Monday, 2 February 2015

Door ghost refuses to vanish!

ShadowSometimes I don't have time for ghosts! Given my level of enthusiasm for the subject that may be hard to believe, but it's true. The other day was one such occasion. I saw the door ghost for the first time this year. I was in a hurry and the apparition was distracting me, so I moved my hand out of the way to make it disappear. Except it didn't!

As regular readers will be aware the door ghost (see here for background) is a shadowy figure that is a misperception caused by my own hand reflected in frosted glass. So it should have vanished when I moved my hand away. That there was still a shadowy figure behind me gave me a frisson of disquiet. Rather than turn round, I stared more closely at the reflection and realised that it was a tussock of grass in the path behind me. Once I saw that, the ghost vanished never to reappear, as usual with misperceptions.

I wondered afterwards whether I would have seen that tussock as a ghost if I'd never seen the door ghost before. Had my regular encounters with the door apparition sensitized me to see ghosts in that particular spot? Or was it that the particular arrangement of a reflection in frosted glass would inevitably have made me misperceive a figure there eventually?

Either way, it leads to an interesting possibility regarding ghosts produced my misperception. A witness may see a ghost repeatedly in the same location. However, the object being misperceived might be different on each occasion. However, and not unnaturally, the witness is likely to regard each of the sightings as the same ghost.

So what does this mean for the practical investigation of ghost sightings? Well, the object that caused a misperception may no longer be present when an investigator examines the site. This has, of course, always been the case. But now we have to consider the possibility that different objects, when present in the same location, could be misperceived as the same ghost. It is no longer a question of one misperceived object equals one ghost!

So, it becomes important to understand what objects have, or might have, been present in a particular location during sightings. It may also be worth checking with the witness if a ghost seen in the same place one more than one occasion actually looked just the same or not. It is also vital to stand in exactly the position where the witness stood and look in the same direction they did. There just might be something unexpected, like frosted glass, there!

PS: The ASSAP website has been getting lots of hits in recent months. Indeed, last month was the third highest total ever. And it was busy even before the Seriously Possessed event pages went live.

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