We live in a world that is based on logic. In a world without ghosts, angels, or devils, the creaking of floors at night is due to a badly placed parquet, not another visit from a recently departed grandma. But, if ghosts and everything else isn’t real, why are so many individuals certain that they’ve seen anything supernatural in some way?
The answer to this issue may be found in our brain’s properties. Science may provide answers to certain unusual topics, but when it comes to paranormal experiences, the scientific rationale for these occurrences might be even more spectacular than the tales themselves.
How the Ouija board works (Ideomotor Effect)
When you gather a group of friends and decide to perform a seance using an Ouija board, you may observe that a little plastic (or wooden) pointer begins to move on its own. Furthermore, individuals who touch it and move it will know they aren’t doing anything. There will, of course, be some. They will just be unaware of it. This is known as the “ideomotor effect,” and there is an intriguing experiment you can undertake at home to show it.
Take a thread and dangle something heavy from it. Take a tight grip on the weighted string. Now ask yourself a question, and tell yourself that if the answer is “yes,” the weight will revolve clockwise, and if the answer is “no,” the weight will rotate counterclockwise. If you believe in magic, the weight should rotate in the other way based on your response. Furthermore, you may be certain that it performs it rather than relying on your assistance.
The fact that our bodies make small unconscious motions explains this. When you ask yourself a question, your subconscious mind replies by inadvertently moving your muscles without your knowledge. As a consequence, your fingers will begin to move independently, unwinding the weight and attempting to answer the question. The weight will seem to be rotating on its own to you.
The same thing happens when you use an Ouija board. Your subconscious mind starts to move the plastic pointer without your knowledge, and it seems to you that it moves on its own.
How Exorcism works: The Henry Placebo experiment
Demon possession is a common explanation for a variety of phenomena. For decades, people have blamed schizophrenia, epilepsy, and a slew of other mental illnesses on demons infiltrating a person’s mind. But how can exorcism be explained if this isn’t the case? Why could individuals recover from unintelligible spells in Latin if it was all about schizophrenia?
Our brains hold the key to the solution. King Henry IV convened a council towards the end of the 16th century to undertake an experiment on a lady who claimed to be possessed by demons. It worked because the lady was informed the group was made up of exorcist priests.
The church first gave the lady holy water. They put it in a regular cup and stated it was just simple water. The use of genuine holy water had no impact. The lady was then given ordinary water, but she was informed it was holy water, and she trembled in anguish.
They then placed a piece of iron on the lady, claiming it to be a piece of the genuine cross. In pain, the lady started rolling around on the floor. They also attempted to read a Latin book, claiming it to be the Bible. Despite reading Virgil’s Aeneid, the lady started to tremble again.
And this was not a ruse in the least. This was something she concocted in her head. And practically everyone may be persuaded that something has an impact on them. More recently, a group of psychologists tried attempted to persuade a group of doubters that demons exist. By the conclusion of the study, 18% of the test respondents had not only come to believe in demons but also in their own possession.
Why do people believe in past lives? the false fame paradigm
The reason some individuals believe they recall being Joan of Arc or ancient Egyptian artisans is simple: they have a bad memory.
The “Paradigm of False Fame” was developed by a group of scholars from the University of Maastricht. It was attended by many groups of individuals who were confident in their ability to recall former incarnations. A list of names was supplied to the participants. The following day, they were given a list of names to read, which included both known and strange names from the previous day. People who claimed to recall previous lives stated that the names they made up the day before were the names of renowned people.
In other words, these individuals’ memories were not particularly stable. When they couldn’t recall where they heard a familiar name, their minds concocted a tale to explain who these imposters were. It’s thought that the same thing occurs when individuals write about their prior life.
What causes individuals to feel as though they are hovering above their bodies?
Many individuals had the sensation of hovering above their own body, peering in. This was most often noticed in patients who were dying or on the edge of death. Is this, however, genuine or merely a figment of our imagination?
The researchers used a card to write a message on and put it on top of a machine in a hospital room to find out. They then inquired whether the patient felt like he was hanging over his own body as he left the room and if yes, what was written on the card. Three others said they’d had similar experiences, but none of them could recall the card.
The oddest part is that these individuals were not acting. Another team looked into a lady who claimed to be able to leave her body and travel across space at will. The lady was connected up to a gadget that tracks brain activity and told to “go out of the body” to observe how her brain responded.
The region of the brain that controls vision was nearly totally muted, whereas sections connected with mental imagery flashed, indicating that the lady was not fully lying. She started to notice her own body from the side. However, based on the results of her brain’s functioning, we may deduce that the lady did not leave her body but rather spontaneously generated hallucinations in herself.
Why do individuals see ghosts?
Not everyone who claims to have encountered ghosts is telling the truth. Some individuals think they have seen dead persons close to them or that God has come down from heaven to speak with them. It isn’t necessary for it to be schizophrenia.
It’s a little tough to explain, but the psychologists who looked into it saw a trend. It’s tough to locate someone who has seen a ghost among most gatherings of people. However, the situation is quite different for elderly widows. Polls show that roughly half of older American widows have seen their deceased husbands.
Most of the time, they were widows who lived alone, and these occurrences are linked to a period of great stress. By the way, this is virtually usually the case; other individuals have reported seeing spirits in identical situations. Almost all of them are lonely, and they often find themselves in strange situations or under extreme stress.
This, according to psychologists, is the true reason why these individuals perceive ghosts. It isn’t as if deceased spouses appear. Extreme stress and loneliness, on the other hand, might cause hallucinations.
Why do people believe extraterrestrials have abducted them?
Many individuals believe they were kidnapped by aliens at night for far simpler reasons than you may suppose. According to the results of one trial, these folks were just dreaming about it.
The researchers gathered a group of 20 participants who had mastered the lucid dreaming method (the ability to control their dreams). They were given a mission: they had to split from their bodies and discover the UFO when they gained control of their own dreams.
In a dream, 35% of the participants in the experiment witnessed aliens approaching them and attempting to take them. All they had to do was think about aliens before going to sleep, and the brain conjured up an alien abduction scenario on its own.
It’s thought that persons who feel they’ve been abducted would experience the same thing. This most often happens during “sleep paralysis,” which occurs when muscular paralysis develops before falling asleep or before it dissipates. This causes hallucinations that intruders are approaching your bed.
People with sleep paralysis reported being assaulted by demons at night several hundred years ago. Demons are no longer fashionable. As a result, aliens have replaced demons as the “come” factor.
Why do there seem to be ghosts in the home due to infrasound?
Vic Tandy, a physicist, had a weird encounter while working at a suspected ghost factory. He was seized with cold and indifference all of a sudden. Then he realized, out of the corner of his eye, that a gloomy figure was staring at him. It took the guy some time to gather his bearings since everything was so terrifying. When he was able to do this, the spirit vanished.
To save their lives, most individuals would just flee. On the other hand, Tandy was a scientist, so he decided to put one notion to the test. He was certain that all of these weird occurrences were the consequence of infrasound – sound waves with a frequency lower than what human hearing can detect. He shut off the ventilation, which he believed was the source of the infrasound. And, of course, spirits ceased appearing at the facility as soon as the ventilation was switched off.
Researchers decided to put Tandy’s notion to the test a few years later. Some folks were influenced by infrasound as they went through the meandering halls. Those that were exposed noticed a shift in temperature and, in some instances, weird events. Everyone else didn’t see anything.
However, this is just a portion of the story, although the most basic. Another factor was that Tandy had previously been informed about ghosts by coworkers at the same facility. That is, people see ghosts more frequently than not because they expect to see them.