What is it?
For many that have been involved in the paranormal field for even just a short while, one of the most recognised and possibly accepted theories is that of the Stone Tape Theory. It’s a concept that many are familiar with and is widely accepted too.
Fundamentally the theory outlines the possibility that the phenomena related to ghosts and hauntings is similar to a tape recording, which is possibly stored in the localised environment. These days we relate this kind of activity to what many call Residual Hauntings. The ‘Stone Tape Theory’ attempts to explain a relationship between the environment, be it the water in the area or the geology of the area as a medium for recording the emotional energy of an event. Given the right circumstances the stored energy as a recording interacts and that’s when we experience a number of phenomena; from emotional connections to the observation of full blown apparitions.
Simple right? Okay, there’s slightly more to the theory than just that.
A Little History
The idea was first proposed by British archaeologist and parapsychologist Thomas Charles Lethbridge in 1961. Actually that’s not entirely true, you see this one often seems to present itself as a little grey in its actual origins.
Sir William Barrett, Physicist and an early member of the Society for Psychical Research, for example suggested a similar idea in the late 19th century. Referencing the ‘imprint’ locally that may occur in cases of apparitions and hauntings, on the material of structures or places.
The term ‘Stone Tape’ appears to have been first utilised in a BBC television play of the same name, which was first aired in 1972. The play written by Nigel Kneale follows a scientist looking for a new method of recording and the cast end up in a gothic mansion.
Of course these days ‘Stone Tape’ is thrown around all the time and is common place in explaining paranormal activity. I’ve heard many an investigator refer to it and I have too, but it’s still only a theory and one that still needs further work.
Rocks and Water
If indeed the Stone Theory has validity then the explanation will be found within the rocks and water at a location that could contain the probable ‘recording’. Interestingly enough there have been other theories in the world of science that have started to investigate the probability of whether or not rocks and water do in fact have the ability to record data of some description.
Logically speaking we do use these in the creation of the very technology we use to record data. So, perhaps there’s a possible reality of such to this theory.
I’ve seen some YouTube videos online regarding various research into water having a memory and capable of storing data in some form. In fact Nobelist Luc Montagnier has conducted extensive research into water memory in relation to carrying information via the electromagnetic imprint from DNA. So, the concept of ‘the memory of water’ is a real thing under investigation by scientist.
Of course water is everywhere, so the possibility of that water in the environment holding information that could relate to an event which then becomes our residual haunting, becomes a little more possible.
The Problem with the Stone Tape
The original theory or at least concept, often explains to us that the information becomes imprinted on the environment during an emotional event. This is usually associated with negative events such as murder, rape, fights, injury, etc. The belief being that those negative emotional events carry lots of human emotional energy which then allows the environment to be imprinted.
My immediate issue with this is that not all probable residual activity is negative as such and some isn’t even related to a death or injury. I believe it was Ghost Hunter Andrew Green that documented an event whereas residual activity was witnessed, but later discovered that th ‘ghosts’ in this event were actually still alive and used to live at the location where it occurred.
So, my issue then becomes the probability of information actually being localised to a location, as in actually recorded there. The explanation for the mechanism of how the recording may occur is lacking in my opinion. We need more on how the information generated during an event of any kind may become imprinted at a location and how it is stored exactly. This would require the successful repeated experimentation showing information imprinted to a location and then retrieved by an individual.
Another Angle on the Stone Tape
Personally through my own work I have a very different take on how this may work, but equally need to do more work on my own theory too. I believe its a likely example of telepathic interaction utilising the location as a trigger for connection to a collective consciousness. I know, my approach almost sounds even more far fetched right? Hear me out though!
If the location itself was enough for our unconscious mind to search the collective unconscious for that information. It acts as a trigger, but what’s important to mention is that all locations everywhere you go does this. Not special places, sorry. However some places have more out there in the collective unconscious than others. Especially if there are known pieces of information out there regarding the history.
The problem is as this information is received in an odd way as ‘memories’ say, it presents itself through our senses. Hence we see, feel, hear, steel, etc the information and our brain thinks the information is from our senses not the collective unconscious. Hence we believe we experience a residual haunting at the location.
Like I said it still needs a lot of work, but food for thought perhaps.