Why We Investigate At Night Part 2
When you watch paranormal investigation television shows you may have noticed that the extreme majority of investigations or ghost hunts are completed at night. Have you ever wondered why this is so? Today’s blog entry is part two of a two part series where we will discuss this phenomenon. On part one we discussed how many paranormal investigations, ghost hunts, ghost tours, and paranormal themed televisions shows are done at night simply for the spooky factor as not all groups use a level of science that would cause you to choose to engage in paranormal related activities at night for scientific purposes. We also discussed how sometimes it is due to scheduling necessities due to the investigators or clients working during the day. Today we will discuss the science component and reasons for conducting paranormal investigations in the evening. Some of what is explored here is pulled from previous blog posts and podcasts that I have authored so some of this you may have read or heard before if you follow my blog or podcast.
During the day there is a slew of various activities going on around us that can have an affect on our investigations. First and foremost is noise pollution coming from cars, people, businesses, construction, etc. It is hard to complete Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP) and Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) sessions when there is all sorts of noise coming into the location from outside. All of what I just mentioned can cause other interference which I will discuss further later on in this blog entry.
Electromagnetic Energy: Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic (EM) field, propagating through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. Half of the equipment used by paranormal investigators are various sensors pertaining to electromagnetic radiation, yet many people don’t exactly understand what it is, how the equipment senses it, and how it can or cannot be manipulated by a paranormal entity. It is imperative to understand electromagnetic radiation if you are going to be a paranormal investigator. Our biggest source of electromagnetic radiation is the sun. The sun bombards us with virtually the entire spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. In particular visible light, infrared, and radio waves is what can affect a paranormal investigation. Light artifacts from the sun can cause all kinds of visual issues with cameras. Light from the sun can also cause anomalies on cameras that are capable of detection light in the near infrared spectrum such as what are marketed as full spectrum cameras. In addition the light from the sun can also cause artifacts in the far infrared spectrum which is visible using a FLIR camera. The radiation from the sun also causes all kinds of audio artifacts on audio recording equipment. Temperature can fluctuate more quickly during the day when the sun is out and can cause more anomalies with meteorological equipment. Now let’s tackle a few deeper science related reasons why I prefer to perform paranormal investigations in the evening. Passing cars, heavy machinery including air conditioning and heating apparatuses, and nearby construction can cause spikes in electromagnetic energy which can affect your investigation. Minimizing electromagnetic energy is done by investigating at night as all of those situations that can cause interference are minimized.
Vibroacoustic Phenomenon including Infrasound – The human ear can generally hear within the range of 20hz to 20,000hz. Sound frequencies between 0hz and 20hz are called infrasound. Although it is rare, some humans can hear down to 18hz. Infrasound is sound below the threshold of human hearing. Some animals can hear into the infrasound range. Elephants, rhinoceros and hippopotami can hear infrasound and use it to communicate when in large herds. Infrasound has been found to have an effect on the human nervous system and can cause perceived paranormal activity via hallucinations. Any large appliance can cause infrasound, large equipment outside of your home in the neighborhood such as construction equipment and mother nature can cause infrasound as well. Infrasound can do one or more of a few things. Firstly, it can create additional interference and electric noise with your devices. While I always use a Faraday cage on my voice recorder, I strongly suggest that they are used if investigating during a storm. Secondly, there is the possibility for a greatly increased level of infrasound which can affect the people conducting the investigation. Be aware that during storms there may be spikes of infrasound at 7.83hz and 14.3hz which you can not hear called Schumann Resonances which doesn’t include the additional infrasound caused by thunder itself. For those sensitive it can cause strange sensations that could be misperceived as paranormal. Symptoms of infrasound sensitivity include vertigo, imbalance, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, bowel spasm, resonances in the inner organs, and other intolerable sensations. There is equipment available to receive infrasound and give it a display read out on a laptop. To purchase the device you are looking at spending around $350 and a compatible laptop and included software is necessary. The device does not work by itself without a laptop. However, if found there isn’t really anything that you can do to prevent infrasound & Schumann Resonances from interacting with your investigation, but it is important to be aware of them during a paranormal investigation and not mistake the results of them as something paranormal. Passing cars, heavy machinery including air conditioning and heating apparatuses, and nearby construction can cause spikes in infrasound which can affect your investigation. Minimizing natural infrasound is done by investigating at night.
There is a phenomenon that allows long distance radio communications that is called ionospheric radio wave propagation. This phenomenon occurs when solar magnetic radiation emanating from sunspots, which are magnetic storms on the sun, electrically charges the Earth’s ionosphere. The ionosphere is a region of Earth’s atmosphere that ranges from 30 to 250 miles above the surface of the Earth. When solar electromagnetic radiation causes the ionosphere to become electrically charged it causes the ionosphere to act like a mirror for radio signals below 30MHz so it is possible for the signals to bounce off the charged ionosphere and end up hundreds or up to 10,000+ miles away on the other side of the world. Radio signals also can bounce off of the Earth’s terrain and water to allow for multiple skips. Sunspots which cause radio propagation are on a 11 year cycle, therefore ionospheric radio wave propagation conditions go on a 11 year cycle (intensity wise). In 2006 we were at the lowest activity part of the cycle. The cycle peaked again in 2013 and is estimated to peak again in November 2024. It is predicted to be the strongest solar peak on record. Ionospheric radio wave propagation isn’t always happening. Some days it is very strong and using an AM radio, Citizen’s Band Radio, or a Short-wave Radio you can hear signals coming from all over the world. Other days there is no active ionospheric radio wave propagation due to ionospheric conditions. The level of propagation completely depends on sunspot intensity on the surface of the sun. There is no exact science to predict when propagation conditions will be present, but there are ways to have a well informed guess. Often the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a department within the United States Government, will report when there was a big solar flare which will create Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australias (Northern and Southern Lights). This can often increase ionospheric radio wave propagation. The are really only two things that you can do to see if there is ionospheric radio wave propagation conditions in your area. The first way is to buy a shortwave radio and check out multiple radio bands below 30MHz. The easier option is to monitor two websites which are maintained by the NOAA. The Space Weather report (caused by the Sun) can be found at https://www.swpc.noaa.gov . That is a website to look at in the few days leading up to your investigation. Just before and during your investigation it is beneficial to check on the current status of the ionospheric radio wave propagation reports can be found at https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/communities/radio-communications. Conducting your investigation at night help minimizes ionospheric radio wave propagation as it primarily occurs during the day until an hour or so after sunset.
Is there a way to keep all of these radio waves from affecting your audio equipment. YES there is! It is called a faraday bag or a faraday cage. They run in cost from $15-$25 depending on size. I use one on my voice recorder to block out any potential radio signals. I know some of you are saying right now, but Mr. Extreme if I use a faraday bag on my Spirt/Ghost/Frank’s box I won’t hear anything because the radio waves are being blocked out and the spirits can’t talk to me! Oy vey! Don’t let me get started on another rant why the Spirit/Ghost/Frank’s box can not do what is claimed of it. If you want to hear that rant check out my blog entry or podcast episode entitled “Paranormal Investigation Equipment That We Don’t Recommend”
This concludes my two part series on why paranormal investigations are typically done at night.