Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Follow that ghost!

On entering a short passageway through a door recently, I heard a bang. Looking ahead I saw that there was a second door less than two metres beyond. The noise was it banging shut ahead of me. I was slightly puzzled because it meant there was someone just ahead of me. However, I hadn't seen anyone going through the first door just ahead of me. I supposed the person must have been hanging round in the short passageway between the two doors for some reason!

On going through the second door I entered a smallish room. There was no one there! Now this was weird because there was only one door in the room and I had just entered through it! OK, there was a window but it was firmly closed. There simply would not have been time (a few seconds) for someone to enter the room, climb out of the window and shut it behind them! So, it must be a ghost then!

I searched the room again, more thoroughly, but there was no one there and nowhere for anyone to hide. A ghost seemed the only viable solution to this little mystery. Except ...! I noted that both doors I had been through opened inwards. I had pushed both to enter the room. Looking at the short passageway separating the doors, there were only walls, no windows, no ventilation grills, nowhere for air to escape easily!

Anyone who has stood on the station platform of an underground railway will be familiar with the piston effect, even if they don't know what it is called. Because the air is confined by tunnel sides, when a train is approaching you feel a wind. A similar effect was causing my 'ghost'. When I opened the first door I compressed the air in the passageway slightly, because there was no easy way for it to escape. This opened the second door a little. As I entered the passageway, the air was released through the gap I had created by opening the first door. The second door then slammed shut, giving the impression someone had just used it. Mystery solved!

The sort of piston effect can explain mysterious door openings wherever there is a similar arrangement of doors. It sounds like a bizarre arrangement of doors for any building but it's surprisingly common, in my experience. It is always worth keeping an eye out for situations like this which COULD be interpreted as haunting phenomena if not properly thoroughly. The chances are that, one day, you will come across it really being reported as a ghost!

No comments:

Post a Comment