Thursday, 25 September 2014

Ghost insects?

Crows in a treeMost paranormal experiences are seen or heard. A small number concern anomalous smells. But occasionally odd things happen that we can only detect through the sense of touch.

Recently, I stepped on 'something' with my bare feet. Disturbingly, it tickled and moved! I removed my foot hastily, assuming I'd stepped on an insect or spider. When I looked closely and carefully at the floor I could see nothing. I was not wearing my glasses (short-sighted) but, even so, I can usually see insects quite plainly without them. I have never come across a report of a ghost insect but, given that people report ghost animals, I don't see why they shouldn't exist.

A little later, I happened to be wiping the floor when I came across something in the exact place where I'd felt the 'insect'. It was a small piece of clear plastic film, probably shrink wrap. It blended in so well with its surroundings, I only found it when I moved it with a cloth. I tried standing on it and, sure enough, it moved under my foot, feeling uncannily like something small and alive!

We tend to rely far less on touch, compared to sight and sound, to get an idea of what is around us. However, there are occasions, like this one, when touch is all we have to go on. Personally, I don't think touch is particularly reliable on its own. And, even when combined with information from other senses, it can often give a misleading impression of our surroundings. When ghost vigils are held in the dark, touch can become a key, and often unreliable, source of information. I think we should always treat paranormal reports based largely on touch with caution (see here for a more dramatic example).

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