THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GHOSTS of panic, disorientation and changes in heart rate. Once the fan was removed, all ghostly experiences stopped.
5 POSSIBLE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS
1 BRAIN GLITCHES
Ghosts tend to be seen in fleeting glimpses. These images are illusions produced by the brain, resulting from something as simple as tiredness says Joe Nickell, senior research fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. “It’s a trick of the eye,” according to Nickell. “Your eyelid will twitch or an insect will fly by and this will trigger a momentary welling up of a mental image. It’s like a camera’s double exposure for a brief moment.”
2 CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Fans of this theory point to a supposed haunting in America in 1921. The family, dubbed the H family in medical literature, moved into an old house and started hearing moving furniture and weird voices – even being held down by phantoms. But after an investigation, carbon monoxide was found to be leaking from a furnace. Doctors concluded that oxygen deprivation caused their creepy symptoms.
In 1998, lecturer Vic Tandy began noting strange occurrences in the medical lab at the UK’S Coventry University: chills, dark apparitions, equipment moving. Being a man of science, Tandy set out to discover the source of all this creepiness. He found a very low frequency standing wave (19Hz) inaudible to the human ear – known as infrasound – coming from a recently installed ventilation fan. Infrasound is known to cause feelings
4 EXTERNAL INFLUENCES
A study at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014 had volunteers watching a video of a psychic bending a metal key with his mind. In one part of the experiment, participants viewed the video with a partner, who unknown to them was working with the research team, and would insist they saw the key bending. Volunteers were more likely to say they saw the key change shape when they were with someone who claimed they saw it too. “One person’s account can influence another person’s memory,” said study coauthor Christopher French.
SMELL OF FEAR Research by Professor Shane Rogers at Clarkson University, US, suggests mold found in old buildings can cause symptoms like irrational fear and dementia. 2 1 3 4