Schriever, Louisiana, United States

Forget the orbs

Madame Spooky here. Time for a little history lesson. You know those ghost hunters that bring all of their devices and claim that the light flares in their photos are actually orbs (in other words, signs of the ghostly world)? Their preoccupation with proving the truth is not in the least exciting. Especially when compared with European folklore. Have you ever heard of a will-o'-the-wisp? Or maybe a jack-o'-lantern? Ok, yeah, you know that one. But I'm not talking about pumpkins. Both of these phrases refer to atmospheric ghost lights, seen by travelers at night. They were known to hover over bogs, swamps or marshes. The light sometimes looked like a flickering lamp, which receded as the traveler sought it out... ultimately leading them away from the safety of their path.

Painting by Arnold Böcklin. "Das Irrlicht," 1882. Public domain.

Forget the orbs