Thursday, 18 October 2012

New revelations about the 'door ghost'!

Regular readers will be aware that I frequently see a shadowy figure standing behind me, reflected in the frosted glass of an outside door (start here if you've not heard about this). It seems that every time I forget about the ghost, it reappears, typical of misperception. I have discovered, over time, that the ghostly figure is actually me, or at least my arm and hand!

The shadow ghost appeared once again, recently. What was interesting this time was that a real person walked by at the same time. They, too, were reflected in the frosted glass and also appeared as a shadowy figure, though further away than my 'ghost'. I fully expected this real person to look much more obviously 'real'! I also thought my misperceived shadow ghost would instantly vanish as my brain compared the two images! However, the ghost persisted! Indeed, it was difficult to tell the real person from the 'ghost'! They both appeared as a shadow figures, devoid of detail!

This is interesting because it means that people may see both misperceived and real human figures at the same time! In other words, it works a bit like a near sleep experience where real and non-real figures can mix in the same scene, with the whole thing appearing completely real! Such a mixture of the real and misperceived would be easily accepted by a witness as all totally real! It is little wonder witnesses find misperceptions such convincing ghosts!

So far, then, I have discovered that comparing a misperception with the real thing does not 'break' it. Nor does blinking! The only sure way I know to break a misperception is by getting a better view of the misperceived object. Having said that, misperception is fragile so it only takes one good view to see what an object really is. But in certain circumstances, like low light, a misperception may persist pretty much indefinitely.

Incidentally, the 'door ghost' is another example of a 'window ghost', as it is a reflection in a glass pane. I don't know of any reports of shadow ghosts reflected in frosted glass but I wouldn't be surprised if they exist.

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