Friday, 14 March 2014

Ghost at a window

Crows in a treeThere appears to be a whole genre of ghost reports concerning windows. Many of them are photos which appear to show a ghostlier face or figure where none was seen at the time of exposure. These are usually caused by a reflection or partially illuminated object seen through the window or a combination of the two. In all the cases I've seen, there did not, however, seem to be any actual ghost involved.

Recently, I've started seeing my own window ghost. Sightings are quite frequent, usually towards dusk. I am inside a particular building and approaching one specific window, sideways on, when I get a peripheral vision glimpse of a figure at the window. If I get closer and/or turn to look straight at the window, there is invariably no one there.

The ghost is an extremely vague figure, just a shadowy shape really. It gives the impression of a human figure due its overall size and shape. It is roughly how an average height person would look if they stood just outside. I never see any detailed features in the shape.

Interestingly, if I deliberately TRY to see the ghost, I never succeed. It only notice it, like the door ghost, when I've forgotten it is there. I've noticed that the ghost appears more readily when I'm feeling preoccupied or distracted. This, too, corresponds with my experiences with the door ghost. I've looked at the window from various angles but not seen any object outside that might account for the ghostly figure.

I think a key factor, however, is that the ghost always appears just when the window first comes into view around a corner. I think it may be the fact that the window is partially obscured that gives an impression, in peripheral vision only, of a shadowy shape. Shapes seen in peripheral vision are typically monochrome and their shape poorly defined. So the ghost appears to be caused by something partially covering the view of the window.

So, mystery solved - a peripheral vision misperception (also known as corner of the eye phenomena) - probably. I think there is a further factor involved here. There is something quite disturbing about the idea of someone standing just outside a window looking in at you. I suspect that notion plays a part, just as the door ghost's unsettling habit of standing just behind me does. As I've often said, misperception often takes the form of what you really want to see, or really don't want to see!

PS: I recently had a bizarre misperception where some ordinary domestic objects on someone's balcony appeared to as a wooden statue!

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