The Wallace & Ladmo Orb

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All rights Reserved.

In the world of ghost hunting, orbs have become a controversy. Some say that the presence of orbs indicates paranormal activity. Others say they can be simply be balls of energy but not necessarily a ghost. And sometimes orbs can be nothing more than dust particles in the air.

I rarely find orbs in my photos. Bending light beams yes, orbs no. But here is one photo with an orb and an interesting story behind it.

The Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, was having a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Wallace & Ladmo Show. This Phoenix TV show aired from 1954 to 1989, and I believe it still holds the record for the longest running television show in history. After ‘Wallace’ retired in 1989 the show’s collection of memorabilia was donated to the museum, where it is now on permanent display. By 2004, the time of this tribute, two cast members of the show had passed away – ‘Ladmo’ and musician Mike Condello.

This photo was taken with my 35mm camera in the museum auditorium during a musical tribute. When the photo was developed, I discovered a large orb appearing over the stage. For what it’s worth, museums strive to keep their facilities as dust free as possible as dust can damage fragile artifacts.

Maybe it’s just coincidence that this orb showed up. But if one believes that orbs can be evidence of ghostly activity, then perhaps Ladmo and Mike decided to join in the festivities that day. Or maybe it’s just Fred, the museum’s resident ghost.


John Tunstall Murder Site

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

I took a trip to Lincoln, New Mexico to do some research for my latest book Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War: a Luke and Jenny Adventure. As usual, I brought along my trusty 35mm to snap a few research photos for later use. As I was heading down the highway from Ruidoso to Lincoln I stopped at the roadside historic marker indicating the spot where John Henry Tunstall had been murdered.

The brazen 1878 murder of rancher and shop owner John Tunstall by corrupt lawmen, loyal to Tunstall’s competitors, Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, sparked a violent and bitter feud called The Lincoln County War. It ended five months later with the death of attorney Alexander McSween, who tried in vain to seek justice for the murder of his good friend, John Tunstall.

I took these two photos within a minute of each other. They were taken on a clear day with no breeze blowing. The first photo appears normal. But in the second photo is a strange, brown mist. It almost looks like a dust devil, but there is no shadow underneath it. One of my friends swore she could see the top half of Mr. Tunstall’s face on the top of the ‘cloud,’ but perhaps this was just matrixing, or our mind’s way of creating familiar shapes. Either way, it’s another accidental ghostly encounter


More Accidental Ghostly Encounters in the Bird Cage Theater

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Once again, the historic Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona lives up to its reputation. This time the Accidental Ghost Hunter caught several strange things all in one photo, taken with a 35mm camera. In the upper left corner there appears to be a misty figure of a woman in historic clothing. Next to her is a strange shape that looks like an arm, and below is a strange red light beam.

On the corner of the game table, just behind and to the right of the sewing machine, you can see a face. When I showed this photo to the staff at the Bird Cage they recognized it, and said they have seen that same face in other photos taken in different places in the building.

And finally, the “light beam” behind the curtain isn’t an anomaly. It’s a table sitting backstage.


High School Graduation Ghosts

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reseved.
Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

These have to be the two strangest photos I’ve ever taken.

My (now ex) husband and I had been invited to a friend’s daughter’s graduation from Tombstone High School in Tombstone, Arizona. This was the final graduation from the old high school, which was located on Fremont Street, just a few blocks away from the O.K. Corral.

We had parked next to the tennis courts, which are on the corner of 6th and Allen Street, caddy-corner from the infamous Bird Cage Theater. After we parked I decided to take a few family photos with a 35MM camera. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on that night other than the graduation, and everyone around us seemed to be in a festive mood.

I couldn’t believe my eyes it when I got my photos developed. I’ve never seen bending light rays, nor have I ever seen light rays with varying luminosity. These anomalies also appear on the negatives. I just have to write it off as another accidental ghostly encounter.


The Bird Cage Theater, Tombstone, Arizona

Photo by Gayle Martin. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona, has a reputation for being one of the most haunted buildings in America, and it’s been featured in such TV shows as Ghost Adventurers and Ghost Hunters.

The first time I visited the Bird Cage was in the summer of 2003. It was also the first time I ever had a strange anomaly appear in a photo. My (now ex) husband and I came into the lobby and smelled cigar smoke. We asked the woman working behind the bar about it. She looked kind of embarrassed and said, “It’s just them.” She went on to say that smoking has not been allowed in the Bird Cage for many years, but that cigar smoke can sometimes be smelled when the ghosts are around.

So now we know there is smoking in the afterlife!

We went inside the theater auditorium and I took a few photos. At the time I was using a 35mm camera, and, after the photos were developed, we discovered is what appears to be a laser beam running down the stage, bending around corners, and then splitting in two to go around a barber’s chair.

Since went to light beams bend to go around corners?

Little did I know at the time, but this 2003 photo would mark the beginning of my adventures as The Accidental Ghost Hunter.