People who watch the dozens of paranormal tv shows on television may see things occur on the shows that are perceived as paranormal activity. While much of what is seen on these shows truly is paranormal activity there are situations that due to their own education some viewers realize that there are potential scientific reasons for some of what had occurred which is not spoken of during the show. I personally have been contacted by potential clients over the years who explain situations of what they believe is paranormal activity and am able to satisfy their concerns by asking a series of questions pertinent to their situation that in scientific terms explains what occurred that they misperceived as paranormal activity. During my career I have seen my fair share of paranormal activity and I have seen things that were misperceived as paranormal activity. While the list of things that could be misperceived as paranormal activity is virtually endless, I will discuss the more common causes here today.
The most common one would be electromagnetic radiation. Our nervous systems act as big antennas and can sense various forms of electromagnetic radiation. Being exposed to elevated levels of electromagnetic radiation over an extended period of time has been shown by science to cause a bunch of physical symptoms including hallucinations and anxiety.
The human ear can hear a specific range of audio frequencies, however there are frequencies of sound that we can not hear. Infrasound are audio frequencies below the range of the human ear. There are natural and man made causes of infrasound such as traffic, wind, volcanos, ocean waves, combustion, machinery, slow fans, and earthquakes are some examples. Scientists have found that exposure to infrasound can cause some people to see apparitions that are not there.
Pareidolia, also referred to as matrixing, is your mind’s attempt to find patterns in randomness. The fusiform, which is a part of the brain, recognizes faces and can see faces where there aren’t any in inanimate objects. Examples of this would be staring at static on an old tv and seeing shapes or figures in the static, seeing figures in clouds or in ripples in water, or seeing figures in rock faces on the side of mountains. Pareidolia also comes into play with excessive electromagnetic energy and infrasound where our nervous system senses their presence and not understanding them causes us to perceive apparitions or other familiar forms.
Quantum entanglement, a theory in science that people or animals can be connected to each other at the quantum level (which is atomic down to subatomic.) An example of this phenomena is a mother being aware of their child being in danger or has been injured even if they are at a great distance away. This phenomena could be feasible between siblings, significant others, parents, pets, or any other close relationship that you may have. This could be perceived as the feeling of being watched.
Palinopsia, also known as after images or retina burn, is a phenomenon where you still see something even though you are no longer directly looking at it. Examples could be looking at something on your cell phone and then closing your eyes and still seeing part of the image that you were looking at. The same thing could happen when watching television, turning your head quickly in the dark, or the most common situation where someone believes they see a ghost is when they are looking at someone directly or their own reflection in a mirror, turn around quickly and still see a human face or form that isn’t really there and dissipates quickly.
Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon that occurs when you are waking up or falling asleep and is temporarily unable to speak or move, even if they attempt to, or brief difficulty breathing. This is often misinterpreted by people as being held down or choked (as they may gasp for air) by an invisible entity.
Depending where you live your house may be more susceptible to being visited by small animals or other creatures. They can get into the attic, duct work, basement, between floors, in the walls, chimneys, and other locations. This could cause some interesting sounds that you aren’t familiar with that may be mistaken for paranormal activity.
Pipes, water pumps, septic, and electrical systems can often make a noise that you haven’t heard before given the right circumstances. These occurrences are often thought to be paranormal activity.
Houses are made of various materials, especially older houses. As the humidity, temperature levels, and barometric pressure fluctuate these inanimate objects can make spooky sounding noises or even if floor boards squeak in succession it could give you the impression that a paranormal entity is walking around.
The arrangement of objects in your house could cause feelings that are misperceived as paranormal activity. Some people are more susceptible to claustrophobia, the feeling of being trapped. If you are in a cluttered room, especially one that you are not familiar with, you could become claustrophobic and misinterpret it as feeling like you are being watched.
Déjà vu, which translated from French means “already seen”, is a phenomenon where you believe that you have experienced an event or series of event before. It is more common in younger people, however there is a recognized medical disorder where someone has this feeling occur often. There is perceived déjà vu which we all refer to when mentioning the term. As we can’t readily recall every second of every day when a series of events occur exactly as they have before we may feel the sense of déjà vu. This can cause a very odd feeling which can be misperceived as paranormal activity.
There are plenty of other things that can cause someone to believe they are experiencing paranormal activity when they are not, however I covered the more frequent ones in this blog. How many of these situations that I discussed today have occurred in your life?