certain area. You may also know through information provided by others which area in the location has experienced the most paranormal activity and may thus concentrate your efforts in this particular area.

If you do not have access to a dark room for exposing your film, it can be brought to a commercial developer, so long as you remember to note that you have altered the film speed: this will affect the development process.

Developed slides will be returned to you and these are best viewed with a battery-operated magnifying slide viewer, available at any good photographer’s shop. Once you have singled out slides with the best possible results, you can have these developed into prints, enlarged, or transferred to disks, at your discretion.

A second-best method, using a manual 35mm SLR and negative film, is to shoot a the location at a fast speed (400+), alternating use of flash with low-light shots (remembering to adjust your camera speed appropriately). Negatives will be developed along with the prints, and study of the photographic negative has sometimes been the deciding factor in whether or not one has truly captured an anomaly on film.

A word about black and white and infrared films:

Black and white negative film is probably one of the most undervalued films in the amateur photographer’s mind. Who wants to look at black and white photos these days when so much vibrant color is available in film and digital mediums? Black and white film, however, is extremely valuable, especially in the kinds of exterior shots one desires when investigating cemeteries and other haunted locales. Nothing can “hide” from the black and white exposure; further, nothing is “blended” as in color film. What is there, is there, and in stark black and white contrast. While professionals use black and white for a myriad of artistic and thematic purposes, black and white film, a good flash and a good 35mm camera can be one of the best friends a psychic investigator can ever have.

Infrared film, on the other hand, is highly specialized. It functions well in low-light environments because it will record ambient temperature variations from frame to frame, allowing comparison and study by the paranormalist. However, maintaining the integrity of infrared film for use in the field is a challenge as temperature and other factors must be constant in order to assure the best results from this type of film. I would suggest experimentation with a roll or two prior to making a large investment in infrared film. Nevertheless, you may find this to be your favorite type of film when venturing into haunted locations, if only for the truly surreal results it will return.

Though this methodology may seem time-consuming and cumbersome to those of you who are used to the convenience of digital and throwaway cameras, when dealing with the capture of paranormal manifestations on film taking time to learn about the subject and putting in a little extra effort can mean the difference between success and failure, proof or ridicule.

-- Carter Modjeski





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