Another Internet Video Captures A Ghost!
I recently stumbled across yet another internet video claiming to have captured 'evidence' of a ghost in the area that was being investigated and like many of these videos, the ghost was even linked to a specific person. I'm not going to go into the specifics of the video on this occasion as its more about what seems to be the sensationalism of highlighting such things that are on my mind for this post.
On this particular occasions, which isn't much different from others, there were a number of gadgets going off as the group filmed and those more sensitive in the group were picking up on something too. The group moved around the area and from the video alone there appeared to be at least four in the group possibly five, including the unseen team member holding the camera. At the point that the 'ghost' was captured only two remained in shot and our ghost was clearly a shadow captured in front of the camera.
So, the question here isn't so much the obvious one, which may be proposing that our investigators had faked the whole scenario, but why is it that we often see so much attributed to paranormal activity when there is a clear explanation?
The Problem With The Moment!
In my opinion it all comes down to perception. Which as a matter of fact is a weird and wonderful thing that has our entire reality on an odd kind of understanding. Perception can be driven by many elements within our own psychology and often we are unaware that they are there in the first place. For example, our adult understanding of the world around us is built by our education, our belief and of course our own personal experiences. There's probably a load of other contributing factors, but I'm no psychologist and let's try and keep it simple for now.
The moment you're in can equally define your understanding of that which is around you, that is probably a primary instinct in reality. Now I will be the first to admit that often whilst walking around a darkened building in search of ghosts I have had to contain my own excitement. Analyse the situation in a little more detail in order to ascertain whether the experience is actually paranormal or indeed a sequence of events that have transpired to present themselves in a fashion which could be interpreted as paranormal. It's this 'in the moment' perception that can often lead us to incorrect conclusions of an event, which is later reported as paranormal.
Don't get me wrong, we all make mistakes and I am pretty sure its happened to me at some point too. However let's look at things a little better and try to help each other see these possibilities without ridicule. That way we can progress the field by searching for more significant paranormal events to document and gain an understanding of.
It's this 'in the moment' perception during an investigation that I believe has many ghost hunters today jumping to the fear factor and failing to present reasonable explanations. Let's look at the scenario mentioned earlier again.
The four people were in a probable haunted location, so already they are looking for something and as all of us do, hope to capture that 'evidence' of the actual paranormal. They like many are after the Holy Grail of the Paranormal and are trying a few approaches. However by visiting a probable haunted location and effectively searching for ghosts, they have already created a possible psychological bubble around what they are doing. I'm not saying that this is always the case, but as I have fell subject to it myself I'm sure, then its a likelihood we should all realise. In essence the expectation has been created.
In our scenario above, the group have a few different gadgets which effectively start to react in the same area. This is, in the video, interpreted as paranormal activity. There's no reasonable explanation presented and no one makes the attempt to test why these gadgets are reacting. The assumption is made that there must be something paranormal going on. Perhaps this is because the group are in a darkened room, at a possible haunted location and seeking ghosts; that they assume these devices are indeed detecting some kind of paranormal activity. Again, they are in the moment and going with it.
What happens next fascinates me. Following the reaction of the first device, the group seem to randomly move about the room and as they do so, a couple of gadgets sound off. The group react to this as if there is paranormal activity is following them or as if they are following it, but the devices go off as they move close to them. This is the usual behaviour that generates the belief that our group is likely faking the activity. However it could equally be that our group believe their gadgets are designed specifically for detecting ghosts, but in reality they react when their static field is interrupted or something close by is generating some kind of EMF. A core understanding of how the tools of the trade (so to speak) work is a common reason why many misinterpret certain scenarios as paranormal when they have a reasonable explanation.
Finally, we move onto our captured ghost on film. The group have clearly been through a sequence of events now within the location that they believe is haunted, which has meant they are already concluding that there is paranormal activity in progress. The moving about the room with the various gadgets going off has also disorientated them slightly making them less aware and more focused on the paranormal. As a shadow moves across the room they attribute it to being a ghost rather than seeking reasonable explanation such as it being the camera mans shadow or that of the third person now currently out of shot.
Once in the moment and focused on that paranormal activity, with the adrenaline running thanks to the excitement of the hunt progressing its relatively easy for many to misinterpret simple things as being paranormal. It's important to be mindful of your surroundings and always ask questions of those interesting situations. Then we can begin to gain a much better understanding of paranormal events.
Something's Are Just Strange!
Of course this isn't always the case, not everything can be explained away by looking at logical explanations. During my time investigating the paranormal and also working with mediums I have often been left flummoxed. I've even thrown many an explanation at these odd scenarios only to conclude that they just don't fit and further understanding is required. Hence why I often deliver theories on the paranormal or even questions old more established ones.
Two such scenarios which come to mind are the time I witnessed a light ascend the staircase at Peterborough Museum, which was equally witnessed by another investigator at the time. A light which was exactly like a candle like, flickering away. The other was one based on perception itself. I am of course talking of the time I sat in the attic space of the Royal Oak in Swanage, asking for spirits to move my Grandfathers pocket watch, which was placed on the floor between me and a local Peter. The watch itself did not move, but shortly after asking the watch began to run. Although it had not been wound at all. The watch ticked away for about 20 minutes. I then spent nearly three months attempting to find an explanation, an explanation which never presented itself. Which then raises the question; did spirits wind the watch or did this occur through telekinesis as Peter and I intended the watch to move in some way?
You see when strange unexplainable things do occur without logical explanation, generally for me they present more questions to follow up on.
Perhaps the paranormal isn't evidence of the afterlife, but more what our minds are truly capable of!