Monday, 16 October 2017

If a ghost is blurry is it paranormal?

Sharp object blurry backgroundIf a ghost looks blurry is it paranormal? I should add that the witness in this hypothetical case is myopic (short-sighted) and not wearing glasses or contact lenses.  Normally, of course, everything would look blurry to such a person. However, being myopic myself, I’ve seen ghosts IN focus in such situations. Also, I’ve come across reports that other people have had the same experience.

You might think that seeing a ghost in focus, when it should be blurry, might be a sign it is paranormal. After all, it shouldn't be possible in any normal situation. However, in my case it was because the ghost was a misperception.  I’ve also seen other misperceived objects IN focus when I am not wearing my glasses. It would appear to be a feature of misperception.

So why would I misperceive things IN focus when they ought to be blurry? Misperceptions happen when we cannot see something well and our brains substitute another object into the scene we are seeing. It appears to be our brain’s best guess as to what the object really is and the substituted image comes from our own visual memory. So this would imply that my visual memories are IN focus, despite my being myopic. This makes sense as I, like many other myopic people, wear my glasses pretty much all the time. So my visual memories should be in focus. Another common source of ghost sightings are hallucinations. In near sleep experiences, for instance, visual elements from dreams are superimposed on real scenery. As far as I'm aware I dream IN focus so I'd expect ghosts to be sharp if I saw one in a near sleep experience when I was not wearing glasses.

So if I saw a blurry ghost when I was not wearing glasses, would that be an indication that it was paranormal? It would certainly imply that the ghost was a real object 'out there', as opposed to something subjective (like a misperception or hallucination). However, it might still not be a paranormal ghost. If I saw someone in historical costume, for instance, I might think it was a ghost when it was someone very real (see here for recent example).

So it seems that whether a ghost is blurry, or not, to someone with myopia while not wearing glasses, is not a reliable test to see if it is paranormal. It has made me wonder if there are any tests that WOULD reliably distinguish a paranormal from a xenonormal ghost. I haven't thought of one yet but I'll continue to think about it.

Incidentally, there is apparently technology currently being developed that could allow people with myopia to see visual displays in focus when not wearing glasses.

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