Friday, 22 August 2014

Haunted door would have been easier with app!

WaterfallI could see no obvious source for the metallic pinging sound. I only noticed it because it happened twice. Then it stopped. A brief search for a source of the sound revealed nothing. I noticed the sound again a day later. It was coming from exactly the same place, apparently behind a door. Then I realised something. On each occasion when I heard the weird noise, I was leaning on the door.

Investigation revealed that the sound was coming from the door latch. It was stiff so that the door resisted being closed strongly if you did not turn door handle at the same time. By pushing on the door to close it, without touching the handle, the latch pressed on the locking mechanism giving a metallic sound - the pinging I'd heard. I could reproduce the sound consistently in this way. Other doors in the same building, with exactly the same mechanism, did not do the same thing. That's because they were not as stiff and closed silently and smoothly when pressed.

If this incident had only happened to me once, I would have been at a loss to explain it. Noticing that the sound corresponded with leaning on the door was crucial to understanding how the sound originated. So it was all down to serendipity and persistence, two of the most underestimated factors in paranormal investigation.

When looking for xenonormal causes of apparently paranormal incidents, it is vital to know all the conditions of the original observation. Tiny details, like me leaning on that door, can be vital in explaining what is really going on. Unfortunately, in all the excitement of seeing something weird, many witnesses will fail to remember, or even notice, such apparently trivial details.

This makes life difficult for investigators examining the scene of a reported paranormal incident. It is why xenonormal studies are so important. Maybe one day there will be an app into which you type the circumstances of an observation and the observed effect. The app would then come up with suggestions about what to look out for, based on previous similar cases. Well, I can dream!

PS: And the photo? Well, waterfalls are more interesting visually than doors.

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