Friday, 15 March 2013

A ghost mouse, a ghost hand and the wind

Walking along on a windy day recently, my attention was caught by a small animal scurrying around in front of a high fence. A mouse, perhaps? The animal quickly vanished. So, a ghost mouse then!

On another windy day, also recently, I saw someone apparently attempting to put washing on a clothes line. I guess it caught my attention because the very windy conditions did not seem good for hanging washing. I continued to watch, to see how the person got on, but they never appeared! Do ghosts need to hang up washing, I wondered? Thinking about it, all I'd seen was a hand on the clothes line. The rest of the person (or ghost) was concealed by an overhanging tree. So, a ghost hand, then!

Back to the ghost mouse. It soon became obvious that the 'creature' was actually a small piece of thin black plastic, perhaps from a bag. It moved rapidly in a roughly circular pattern, continually turning over and over, thus giving the impression of a small animal scurrying about. As a misperception, I actually SAW it as a mouse for a second or two before it became obvious what it really was.

The ghost hand turned out to be an orangey-pink cloth hanging on an adjacent, concealed washing line. A portion of it, around hand-sized, became periodically visible from my position as it was blown by the strong wind. There it gave the appearance of a human hand doing something with the clothes line. When it came back for a second and third time, I could see what it really was. Once again, as a misperception, it looked like a genuine human hand, at least on the first occasion.This is typical of misperceptions, which are strongest when they take place in a location where you might reasonably expect a person, or a hand in this case, to be present.

Most of the misperceptions I've seen have been static, so it is interesting to come across some good examples that move. In both cases the wind was responsible so that's a factor to consider when evaluating moving ghost sightings. Also in both cases, without the wind there would have been no misperception in the first place!

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