Monday, 30 March 2015

A ghost retreats

 ShadowI don't currently pay any attention to the door ghost (background here) as I am looking into other stuff right now. Indeed, to avoid seeing it I try to remember to keep my hands out of sight when at the relevant location! But, every now and again, I forget about the ghost and it duly appears, usually catching me by surprise. Which is exactly what happened recently.

I saw the shadowy presence behind me and, without thinking about it, moved my hand out of sight to get rid of the figure. But it didn't simply obligingly vanish. Instead, I saw the feet of the dark ghostly figure retreating backwards away from me. It was so realistic that I turned round to make sure there wasn't a real person behind me. There wasn't.

I've never seen this particular phenomenon before - the door ghost walking away from me. Although it felt real at the time, I wondered why, on reflection. That's because the feet were tiny. They appeared too small for the figure. I have only ever seen the legs and feet but I hadn't noticed that the feet are disproportionately small. This is no doubt a result of the fact that the effect is caused by my own hand. Oddities like this, in ghostly figures, are a good pointer towards misperception as a likely cause of the apparition. That's because a ghostly misperceived figure is shaped., to a large extent, by the real object causing the effect. I think I found the feet realistic, despite their diminutive appearance, because the idea of an unknown shadowy figure standing behind me was disturbing. I think there are strong human instincts to treat apparent threats as real until they can be shown to be harmless.

It was also interesting that the ghost 'walked away' rather than simply vanish. I think that's because my hand couldn't simply vanish, so neither could the ghost. And to make sense of the situation my brain showed me the figure walking away - as real human figures do!

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