Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Yet another shadow ghost!

Night fallsIf you found yourself in a situation that recalled a horror movie, how would you react? When it happened to me recently, I didn't react well! I had just entered a darkened empty room. It was night time and the only illumination came from a street light outside through the uncurtained window.

It caught my eye immediately - the unmistakable shadow of a large human figure on the wall opposite the window. I freely admit to being shocked! I turned round with some trepidation and saw no one there. Only after a few seconds of confusion did I notice an area of condensation on the window that just happened to strongly resemble the shape of a human figure. It was much smaller than the shadow it projected, of course. I missed it at first because, quite frankly, I was expecting to see a real person! If I'd never noticed the condensation I would have been left with an unexplained shadow that could easily have been interpreted as a shadow ghost.

The sight of an unexplained shadow would have been disconcerting in any case but the resemblance to a scene from a horror movie made it worse. I think the such familiar scenes from movies may actually actually encourage people to see weird things. For instance, walking around an old building at night almost inevitably recalls scenes from ghost or horror movies. I wonder if such scenes may actually constitute spookiness factors.

It has often been suggested that fiction affects real life reports of anomalous phenomena. So some people, when seeing a strange light in the sky, will inevitably think 'extraterrestrial'. In the days before UFOs entered popular culture, it's unlikely that thought would have occurred to them. But I wonder if encountering situations which resemble typical movie scenes may produce particular expectations, albeit unconsciously. I would guess that some ghost sightings could easily result from someone finding themselves in a situation that resembles one from a ghost movie. Psychological expectation is always an important factor in anomalous cases and should be looked out for during investigations. It would also be well worth looking out for odd-shaped condensation on windows!

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