A luminator is a subtle energy device that can be programmed to facilitate Spirit Photography. The luminator was invented by Patrick Richards of Michigan. It looks like a large, slim stereo speaker. Inside is a Plexiglas barrel lined with rings filled with water-based liquid that acts like crystal and two counter-rotating fans that pull air into the unit at the bottom and blow it out at the top, creating a vortex within the device. Richards programs the devices with intention.

There are only nine luminators in existence, and all but one are used in psychotherapy. In 1999, Mark Macy, a leading researcher in Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC), saw a luminator owned by Jack Stucki, a therapist in Colorado Springs. Stucki took photographs of his patients with the luminator in operation and occasionally what appeared to be spirit faces appeared in them. Macy acquired a luminator from Richards and had it programmed for spirit photography to aid in his ITC research.

Exactly how the luminator works is not known, but its specific subtle energy programming apparently enables the device to change environmental vibrations in a room. This creates a “noise” matrix for spirits to make impressions on film. According to Macy, there are many dimensions that are superimposed on the physical realm, separated by vibrational level, not by distance or time. People can perceive them when they tune in to their vibrations, just like they would tune in a radio or television frequency. The luminator apparently facilitates this.

A luminator spirit face photo is blurry, as though dimensional realms are intersecting. Spirit faces can be full or partial. Macy has experimented with different lighting and environments and has found low indoor light to be the most effective. Sunlight washes out the effects.

Macy has had his own results: his deceased father, Blair, has appeared on several occasions. Some famous dead people have made appearances as well as departed loved ones known only to the subjects. Among them are Albert Einstein, Edgar Cayce, John Denver, and Willis Harman, former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

Skeptics contend that the blurring in luminator spirit face photos is caused by physically moving the Polaroid camera. Seeing faces in the photos is wish fulfillment and the human tendency to search for meaningful patterns. Macy states that all of his spirit face photos are genuine, untouched, and unaltered. He considers the photos proof of other realms, but leaves others to their own assessments, knowing that some will cling to skepticism.

The ability of objects to store human consciousness is not a new idea. Psychometry, or the “measurement of the soul of things,” holds that objects retain energetic imprints of the thoughts and emotions of individuals strongly associated with them. Psychokinesis, or the influence of mind over matter, has been Demonstrated by test subjects in Scientific experiments. Thus, an object could hold consciousness and be programmed by consciousness. Research supports this idea. Programmed intentionality is part of a new area of Scientific research called psychoenergetics.

A precursor to psychoenergetics was the work of Baron Karl von Reichenbach (1788–1869), a German chemist, metallurgist, and expert on meteorites. Reichenbach was interested in the universal life force, a subtle energy that permeates all things in existence and governs health and life. He used the term “Od” to describe this force and said it emanates from all things, including the stars and planets. Od especially streams from crystals, which can be seen as a kind of storage cell. (The liquid in the luminator acts like crystal.)

Reichenbach said Od can be observed by clairvoyants as luminous radiations similar to an aurora borealis and can be sensed as hot or cold. He also believed Od is affected by the breath and that it fl uctuates during the day and night and before and after meals. Reichenbach’s work was rejected by the Scientific community, but in the late 19th century, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR)in London validated many of his findings.

Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), a native of Austria, a student of Freud, and a psychoanalyst, coined the term “orgone” to describe a vital force or primordial cosmic energy as the basis of sex and psychosomatic neuroses. He agreed with Reichenbach that this force permeates all things and exists as a biological energy, is blue in color, and can be Demonstrated visually, thermically, and electroscopically in the atmosphere with a Geiger counter. Reich practiced in the United States and developed a device called the “orgone accumulator,” a metallic box covered with organic material which was supposed to concentrate orgone for therapeutic uses. He used the device on cancer patients and reported positive results. The Food and Drug Administration tested the device and pronounced it worthless. Reich was enjoined from manufacturing, distributing, and using the device and from using the term “orgone” in his writings. He refused. He was fined and sent to jail, where he died. The orgone accumulators were destroyed and his books were burned.

Recently, physicist William Tiller has Demonstrated that devices can indeed be programmed with intention via meditation, and, like batteries, have an effect upon material things. Tiller—known as Dr. Bleep for his appearance in the hit film What the Bleep Do We Know? became interested in what he now calls psychoenergetics in the 1960s. His research has involved experienced meditators who program a specific intention into an “intentional imprinted electrical device,” or IIED, a metal box charged with an electrical current. The energy stored within the IIED executes the intention, such as changing the pH or temperature of purified water. Furthermore, a programmed device imparts its stored intention into unprogrammed devices that are left in proximity of an IIED.

In his book Some Science Adventures with Real Magic (2005), Tiller states that “human consciousness, in the form of specific intentions, can have a robust effect on physical material property measurements for at least some inorganic and organic materials both in vitro and in vivo.”

Tiller also allows for the participation of something spiritual beyond human beings. The meditators accomplished their intention programming “from a deep, collective meditation state, and perhaps with some unseen assistance,” he said.

The device itself does not seem to be important. Tiller says that intention can be programmed into any objects. The key is consciousness.

This brings us back to the premise of the luminator: Intentional programming, perhaps combined with spiritual assistance, can be imparted to a device that somehow alters the physical environment so that faces of the dead and nonphysical beings are imprinted on film. According to Macy, the “ethereals”—higher beings who work in ITC—“wish humans to learn about subtle energy and how to manipulate equipment with our thoughts.”


  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. “Spirit Faces: The Latest Evidence from the Afterlife.” Atlantis Rising, vol. 60, November/ December 2006.
  • Macy, Mark. Spirit Faces: Truth About the Afterlife. York Beach, Me.: Red Wheel/Weiser Books, 2006.
  • Tiller, William A., with Walter E. Dibble, Jr., and J. Gregory Fandel. Some Science Adventures with Real Magic. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Pavior Publishing, 2005.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007