Paranormal Investigators Shouldn't Be Afraid To Go Into The Light
This article is more than two years old.
Paranormal investigators are known for hunting ghosts in the dark, but there's a very good reason why they should be searching for spook in the light too.
Ghost hunters give various explanations as to why they prefer to ghost hunt in the dark, but there are countless reports of ghost sightings not only in the dead of night, but also in broad daylight and lit buildings.
Of course darkness helps to set the mood and is appropriate on a public ghost hunting event. It's the paranormal equivalent of lighting a candle for a romantic meal - it sets the mood. However, if you're conducting a scientific investigation, the darkness isn't required and may actually be hindering your research.
One reason that ghost hunters investigate in the dark is because they tend to have more free time in the evenings and are only able to investigate locations at night when they are closed to the public. This is of course a valid reason for investigating at night, but it doesn't explain why they also turn the lights off at the location.
One commonly stated reason for not turning the lights on and avoiding sunlight is that the darkness heightens our other senses and makes it easier to spot spooks. This isn't a very logical statement. The darkness might heighten your other senses, but it also completely takes away what is arguably your most valuable sense... sight.
When playing hide and seek as a kid, did you ever wear a blindfold in order to heighten your other senses and find your friend? Probably not, or you'd still be looking for them now. If you are looking for evidence, eyes are a great tool. Not only do you stand a better chance of seeing a ghostly apparition or poltergeist activity with the lights on, you can also use your eyes to validate or debunk happenings.
How many times have you been on a ghost hunt and you've heard a sound around you? Usually this results in all the investigators grabbing their torches and trying to find out what has moved or fallen. If the lights had been on, you may well have seen an object move or a door slam, whether the movement was the result of the paranormal or not.
At the very least you should conduct an initial walk around the location with the lights on. This will allow you properly check the state of every room. You'll have an idea of which doors were open and closed if you hear a slam. If something is thrown you might remember where that object came from having seen it in the light.
Another reason some ghost hunters prefer to work in the dark is because of the belief that it's easier for a ghost to manifest in the dark. It's thought that after death, the soul continues to live on outside of the body as a form of spiritual energy. This is why ghost hunters often use electromagnetic field meters to detect what they think might be the early stages of ghostly manifestation.
It's claimed that in order for a spirit to become a ghost or figure, it needs to draw on all of its energy to become a physical, or at least visible, but in a light environment it's drowned out by surrounding energy fields, like the solar radiation from the Sun that ionises our atmosphere. Occasionally a spirit will be strong enough to overcome this obstacle and manifest in the day time but generally it's thought to be more difficult.
This theory could be true, but like any theory about the paranormal, it needs to be tested by doing investigations in well-lit locations, as well as in the darkness. The only way to determine whether paranormal activity is more rife in the darkness is to compare it to levels in the light.
Investigating in the darkness is also not an appropriate approach for all hauntings. Where reported activity exclusively takes place at a specific time of day in broad daylight, or in well-lit workplaces or homes, then the haunting should be investigated at the same time of day or in the same conditions.
If the ghost of a lady in white has been seeing roaming around a castle by tourists in the daytime, then why would you even consider trying to observe that same apparition yourself in anything other than the original conditions, broad daylight?
Some paranormal science and methods would suggest the possibility that light might actually increase paranormal activity. Some investigators experiment with a device called an EM pump, which pumps electromagnetic energy out into a location in the hopes that spirits can draw on that energy and use it to manifest or communicate.
The obvious fact that is being overlooked here is that light is a form electromagnetic energy too. Turning a light on is a much more efficient way of pumping EM into a room, especially since most EM pumps are battery powered and capable of pumping out just a few microwatts of power, while a standard incandescent electric light could be supplying up to 100 watts.
Plus there's the massive amounts of electromagnetic energy that the Sun radiates to Earth during the day.
The biggest problem with ghost hunting in the dark is that while our eyes are an invaluable tool in the light, in the darkness they can be unreliable. Our eyes can play tricks on us in the dark. You may think you've seen something that's not really there in our hyper-sensitive state as our eyes struggle to compensate for the low light. Our eyes strain to see in the darkness and thee brain tries to make sense of what it's seeing by forming familiar shapes and patterns and its at times like these when you are most likely to see something that isn't really there.
So next time you find yourself sat in the dark calling out for ghosts to show themselves, why not turn the lights on, at least for half of the investigation.
Left In The Dark At Margam Castle
I was at a public ghost hunting event at Margam Castle in Port Talbot, Wales where I experienced probably one of my most intriguing paranormal happenings to date.
The group of ghost hunters were in the castle's drawing room in the dark. I was stood in the large doorway with my back to the adjoining room, the library. As the group was calling out and willing activity to happen, a few of us heard something coming from the library.
It sounded like a small stone had been thrown, and bounced off of something before landing. A couple of us put our torches on and went to investigate the sound. Very quickly we were able to find a stone in the middle of the floor in the area we thought the sound had come from.
It did seem like the stone could have been responsible for the sound, but it was harder to tell for sure because the room had been dark. If the lights had been on, or we had seen the room previously in the light, we may have noticed if the stone was lying on the carpet already. This would of course either confirm the incident or allow us to rule the stone out and continue looking for the possible cause of the sound.
There's also a chance that with the lights on we might have seen that stone move, fall or being thrown. And, although I don't suspect it in this case, having the lights on does make it harder for someone to fake activity like a stone being thrown.
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