Thursday, 10 November 2016

Haunting noises

VigilRecently I entered a familiar building that I expected to be empty. Straight away I heard sounds from inside that suggested someone was there. I said 'hello' in a friendly way but there was no reply. I felt uneasy as it suddenly reminded my of a scene from a horror movie. And I knew what usually happened next!

I told myself to stop being silly and cautiously went to investigate. I entered the room where the noises came from and there was no one there! So, a ghost then! After a while I heard the noises again. Yes, you've guessed it, they came from that new fridge I wrote about recently (see here). It was a different noise this time but was undoubtedly coming from the fridge. The sound did gave a vague impression of objects were being moving around. Despite that I was puzzled by why the sounds gave me the strong impression someone was present when I first heard them.

I think at least part of it was that the sound source was round a corner, out of sight. So how different would it have been if the fridge had been visible when I first heard the noises? I could have immediately visually ruled out the presence of a real person. And I would have been able to hear that the noises came from the fridge, so also ruling out the possibility of a ghost. There is more about how noise coming from round corners in this article (here) about paranormal sounds.

So I've now been caught out twice by the same appliance! If I hadn't definitely tracked the noises down to the fridge I might well consider the building haunted by now.

I've learnt two lessons from this experience. Firstly, I can easily appreciate now how unfamiliar noises in a familiar environment can produce a feeling of a ghostly presence. Secondly, people really do say 'hello' when they enter what they think is an empty building and hear sounds they think show they're not alone. I thought it only happened in horror movies.

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